Ramos: EDSA Revolution was the start of change

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 25) — The 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution was not an end, but instead is a fresh start for Filipinos, former president Fidel V. Ramos said on Sunday.

"Ang 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution ay umpisa lamang ng ating pagbabago. Hindi yan ang katapusan," Ramos said during the commemoration at the People Power Monument on Sunday.

(Translation: The 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution was the beginning of change. It was not the end.)

Sunday's commemoration marked the 32nd year since millions of Filipinos gathered for a peaceful mass action in EDSA to seek the end of the 14-year military rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The former president said Filipinos should also remember the values imbibed by EDSA: unity, solidarity, and teamwork in nation-building.

Ramos was also conferred the People's Power Heroes Award on Sunday for his role in the peaceful revolution.

The former president served as the Armed Forces vice chief of staff of Marcos. He, along with then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, led the soldiers in EDSA in a standoff against Marcos.

Ramos also led the annual "Salubungan," the coming together of the military and civilians during the EDSA Revolution.


A mass was also held in EDSA prior to the commemoration.

President Rodrigo Duterte missed the EDSA anniversary event for the second time as he will be in Mindanao.

In his message from Malacañang, however, Duterte said he "joins the entire nation" in commemorating the People Power Revolution.

He said it has become "the enduring symbol of our determination to fight for what is right and... to defend and uphold our cherished democratic values."

"May this occasion foster unity and solidarity as we pursue our hopes and aspirations for our nation. Let us further enrich our democracy by empowering our citizenry, defending their rights and strengthening the institutions that safeguard their freedoms," Duterte added.

'Martyrs of martial law'

Some protesters in Mendiola, Manila offered candles and roses to pay tribute to survivors of Marcos' martial law.

Former Social Welfare (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, both martial law survivors, led the event.

They recounted the abuses they went through during the Marcos era.

The former DSWD secretary also responded to Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson who said EDSA Revolution was just a propaganda.

"I was in Crame that time as a political prisoner. I know that people came out and put their lives at stake para lang mawakasan ang diktadurya (to avoid the dictatorship). Na sabihin na drama lang yun ay pagmamaliit sa sakripisyo ng napakaraming tao, ng napakaraming kababaihan (To say it was just a show is to belittle the sacrifices of many Filipinos, of many women)," Taguiwalo said.

Taguiwalo added Uson's comment shows she does not give importance to history.

Early Sunday, Uson's blog re-shared a photo of nuns in EDSA, with the caption "Propaganda ng EDSA."

‘Seek accountability’

Political analyst Dindo Manhit told CNN Philippines on Sunday that Duterte must not forget how the People Power revolution contributed to his political career.

“The President should remember that he would not have been mayor of Davao if EDSA also did not happen. He was appointed as part of the officer-in-charge in Davao, where his political career actually started,” Manhit said.

He added that for the Philippines to progress, the citizens must remain vigilant in safeguarding their democratic rights.

Manhit said Filipinos must seek accountability from all the leaders of the country, regardless of political affiliation.

“I remember in any study of why governance fail in our country is we lack that culture after election to demand accountability. In Filipino, we call it pananagutan,” he said.

CNN Philippines correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.