FVR leads token celebration of Edsa People Power revolution
Former President Fidel Ramos on Sunday led the commemoration of the 32nd anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution at the People Power Monument, emphasizing that the bloodless uprising that ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a continuing lesson in “unity, solidarity in values and teamwork in nation-building.”
“The 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution was only the start of our transformation. That is not the end. As Professor Winnie Monsod said, we are just beginning. And the outcome, which is a better future for all Filipinos, must be done by its succeeding administrations,” Ramos said.
Ramos said that from the revolution, the country learned “unity of purpose for all Filipinos.”
Two other lessons of Edsa, he said, were Filipinos having “solidarity in values” that include love of God, people, country, and the environment and “team work in nation-building.”
“There should be no Ilocanos, Davaoeños, Cebuano, Illonggos. We are all Filipinos. That’s what I want to say,” Ramos said.
Ramos was the only key Edsa personality at the People Power Monument in what appeared to be the Duterte administration’s token celebration of the revolution that restored democracy in the country.
Former Senator Heherson Alvarez, his wife Cecil, and former journalist Maan Hontiveros were the other prominent figures during the fight against the Marcos dictatorship who were with Ramos.
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, though beside Ramos the entire program, looked like the odd-person out at the stage dominated by Duterte administration officials like National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño, Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Danilo Lim.
Sereno wore a black dress with a peach panuelo. She is facing impeachment proceedings at the House of Representatives.
The 32nd anniversary of People Power was arguably the least attended among all the anniversaries of the revolution that restored democracy in the country.
Around a thousand people were at the People Power Monument, mostly government employees enjoined by their local governments to attend the event. Medical, dental, and optical services were available along White Plains Avenue as well as a mini-bazaar.
National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairman Rene Escalante said that the low turnout at Edsa was because activities commemorating the event were held on other days and in other places. Escalante concurrently heads the People Power Commission.
About 300 officers and men from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), a nun, the children of the late Sen. Agapito “Butz” Aquino and Hontiveros were among those who joined the raditional “salubungan”, the reenactment of the moment when the military tanks and the citizens faced each other at Edsa yet no blood was spilled.
The military’s refusal to fire at the people gathered at Edsa to call for Marcos’ ouster was a turning point in the four-day revolution.
Ramos was given the People’s Power Heroes Award, while the Edsa People Power Commission Award was given to the AFP and PNP for the successful liberation of Marawi City from the hands of terrorists.
Army Captain Michael Asistores and PO3 Christopher Lalan, the sole Special Action Force survivor the Mamasapano debacle, received the awards.
The Good Citizenship Award was also posthumously given to Melvin Gaa, the NCCC mall employee who died saving others while fire gutted the establishment in Davao City in December last year. /cbb
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