Although former President Benigno S. Aquino III was at the People Power Monument, and former President Fidel Ramos, former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Gregorio Honasan attended a mass to commemorate the EDSA People Power Revolution 31 years ago, judging from the few people who participated in the last month at the People Power Monument and in other venues, one would easily conclude that the spirit that led to the EDSA revolt of 1986 which led to the departure of then President Ferdinand Marcos and family from Malacanang has faded and the celebration has lost its luster. Former President, one of the supposed heroes of the EDSA Revolt, noted the simple celebration this year which he said he does not mind as long the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) does a better job next year. To make up for next year, Ramos said he proposed putting up the long-delayed EDSA Learning Center.
What has caused people to give less importance to the celebration?
There are many answers to the poser. One answer is that many people have become skeptical of EDSA than those who are enthralled by it. The reason is that the supposed unity of the people during the event was immediately broken when those who came to power after Marcos, instead of promoting unity, divided the country between the so-called “yellow” forces and the “loyalists.” This division started when governors, mayors and other officials were removed and replaced with new ones without the benefit of election. The division was more event with the coup attempts that marked the administration of then President Corazon Aquino. People are also asking – what happened after EDSA, are the Filipinos better off than under Marcos?
One editorial pointed out that the essential purpose of commemorating the event has been lost because some have mistakenly loaded on the annual remembrance goals and objectives that are not validated by what our people truly feel or believe. The official EDSA commemoration has also been distorted by incessant misrepresentation and false counts of the numbers who do attend. Some have also foolishly made the EDSA remembrance a mock battle between the administration and its critics – leading to frenetic efforts by both sides to load the numbers on their respective ends, in order to claim an illusory victory.
Whatever your position on the matter, we should all learn from the lessons of EDSA, promote unity instead of dividing the people further so the country can attain growth, development and prosperity.