MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte heralded the spirit of the 1986 EDSA People Power as belonging to the entire Filipino people, and not just to a selected few.
In his speech delivered by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea at EDSA's 31st anniversary celebration, Duterte said the spirit of the acclaimed bloodless revolution belongs to the people who believe in freedom and democracy.
"Indeed, the spirit of EDSA does not belong to one sector or one group of people, but to all Filipinos who believe in freedom and a democratic way of life," he said.
"EDSA was not just a cry against years of abuse and corruption of governmental power. More importantly, it was a demonstration of the power that the united citizenry could muster," he added.
Duterte said the revolution was a "movement of, by, and for the Filipino people brought about by their profound love for country," and cannot be claimed by a single entity.
"No single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim credit for the bloodless revolution at EDSA, in the same way that no single party, ideology, religion or individual could claim a monopoly of patriotism," he said.
Duterte skipped the celebration to be in Davao to attend the relaunch of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
Apart from a missing chief executive, this year's celebration was also more low-key as the government opted to drop the traditional "Salubungan" at the EDSA People Power Monument in Quezon City.
Officials insisted they want to give Filipinos more time to reflect about the causes and effects of the historic revolution, and it's not because of Duterte's ties to the Marcos family.
In the speech, Duterte reiterated calls to reflect on the gains and shortcomings of EDSA and to do their part as Filipinos to ensure that the spirit of the revolution lives on.
"EDSA lives on and its spirit should be continued to inspire heroism in all of us for the greater glory of God and country," he said.
"True heroes, after all, are found in every one of us who do with each passing day our quiet work of nation-building dutifully, joyfully, passionately in spite of our occasional differences," he added.