People Power vets pass on freedom torch to the youth, like in a 'relay' | Inquirer News

People Power vets pass on freedom torch to the youth, like in a ‘relay’

/ 09:24 PM February 25, 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 document ratified under the post-Edsa administration of late President Cory Aquino. (Photo by LYN RILLON)

MANILA, Philippines — Judy Taguiwalo watched as visibly disgruntled speakers rallied protesters against Charter change.

She was standing in front of Edsa Shrine during the 38th anniversary of People Power Revolution on Sunday.


With the help of her cane, the 74-year-old stood a few meters from the stage, looking on as young people shouted, “No to Cha-cha.”


She was looking at the people who were carrying on the fight to preserve the 1987 Constitution, which “cemented” the legitimacy of the revolution that toppled a dictator – former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Taguiwalo was not at Edsa when the revolution happened.

She was jailed at Camp Crame for being an activist during the former president’s administration. She was released after the bloodless revolt.

“We are here again because we want to make it clear that the battle of Edsa continues, because the issue of poverty continues, and there are still human rights issues,” the former political detainee told

She said seeing young people upholding democracy 38 years after the army-backed revolution, makes her happy, because it means the desire for a better Philippines is not dead among the youth.

Amid the noise of the rally, the long-time activist shouted at this reporter’s ear her belief that fighting for Edsa’s ideals of democracy is like a “relay” that should be passed on to the next generations.


“They (youth) are the one who will continue the battle of Edsa. I think the spirit of Edsa will not die as long as the love for country among young Filipinos keeps burning,” Judy observed.

Former Social Welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo issues a warning against RevGov. PHOTO/Noy Morcoso,

Former Social Welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo (File photo from NOY MORCOSO, dated Nov. 30, 2017)

Young faces from various multi-sectoral groups and universities were seen participating in this year’s commemoration.

Some of them carried flags and picket signs.

Among those who joined was 34-year-old Sylwyn Abad.

Sylwyn, who is eight months pregnant, brought her two–year-old son with her at the Edsa rally.

“I don’t want my children to grow up in a Philippines dominated by foreigners. It’s one of the reasons why we are here,” she said.

Her son ran around at the very same street where millions of Filipinos had convened in 1986 to usher in a “new era” of democracy in the country.

Commemorating People Power Revolution had been a tradition for Sylwyn, who had been showing up for the annual celebration since 2013.

“I want young people to understand that we must not be dictated by our leaders whom we have voted for. Instead, they should know that the power lies within the people,” she explained.

This year’s People Power anniversary was not declared a holiday, as stated under Proclamation No. 368 signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on October 11, 2023.

Some activists said this was an attempt at “historical revisionism.”

But government officials clarified this decision was made simply because the anniversary fell on a Sunday.

Despite this development, pro-democracy leaders, including former political detainee Satur Ocampo, said the bloodless revolution must never be forgotten as long as its goals of structural reform and democracy have yet to be fulfilled.

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“The promises of Edsa and the promise of change are now in the hands of the youth, who are here around us,” Taguiwalo said as she beamed with hope.

TAGS: Democracy, People power

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