Accept it or not, there are millions of our kababayans who are suffering from a collective amnesia, in an endemic proportion! And from many point of views, no vaccine has been found out to eradicate this social disease.
The 33rd EDSA anniversary celebration last February 2019 is one of the victims of the Filipinos’ collective amnesia.
What are the reasons why our most kababayans forget this historic event, an event which cut the unstoppable embezzlement of billions of dollars by the conjugal corruption of Ferdinand Marcos and his 1st Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos?
I was in Manila then but I could not feel the surging passion to celebrate this event with the combined effort of the church and the people.
No former President Fidel V. Ramos, one of the movers of EDSA, whose leap photo-op would grace the newspaper after the celebration. And again, President Rodrigo Duterte, same as last year, did not attend, instead he attended other event.
In her latest Philippine Star column, Carmen Pedrosa, a childhood friend of the former First Lady, Imelda Marcos, and the celebrated author of an unauthorized biography of this so-called the Beauty of Tacloban, has given us an interesting narrative of the 33rd EDSA celebration to commemorate the historic bloodless revolution in 1986.
Pedrosa writes:” Only a few attended the EDSA peaceful revolution anniversary this year. There were 300 policemen to watch 300 people. It may be a painful joke but it is a way of saying so few turned up. The event , once known and praised the world has become a non-event.
Pedrosa continues: “The event is one thing but what is promised was another. That is what disappoints – it promised so much for change and reforms but as things went- from the time Cory Aquino became the president, it went from bad to worse.”
Has EDSA lost its relevance and importance?
I’ve asked many bystanders: taxi, grab, bus, jeepney and private car drivers; salesgirls, servers and some office workers and managers, to my surprise, there is a unanimous answer: they forgot it and some, they were not yet born that year. And to add insult to injury, some had stated that the EDSA spirit has lost its brilliance.
According to many kababayans, with many unresolved problems, like poverty and corruption, it seems that after EDSA more people are wallowing on poverty; and many politicians, especially the family dynasty has dominated the three levels of government, from Executive, to legislative to judiciary. That the promise of reforms especially the full expectations that would have been effected by the house-wife turned President Corazon Cojuancgo Aquino, making at least 90 degrees of change. Unfortunately, Corazon Aquino’s cordon sanitaire and family members halted all the reforms and the worst of it, the 1987 Constitution was formed to give a much larger slice of powers for filthy rich, the so-called oligarch and corrupt politicians, who, until now, having a big family businesses in the House of Representatives and the Senate! Family dynasty has become an obvious “plays” among the powerful families. stealing money left and right at the very nose of the poor constituents.
Corruptions took the centre stage, and it seems that this was the new normal in the Philippines’ three levels of governments, high lighted by the over-bearing “pork barrel” of the legislative; and snail justice system of the judiciary; and the most obvious, the bedrock of corruptions in the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.
After EDSA, succeeding presidents ruled the country, from Corazon Aquino, victim of the rotten system; then, Fidel Valdez Ramos, with unproven cases of corruptions; followed by Joseph Ejercito Estrada, (considered as No. 10 most corrupt president who embezzled $80 millions, based on the Corruption Perception Index…Marcos placed the notorious No. 2,embezzled more than $10 billion); then Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who had a longest term for 9 years because she took over as president when Joseph Estrada was convicted of plunder by the Sandigang Bayan. Arroyo administration had been tattered with many corruptions left and right; and followed by Benigno Aquino III who had fought so much for cleaner governance who was instrument to jail many politicians who were accused of plunders, misusing the pork barrel money. And now, currently facing a probably case on the billion dollar dengavia vaccine. In 2016, a southern mayor, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, run for presidency with the financial support of the Marcos and became a populist who promised to end the narcostate, corruptions and crime.
And since EDSA, nothing has changed on election time which considered as a celebration of the moneyed and the powerful, and only those who have so much money would win. Millions especially the poorest among the poor are selling off their souls to the corrupt. As one of the voters would say: “Kung eleksiyon lang namamantikaan ang aking labi.” (Only during the election time when i do taste meat.) Another one:” I got their money on the eve of the election, parang auction, and I do not vote. At least I got money from their “curacot” money.”
Another columnist wrote a vivid description: “Like a train of many hopes and aspirations for the common people, but this train (EDSA) was derailed.”
And before the 33rd EDSA celebration, former President Benigno Aquino III said as reported by the media:”Forgetting the past could lead to return of dark history.”
President Duterte issues a statement: “I am hopeful that this occasion will inspire all of us, especially the younger generation to deeply value the freedom and liberty that we won in EDSA.”
Ergo, Dark history as said by Pnoy? Would you consider the dark history did not end at Cory’s governance? Or, one would consider, millions of Filipinos are still in the dark, and hoping to see a light at the end of the tunnel as promised by populist Rody Duterte?
What do you expect from the younger generation who is not yet born during that time to know what is EDSA? How? To force educating the young generation about the EDSA magic? And do we expect from D30 the freedom from poverty? Or to have the liberty to live happily with less corruption, less crime and less drugs!
Until this darkness has given a shade of light, EDSA 1986 is only a cold chapter in the history of dysfunction governance.
(Next issue: More millions have forgotten the conjugal corruption of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, charting Marcos as No. 2 most corrupt President in the World, based on the Corruption Perception Index; and to add insult to injury, has propelled the election of Rodrigo Duterte through the financial support of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.)