Villalobos: What will EDSA commemoration look like under a Marcos Jr. presidency?

A few days from now, the country will commemorate the first EDSA People Power Revolution under the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a commemoration of the people’s heroism and courageous act of toppling the Ferdinand Marcos Sr. dictatorship.

Now, the great question is, what will this day look like after the Marcoses have successfully crept their way into power again?

It has been a common practice among presidents to release statements in commemoration of this historic act. But will Marcos Jr follow suit and embarrass himself by expressing his admiration for the movement that stripped their family away from power? I have drawn up several possible scenarios of how Marcos Jr might respond to the situation.

The first scenario will be the most obvious one. Marcos Jr and his cohorts can just use the strategy they use the most: the ignore strategy. He can just go on in the day and let it finish without giving a statement at all. Or maybe he would be out of the country again to escape the awkward day. Who knows?

The second possible scenario is he can give a well-crafted spin on it. Of course, he is paying people from the government’s coffers to be his spin doctors. Someone should be able to think of a good spin. Maybe it would be along the lines of “forgive, move on” with keywords such as “national healing,” “unity,” or whatever.

Darryl Yap may even produce another video with Imee Marcos starring in it again. Who knows? But that can be part of the overall press strategy.

The third scenario is he will give a concise statement acknowledging the event being commemorated on that day and sprinkle it with some buzzwords like “democracy,” “freedom,” or whatever BS. Even the most undemocratic post-EDSA president of this country has released statements for EDSA with those buzzwords.

A very unlikely scenario might also occur: him acknowledging the spirit of EDSA that it was about people coming together to point out mistakes in the country or whatnot. Maybe in an alternate universe where Marcoses are sane and honest human beings, this is possible. But right now, this is very far from reality.

How Marcos Jr will commemorate the EDSA celebration now and in the future largely depends on how civil society and the social movement will act on the current situation.

But however he might want to commemorate it, it is important for us, those who remember, to do things that will help the Filipinos remember.

To help Filipinos remember that, not so long ago, millions of Filipinos stood up against corruption, injustice, and dictatorship.

To help Filipinos remember that, not so long ago, the international community looked up to us for our bloodless revolution.

To help Filipinos remember that, not so long ago, we showed heroism.*

Joshua is a 20-year-old Bacolodnon studying Sociology at Silliman University.


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