MAGANES: Is Edsa People Power still relevant today?

February 27, 2017 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

I am writing this article coinciding with the 31st celebration of Edsa People Power. For the last few days, President Rodrigo Duterte was criticized for not having made the efforts to celebrate it pompously as what happened in the previous administrations. He declared it as a simple celebration focusing on what has to be done in the future making the Edsa People Power gains as jump off points.
Because of such declaration, Duterte caught the ire of netizens, who said he was not looking back on the gains of the popular people revolution. They said, it should be celebrated with pomposity since it’s the vehicle, which give us the democracy we are now experiencing in this country. While President Duterte is receiving all sorts of criticisms on this, the main players of the Edsa People Power- former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, former Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and former President Fidel Valdez Ramos think otherwise. Enrile said, there was no President present during that event in 1986. Honasan said that it’s time for the Filipinos to move on and concentrate on solving the present problems the country is facing. Ramos, although not happy of the simple celebration said we have to back on the gains of the Edsa People Power and make them as inspirations.
We are now in the new age of reforms. The 31 years of Edsa People Power have not put much reforms in our government- corruption is still there, drugs proliferated, killings increased, political system has not changed, etc. However, with Duterte’s administration all the problems experienced by the previous administrations from Cory Aquino up to his son PNoy are now being addressed. The People Power will be there always and it will again be used by Filipinos in proper time.
Let me just refreshed you on what happened in 1986 and the succeeding years.

It was February 22 to 25 of the year 1986. People from all walks of life rushed to Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue popularly known as Edsa, to rally behind the military led by then Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Deputy Chief of Staff Fidel Valdez Ramos who withdrew their support from then President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
It was just after a snap election when Cory Aquino, the housewife of Senator Benigno Aquino who was killed on August 21, 1983, ran against Marcos. In the said snap election, which was perceived to be manipulated, the Commission on Election (Comelec) declared Marcos as the winner. However, the National Movement for Free Election (Namfrel) in its tally sheet showed Cory Aquino was the legitimate winner of the presidencial race. There were protests from camps of Aquino and the militant groups.
Marcos lost his moral ascendancy to govern the Filipinos and the last thing he did was to leave the country, with his family. They fled to Hawaii amid uproar of those in the streets now known as “people power”. Cory Aquino was installed as the president. There was  fresh hope for the Filipinos that the return of democracy will change the social and political ferment of the country.
The commemoration of Edsa People Power during the time of Aquino was given  importance by the Filipinos because of the ouster of Marcos. However, during that time there were still incessant calls for reforms. Some elements of the military that supported the people power staged a coup against her, which was not successful. Aquino at that time had the backing of the powerful Catholic Church under Cardinal Jaime Sin.
In 1992, Fidel Valdez Ramos won the presidency. The Edsa People Power during his term was celebrated yearly, Ramos being one of its leading figures during that time. The gains of it was given much attention such that the economy grew until his term ended in 1998. After Ramos, President Joseph “Erap” Estrada took the reins of the government. Barely three years in office, he was ousted through another people power because of his impeachment associated with “jueteng payola”. His remaining term was completed by then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who was elected as President in 2003. Her presidency was marred by controversy arising from the “Hello Garci” scandal. Before her term ended in 2010, her governance figured in many corruption issues. Edsa People Power celebration has waned since then.
The “yellow fever” was resurrected with the rising of Benigno ” Noynoy” Aquino III to presidency in 2010. He projected himself as the “messiah” of the Filipinos with his famous “Tuwid na Daan” at “Kayo ang Boss” lines. However, despite a clean image that he projected, P-Noy lacked the savvy required by his office. He failed in the area of sensitivity making him infamous of his handling the Mamasapano incident where 44 SAF members we massacred.
It will be remembered that last February 25, 2016 during the commemoration of 30th Edsa People Power, it did not gain much support from the Filipinos. The figures of the first Edsa revolution were conspicuously absent, the Enrile, Ramos, Honasan, etc. That was then the start of how the celebration has waned until President Duterte came into power. Now, why do we focused on his decision to celebrate it simply. That is his call and must be respected.
Whatever gains we have on the people power, we should keep them alive in our hearts. The gains could not be measured by the pomposity of celebration but on how it changed our lives’ perspectives as well as the change in the government system.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at

Entry filed under: News.

EDITORIAL: Ang kahalagahan ng ‘social media’ sa bagong panahon No such thing as ‘faulty electrical wiring’ – fire official

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Welcome to Northern Watch Online.You are visitor no.

  • 975,734 since Feb. 10, 2009

Events Watch

sugod agri-expo Photobucket

Last Week’s Cartoon


Previous issues

Day Watch

February 2017
Regional blogs & blog posts
Regional blogs
Media blogs
Opinion blogs
Community blogs

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,470 other followers

%d bloggers like this: