Duterte skips Edsa People Power rites for the third time
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte again skipped the commemoration of the Edsa People Power Revolution.
This is the third time Duterte missed celebrations of the historic event since he assumed the presidency in June 2016.
The President, however, would attend the 1st National Assembly of the Liga ng Mga Barangay sa Pilipinas at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City at 5 p.m. Monday, February 25.
In place of Duterte, Education Undersecretary Lorna Dig-Dino led the wreath-laying ceremony at the People Power Monument along Edsa in Quezon City.
“While the President has to attend to more pressing matters of the State and may not be physically present during the commemoration of the People Power Revolution, he will however be there in union with the celebrators as well as in recognition and reminder to all that our government is a fruit of democracy and our sovereignty resides in the people and all authority emanates from them,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement late Sunday.
“The lesson learned in Edsa is unmistakable. Power is transitional as life is ephemeral. You abuse either and it will be taken away from you,” he added. “As a wise sage says: Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”
Panelo further explained the President’s absence, saying he “has been working tirelessly, including on weekends,” citing the two public events of Duterte in Cebu on the eve of the EdsaPeople Power anniversary.
Duterte was in Cebu on Sunday to distribute grants of unconditional cash transfers to beneficiaries and to attend the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally.
Panelo had earlier said Duterte would “most likely” skip the Edsa People Power rites, saying the President has a lot of work to do.
READ: Duterte ‘most likely’ to skip Edsa People Power Revolution events — Palace
In 2018, Duterte also missed commemoration of the Edsa People Power Revolution in Manila and chose to spend his day in his hometown Davao City.
He also skipped the Edsa anniversary rites at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City in 2017 as he chose to attend the relaunch of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Davao City.
The 1986 People Power uprising toppled the regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, whom the President has described as “best president ever.”
The President was heavily criticized for allowing Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18, 2016.
But the former mayor, a close friend of the Marcos family, maintained that Marcos was a former president and a soldier, which under the 1987 Constitution, qualified him to be buried there. /kga
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