EDSA People Power rites open to Duterte critics: organizer

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2018 03:29 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will retreat to his home province on Sunday with instructions to bar no one, including his critics, from joining this year’s EDSA People Power activities, an organizer said Wednesday.

Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was among previous chief executives invited, while groups identified with him will be allowed to stage a rally at the People Power Monument on Feb. 25, said Pastor "Boy" Saycon, a member of the EDSA People Power Commission.

"Lahat po ng known ‘yellow,’ inimbitahan po lahat," Saycon told a Manila forum. "Everyone is welcome to go to EDSA. Hindi po katulad nung mga nakalipas na EDSA (Unlike in the past).”

Duterte has been critical of the so-called “yellows,” figures identified with the previous administration and whom he earlier claimed were plotting to destabilize his administration.

It also emerged as the political color of the peaceful revolt that ousted the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and installed President Corazon Aquino in 1986.

Tindig Pilipinas, a coalition of opposition figures criticizing Duterte’s brutal war on drugs and charter change, will hold a protest action on the occasion of the EDSA Revolution’s 32nd anniversary.

Saycon said the group could set up a stage at the venue but was requested only to hold the program after the Mass and EDSA rites on Sunday.

Vice President Leni Robredo will join the flag-raising ceremony, he said.

"This is a free country... let everybody participate," he said, quoting Duterte, who will mark the EDSA anniversary in Davao City where he usually spends his weekends away from Manila.

After the program, the crowd will disperse to give way to those planning to hold a rally at the People Power Monument, Saycon said.

"Wala po kaming intention na magbungguan," he said.

(We have no plans for a shouting match.)