EDSA STILL RELEVANT, SAYS ALAN CAYETANO

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution was still as relevant today as it was three decades ago. “This is because the problems 30 years ago are still here. For example, corruption—not just on pork barrel, smuggling, etc. It’s still a big problem,” said Cayetano, who was here to turn over financial aid to a jeepney drivers’ association. The country celebrates Tuesday the 28th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, a bloodless civilian-backed military uprising that ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos and forced him to leave the country to live in exile in Hawaii. “Having said that, people power is also very much alive,” Cayetano said. “In fact, the abolition of pork (Priority Development Assistance Fund) is testament to people power. Through the proactiveness of the media and through the organizers on social media, what they thought would never be accomplished was accomplished,” he added. Cayetano said that in Tuesday’s celebration, people should remember two things. “We are still facing big problems and they won’t go away if nobody will fight. It will just be coming back, like corruption. And second, when people act in faith and act together, it can be done,” he said.

ALSO: Retired bishop scores ‘virtual dictatorship’

As the country observed the 28th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, a former head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines said Tuesday said the country was still under a “virtual dictatorship,” with the government using money to get what it wants. Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz cited the passage of the reproductive health law and the removal by impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona to explain his point. At a church forum in Intramuros, Cruz claimed that in both instances money changed hands to ensure the outcome desired by the Aquino administration.
“It is a virtual dictatorship… meaning to say, the executive has the legislative and the judiciary branches under its command,” said the prelate, lamenting that the three branches of government, among the symbols of democracy, appeared equal only “on paper.” “In reality, they’re not,” he said. “You understand that the RH law was passed because money changed hands. Corona was impeached because money changed hands…. This is sad. As far as I am concerned, here we go again… money is the one that manipulates our own government system more than reason and ethics,” said Cruz. He referred to disclosures that the Aquino administration used funds from the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program to sway Congress into impeaching Corona in 2012 as well as passing the family planning measure, which the Catholic Church has staunchly opposed.
But he was quick to add that the kind of dictatorship the country endured in the hands of Marcos was “much worse.” “It was actual dictatorship. This (Aquino administration), I call only virtual dictatorship,” he added.

ALSO:
Aquino: Love prompted people to act, stage Edsa revolt

The future may bring a lot of uncertainty, but like what happened in Edsa 28 years ago, Filipinos will prevail when love prevails, President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday in Cebu. “Ang nag-udyok sa atin sa Edsa, ang nag-uudyok sa tuwing may sakunang tumulong sa isa’t isa, hindi dahil gusto nating lumamang o may pakinabang tayo dito…Sa nakakaraming Pilipino po, and pinakamalakas na naguudyok sa ating kumilos ay pagmamahal,” Aquino said in his nationwide televised speech. (What led us to Edsa, what prompts us to help each other during times of disaster, is not because we want to get ahead or because it will benefit us…For many Filipinos, they were prompted to act because of love.) The President, ditching his original speech, recalled how Filipinos united and succeeded in staging a peaceful Edsa People Power. He also explained why it is appropriate to celebrate the restoration of democracy in Cebu.

ALSO: Edsa as party, history, memory of a people

Edsa. A name familiar to Filipinos of every age, yet vastly different in each mind’s eye. My generation, having been approximately negative-10 years old at the time of its incidence, knows of its events only through textbooks, lectures, and, should we be so lucky, stories from our parents and grandparents. Doubtless, I should be so lucky. And yet, Edsa, until a few days ago, has remained something of a myth in my mind: a miraculously bloodless revolution that propelled a heroine from the life of a housewife to the Office of the President. This larger-than-life view of Edsa may be a facet of the truth—however, after listening to Mom and my titas’ recounting of events, I believe that to portray Edsa as a myth is to diminish its uniqueness. One condition: no violence....more (Editor’s Note: The writer is 17, daughter of Viel Aquino-Dee, fourth child of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. She’s a fourth year student at the Philippine Science High School.)

Editorial: Remember the plunder

The Inquirer’s series on the Edsa People Power revolution, whose 28th anniversary we mark today, helps deepen our understanding of those four pivotal days in history. Over the years, the complex context that led to Edsa has gradually been lost in the irresistible drive to celebrate the event as a fiesta—that is to say, as a very Filipino feast, steeped in religious imagery and bound by familial or neighborly ties, which finally resolved political differences in a peaceful, indeed picnic-like, way. Another thing that has been under-remembered all this time: popular outrage over plunder. Part of the reason millions of Filipinos went to Edsa was disgust over the plundered economy; it was truly Imeldific in scale. The plunder case now facing three senators and other respondents, including alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, seems like a small matter when compared to Marcos-scale corruption. But those guilty of siphoning off pork barrel funds through fake beneficiary-organizations or fake projects must be studying how the Marcoses got away with it all. To date, not a single member of Marcos’ immediate family has served time in jail; indeed, his wife is back in Congress, and his son and namesake made it to the Senate on his second try. We should not allow them to slip through the cracks; we must, ever vigilantly, remember the plunder.


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Edsa still relevant, says Alan Cayetano


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DAGUPAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Gabriel Cardinoza Inquirer Northern Luzon - Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution was still as relevant today as it was three decades ago.

“This is because the problems 30 years ago are still here. For example, corruption—not just on pork barrel, smuggling, etc. It’s still a big problem,” said Cayetano, who was here to turn over financial aid to a jeepney drivers’ association.

The country celebrates Tuesday the 28th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, a bloodless civilian-backed military uprising that ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos and forced him to leave the country to live in exile in Hawaii.

“Having said that, people power is also very much alive,” Cayetano said.

“In fact, the abolition of pork (Priority Development Assistance Fund) is testament to people power. Through the proactiveness of the media and through the organizers on social media, what they thought would never be accomplished was accomplished,” he added.

Cayetano said that in Tuesday’s celebration, people should remember two things. “We are still facing big problems and they won’t go away if nobody will fight. It will just be coming back, like corruption. And second, when people act in faith and act together, it can be done,” he said.

He said people power could be needed so cases would be filed against those who should be charged.

“Corruption is everywhere. It’s in every country. The difference is that in other countries, there is a resolution—those found guilty are jailed,” Cayetano said|

“In our country, people do not see the wheels of justice moving. An example, there is the Ampatuan massacre. After four years, it’s still there,” he said.

But Cayetano said there were solutions. He said that during the administration of then President Fidel Ramos, there were special criminal courts, which conducted hearings continually from three to six months.—With a report from Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon

Retired bishop scores ‘virtual dictatorship’ By Jocelyn R. Uy Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—As the country observed the 28th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, a former head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines said Tuesday said the country was still under a “virtual dictatorship,” with the government using money to get what it wants.

Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz cited the passage of the reproductive health law and the removal by impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona to explain his point.

At a church forum in Intramuros, Cruz claimed that in both instances money changed hands to ensure the outcome desired by the Aquino administration.

“It is a virtual dictatorship… meaning to say, the executive has the legislative and the judiciary branches under its command,” said the prelate, lamenting that the three branches of government, among the symbols of democracy, appeared equal only “on paper.” “In reality, they’re not,” he said.

“You understand that the RH law was passed because money changed hands. Corona was impeached because money changed hands…. This is sad. As far as I am concerned, here we go again… money is the one that manipulates our own government system more than reason and ethics,” said Cruz.

He referred to disclosures that the Aquino administration used funds from the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program to sway Congress into impeaching Corona in 2012 as well as passing the family planning measure, which the Catholic Church has staunchly opposed.

“It should not be that way. The very fact that you are using money to influence this and that, that is already foul. I hope I am wrong but the reality is sad but it’s the truth. It’s money that runs the present government,” said the bishop, a consistently vocal critic of the Aquino administration.

But he was quick to add that the kind of dictatorship the country endured in the hands of Marcos was “much worse.”
“It was actual dictatorship. This (Aquino administration), I call only virtual dictatorship,” he added.

Aquino: Love prompted people to act, stage Edsa revolt By Kristine Angeli Sabillo INQUIRER.net 10:26 am | Tuesday, February 25th, 2014


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Photo by Christian Esguerra/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines – The future may bring a lot of uncertainty, but like what happened in Edsa 28 years ago, Filipinos will prevail when love prevails, President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday in Cebu.

“Ang nag-udyok sa atin sa Edsa, ang nag-uudyok sa tuwing may sakunang tumulong sa isa’t isa, hindi dahil gusto nating lumamang o may pakinabang tayo dito…Sa nakakaraming Pilipino po, and pinakamalakas na naguudyok sa ating kumilos ay pagmamahal,” Aquino said in his nationwide televised speech.

(What led us to Edsa, what prompts us to help each other during times of disaster, is not because we want to get ahead or because it will benefit us…For many Filipinos, they were prompted to act because of love.)

The President, ditching his original speech, recalled how Filipinos united and succeeded in staging a peaceful Edsa People Power.

He also explained why it is appropriate to celebrate the restoration of democracy in Cebu.

“Kung ang huling yugto o huling kabanata sa Edsa, pwede nating masabi ang unang yugto nagsimula sa Cebu,” he said.
(If the last act or chapter was in Edsa, we can say that the first act started in Cebu.)

Aquino narrated the time when he went to Cebu in September 1983, a month after his father Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was assassinated. He said it was one of the provinces where he felt the people were free and adamant in fighting against the dictatorship.

At the end of his speech, Aquino said he was grateful to have been given the opportunity to lead the Philippines, a country resilient to the challenges of the world and of nature.

For the first time in history, the commemoration of Edsa was held outside Manila. The President said he wanted to spend Feb. 24 and 25 with the survivors of past calamities in Cebu, Leyte, Samar, Bohol and Davao Oriental.

Edsa as party, history, memory of a people By Jia Aquino-Dee Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:03 am | Tuesday, February 25th, 2014


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FVR VICTORY JUMP. Former President Fidel V. Ramos reenacts his trademark jump at the People Power Monument on Edsa in Quezon City on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

(Editor’s Note: The writer is 17, daughter of Viel Aquino-Dee, fourth child of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. She’s a fourth year student at the Philippine Science High School.)

Edsa. A name familiar to Filipinos of every age, yet vastly different in each mind’s eye.

My generation, having been approximately negative-10 years old at the time of its incidence, knows of its events only through textbooks, lectures, and, should we be so lucky, stories from our parents and grandparents. Doubtless, I should be so lucky.

And yet, Edsa, until a few days ago, has remained something of a myth in my mind: a miraculously bloodless revolution that propelled a heroine from the life of a housewife to the Office of the President.

This larger-than-life view of Edsa may be a facet of the truth—however, after listening to Mom and my titas’ recounting of events, I believe that to portray Edsa as a myth is to diminish its uniqueness.

One condition: no violence

As narrated to me by Mom and Tita Ballsy (Aquino-Cruz), the first large-scale call for change occurred a few days after the snap election of Feb. 7, 1986, in which Lola Cory was cheated of the presidency. People were telling her that she should end her silence, that she couldn’t just sit and do nothing. Though she eventually agreed to this and much more, she always maintained one condition: no violence.

She thumbed down some politicians’ suggestion to have her first postelection rally at Liwasang Bonifacio, a smaller and therefore easier to fill venue. Lola believed Luneta to be the only venue large enough to prove she was truly wanted as President, should people fill it up.

And they did.

A family affair

People brought parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, ultimately making the event less of a rally and more of a family affair.

It was a show of support for one family by thousands of others, proof that no one would have to go through the change that Lola called for alone.

And as she stood on a truck for a makeshift stage, having been denied use of the grandstand, she struggled with a faulty microphone to give her speech. Still, she resonated with the people, because she asked not for power, but for strength.

Coup uncovered

Soon after, she planned to travel to several major cities of the Philippines to gather support. On Feb. 22, while she was in Cebu, some so-called military rebels who were nearly uncovered planning a coup against then President Ferdinand Marcos sought refuge at Camp Aguinaldo.

It was then that Butz Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin called people to the streets to protect the rebels and show their support.

So began Edsa.

A woman’s resolve

After Lola returned to Manila, some of her advisers told her to leave the country. But her resolve remained: Why leave when the fight was here?

So as not to add to the burden of securing many members of the family, Mom and her sisters were asked to just stay put in the house. They learned the state of things only through Radio Veritas, the newspapers and TV broadcasts having all been censored.

Sea of humanity

Maybe my biggest misconception, though, was the physical state of Edsa. Every day on the way to school, I pass by the People Power Monument by White Plains; I already think that area too huge to be filled up by human bodies like in the pictures.

When Mom told me to delete Galleria, then Megamall, then nearly everything else there (which I forgot did not exist before my time) from my mental map, and replace that space with a sea of humanity stretching up north to Cubao and down south to Shaw, I was taken aback anew. But the numbers, though impressive in their own right, for me, pale in comparison to the miracle that no blood was shed.

I’ve always associated big crowds with stampedes and King of the Hill-type things, in which smaller people are stepped on so bigger people can get what they want. During People Power, though, each person shared his ground with millions of others and stayed his hand.

From myth to truth

Mom called the Edsa Revolution “not really a revolution.” It was people spending time, sharing food, telling stories—like a party, really, albeit a party amid tanks and soldiers.

Normally, I’d have burst a vein if anybody called our history a party, but there was truth in her words in the sense that Edsa, unlike other insurrections, was more about bringing people together than tearing them apart.

It was that simple reality that made Edsa not merely a story, but a memory to the people who experienced it. And for me, it was in sharing this memory that Edsa transformed from a myth to a truth.

INQUIRER EDITORIAL

Editorial Remember the plunder 12:24 am | Tuesday, February 25th, 2014


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The Inquirer’s series on the Edsa People Power revolution, whose 28th anniversary we mark today, helps deepen our understanding of those four pivotal days in history.

Over the years, the complex context that led to Edsa has gradually been lost in the irresistible drive to celebrate the event as a fiesta—that is to say, as a very Filipino feast, steeped in religious imagery and bound by familial or neighborly ties, which finally resolved political differences in a peaceful, indeed picnic-like, way.

But it was not until the last day or so of the uprising that the threat of retaliatory violence from military forces still loyal to the dictator Ferdinand Marcos finally disappeared.

The following possibilities (to cite only three) were all too real: that the civilians who thronged the thoroughfare between the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and police headquarters in Camp Crame to protect the defectors led by Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos would be caught in the crossfire of a military attack; that the praying crowd at the intersection of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue and Ortigas Avenue would be run over by Marine tanks; that loyalist forces would stage hostile raids on the periphery of the action, such as Libis in Quezon City, where scattered groups of Cory Aquino’s supporters could be found.

Another thing that has been under-remembered all this time: popular outrage over plunder.

Part of the reason millions of Filipinos went to Edsa was disgust over the plundered economy; it was truly Imeldific in scale. Almost from the imposition of martial rule, rumors had swept the country about extraordinary corruption.

In no time at all, the pattern was set: Big-ticket items such as the construction of the country’s first light rail system or the ill-fated nuclear power plant in Bataan were perceived as especially favored and speedily expedited, at high cost.

It may be said that the Marcos regime reached its decadent phase when the signs of plunder could no longer be hidden or disguised: lavish residences for military and police generals; Imelda Marcos’ infamous shopping sprees in world capitals; above all, the foreign debt incurred by the government, which metastasized from approximately $1 billion when Marcos assumed the presidency in 1965 to about $26 billion in 1986.

The years since the Marcoses fled Malacañang have yielded proof: lawsuits in various parts of the world, massive deposits in secret Swiss bank accounts, inadvertent statements from Imelda herself.

A World Bank case study summed up the case succinctly. “[Marcos] is estimated to have siphoned off between $5 and $10 billion.

This ill-gotten wealth was accumulated through six channels: outright takeover of large private enterprises; creation of state-owned monopolies in vital sectors of the economy; awarding government loans to private individuals acting as fronts for Marcos or his cronies; direct raiding of the public treasury and government financial institutions; kickbacks and commissions from firms working in the Philippines; and skimming off foreign aid and other forms of international assistance.

The proceeds were laundered through the use of shell corporations, which invested the funds in real estate inside the United States, or by depositing the funds in various domestic and offshore banks under pseudonyms, in numbered accounts or accounts with code names.”

And yet most of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth has remained out of reach of the country’s continuing attempts at recovery.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government has recovered probably about $2 billion in Marcos assets since 1986.

That is not an inconsiderable amount, but compared to the total the Marcoses “siphoned off,” it represents only a fraction, perhaps as low as 20 percent, of the Marcos plunder.

The plunder case now facing three senators and other respondents, including alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, seems like a small matter when compared to Marcos-scale corruption.

But those guilty of siphoning off pork barrel funds through fake beneficiary-organizations or fake projects must be studying how the Marcoses got away with it all.

To date, not a single member of Marcos’ immediate family has served time in jail; indeed, his wife is back in Congress, and his son and namesake made it to the Senate on his second try.

We should not allow them to slip through the cracks; we must, ever vigilantly, remember the plunder.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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