THE EDSA People Power revolution is an achievement of the Filipino people who decided to unite and put an end to dictatorship, but unfortunately the leaders who came after the historic event failed to complete the task the people expected them to do, according to a political analyst.
“Nobody can claim it [EDSA People Power] alone, it’s called as such because it is the people who fought and put an end to an era, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and it should not be reinterpreted in relation to today’s achievement whatever that is,” professor Ramon Casiple said.
He said that among several compromises, the Cory Aquino administration not only allowed the return of Marcos’ crony Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco but also failed miserably in prosecuting the human rights violators that victimized thousands of Filipinos.
He noted that under the revolutionary government, Mrs. Aquino could have done anything without legal impediment in order for the Filipinos to attain justice, but she did not.
“What was supposedly People Power became a mere battle of the elite groups and the set up in the past 30 years was basically what we call the ‘Elite Democracy’ wherein you have the anti-Marcos and the Marcos elite,” the political analyst explained.
Casiple added that the political situation was even better during the pre-martial law years because the country then had solid political parties that listened to the voices of all its members.
“Look at the political parties now. Anybody can run and seek an elective post without consulting their members through party convention; they are not talking to each other. They even share senatorial candidates,” he pointed out.
The people’s search for social justice remains unfulfilled, Casiple said, and the question of land reform 30 years ago remains a big issue.
“Can we say that the land reform program of the Aquino government has been completed? I’m talking about big private lands like Hacienda Luisita which up to now is unresolved,” he said.
Casiple said he believes the reason why there seems to be a resurgence of support for the Marcoses is because the people got nothing in relation to the promises of EDSA.
He also reacted on the claims of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in his speech about freedom being enjoyed by the media today which was denied them during the martial law years.
Casiple said because of the non-passage of the freedom of Information (FOI) bill, the people have no access to contracts entered into by the government.
He also cited the alarming cases of media killings despite the supposed democracy installed after the Marcos regime.
Meanwhile, a jeepney drivers and operators group and a labor political party on Thursday said the fight continues in attaining a social system where workers, farmers, and other poor sectors are heard.
George San Mateo, national president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng mgaTsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON)
stressed that the EDSA revolt produced a government that killed a huge number of farmers instead of giving them land.
San Mateo was referring to the January 22,1987 killing of 13 farmers holding a rally in Mendiola Bridge in Manila, and the killing a few weeks later of 17 farmers in Lupao, Nueva Ecija.
Wilson Fortaleza, spokesman of the Partido Manggagawa (PM), meanwhile said that workers were extremely disappointed “because there are a lot of things that have not really changed in the past 30 years” like poverty, inequality, and corruption in the government.