A Malacañang official on Sunday said this week’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution is not at all a form of “revenge” against those who ruled during martial law, particularly the family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos whose son, Ferdinand Jr, or Bongbong, is running for Vice President in the May 2016 elections.
“There is no truth to allegations that we are doing this so-called politics of revenge… The important issue here is freedom and justice. EDSA People Power was the response of Filipinos against martial law,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
Nevertheless, Coloma added, the lessons of military rule should never be forgotten, urging the people to continue guarding against moves that will lead to curtailment of their freedom.
“We united in EDSA in 1986 based on the principles of democracy, freedom and justice.
This is the true spirit of our celebration [this week],” according to the Palace official.
“We have a saying, ‘Those who don’t learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat those mistakes,’” Coloma said.
This year’s theme for the EDSA anniversary is “Pagbabago: Ipinaglaban Ninyo, Itutuloy Ko,” he added.
The government aims to educate those born or who were still young in 1986 on how the revolt came about.
“Through the protest actions of thousands of Filipinos, the dictatorship fell. Following the assassination of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., the people’s sentiments against [martial law]and systematic pillaging of public funds heightened,” Coloma explained.
The celebration will kick off Monday with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to be led by former President Fidel V. Ramos.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd will lead the actual celebration on February 25, a non-working holiday.
Coloma said thousands of students will join the traditional “salubungan” in front of the
People Power Monument on EDSA.
Children of EDSA heroes will speak during a program to dramatize the new generation’s adherence to the principles of the uprising.
Also, the public will be invited to the People Power experiential museum on the parade grounds of Camp Aguinaldo showcasing the violence committed during martial law.
“The People Power experiential museum combines elements of theater, cinema, photography, performances, installations and other allied arts, as it recreates the experience of martial law and the struggle of courageous Filipinos to awaken the sleeping masses,” Coloma said.
“[Visitors will] enter the various halls of the museum such as the Hall of Deadly Sleep, the Hall of False Dreams, the Hall of Forgotten Martyrs and the Hall of Awakening, as they journey through various phases of the martial law experience and the eventual triumph of the EDSA People Power Revolution,” he added.