Aquino finally buries the spirit of EDSA


It wasn’t really sudden, and his having the EDSA Revolution commemorated in Cebu last year, since he was obviously afraid of demonstrations against him in Manila, presaged it. President Benigno S. Aquino has finally killed the commemoration of EDSA, and its spirit.

This year’s Feb 25 is the first time ever after 1986 that EDSA’s spirit of freedom, and the idea of power of the people, were totally denied. Entry to EDSA from Santolan to Shaw was closed the whole day starting midnight, purportedly for the EDSA parade but obviously to block demonstrators from approaching the freedom shrine and chapel where President Aquino would be – for a rushed 10 minutes. A police official barked to a reporter asking why the demonstrators were blocked, not just by trucks but 40-footer container vans: “EDSA shrine isn’t a freedom park!”

Except for a police-military stupid parade, the police did its work well: EDSA was eerily empty of people, in sharp contrast to previous years. How could there be a commemoration of people power when people were barred from EDSA?

Even the dictator Marcos shunned the idea of a forcible dispersion of the crowd in EDSA in 1986 that could have allowed his loyal troops’ tank column to move to Camp Crame and massacre the mutineers. President Joseph Estrada, who wasn’t a fan of People Power either, didn’t lift a finger against demonstrations against him at EDSA for four days in January 2001, which prodded the Armed Forces to withdraw their support for his presidency, leading to EDSA Dos.

I remember Archbishop Socrates Villegas, then rector of the EDSA shrine in 2001, appealing to President Arroyo to clear the area of pro-Erap demonstrators, whom he said were even pissing at the shrine’s walls, creating a horrible stink. Arroyo didn’t. The mob of demonstrators increased after a huge INC contingent joined in and marched on to Malacanang to nearly topple the new president in what’s been called EDSA Tres. Maybe it was a big error on her part. Still, she kept loyal to the spirit of EDSA, the spirit of freedom of expression.

The son has had enough of it.

The son has had enough of it.

Certainly not this president, who obviously was deathly afraid of the rallies that he ordered EDSA closed from midnight. He hastily put the wreath on the EDSA shrine, rushed his speech at the chapel and went hurriedly home. The demonstrators were livid, since they were told that as has been done in all past EDSA events, they could approach the shrine, just as long as they didn’t forcibly occupy it.

Instead of commemorating EDSA, Filipinos in Metro Manila were cursing this government for the horrendous traffic created upon the orders of the MMDA. I have never seen a posting on Facebook such as this angry one: “ISANG MALAKING P——–AMO SA P——-NANG HAYOP NA NAG-ISIP NA ISARA ANG BUONG EDSA HABANG RUSH HOUR P——INAMO HAYOP KA MAMAMATAY KA NA G—O PAKYU.” There were so many posts and TV interviews of the same angry tenor.

Under this President, rather than a day of celebrating freedom, Feb 25 became a day of outrage, from the lofty kind protesting the suppression of freedom of assembly to the more mundane one angry at being imprisoned in traffic the whole day.

In his speech he said the image of EDSA “that has been branded in our national consciousness consists of nuns on their knees, people handing to soldiers rosaries and flowers, human chains to stop the tanks.”

The irony was lost on him, as usual. The image of EDSA celebration under his regime branded in the Filipino mind now is a phalanx of policemen and military men, arms linked, marching like robots before him. The warm bodies for Aquino’s EDSA celebration were mostly government personnel who could be ordered to participate —the police and military.

A military official explained that the gimmick was intended to dispel speculation in recent weeks that as a result of the Mamasapano massacre, policemen and military personnel despised each other. Why should the military and the police use our EDSA celebration of a historic unshackling of a dictator’s chains for their internal information campaign? Was it that serious that both services have started to blame their commander-in-chief? Did Aquino specifically order them to march without any weapons, afraid they would turn these on him?

A smart president could have pulled off a propaganda coup by having former President Fidel Ramos, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (given furlough just for the event, perhaps), Senator Gregorio Honasan and other leaders of the EDSA revolt join him in the ritual of offering the wreath at the Freedom Shrine. But not even Cory’s brother Jose Cojuangco and brother-in-law Agapito (“Butz” Aquino, who led the first bold demonstrators in front of Camp Crame) were invited to the event. Those who attended the mass at EDSA were conspicuously mostly Cabinet members and the military brass.

Fidel Ramos even commemorated EDSA by hurling the most vicious vitriol against Aquino I’ve heard from him: “Move on ba, kamo? Tuwid na daan ba, kamo? [Did you say ‘move on?’ Did you say ‘straight path?’] The road to hell is straight,” he told reporters. It was the first time in 29 years that a hero of the People Power Revolution, former President Ramos, shunned the EDSA celebration, quite obviously enraged by Aquino.

“We should clean up society,” Ramos said, by which he obviously meant “the country.” “Not only Mamasapano, but also the [Disbursement Acceleration Program] and [Priority Development Assistance Fund],” two of the corruption issues that have hounded the Aquino administration’s “straight path” policy.

“Yung sinasabing daan na matuwid ay baluktot na ngayon [The so-called straight path has become crooked,” Ramos said. He growled: “The people have been left out. It’s only the yellow army that is taking advantage of the situation.”

I am often amazed at history’s ironies. Wasn’t Cory the “saint” of democracy, the figure towering over EDSA? Yet his son Benigno 3rd the other day finally buried the idea of commemorating EDSA.
FB: Rigoberto Tiglao


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Dami naman ng inyong sinasabi, tama ang ginawa ng Presidente ipasara ang EDSA, at least tahimik kung me nagpuntahannat nagkagulo kasalanan din ng Pangulo,Kayo naman mga reporter gusto lagi ninyo gulo ang ibabalita, kaya naman ang mga tao lalong nagagalit, sasabihin ninyo wlang freedom of speech sobra ng speech wala naman matutunan ang mga mag aaral kung di galit sa dibdib.

  2. iamwell bungari on

    EDSA nangyari dahil kay Cory
    E, ang Mamasapano dahil kanino?

    Noong si Cory, Galunggong P40 ang kilo
    Ngayon, kay Kanino, P120 to P160 na po.

    Kay Cory ang NFA rice ay napakamura kinse
    Ngayon kay Kanino, NFA P35 may baho na libre.

    Kay Cory, mga hiling nya di agad ok sa Kongreso
    Ngayon kay Kanino, . .

  3. Saan ang PINOY PA RIN ang kakampi nang presidente mag martsa rin tayo isigaw pinoy don’t resign. Madali magplano laban kay pinoy pag house arrest ang opposition. Hospital arrest na lang dahil may sakit di ba?


    This president is not only incompetent. He is a dangerous person too. Why? He is
    not a normal human being and man enough to admit when he is cornered. He
    finger-points and looks for a scapegoat to blame. Mabuti yong Mamasapano
    ay hindi niya naman isisisi kay Gloria. He is notorious at that.

  5. Yes, we can wait a few more months if that’s the sane thing to do. Just make sure he doesn’t make new appointees, pass a new law or decide where to spend people’s money in the remaining months…. He can still do more harm, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Let him finish his term by giving the people an accounting of the peoples money, and his so called accomplishments. It’s alright. We can wait. But only under those conditions. And tell him to just shut up.

  6. That spirit is long dead. Those wasted years should not be resurrected, to fight the current battle. It is about time that this battle for the country’s future is not associated with that dreaded yellow movement, because in fact what we are fighting against this time, are the very figures who wasted what that first EDSA was all about. Mother and son killed it, with a very painful death.

  7. larry a. tamayo on

    The only memory that EDSA 1 left … is the freedom of expression! For 29 years … nothing better has come for the poorest majority … but enriching further the richest minority!!!

  8. Pinakawalanghiyang presidente, pagnakakita kayo Tuwid na daan surely it’s just a short one kaya tapos na ang kayang tuwid na Saan. Zigzag na siya

  9. opinion reader on

    mula ng mamulat ang isip ko sa pulitka, alam ko naman na ang nasirang cory aquino, fidel ramos, erap, gloria ay hindi mga perpektong presidente, pero ito ang masaklap, di nga tayo nag karoon ng perpektong presidente, pero tila ang na kaupo ngayon eh parang hindi presidente. sana lang matuto na talaga tayong pumili ng ihahalal natin sa susunod. ika nga ng ibang mga nag kumento, sori na lang, sinuportahan at naboto nyo na eh, dali na rin ng tinatawag na sympathy votes kaya nanalo. hope next election, makapag halal na tayo ng may BAYAG!.

  10. I wish that commenters would present solutions to their complaints and not use these columns to just air their grievances adding to the problems they wish to correct.

  11. Bakit kaya di niya mahal ang EDSA ?
    Anyway, God works in mysterious ways, lumabas na ung smoking gun na binili daw ng OPAPP sa halagang P 120K, issued firearm nung SAF Hero na i-vinideo pa ang paglapastangan. Siyempre may fingerprint na ito ng tiga-MILF, kahit di na kunin lahat ng fingerprint, mga finger nalang and kolektahin nila.

  12. Cory Aquino:
    A Nobody (Housewife) Who Led a Revolution 29 years ago today February 25, 1986.

    Any attempt to overthrow PNoy’s administration (incl. Binay) will be futile. Our people is not convince with or can’t accept possible Leaders to takeover Government, since all are products & allegiance to Aquino’s – VP Binay, Senate Pres. Drilon, Speaker Belmonte and Chief Justice Sereno.

    Proposed temporary caretaker government by NTC (consisting bishops/cardinals/pastors) is also not acceptable due to separation of Church & State.

    To Change our current line of Corrupt/Incompetent Leaders & Flopped Political System, we need to create & support a symbolic NOBODY.

    Cory Aquino entered politics as a plain housewife (a NOBODY @1st glance) w/out any experience in politic, and yet she was a Key player (instrumental) @ overthrowing a Dictator.

    But @ 2nd look she is:
    1.wife of famous Politician Ninoy Aquino – assasinated (got sympathy vote).
    2. belong to Tarlac Oligarchy – rich clan & powerful political dynasty.

    Thus, I will not consider her a Nobody (Simple/common TAO) that can really represent, truly understand/help the poor, and had directly experience/relate to all our problems.

    Because of the rampant/blatant corruption and obvious incompetence (dumb/stupid) in our politicians today-NOBODY should be our choice in Voter Ballots

    If None in the current List of Politicians are clean (TRAPO-dirty/corrupt) or cannot be trusted and none seems to be competent (sharp), young or in good health. 

    Vote NOBODY for President 2016
    – a simple common Tao who is:
    1. competent & sincere enough
    2. sole purpose/motivation is to serve & protect our people
    3. Attune to hardship & pressures
    4. willing to be accountable
    5. accept responsibilities,
    6. a True Statesman
    7. capable to inspire others (Transformational Leader)

    Don’t Just Vote for NOBODY. Get out there and ACTIVELY CAMPAIGN for a Nobody (non-politician) who you think can LEAD us Toward a Better & Safer Future.

    If a majority of our people voted for NOBODY or “None of the Above” rather than, “the lesser of evils,” it might force a situation where Voters would have to find someone competent to lead them.

  13. I would say Pnoy is a lot clever than Mcoy. President Marcos abolished the congress and senate as he considered them highly corruptible. He was ousted. Pnoy is now using congress and senate by bribing them billions (during cory it is only millions). And to our chagrin, he seems to survive and soon to be replaced by someone else within the yellow clan.

  14. Since the spirit of EDSA was buried by this Penoy, we should now junite to “bury” him too ASAP!.. Count me in sir to the noble cause of the National Transformation Council.

    It’s a waste of time and effort for everybody to ask Pnoy to tell the truth of his role, what he knew, when he knew them and what orders he gave to whom to reinforce or stand down in assisting the extraction of the besieged SAF forces. Pnoy Aquino will simply dance the twist around any question and will give his own padded answers and then turn the table by blaming whoever was there to spearhead the operation like Napenas, and pin Purisima down for lying to him in the process. You can not blame Pnoy Aquino for his evasive and non-admission response since the man is traumatically SICK in the MIND! Pnoy is unable to formulate a cogent reply coz his brain is as confused as the Mamasapano “firefight” can be. You elected a person who is psychologically impaired so he can not make a clear and truthful answer coz he is deeply emotionally depressed, not because of the death of the Brave 44 troopers, but due to overwhelming facts Pnoy can not process in his brain. Coloma said he will answer the truth “At the right time” and that is only after Pnoy is stabilized with proper dosage of depressant medications that will clear his brain of anxiety. But whether Pnoy will say or reveal is the “truth” is pure speculation due to his unstable mind. The people just have to I be like psychiatrists to determine Pnoy’s role and participation in the operation And and whether they are the truth from outside collaborative facts! In the end Pnoy remains an enigmatic person with enigmatic mind that consider LIES as TRUTH! That’s how a contorted brain and mind works after all!

  16. Our country is really In a mess,electricity rates rises,VERY CLEAR CONTROLLED BY THE ELITE,all government fees rises,MRT RATE increases,water increases,gas prices rises,toll fees increases,YET, BUSINESSES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO INCREASE PRICES..WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY?

    • Listen to Ramon del Rosario, Jr. defends Pinoy administration and you will realize who benefited from Pinoy presidency, the rich of Makati Business Club, Employers Confederation, Management association of the Philippines, Financial Executives institute, Foreign Chambers of Commerce. these beneficiaries of pro-rich administration of Pinoy closed their eyes to reality that nothing happened to benefit the lower middle class and the poor of the country. These people do not want to increase minimum wage, did not support even the increase in personal exemptions of wage earners and other pro workers initiatives. They are quiet about rising power rates, water rates, gasoline prices and unfolding power interruptions. Why, they control these businesses. The lower middle class and the poor are the ones suffering not the rich which are members of the above organizations. It is therefore not surprising that they do not want to change the present dispensation they never had it so good.

  17. Ninoy was supported by the left. The same group that had been killing our soldiers

  18. yes, the EDSA spirit…was finally killed by this mis-administration, even subjecting the long suffering EDSA motorists and commuters.. to traffic hell. only a sick mind will do that.

  19. yes indeed he burried it ive been watching history for the past 29 years and i can say he is the worst president we ever had , so adamant so stupid and corrupted congress and senate including fiscal system, i can predict his defense when he finish his term when cases would be filed against him, plea due to insanity.

    • Or he could plea that he is suffering from twin ailments: Kanser sa Baga at Kanser sa TUMBONG, BWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

  20. mikhail hieronymus on

    If indeed Benigno Aquino is a really bad as president of the Republic, how come nobody is doing anything about it in terms of physically removing him from the Palace?

    Everybody is talking about this or that, but no action. Talk and talk does not move Aquino because he is surround by sycophants who are giving him all the supports he needed. People around him are trying their best to protect him.

    It is time to take some action!!

    • Ang problema kasi ang papalit kay pinoy baka mas masahol ang papalit ano. Anyway one and one half year(almost) na lang naman tiis na lang muna.

    • Agree! I think the reason why people are timid to make the necessary steps to oust Abnoy is the continued support of the AFP, under the leadership of Gen. Catapang, who should now be called Gen Caduwag(walang and the ever duwag of them all and former ex-president Mar Roxas Sanchez!

    • patience mah boy… patience….
      in the 2010 presidential campaign, hardly anyone noticed Aquino’s stupidity. Most people are slow…. they’re just catching up.

    • Palitan na yan kay Susmaryosep! Hindi na ito magnanakaw, busog na wala nang paglalagyan. May dynasty pa siya na magpapatuloy sa paglilinis ng Pilipinas. At saka may First Lady siya na maganda at hindi matakaw. O, anong say nyo?

  21. Dodging the critical issues in the country won’t help at all. The truth will always come out; and, come out loud and clear, as clear as the writings on the wall.

    As always said: “The truth shall make us free”. We will be free from the ruses of “matuwid na daan”; “kayo ang boss ko”; “walang mahirap, kung walang kurap”,.at iba pa. .