THE VOLUNTEERS Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Sunday said the 1986 EDSA uprising that ousted then-President Ferdinand Marcos failed to fulfill its promises to the people, particularly in bringing justice to victims of heinous crimes and solving corruption in the government.
Dante Jimenez, chairman of the VACC, noted that the peaceful revolt at EDSA 32 years ago has not brought genuine change to Filipinos especially during the previous administrations of Corazon Aquino and her son Benigno Aquino 3r.
Jimenez said despite having two presidents from the Aquino clan, the real masterminds behind the assassination of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., have not been identified.
The VACC chairman added that the only ones who were caught by the government for Ninoy Aquino’s assassination were individuals who carried out the killing.
The masterminds, however, have remained free, which is a clear injustice to the people, Jimenez said.
The uprising at Edsa also failed to bring justice to all heinous crime victims and to stop corruption in various bureaucracies of the government, he added.
Jimenez said the uprising also did not deliver on its promise to give land to the landless.
“All above promises of Edsa were not realized. It’s a failure,” he added.
As the country marked the 32nd anniversary of the revolt, the leader of a militant farmers’ organization said the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte in the commemoration of the event at the People Power Monument in EDSA is “unwelcome.”
Soc Banzuela, the executive director of Pakisama or the Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka and one of the organizers of the event, pointed out that it was President Duterte who allowed Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).
“He made the former president who was ousted by the [revolt]a hero. If [Duterte] went here [to the celebration], wouldn’t it be foolishness?” Banzuela said.
This is the second time that the President missed the celebration of the bloodless uprising.
Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque said the President will be staying in Davao City for the weekend.
Rene Escalante, National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairman, said Duterte informed him that he was attending “an important event” in Mindanao.
On Saturday, Duterte attended the Petron Dealers Association Mindanao Mini Convention in Davao City.
He also did not attend the EDSA anniversary rites at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City last year, saying he will attend the relaunch of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in the city.
About 2,000 Filipinos composed of government officials, civil society groups and other individuals flocked to the People Power Monument on Sunday morning to mark the 32nd year of the revolt.
Among those present were former President Fidel Ramos, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim, Interior Undesecretary Martin Diño, Armed Forces chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Mayor Herbert Bautista of Quezon City.
JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA, RALPH U. VILLANUEVA AND GLEE JALEA