Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said the spirit of the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution remains alive and is proof that there is no place for dictators in the country.
“Magsilbi nawang babala ang EDSA sa sinuman ang muling magtatangkang ikuyom tayo sa loob ng kamaong bakal: Hindi sila magtatagumpay (Let EDSA serve as a warning that anyone who will attempt to lock us up inside an iron fist will fail),” Robredo said.
The Vice President said the bloodless revolution, which was hailed all over the world, did not aspire to have perfect leaders and a perfect democracy “but to fight for the people’s right to live with dignity.”
In the same breath, Robredo denounced attempts to revise history, saying the new generation should not be fooled by those pushing for their own personal agenda.
“Ngayon, may mga nagtatangkang burahin ang alaala ng EDSA para sa pansarili nilang agenda (Now, there are those who are trying to erase the memory of EDSA for their own selfish agenda),” said the Vice President, arch-rival of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who lost his vice presidential bid in 2016 to the former congresswoman.
Only 34 years have passed, she said, and many of those who fought against the Marcos dictatorship continue to live to tell their stories.
“Utang natin sa kanilang huwag bigyang-puwang ang mga kasinungalingan. Ipakuwento natin sa kanila ang kanilang mga nasaksihan. Itanong natin sa kanila kung paano sila nakahanap ng tapang na humarap sa mga tangke, sa baril at bayoneta, sa mga eroplanong umuugong sa kalangitan, na sa isang iglap ay puwedeng magpaulan ng bomba sa mga nagtipon (We owe it to them not give lies any space. Let them tell us their personal stories.
Let’s ask them how they were able to muster enough courage to face tanks, guns and bayonets, and fighter planes in the sky that could have dropped bombs on those who converged on EDSA),” Robredo said.
The Vice President said she still had strong faith “that the things that bind us together are stronger than those that divide us.”
“Pag-aari ng bawat Pilipino ang EDSA. Buhay ang diwa nito: Lahat tayo ay humaharap sa mga hamon, at lahat tayo, may angking lakas upang daigin ito. Hindi tayo nag-iisa. Wala sa ating nag-iisa. (Every Filipino owns EDSA. Its spirit remains alive. Let’s all rise to the challenge and overcome it. We’re not alone, no one is alone),” she added.
EDSA IN MAKATI
Former vice president Jejomar Binay said the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution is especially important today since many seem to have already forgotten the events that led to the bloodless revolution.
Binay, who was the first local official appointed by the late president Corazon Aquino after the EDSA revolution, led the wreath-laying activities for the anniversary celebration at the Ninoy Aquino statue in Makati on Tuesday morning.
He was joined by former senators Rene Saguisag and Sergio Osmeña III, and members of the August Twenty-One Movement (ATOM).
“We are here to remind the younger generations of the importance of EDSA in our country’s history,” Binay said.
Saguisag said the youth of today should be made aware that “there was one pride shining moment in our country’s history that the whole world watched in shock and awe: the scene of nuns (and) ordinary people stopping tanks with their rosary and entire families there at EDSA ready to give their all.”
Saguisag said he, along with other EDSA veterans, will go around the country and discuss the importance of the event to the younger generations to avoid historical revisionism.
Osmeña said Filipinos need to gather from time to time to recall the significant events that led to the people power revolution, and eventually the ouster of the Marcoses from power.
Osmeña likewise stressed that the power of the people over its government has no political color. – With Noel Talacay