MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo plans to attend one of the events commemorating the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, but hopes there would be one united celebration for the uprising that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“I want to attend pero hindi ko pa alam kung, mayroon kasi yatang iba-ibang mga celebrations na sabay-sabay na mangyayari,” Robredo said in a chance interview at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, February 22.
(I want to attend but I’m not yet sure which one, because it seems there will be a number of celebrations happening simultaneously.)
“If there will be a Mass at the EDSA Shrine, I will attend,” she said.
Aside from the “simple, quiet” celebration in Camp Aguinaldo that the Duterte administration will host on Friday, February 24, the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) has also organized a 4-day program. The EPPC is the government body tasked to arrange the commemoration of the bloodless revolution.
Robredo, however, said she has not yet received an invitation to the Camp Aguinaldo event as of Wednesday afternoon. Malacañang also announced that President Rodrigo Duterte himself will not attend that event, and it is still unclear if he will be attending any of the other gatherings.
There will also be several rallies like the “People’s Commemoration” organized by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma) and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) at 10 am on Saturday, February 25.
The Coalition Against the Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (CAMB-LNMB) will also hold a rally called “Power of We” from 4 pm to 11:55 pm on Saturday at the People Power Monument along EDSA corner White Plains Avenue.
Carmma and CAMB-LNMB had organized last year’s huge protests against the sudden burial of the former strongman at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
Meanwhile, pro-Duterte groups will also gather in different parts of the country to show their support for the President, who had ordered Marcos’ controversial burial.
“Mas mabuti sana kung pag-isahin na lang ang celebration para magiging celebration talaga siya ng maraming sector, pero I think as of now ang desisyon hiwa-hiwalay na celebration,” said the Vice President.
(It’s better if there’s just one celebration so it will be a celebration of many sectors, but I think as of now the decision is there will be separate celebrations.)
Since the election period last year, the country has been divided over the issue of Marcos’ burial and the Martial Law period under his regime. The debate grew more intense when Duterte, affirmed by the Supreme Court, gave the go signal for the interment.
Like Robredo, former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales thinks the country should not be celebrating the anniversary of People Power quietly.
“We have been reflecting over the past 40 years. Right now, we should celebrate the voice of the people. EDSA celebration was the will of the people written in the framework called the 1987 Constitution,” said the human rights defender in an interview after a book launch on Tuesday evening. – Rappler.com