Robredo: Edsa is proof that strongman rule will not succeed
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has reminded Filipinos that the Edsa People Power movement, which ousted former president Ferdinand Marcos, is a warning to abusive leaders that strongman rules will never succeed.
“Magsilbi nawang babala ang Edsa sa sinuman ang muling magtatangkang ikuyom tayo sa loob ng kamaong bakal: Hindi sila magtatagumpay,” Robredo said in her message for the Edsa Revolution’s 34th anniversary on Tuesday, referring to Marcos’ martial law regime.
(Let Edsa be a warning to anyone who attempts to rule with an iron fist rule: they will never succeed.)
The Vice President also stressed that it is the people’s responsibility to learn from the horrors of Martial Law and correct the lies about the late dictator’s rule.
Recently, there have been growing concerns over a so-called “historical revisionist” portrayal of Marcos’ over two decades grip on power as being a benevolent and fruitful one — even being dubbed as the “golden age” of the country.
“Ngayon, may mga nagtatangkang burahin ang alaala ng Edsa para sa pansarili nilang agenda. Tatlumpu’t apat na taon pa lang ang nakakalipas: kasama pa natin ngayon ang marami sa nagtipon noon—silang mga sumubaybay sa balita habang nagaganap ang rebolusyon, at malamang ay nakadanas din ng pagmamalupit ng diktadurya,” she said.
(Now, there are attempts to revise the lessons of Edsa for their personal agendas. It has only been 34 years since the movement, and many of those who gathered are still alive — those who have monitored the news while the revolution was ongoing, and who most likely have also experienced abuse from the dictatorship)
“Utang natin sa kanilang huwag bigyang-puwang ang mga kasinungalingan. Ipakuwento natin sa kanila ang kanilang mga nasaksihan. Itanong natin sa kanila kung paano sila nakahanap ng tapang na humarap sa mga tangke, sa baril at bayoneta, sa mga eroplanong umuugong sa kalangitan, na sa isang iglap ay puwedeng magpaulan ng bomba sa mga nagtipon,” she added.
(We owe it to them to refute lies being peddled. Let us allow them to tell the stories of what they witnessed. Ask them how they were able to find the courage to face tanks, guns, knives, and fighter planes circling in the air which can easily drop bombs where people gather.)
While the Marcos government built hospitals, bridges, and railway systems, his tenure would always be marked by accusations of corruption and attacks on his critics.
International watchdog Amnesty International says that over 3,200 persons were killed under Marcos’ watch while 35,000 individuals were reported tortured, while 878 individuals have reportedly disappeared.
Meanwhile, analysts also believe that the whole amount of the Marcos loot — a collection of artworks, cash, and other assets — is worth between $5 to $10 billion.
Robredo also attested to the events leading up to the Edsa Revolution, as she was there during the height of the protests. She also noted that while the democracy that came as a result of Edsa is not perfect, as the protests were not centered on perfection but rather on gaining dignity.
“Nagtagumpay tayo noon, at patuloy nating tinatahak ang landas upang makamit ang mga mithiin ng Edsa. Mulat tayo: Walang perpektong pinuno, at walang perpektong demokrasya. Ngunit hindi tayo nagtipon noon para manawagan ng perpektong pinuno o perpektong demokrasya,” she explained.
(We were victorious back then, and we are still moving towards achieving the aspirations of Edsa. We are aware: there is no perfect leader and no perfect democracy. But we did not gather before to call for such demands)
“Ang hinangad natin: Mabuhay nang may dignidad. Isang gobyernong hindi magsisinungaling, hindi magnanakaw, at hindi tayo aapihin. Hindi tayo papatayin. Sa madaling salita: Isang gobyernong gagawin ang sinumpaan niyang tungkulin,” she added.
(What we were aspiring for is a life with dignity. A government that does not lie, does not steal, and will not abuse us, that will not kill us. In other words, a government that will fulfill its mandate)
Edited by MUF
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