Aquino family: Edsa spirit always there to confront deceivers | Inquirer News
Showing the world what ‘truly unified people’ can do

Aquino family: Edsa spirit always there to confront deceivers

/ 05:34 AM February 26, 2023

“Veterans” of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution. STORY: Aquino family: Edsa spirit always there to confront deceivers

THEY WERE THERE | “Veterans” of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution — and of the Marcos dictatorship that it put to an end — gather for a Mass marking the uprising’s 37th anniversary at the Edsa Shrine on Saturday. Also held at the church was a forum that had among its speakers Fr. Daniel Franklin Pilario of Adamson University, former Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna, Rep. Edcel Lagman, Edsa Shrine rector Fr. Jerome Secillano, retired Gen. Eliseo Rio, Ma. Cristina Bawagan of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, Rev. Frank Hernando of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and professor Edmundo Garcia. (Photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines —The spirit of the Edsa People Power Revolution will always be there to confront forces seeking to subvert Philippine democracy, trample on human rights, and deceive the Filipino people.

This was the core message of the Aquino family — who produced two presidents and had for its patriarch a jailed opposition leader whose murder set off a period of political unrest spelling the end of the Marcos dictatorship — on the 37th anniversary of the 1986 uprising.


“The Edsa People Power Revolution showed the world that it was possible for a courageous and truly unified people to reclaim the freedom that a dictatorship had denied them,’’ the Aquinos said in a statement on Saturday. ‘’We believe that the indomitable spirit exemplified by one Filipino nation 37 years ago remains alive to this very day.’’


Ninoy, Cory, Noynoy

‘’It is that same spirit that guards and protects our democracy, confronting those who attempt to deceive us and undermine our rights and liberties.’’

The assassination of former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in 1983, on the day he returned to the country from years of exile in the United States, added fuel to the protest movement against then-President Ferdinand Marcos. Three years later, the peaceful four-day revolution of February 1986 forced the dictator out of Malacañang and saw the ascension of Aquino’s widow Cory, days after they faced off in a snap election marked by massive fraud with Marcos declared the winner.

Ninoy and Cory’s only son, Benigno “Noynoy’’ Aquino III, served as a congressman and a senator before being elected President in 2010 on a wave of public emotion following his mother’s death from cancer the previous year. He died of renal disease in 2021. A national holiday, the Edsa anniversary on Saturday was the first to be observed under the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the ousted president.

‘Collective dementia’

In a Mass commemorating the uprising, Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. reminded Filipinos not to lapse into “collective dementia” and “never let one man or group reign over us.”

“Democracy is meant to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people … and not a government for one man or his family,” said Bacani in his homily at the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, also known as the Edsa Shrine.

“What’s worse than an individual being diagnosed with dementia is a nation having collective dementia,” the prelate added. “Let us not forget what a shining moment [the People Power Revolution] was—a moment of glory when the Filipino people showed what they, with God, can do.”


Keeping up the fight

In a statement read during the service, the Clergy for the Moral Choice (CMC) vowed to keep fighting what it called historical distortions and injustices suffered by various sectors during the Marcos regime and afterward.

“We remember how the Marcos regime was marked with an array of human rights violations … Now, 37 years hence, we continue the fight for truth, justice and freedom,” said CMC, which counts about 1,400 Catholic bishops, priests and deacons as members.

It took note of the extrajudicial killings linked to former President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs,” his acts of “personal vendetta” that resulted in the shutdown of the ABS-CBN network, and the “unjust detention” since 2017 of one of his archcritics, former Sen. Leila de Lima.

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The religious group also expressed concern over the “development aggression” suffered by indigenous people facing displacement from their land in the Sierra Madre due to the controversial Kaliwa Dam project.



Marcos offers reconciliation; critics demand atonement

Martial law survivors remind gov’t of promised assistance

Edsa People Power after 36 years: Who played key roles? (Part one)

36 years later: The key figures in Edsa People Power (Part two)

TAGS: Aquino family, Ferdinand Marcos

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