Low-key EDSA anniversary celebration 'unfortunate but not unexpected'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2017 12:19 AM

Key personalities during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos were not surprised at President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to hold a "simple and quiet" commemoration of the 31st EDSA People Power Revolution.

Palace officials earlier said that the theme for this year's EDSA anniversary will be "A day of reflection".

"That is unfortunate but it is not unexpected... Halata naman iyan dahil siya nagdala (kay Marcos) sa Libingan ng mga Bayani without changing the name. Dapat binago muna yan na Libingan ng mga Mandarambong at Berdugo," former senator Rene Saguisag said.

"I can only suspect that the quiet reflection has much to do with the fact that the president is hesitant to celebrate the sovereign will of the restoration of democracy against a dictator whom I suspect he always admired," former Commission on Human Rights chair Loreta Rosales said.

Rosales said the commemoration should be "loud and celebratory" as Filipinos have already been reflecting on the evils of Martial Law in the last four decades.

THANK YOU, DUTERTE

But instead of taking a swipe at Duterte for his indifferent attitude towards the EDSA anniversary, Saguisag said Filipinos should thank the president for making the occasion more relevant for millennials.

"We have to thank the new president who has made it necessary to review what happened in 1986... ngayon nagtatanong ang mga kabataan, mga millennials kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari," Saguisag said.

'WAR ON MEMORY'

It will now be up to millennials to combat the "war on memory" by filtering facts from fake news and misleading information, historian Jo-ed Tirol said.

"If you keep your mouth shut, someone else will fill the void with a different memory," he said.

The history professor said People Power advocates should not be disheartened by the burial of Marcos at the heroes' cemetery even if it had the blessing of the widely popular Duterte.

"It's not the end. It's the beginning of the awakening of many young people who did not care," Tirol said.