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The Spirit of EDSA Today

As 36 years ago, people standing along EDSA garnered bravery and audacity to trigger a change in the course of events, this time around voters are called upon to elect competent servant-leaders.

This month of February evokes the EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986 that led to the ousting of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The social and political upheaval was the culmination of years of subjugation under the yoke of the Martial Law regime. Declared on September 21, 1972, this year marks the 50th anniversary of its official proclamation.  

As people remember this date, they will be echoing the slogan “Never Again.” That is, no more dictatorship, never again to Martial Law. The great majority of Filipinos abhor the days of Martial Law. No Filipino wishes the return of such a detestable regime that inflicted oppression and tyranny on its people. 

Coincidentally, the anniversary is occurring in a year of elections to choose national and local government leaders. Experts foresee a final dispute between two main contenders in the presidential race- Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Leni Robredo. 

“Bongbong” Marcos is the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Leni Robredo is the actual vice president of the nation. While the former, according to the latest surveys, is leading the opinion polls, his direct rival, Robredo, has a track record of transparency and selfless performance as a government official. Of all the contestants, she best encompasses the values and principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church. 

If the surveys are trustworthy, they show that Filipino people are nostalgic of the Marcos’ era.  Or do voters dissociate the son, the current presidential candidate, from his late father, the dictator, and therefore, believe that the son will be a different sort of president? Or else, are sectors of the society oblivious of history and uninformed about the darkest chapter in the history of the Philippines?

The renowned political analyst, Richard Heydarian, observes that the historical facts of dictatorship and Martial Law will be wiped out so as to portray a more benign reputation of the Marcos clan if “Bongbong” becomes president.  “Unless progressive forces congeal into a robust coalition in the near future, the former overlords of the Philippines will soon be in a position to erase the 1986 People Power Revolution from history,” writes the academic in his weekly column in the daily Inquirer. 

As 36 years ago, people standing along EDSA garnered bravery and audacity to trigger a change in the course of events, this time around voters are called upon to elect competent servant-leaders. These are expected to have the interests of people at heart, to be transparent and ready to deliver progress and justice. 


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