Palace to open gates on EDSA anniversary

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2013 05:46 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2013 01:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang Palace will open its gates to welcome children from various orphanages for a storytelling activity in celebration of the 27th anniversary of the EDSA People Power on Monday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) head Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a radio interview on Saturday that the Palace’s Kalayaan Hall will be opened to the public for the event.

“Bubuksan ang pintuan ng Malacañang Palace doon sa area ng Kalayaan, ‘yung Kalayaan Hall, para maranasan naman ng ating mga mamamayan, lalung-lalo na ng mga kabataan kung paano ‘yung nasa loob mismo ng Malacañang Palace,” said Coloma.

The storytelling activity, dubbed “Tatak EDSA: Salo-Salubungang Pambata”, aims to instill Filipino values to the youth.

“Magkakaroon ng salaysay na mga kuwento na nagpapahayag ng mga pinapahalagahan nating mga Filipino values at sila din ay maglalaro ng mga traditional Filipino games, siguro nandiyan na ‘yung piko, patintero, tumbang preso. Pagkatapos ay magsasalita din ang mga youth leaders,” Coloma said.

Coloma said allowing the public to enter the gates of Malacañang during the People Power anniversary has a historical meaning.

“Kung maalala natin pagkatapos noong matagumpay na pagtitipon sa EDSA, ang taumbayan ay nagtungo rin sa Palasyo ng Malakanyang, binuksan ang mga pintuan nito at pati ‘yung kaloob-looban ng Malacañang Palace ay pinasok ng mga mamamayan sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon at kumbaga ay pinalaya nila ‘yung mismong luklukan ng--kung saan naluluklok ang kapangyarihan sa ating bansa,” he said.

However, Coloma did not confirm if President Aquino will be at the Palace during the “open house.”

“Ang nakatala lang na opisyal na pupuntahan ng ating Pangulo ay ‘yung pagdiriwang sa People Power Monument. Ive-verify pa natin pero malaki ang posibilidad na makikihalubilo din siya doon sa magaganap na open house,” he said.

“Ang mahalaga dito, maramdaman naman nila kung ano talaga ang karanasan ng maging nasa loob ng Malacañang Palace na siyang kung saan nakaluklok ang kapangyarihan ng pinakamataas na pinuno ng ating bansa. At maramdaman din nila ‘yung kalayaan na ating tinatamasa, at makita nila na maging sa Malacañang ay masiglang-masiglang nakakapagpahayag ang ating mga kababayan ng kanilang saloobin,” Coloma added.

The President is scheduled to lead a flag-raising ceremony at the People Power Monument on Monday.

Former President Fidel Ramos, meanwhile, led a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig on Saturday.

Rights reparation law

Aside from events lined up for the EDSA Revolution anniversary, President Aquino will also sign into law the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 during the celebration.

“Ito ay bilang opisyal na pagkilala ng pamahalaan sa mga naganap na karahasan at kalupitan laban sa mga mamamayan at bibigyan sila ng karampatang kompensasyon para sa mga naganap na paglabag sa kanilang karapatang pantao noong panahon ng Martial Law,” said Coloma.

The measure will not only grant reparation for human rights victims during Martial Law, but it will also create the Human Rights Violations Victims' Memorial Commission.

The commission will work with the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education for the teaching in schools of the abuses inflicted on the opponents of the Marcos dictatorship.