Edsa: Pour quoi?-A A +A
As I See It
Saturday, February 9, 2013
WHY? For what reason? After 26 years, we will have Edsa commemoration again on February 22 up to February 25. Enthusiasm is dwindling. Those who braved the storm in 1986 are now in their 60s. Many of them rested on their laurels... probably dried leaves now. The main characters that are still alive prefer to take things easy.
Edsa 1986 was a socio-political “halo-halo.” What really happened? Was it a revolution? Was it a coup d' etat? Was it a miracle? Was it initiated by Uncle Sam? Was it written in the stars?
It started as political volleyball between Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos and Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. When Ninoy made his return to the Philippines, he was brazenly assassinated at the Manila International Airport. That crystalized the sentiments of the majority of the Filipinos. The dictator at the Palace should be removed. How?
The extended protest movement was born. The street parliamentarians multiplied-students, employees, labor force, farmers, the poor people and the elite of Makati. Uncle Sam whispered to Pres. Malakas that there should be snap elections on February 7, 1986. Corazon C. Aquino, the widow of Ninoy, was drafted to run against Marcos.
Cory was defeated in a Moro-Moro election. She went to the provinces calling for the boycott of products belonging to companies of Marcos cronies. On February 22, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and AFP Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos, withdrew their support for the government of Marcos. Enrile and Ramos made a statement that it was Cory who won in the snap elections. AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Fabian Ver, offered his canine services to Pres. Marcos.
On February 23, the army of Marcos destroyed the transmitter of Radio Veritas. The people at Edsa kept coming. Enrile and Ramos made a bluff by announcing that they are on top. General Antonio Tadiar of the Marines threatened to fire but the Filipinos stood firm.
On February 24, the seven helicopter gunships of Antonio Sotelo joined Ramos and Enrile at Camp Crame. Marcos appeared on government-owned Channel 4 to prove that he is still president. On February 25, Cory took her oath of office as the seventh president of the Philippines before Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee of the Supreme Court at Club Filipino. Marcos had his inauguration also at Malacañang but the rebel soldiers had taken over the transmitter of three pro-Marcos TV stations. The dictator went off the air. US Republican senator, Paul Laxalt, called up Marcos. "You have to cut and cut clearly." That was the end of US support to Marcos.
At 9 p.m., four American helicopters transported the Marcoses from Malacañang to Clark Air Base, to Guam and then to Hawaii. The Edsa story was a writ of intelligence, gravitas, chutzpah, bizarre planning, theatrical antics swinging wildly in tone between hard-nosed action flick and slightly comic tomfoolery. Where are the main characters after 26 years?
Fidel Ramos is now a retired president doing business somewhere. He is a writer, a consultant, a political adviser (?), and still maintains his connection with the military. Juan Ponce Enrile is senate president.
Recently, he played Sta. Clause to his favorite senators. He was the “VIP” in pulling out Chief Justice Renato Corona out of his throne. He is grooming his son to become senator also. Gringo Honasan, the aide de camp of Enrile, famous for his pet snake, is now a senator and businessman. Cory died and she joined Ninoy. Cory's son Noynoy Aquino was elected president. He now leads us to “matuwid an daan.” His term of office will expire in 2016. We will judge him there.
President Marcos died and his body (?) covered with wax is in his hometown. Bongbong, Marcos' son, is now a senator. Meldy and Imee are in politics. Many Filipinos have short memories. The EDSA affair would be remembered only as a red-number-dayin a calendar. Even old people are tired of telling stories about the event. History has its own time. Veritatem dies aperit! (Time reveals the truth!)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 09, 2013.