Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday reminded Filipinos that the people power revolution that toppled President Ferdinand Marcos 29 years ago this month resulted from the “unity” of the people.
That revolution, EDSA 1986, according to Binay, “was about the strength of our unity to win back freedom and dignity, and the truth that we are all Filipinos, living in a free nation and together aspiring for justice, peace and prosperity.”
“We once again commemorate those three historic days [February 22-25] at EDSA when ordinary Filipinos stood side by side with our soldiers in standing up against the dictatorship,” he said in a statement.
Binay added that “[our]one aim when we gathered at EDSA in 1986 [was]to reclaim our freedom from the dictatorship. Men and women, poor and rich, Muslims and Christians– we told the ruling regime that we were fed up with the lies and violence. The strength of the people prevailed and we ushered in a new kind of revolution, one not tainted with blood.”
With the return of the people’s freedom, the Vice President said, “we also restored freedom of expression that served as our shield against all forms of deceit and oppression. We restored the people’s trust in government, in its courts, in the military and police. Our economy grew and with it the living conditions of the majority.”
He noted that ‘[the]whole world admired us for our courage and solidarity. And above all, we regained our dignity and self-respect. We proudly bannered our own identity, our being Filipino.”
While pointing out that the “tragedy at Mamasapano has unfortunately shrouded this year’s EDSA commemoration in grief,” the Vice President said, Filipinos all the more should strive to find “peace and truth.”
He was referring to the January 25 firefight between Muslim separatist rebels and the government’s Special Action Force that left 44 police commandos dead in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“Let us remember the lessons of EDSA People Power. [It] was not about the power of money, religion or arms. While we pursue our search for truth and justice, may we never forget the spirit” of the bloodless uprising that brought down tyranny, Binay said.