PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte was a no-show at the ceremony on Friday of the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
Duterte is in Davao City to lead the re-launching of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.
The President, however, left a message for the Edsa anniversary, which was delivered by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
In his message, Duterte called on the Filipino people to not just celebrate the 1986 uprising but to also muse the losses and gains it contributed to the country.
"Thirty-one years have swiftly passed since the Edsa People Power Revolution, and perhaps, now is the opportune time to ask ourselves – what have we achieved after Edsa?” The Chief Executive said in a message.
"More than a mere commemoration, now is the perfect time for all of us to reflect and objectively assess what we have lost and what we have gained as a nation since that historic event," he added.
The 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution gathered millions of Filipinos from all walks of life to march along Edsa to end the dictatorship of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.
The revolution was a result of the long oppressed freedom and the abuses committed by the Marcos regime. Prayers were the only weapons the Filipinos used to bring back their freedom from the hands of Marcos.
Duterte said Edsa was "not just a cry against years of abuse and corruption of governmental power" but more importantly, "was a demonstration of the power that united citizenry could muster."
"Indeed, the spirit of Edsa does not belong to one sector or one group of people, but to all Filipinos who believe in freedom and a democratic way of life," Duterte said.
"It was a movement of, by, and for the Filipino people brought about by their profound love of country. No single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim credit for the bloodless revolution at Edsa, in the same way that no single party, ideology, religion or individual could claim a monopoly of patriotism," he added.
The President said the spirit of Edsa revolt should continue to inspire heroism in all of the Filipino people “for the greater glory of God and country.”
He also urged the people to unite in building the nation “dutyfully, joyfully, and passionately,” despite the occasional differences.
“Hand in hand, let us take a pause and take a stock of events gone by, then reset our vision, renew our energies, and do our share in the many great tasks ahead, so that the gains of a truly free and democratic society can be felt by all,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)