n February 25, the
Philippines will celebrate the 28th anniversary of the People Power
revolution known as EDSA One. For four days in February, 1986,
Filipinos amassed on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), in front of Camps
Crame and Aguinaldo to shield Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, General Fidel
Ramos, and their military supporters from possible assault by forces
controlled by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Between one and three
million Filipinos gathered at EDSA and successfully prevented the
Marcos-controlled tanks and armored personnel carriers from advancing
towards the two rebel-occupied camps. From Cubao in the north to Ortigas
Avenue in the south, EDSA had become a teeming mass of humanity. And in
addition to shielding the rebels, the millions who congregated on EDSA
showed the country and the world that Filipinos had had enough of Marcos and
wanted him out. This was the sign everyone was waiting for. It emboldened
the people and galvanized their opposition to his brutal and corrupt regime.
From then on it would just be a matter of days before Marcos and his cronies
would be sent packing out of the country.
The true heroes of the EDSA
People Power revolution were—the people. They were the men and women from
all walks of life who showed up at EDSA to become part of the human shield
that so effectively protected those who led the revolt.
was that selfless act of courage that brought down an illegitimate regime—a
regime that for over a decade had trampled on the human rights of the
Filipino people, while bleeding their country’s coffers dry.
The fact that it was a
bloodless revolution and no one was killed does not diminish the sacrifice
that those who showed up at EDSA were willing to make. All those who stood
courageously in front of tanks knew that at any second they could be
trampled under tons of steel. Those who stood in front of the guns and
cannons of the soldiers commanded by Gen. Fabian Ver knew that they
would be at the receiving end if Ver had given an order to fire. And although
the atmosphere was calm and at times even festive, at some level everyone
there was aware that if hostilities erupted, they might never make it home
By their collective action
during those four days in February, 1986, the Filipino people removed an
illegitimate dictator who had long overstayed his welcome and handed over to
their new president Corazon Aquino an entire country, plus all the
governmental power she needed to make things right. The fact that Aquino, in
so many ways, failed in that task has somewhat diminished the significance
of the EDSA revolution through the years. But let no one forget that the
people did their part. It was those they entrusted to make the needed
changes who unfortunately failed to deliver.
But this Tuesday, February 25,
2014, let us not dwell on the failures of our elected officials. Instead let
us remember the courage and resoluteness of the men and women who
participated in the EDSA People Power revolution. Although bloodless, it was
still a revolution that toppled a dictator and showed the world that there
were millions of Filipinos willing to sacrifice their own lives to restore
freedom and democracy in their country.
It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF)
policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international
Doctor Expedito Castillo, a retired internist with training in sports medicine thinks so. Castillo who lives in New York points out that Los Angeles—where Manny Pacquiao now trains for his May 2nd fight, and Las Vegas—where Floyd Mayweather trains and where the boxing match will take place, have enormous differences in terms of elevation. Los Angeles is just 233 feet above sea-level, while Las Vegas is a whopping 2,000 feet above sea-level.
Just When You Thought Filipino Cops Were the Worst, Here Come US Cops
What in the world has happened to cops in the United States? It seems that today only psychotic, unstable, individuals are joining the U.S. police force this days. People from all across the globe were more than willing to give American cops the benefit of the doubt, at first. But in instance after instance, from Ferguson, MS and the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man who witnesses say was unarmed and posed no threat at all to police; to today’s cold-blooded murder of Walter F. Scott, 50 by South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager,
NPA Celebrates 46 Years of Destroying the Philippines
Founded by Bernabe Buscayno, or “Kumander Dante” as he was more commonly known, the New People’s Army established on March 29, 1969 marks its 46th year of existence. From less than 40 founding members and a handful of firearms, the NPA grew to over 26,000 members in the 1980s. Today however the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) places NPA membership at less than 5,000 nationwide. That number is expected to dwindle even further as progress and education creep in to the far-flung towns and barrios that were once breeding grounds for recruits.
Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos, What a Difference!
An Australian living in the Philippines published a book titled: “The Unlucky Country. The Republic of the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The author Duncan McKenzie came up with the title as the counterpoint to “The Lucky Country” a book written in the mid-sixties that refers to Australia. In his book McKenzie explains that the Philippines is unlucky because, for starters, it is an archipelago and therefore naturally fragmented.
Will the Philippines Ever Speed Up Its Glacially-Slow Justice System?
We’ve all heard the saying “justice delayed is justice denied.” That maxim has been around since time immemorial. In fact the Pirkei Avot (Hebrew for “Ethics of the Fathers”) which dates back to the 1st century B.C. mentions an old rabbi saying that goes: “the sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied." In 1215 A.D. a clause from the Magna Carta similarly declares that “to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice."
Amal Alamuddin Clooney Wants to Defend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ...Why?
Okay so she's George Clooney's wife, she's got great looks, a law degree and ambitious enough to make a name for herself apart from that of her superstar husband. Fair enough. So Amal Alamuddin Clooney decides to take on high profile cases of injustice around the world. Even better. But filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? What's up with that? Better do your homework Mrs. Clooney. It won't take long for you to realize that Arroyo is getting exactly what she deserves.
Manny Pacquiao Should Not Be Given a Tax Exemption
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has proposed a bill to grant Manny Pacquiao a special tax exemption for the income he will earn from his May 2nd boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pimentel justifies his bill as a "fitting tribute" to the Filipino eight-division world champion adding that "Manny is now part of our history and of world sports history. Let’s give him this tax incentive in recognition to his invaluable efforts to promote boxing and the country around the world."
With Negotiators Like These on Our Team, Who Needs an Opposing Side?
What on earth happened to these two women—supposedly handpicked by the president himself to argue on behalf of the Philippine government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—who now seem to be mouthpieces for the Moros? Have Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the negotiating panel become mesmerized by the tough "macho" image the rebels project?