Edsa revolt in Cebu

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Saturday, February 22, 2014


THE announcement by Malacañang that the 28th anniversary celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolution on Feb. 25 will be held in Cebu must come as a surprise to many. For years, the focus of the celebration was in Edsa when People Power toppled the Marcos dictatorship on Feb. 25, 1986.

Those who are 28 years old and below will have no recollection of that shining moment in Philippine history and can only refer to books or articles to appreciate the efforts of the Filipino people. The Edsa revolt catapulted the Philippines to the forefront of the tide that dismantled governments, especially in Eastern Europe.

It must be emphasized that what happened on Feb. 25 was the result of a long and hard journey of many Filipinos who had had enough of the abuses of the Marcos regime, who had had enough of the injustice done to many human rights workers and believers in
democracy, including Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

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While the communist movement fought Ferdinand Marcos with intent to put themselves in power through a bloody revolution, many Filipinos, especially the middle class, sought a return to genuine democracy where people decide their fate through plebiscite and election. And many of them were tagged as communists and either put in prison or murdered by military and paramilitary elements with consent of those in power.

When there was a decent chance to make democracy work, many volunteered to join the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), while others campaigned vigorously for opposition leader Corazon Aquino.

I can still recall my willingness to die for my country. I conducted trainings for volunteers in dangerous areas in Cebu, especially where Ramon Durano reigned. I believed that many others shared my love for country, my desire for a return to democracy.

Cebuanos who believed marched to Fuente Osmeña on Feb. 22 to send a message to Marcos and his followers that we were behind the call of Cory Aquino for civil disobedience.

The dictator then was about to twist the results of the snap presidential elections in his favor.

When we regained freedom, we did our annual celebration to commemorate those glory days. Even when some of those idealistic people had become opportunistic, still we persisted in observing the anniversary of the 1986 Edsa Revolution, and we called it ‘Yukbo Alang sa Pilipino.” We celebrated it always through music and for a few times with flowers and a reenactment.

It is, therefore, important for Cebuanos to support this year’s celebration of the 28th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution when it is staged in Cebu.

It will be a day to rekindle those treasured moments of sacrifice, courage and patriotism, and an opportunity to renew the people's commitment to defend democracy and to regain that resolve to make the future better not just for ourselves but more importantly for our children.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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