Carrying on Edsa 1986
Yesterday, we celebrated the 27th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution with keen awareness of the advances and deficiencies associated with our collective memory of that uprising that toppled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), created to run after the Marcoses and their cronies for stealing from the country and to recover their ill-gotten wealth is at the end of its strength.
PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista last year said it was best for the office to turn over its work to the Department of Justice.
While saying this, he noted, without going into details that oftentimes it was the people within the government itself that hampered the work of the commission.
The government should not abandon the cause of prosecuting the Marcoses and regaining the people’s money.
Bautista also observed that the Marcoses who still face hundreds of cases both for ill-gotten wealth and human rights abuses are back in power.
The Marcoses have returned not only in their own bailiwicks. They are gaining popularity amid the passing on of the Edsa 1986 generation.
On social networking site Facebook, the late dictator has a page that has garnered nearly 40,000 likes.
Rep. Imelda Marcos, the late dictator’s widow, had no qualms revealing recently that she would love to see Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. become President.
It was unfortunate that the government bumbled on the question of how to teach martial law history to our youth.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro and National Historical Commission Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno last September agreed that students should be left to judge for themselves whether martial law was good or bad after they were told the relevant facts.
That was flirting with collective amnesia that could lead to a repeat of a dark chapter of Philippine history.
Edsa 1986 was only the beginning of our exodus from the horrors of martial law and the dictatorship.
We commend the legislators who came to their senses and ratified laws to turn back the injustices of that era.
President Benigno Aquino III signed into law last December the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012, bringing the force of law against those who would make people vanish as thousands of them, like Cebu’s Fr. Rudy Romano of the Redemptorist congregation did under Marcos’ watch.
Yesterday the President signed into law the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.
The same law creates the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission that is tasked to work with the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education “to ensure that the teaching of martial law atrocities, the lives and sacrifices of [victims of human rights violations] in our history are included in the basic, secondary, and tertiary education curricula.”
It is good that the work of justice begun in Edsa in 1986 is coming albeit slowly into fruition.
May justice be carried out without delay.
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