Yesterday marked the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. This year’s celebration was held in Cebu, which makes it the first People Power anniversary celebration held outside EDSA.
President Aquino delivering his speech in Cebu (Photo from Interaksyon)
President Benigno Aquino III justified the decision to hold the celebrations in Cebu by pointing out that the revolution occurred in places other than EDSA, including Cebu and Davao. “I think it’s about time, isn’t it, to recognize these different places’ contributions after 28 years,” he said. (Statement translated from Filipino)
Cebu played an important role in the revolution because it was where President Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino, was sheltered and protected during the revolt.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “Kapit-bisig tungo sa pagbabago (Arm-in-arm towards change).” The commemoration’s main highlight was the re-enactment of the “salubungan”, or the meeting of the civilians and military forces during the People Power revolution. Actor Dingdong Dantes played the role of former Philippine Constabulary chief Fidel V. Ramos, and Sen. Bam Aquino played the role of his uncle, former senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino.
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan were not represented in the re-enactment. Both Sen. Enrile (then Defense Minister) and Sen. Honasan (then Enrile’s chief security officer) played important roles in the 1986 revolution. When asked to comment on this, Enrile simply said that he was not invited to the celebrations, but quickly added, “I think I would have to beg off [if invited]. I cannot be walking such long stretches.”
While the celebrations were carried out smoothly, many People Power participants and their supporters were not pleased with P-Noy’s decision to hold the celebrations in Cebu. Vice President Jejomar Binay voiced out his disappointment in an interview with GMA 7. “Of course, it happened here in EDSA. So I’m just sad that it wasn’t given a proper celebration, because did a lot for Philippine history,” he said. (Statement translated from Filipino)
Binay and former Vice President Teofisto Guingona chose to commemorate the 1986 revolution with a wreath-laying ceremony at the EDSA shrine.
Regardless of where and how it is celebrated, the People Power revolution will always serve as a reminder of how faith and goodwill can change the course of history.
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