Newfound enthusiasm for people power Edsa

We have two people to thank for the country’s newfound enthusiasm for Edsa people power, which has been all but forgotten, especially under the Duterte administration.

The first is Vice President Leni Robredo. Her candidacy for the presidency at a time when the country is at rock bottom, grappling with economic, educational, health and moral crises, powerfully conjures up the image of another widow running for president in a time of similar crisis 36 he years ago.

The similarities between the two are many. Both are widows.

Both possess great reserves of moral courage and integrity.

Both are not only principled, but have the strength to live by them. Cory insisted on holding a “Tagumpay ng Bayan” rally at the Luneta, which his advisers thought was too big a hall, and which would look empty even though there were 50,000 people. Cory held firm and said if they had very little support they should find out as soon as possible. Two million people were at the Luneta, people who had no idea how big the crowd was. They only knew that Cory had won, and they had to show their support against the dictator.

Leni was asked by her husband to run for mayor when her term limit came up. She refused – no dynasty for her. And when she was asked to run for the House of Representatives, she knew she was running against an entrenched dynasty, but after much prayer and deliberation, she embraced the cause. And defeated the dynasty, which was considered an impossibility.

Both were married to politicians, whose death pushed them both reluctantly into politics.

Both are charismatic.

Both go up against a Marcos in the election.

There are also differences. Cory, although well educated, never had to work a day. Once married, she spent her time caring for her husband and children. It was the culture at that time. Until fate intervenes.

Leni comes from a different generation: she has an undergraduate degree in economics from UP, went to work, captivated her boss, got married, but got a law degree while raising a family and supporting her husband’s political career. She then used her law degree with an NGO, working with and for the poor. She was a working mother, a supportive wife.

Another difference: Cory belonged to the elite – the Cojuangcos, whose family wealth was said to have been bolstered by a Cojuangco whom General Antonio Luna had asked to oversee the money he had collected to finance the army. He was murdered, and no one knew where to give him. So they kept it.

Leni belonged to the middle class. Her father was a lawyer turned judge, her mother was a schoolteacher, which meant that poverty was no stranger to her.

Now, who is the second person we have to thank for our renewed enthusiasm and interest in Edsa people power? None other than Bongbong Marcos and his army of paid supporters.

Understand, young Marcos and his supporters have a lot to do with Edsa’s bashing as well as her success.

He almost got us to try and get away from the color yellow. “Dilawan” has become almost a dirty word. We almost forgot that yellow was for the yellow ribbons we tied to our doors and trees to welcome Senator Ninoy Aquino, who was never able to walk on Philippine soil. He was dead before he hit the tarmac. And it was Marcos’ father who was ultimately responsible.

Yellow was the color we adopted to show our dissatisfaction with the Marcos regime. And over the past few years, because of the way the yellow has been distorted, we’ve almost forgotten what it stood for.

Then he tried to change the whole history of martial law, from a history of human rights abuses, cronyism, corruption, nepotism and economic destruction, to a history that was the “golden years” of Philippine history. This false narrative has almost caught on, except now the Filipino people know and are working together to bring the truth to light.

If he hadn’t pulled out that Golden Age nonsense, we wouldn’t have put his dad on the scene. But his lying, cheating, and I-am-above-the-law attitude smacks so much of his father that it’s impossible to separate the two of them.

People Power Edsa happened because Marcos Sr. wanted to stay in power after 20 years and didn’t hesitate to lie, cheat and, yes, kill to achieve his wish. We the people have put an end to this. A golden moment in our lives, which earned the world’s respect, admiration and desire to follow in our footsteps.


[email protected]

Read more

Don’t miss the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.