MANILA, Philippines – Thirty-six years ago, in February 1986, tens of thousands of Filipinos from various sectors of society united and rallied for days along the stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to oust the corrupt and tyrannical dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos.
The state-sponsored political repression resulted in massive human rights violations amounting to 3,340 victims of extra-judicial killings, 34,000 documented cases of torture, and 70,000 individuals imprisoned.
Graft and corruption were also institutionalized through kleptocracy and cronyism. Based on a series of investigations, Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth reached P300 billion.
Atrocities during martial law, including the numerous killings, outright abuse of human rights, destruction of democratic institutions, and massive plunder which crushed the country’s economy, are the essential truths Filipinos need to remember at a time when facts are dismissed, disinformation and historical distortion consistently downplaying the relevance of the EDSA People Power Revolution, to say nothing of the possible return of another Marcos to power.
In light of the 36th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, several activities and events have been lined up to retell the stories of Filipinos’ collective action and sufferings during martial law. These stories can help tilt back the scales of justice for the victims not only during the dark years of the dictatorship but subsequent governments including the present.
Ahead of the May 2022 elections, rights groups and individuals have shown their disapproval of Marcos’ presidential bid, claiming that his political alliance with Duterte will pose a big threat to the country’s democracy.
Here’s a list of activities happening in commemoration of the People Power revolution:
Tanggol Kasaysayan’s ‘Martial Law @ 50: Kasaysayan at Alaala ng Pagbalikwas’
In partnership with the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), the online conference will be held on Tuesday, February 22 from 8:30 am to 5 pm and on Wednesday, February 23 from 8 am to 5:30 pm. The conference will facilitate the debunking of Marcoses myths, lies, and distortions about martial law, followed by a series of panel discussions on education, culture, politics, historiography, and mass movement.
Interested attendees may register here.
Council for People’s Development and Governance’s ‘Prospects for Peace After the 2022 Elections: A Call for Just Peace and End to Tyranny‘
To amplify the campaign for civil society’s democratic space, the Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) will stage an online forum on Wednesday, February 23 from 3 to 5 pm. It will discuss why a broad spectrum of society is against the return to power of the Marcoses. The discussion aims to answer questions as to why the win of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is a giant step backward for democracy.
Interested parties may watch the webinar through Facebook Live or Zoom. To join, people may register here.
CEGP’s ‘Youth Press Conference on EDSA Uprising Commemoration’
The youth is staged to unite in commemoration of the EDSA uprising in a press conference on Wednesday, February 23 at 1 pm. The conference will discuss the significance of going back to the lessons of the past and the need to debunk the lies spread by the Marcoses.
The press conference can be viewed on CEGP’s Facebook Page. Interested participants can join via Zoom by clicking here.
League of Filipino Students’ ‘Fighting Fascism: From 1986 to 2022’
The LFS will conduct a series of educational discussions to bring to light the events that led to the ouster of Marcos and how many students have continued to join different political movements in the past years in protest against the succeeding administration’s repressive actions.
The League invites all the youth and individuals who continually call for democracy and freedom to join the discussions starting February 21 to 24. Topics to be discussed are as follows:
- February 21, Monday, 8:00 PM – Youth on the March
- February 22, Tuesday 7:30 PM – Social Basis of a Fascist State
- February 23, Wednesday, 7:00 PM – Rise and Fall of Marcos Fascist Dictatorship
- February 24, Thursday, 8:00 PM – Imperialism, Fascisation and Fascism
All discussions will be held via Zoom. Interested participants may sign up via this link.
League of Filipino Students – UP Diliman’s People Power Commemoration Myth-busting Forum
The League of Filipino Students – UP Diliman will conduct an online myth-busting forum with Ka Bong Laboog on Friday, February 25 from 4 to 6 pm. With the theme “Paano Nga Ba Niluluto ang Katotohanan?” the forum will discuss the truth behind the lies and fraud of the Marcoses to prevent the Marcoses and Dutertes from prolonging their hold on power.
Interested participants can sign through this link.
UP Diliman University Student Council’s ‘Ang Muling Pagtatagumpay ng EDSA: Pasistang Pwersa, Duduruging Muli!‘
The UP Diliman USC will stage a set of activities on February 25, 26, and 28 to recall how the Filipino masses during EDSA were able to topple the Marcos regime.
There will be an EDSA People Power Anniversary Mob on Friday, February 25, followed by the “Ang Muling Pagtatagumpay ng EDSA” Webinar on Saturday, February 26.
There will be a roundtable discussion on Monday, February 28, 2022, at 6 pm. The roundtable discussion will review the mechanisms behind the anti-dictatorship movement and draw inspiration from this historical success as the country struggles to avoid a Marcos restoration and a Duterte extension.
The details of the said activities will be announced on UP Diliman USC Facebook Page.
University of Makati Political Science Organization’s ‘EDSA People Power: A National Symposium’
After launching a set of activities for the EDSA People Power anniversary, the Political Science Organization will hold its main event titled ‘EDSA People Power: A National Symposium’ on February 25 at 1 pm via Zoom and Facebook Live.
The symposium aims to discuss the “Filipino type of democracy.”
The symposium will feature the following experts:
- Hon. Maria Lourdes Sereno, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines,
- Atty. Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento, Chairperson of Commission on Human Rights,
- Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr., Professor Emeritus, from the University of the Philippines,
- Hon. Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit, Commissioner of Commission on Human Rights
Interested attendees may register here.
Bicol University UNESCO Club’s ‘Fact Check Muna’
Bicol University UNESCO Club, along with Bicol University Scientia, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Bicol University Leaders: League of Democrats – College of Social Sciences and Philosophy – CBO, and Akademiya at Bayan Kontra Disimpormasyon at Dayan, will launch its Fact Check Muna social media and community campaign, with the theme “Using Social Media and Technology in Debunking Fake News and Misinformation on EDSA Revolution and Martial Law in Community” from February 19 to February 26.
The campaign aims to examine disinformation and the lies about martial law and the EDSA Revolution which continue to spread on social media and in the communities. Interested participants can register through https://tinyurl.com/FactCheckMuna-RegistrationForm
Casa Gorordo Museum’s ‘Portrait of a Young Man in the Martial Law Years’
To commemorate the People Power Anniversary, Casa Gorordo, a house museum showcasing the Cebuano lifestyle in the 19th and early 20th centuries, will stage a webinar on February 28 at 2 pm.
Journalist Emmanuel Mongaya will share his recollections of the Martial Law years and the EDSA revolt. The webinar is free and can be viewed on Casa Gorordo Museum’s Facebook and YouTube Page. Interested participants can register here.
DAKILA – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism’s ‘Dokyu Power’
The Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism (DAKILA) will launch its free film screenings from February 25 to April 9.
The 2-month long film screening aims to bring awareness, education, and involvement of the public through creative means. The films will help to the public become aware of the crucial and pressing social concerns of the day.
Interested film buffs may now bookmark this event through this link.
Cultural Center of the Philippines Visual Arts and Museum Division’s ‘People Power 1986: Where were you? Mga saysay mula sa sining biswal’
To celebrate National Arts Month, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Visual Arts and Museum Division will launch their social media campaign project for the Pasinaya CCP Open House Festival 2022, titled “People Power 1986: Where were you? Mga saysay mula sa sining biswal.”
Interested artists who wish to share their firsthand accounts and recollections of, and artworks made during the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, can submit their works until February 27. To join the open call, you may visit this link.
EDSA Shrine’s People Power Mass and Procession
The Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA) Church will celebrate the 36th anniversary of People Power on February 24 at 1 pm and February 25 from 6:30 am to 6 pm through a Eucharistic Mass and a short procession within the church vicinity.
Pag-asa Sa EDSA 36 Unity Mass and Candle Lighting
The #PagasaSaEDSA36 Unity Mass and Candle Lighting will feature a number of activities aimed at fostering the true spirit of People Power in communities on February 25 at La Salle Greenhills. The group will be sponsoring a Eucharistic Mass in commemoration of the 36th year of the EDSA People Power Revolution and a Candle Lighting event to give a message of hope and highlight the importance of unity to celebrate true freedom and democracy.
The event will only accommodate a maximum of 100 participants. Interested participants can reserve their slots through this link.
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan’s ‘Panalangin ng Bayan: Katotohanan, Katarungan, Kalayaan’
In remembrance of the first EDSA revolution, the scholastics of the Loyola House of Studies are set to organize a prayer rally and candle-lighting ritual on February 25 at 5:30-7:00 pm at the Ateneo de Manila University’s gate 2.5.
The goal is to encourage communities to come together and pray for truth, justice, and freedom in the upcoming elections. While the activity is open to the public, for the purposes of public safety, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to participate.
Those who will join the activity will need to fill up this health declaration form.
March to People Power Monument
Groups such as BAYAN, Movement Against Tyranny, Anakbayan, and Student Christian Movement of the Philippines will be marching to the People Power Monument on Friday, February 25 from 9 to 11 am to protect the essential truths about the martial law period and to condemn the return of another Marcos in Malacañang.
People who will participate in the march will gather by 8 am at the Barrio Fiesta, EDSA, followed by a march to the People Power Monument by 8:30 am. They will then proceeded to the Main Program at White Plains Avenue by 9 am, and a grand teach-in that will also be live-streamed via Facebook Live.
The organizers of the grand teach-in consider the event as a recollection of the people’s sacrifices and solidarity which dismantled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. The educational event offers presentations about the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, the human rights situation during the dictatorship years, and testimonies from Martial Law veterans among many others.
Do you know of other activities and events done to commemorate the 36th EDSA People Power anniversary? You may send details to firstname.lastname@example.org. – with reports from KC Perez/Rappler.com