Revolution not over, says FVR; local People Power commemoration rites urged
MANILA, Philippines — Former President Fidel Ramos challenged Filipinos on the eve of the 35th anniversary celebration of the Edsa uprising to “keep ablaze the flame of nationalism and continue to embody the unparalleled spirit of the People Power revolution.”
“The revolution is not over and the work remains unfinished until every Filipino enjoys the freedoms and rights embodied in our Constitution, our democracy secure, and we regain our seat at the table of the community of nations,” Ramos, one of the key figures in the 1986 event, said in a statement.
The celebration on Thursday would be as simple as last year’s 12-minute program and with fewer people expected due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
This year’s theme is: “Edsa 2021: Kapayapaan, Paghilom, Pagbangon (Peace, Healing, Recovery),” apparently referring to national efforts in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the event “will have minimal attendees, adhering to the prescribed health standards or guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (for the Management of) Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
Last year’s program lasted only 12 minutes and reduced to flag-raising and wreath-laying rites without the usual speeches by personalities.
Ramos, now 92, has been absent from the rites in the last two years due to health reasons, but on Wednesday, he stressed the importance of celebrating the Edsa uprising in his statement.
“The 1986 revolution remains our nation’s resplendent moment for it represents the best of Filipinos,” he said. He described it as “our opportunity to make things right, to do things right, for what we hold in our hearts as true and just.”
According to Ramos, the nation owes future generations the true story of Edsa 1986 and its legacy.
“Our nation’s destiny remains uncertain but her history is evidence that we always succeed in achieving our shared aspirations when we work together,” he said.
NHCP officials and Edsa People Power Commission chair Rene Escalante, as well as Spirit of Edsa Foundation president Christipher Carrion, are expected to attend Thursday’s commemoration rites.
Also joining the program are representatives from the August Twenty One Movement, Chino Roces Foundation and the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission, and local and national government and nongovernment agencies.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte will lead the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Edsa People Power monument.
Mass will be celebrated at the Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace after the rites.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged all local chief executives and its officials nationwide to hold simple celebrations simultaneously “as may be appropriate and in accordance with existing IATF protocols.”
Acting DILG head Bernardo Florece Jr. issued a memorandum circular dated Feb. 17 to all governors, mayors, DILG regional directors and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ministry of local government, saying the activity aimed to “spread awareness of the principles and values of the historical event.”
“The display of the Philippine flag in all government offices and other establishments shall be highly encouraged,” he said.
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