PNoy cancels 1986 Edsa People Power celebrations in Manila

By Raïssa Robles

Posted at Feb 20 2014 09:56 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2014 05:56 AM

First they decided to change the venue. now they’ve decided to call the whole thing off.

I’ve just received official word that the traditional February 25 People Power commemoration, which was supposed to have been relocated from Edsa to inside Malacañang, has been canceled. As in, forget it, folks, Don’t bother showing up. Ain’t gonna happen.

There will be no official People Power Celebration this year in Metro Manila.

According to the announcement, President Benigno Aquino III, son of the original icon of democracy Corazon Aquino who was propelled to the presidency by Edsa 1986, will instead “lead celebrations” in the disaster-stricken provinces.

Aquino will hold a “pulong bayan” (town hall meeting) in the provinces as a way of “bringing Edsa to the people,” the press release said.

Wait a minute, correct me if I’m wrong in thinking this: Edsa IS the people. It is not Malacañang Palace, neither is it the Aquino family. So the phrase – “bring Edsa to the people” – is meaningless.

Actually, the whole thing started a few days back when Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma announced that the traditional February 25 rites this year would be moved from the Edsa People Power monument to the Palace grounds “to give consideration to commuters who use the said thoroughfare where various government infrastructure projects have already been initiated.”

If traffic is the reason for scrapping the commemoration, why not also cancel celebrating Christmas? After all, it’s the biggest cause of traffic jams in Manila. Why, even previous senior diplomats of the US Embassy made fun of the Christmas gridlock. You can listen to the song they sang during one Foreign Correspondent Association of the Philippines Christmas party:

Of course, by now many people might no longer care about celebrating Edsa. And perhaps this administration has finally joined the ranks of those who think so.

Instead, though nobody in government wants to say it out loud – the reason this administration is cramming 15 road works projects is so that Aquino – when he steps down from office in 2016 – can point to all of them as his "legacy projects."

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.