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 has been a dizzying drop from the euphoric highs of 2001 when Filipinos forced President Joseph Estrada from office and installed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in his place. Estrada was widely seen as a corrupt, philandering politician; a high school dropout who was unqualified to be president. Arroyo on the other hand had the pedigree, education, and morals—we all assumed—to handle the job.
While the Aquino administration has been making many of the right moves lately, such moves remain woefully inadequate given the situation the Philippines faces with China. If President Benigno Aquino III entertains any hope of keeping our islands in the Spratlys, he needs to get off his behind this minute and start building a strong coalition with other nations.
Why Bong Revilla Will Never Become President of the Philippines
A country's president must be a statesman. Someone who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of his people—especially those who have the least in life. A president must also be fair. Fairness after all underpins what justice is all about. Everyone, be they exceedingly wealthy or totally destitute deserves equal treatment under the law.
The Philippines Is Not a Friendly Place To Do Business In
On the surface, the Philippines can seem like an enjoyable and friendly place to do business. But scratch the surface and you’ll find yourself in a strange and alien world where a whole new set of rules and attitudes apply. Just recently, the Fraser Institute, a well-known North American think-tank, ranked the Philippines third from the bottom, on its annual survey of the best places to do business for mining companies.
To All Those Who Were Part of the EDSA People Power Revolution—Thank You!
On February 25, the Philippines will celebrate the 28th anniversary of the People Power revolution known as EDSA One. For four days in February, 1986, freedom-starved 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.
The Arc of the Moral Universe and the Salvador “Bubby” Dacer Case
How long before the people responsible for the Dacer-Corbito murders are brought to justice? The hopeful answer may be found in a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol on March 25, 1965 when he said: "How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow. How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Will Ruby Tuason’s Revelations Make a Difference? Remember This Is the Philippines
Another whistleblower Ruby Tuason will soon testify before the Department of Justice, and the Philippine Senate. And probably before the Ombudsman, the Batasan committees, the Sandiganbayan and other courts as well. Her appearances will likely involve high drama, moving testimony, and bombshell revelations that will be plastered across the front pages of Philippine dailies and reverberate throughout social media.
Macho, Macho Men and the Matriarchal Philippine Society
An online article a week ago concluded that the reason that Deniece Cornejo the vixen in the Vhong Navarro mauling incident was being mercilessly vilified was because Philippine society tends to treat women that way (LINK). The writer a certain Tricia Aquino in collaboration with Judy Taguiwalo a University of the Philippines professor in the Department of Women and Development Studies, try to paint a bleak picture of Filipina women as persecuted second-class citizens who end up being blamed for the troubles that befall them.
We Must Learn from the Past, for the Future of Mindanao
Will the signing of the last annex of the peace accord between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) finally bring lasting peace to troubled Mindanao? Everyone hopes so. But let’s go back several decades in time and see how the country fared in a similar situation back then.