The Fading Glory Of EDSA Revolution
By Apolinario Villalobos
The EDSA Revolution gave the Philippines eminence as the initiator of a peaceful struggle to overthrow a dictatorship. The Philippines became known as the birthplace of the People Power. Other countries that were in similar situation emulated the peaceful democratic effort. The Filipinos proved thata military takeover, or even a People’s Council was not necessary, but instead proceeded with the next phase such as the proclamation of a new President, Cory Aquino.
Her taking over the helm of the government gave so much expectation among the Filipinos, however, as the saying goes, “you cannot please everybody”. But those who were not pleased by her administration had more than one reason to be dissatisfied. They averred that her ascension to power did not check the developing elitist politics in the country. With the Marcos clique gone, a new group came in and some even claim that the new group was even worse as it exploited her neophyte and amateurish capability based on charisma, being the wife of Ninoy Aquino. Not even the shadow of Cardinal Sin was enough to shelter her from ridicule and insults.
After Cory Aquino came Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo. All of them tried their best in maintaining the image of the revolution as an important turning point in the lives of the Filipinos. Every year ceremonies were held at the “significant” portion of the longest highway in Manila. The ceremonies are designed such that they spill over the length of Ayala Avenue, the swank commercial district of Makati. The avenue would get tainted with colors of the “new” revolution – yellow, blue, white, t-shirts worn by the elite revolutionists who hail from the exclusive subdivisions. Gone from the picture were the red flags of the real “new” revolutionists,students, and the faces of those from the depressed areas. Noticeable too, was the ever dwindling number of attendees. To bloat the number of the crowd, included in the count were mere curious spectators.
Today, year 2014 is witness to the commemoration of this “revolution” in the far-flung city of Cebu so that it can be celebrated in the midst of victims of natural disasters from that area. In Manila, a pathetic of handful led by one some of the “original” participants was shown on TV. The newscaster revealed that some of those who joined the photo opportunity were caddies from the nearby golf course. Obviously, those who are claiming to be “original” members of the revolution were not invited to Cebu and were left on their own to gather themselves in EDSA. But who will call the people who are now beginning to realize their past mistake when they gave their full trust to those intelligent guys who are now being investigated for anomalies? The new administration inherited the “half-cooked” policies that lawmakers seem helpless to undo. Not to be forgotten too, are the privatization spree of the past administrations.
With the Commission of Audit reports claiming that anomalies had been going on even right after the Marcos administration, Filipinos are shocked. All the while, as they thought that everything was alright with the dictator gone, the plunder of people’s money was going on, left unchecked by the trusted and committed by the same people who propelled the government towards a new direction, purportedly, that of progress.
Ever wonder why some of those who strut on the aisles of the Senate in their expensive attire during SONAs, are very silent now? My guess is that guilt is seeping in to their person or they are afraid to let out even just a single word of comment as the focus of attention will include them and expositions will also be made on their own kind of well-kept anomaly.
For the unfortunate trusting Filipinos, the late realization took its heavy toll … the raped Philippine democracy is now impregnated with more nasty findings that see the light one at a time. Will the pork barrel and other issues be resolved before the current President packs up his luggage? I am afraid to answer that question, especially, while imagining the doggish smile of those being investigated. How about other investigations, such as , the Maguindanao massacre? the rice smuggling? those involving the Bureau of Customs? the mishandling of relief goods? theZamboanga incident? My unsolicited answer might just erase the smile from those who are enjoying political shows on TV. But I suggest, they count days to realize that the administration of Pnoy has barely two years to deliver promised comforts.