DepEd calls for school activities about ‘Edsa’ | Inquirer News

DepEd calls for school activities about ‘Edsa’

/ 05:30 AM February 24, 2024

As they gather again to commemorate the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution

REKINDLING THE FLAME VS CHA-CHA As they gather again to commemorate the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, civil society groups and opposition leaders have a very specific rallying call this year: keep the Edsa spirit alive to block renewed efforts to amend the Constitution, the charter ratified under the post-Edsa administration of the late President Cory Aquino. —PHOTO BY LYN RILLON

After Malacañang decided against marking the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution as a holiday this year, Vice President Sara Duterte as the education secretary tried to keep the spirit of the four-day revolt alive in all public schools 38 years after it toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

In a Feb. 21 memorandum signed by Undersecretary Omar Romero “by authority of the secretary,” the Department of Education (DepEd) “encouraged” public elementary and high schools across the country to hold commemorative activities in honor of the Feb. 22, 1986 to Feb. 25, 1986, uprising.


“The commemoration aims to highlight people’s consciousness and promote greater awareness of the principles and values that the Edsa People Power Revolution stood for,” the memo said.


Year’s theme

To guide school officials and teachers in observing the event, DepEd said that this year’s theme would be “Pagkakaisa at Paninindigan Laban sa mga Bagong Hamon sa Bayan,” which it translated to “Unity and Conviction against the New Challenges to the Nation.”

The memo was addressed to all undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, bureau and service directors, regional directors, schools division superintendents, and school heads under DepEd.

According to the document, this year’s school-based festivities were in line with Proclamation No. 1224 in 2007 that declared Feb. 22 to Feb. 25 of every year as “Edsa People Power Commemoration Week.”

National Day of Prayer and Action for EDSA

National Day of Prayer and Action for EDSA, Against Cha-Cha held at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace or EDSA Shrine. In photo are, from right, former OPAPP Sec. Ging Deles, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, former CHED chair Patricia Licuanan, former Sen. Leila de Lima, Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Sen. Bam Aquino, Atty. Chel Diokno, Rafaela David.

Victims’ memorial

The call for activities was also in support of the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission “and other agencies celebrating the commemoration of the 38th People Power Anniversary,” it said.

The commission was created in 2013 by Republic Act No. 10368, or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act, to work with DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education to “ensure that the teaching of martial law atrocities and the lives and sacrifices of (victims) in our history are included in the basic, secondary and tertiary curricula.”

The government officially recognized 11,103 victims of torture, murder, illegal arrest and detention, and enforced disappearance during Marcos Sr.’s martial law regime.


Among the activities DepEd proposed this year are the integration of the celebration in the subjects taught in classes and discussions of “current issues involving children relative to protecting the country’s democracy and freedom” in appropriate subjects. It did not say what those issues were.

Other proposed activities included art contests, photo exhibits, and poster- and slogan-making competitions that highlight the Edsa Revolution.

Palace memo

The memo veers away from Malacañang’s official position to exclude Feb. 25 from this year’s list of holiday festivities and observances.

The many groups and personalities that fought the dictatorship celebrate the Edsa Revolution each year on Feb. 25, the day in 1986 when the Marcoses and their associates fled Malacañang and were flown into exile in Hawaii where Marcos Sr. died three years later.

The revolt was triggered by soldiers led by then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and then Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos who broke away from Marcos on Feb. 22, 1986, two weeks after the fraud-marred snap presidential election.

Hundreds of thousands of people converged outside Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame on Edsa to protect the rebel troops from loyalist forces in the following days in a show of “people power,” which won international admiration and became model for peaceful revolts in other countries.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa downplayed the significance of DepEd’s memo this year, telling the Inquirer that similar directives had been issued yearly. “That has been the case every year,” he said in a text message.

Welcome call

Sought for comment on the memo, Francis “Kiko” Aquino-Dee, co-convener of the newly formed “Buhay ang Edsa Campaign Network,” said the group “welcomes any call to celebrate Edsa … even calls that are not necessarily from people who we share the same point of view.”

Explaining the exclusion of Feb. 25 from this year’s list of holidays, Malacañang said that it would fall on a Sunday, which meant that it would have “minimal socioeconomic impact” on workers.

But it said that it “maintains the respect for the commemoration of the Edsa People Power Revolution.”

President Marcos’ predecessors, including former Presidents Rodrigo Duterte and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, had marked Feb. 25 a holiday through presidential proclamations.

Rites encouraged

Even DepEd officials under past administrations encouraged schools to remember the Edsa uprising that ended a dictatorship.

In 2004, DepEd encouraged schools to initiate various activities for students to be able to join in the Edsa festivities.

With Florencio Abad at the helm then, DepEd directed school heads to mark the uprising by planting trees, undertaking “campus and classroom beautification,” and holding essay and poem writing contests. The commemoration was also in line with then Arroyo administration’s anticorruption campaign.

Under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, son of opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and the late President Corazon Aquino, a 2011 memo enjoined DepEd officials and employees to “actively participate” in the 25th anniversary of the 1986 revolt.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

During the pandemic in 2022, an internal DepEd memo urged “all learners and teachers” with internet access to participate in the virtual commemoration of the Edsa Revolution.

TAGS: DepEd, Edsa, People power, Sara Duterte

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.