Duterte on EDSA anniversary: No group has monopoly of patriotism

Pia Ranada
Duterte on EDSA anniversary: No group has monopoly of patriotism
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea delivers the message of President Rodrigo Duterte, who skipped the EDSA commemorative event

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, February 24, reminded Filipinos that no single group can lay claim over the fruits of the popular movement that restored democracy to the country 31 years ago.

Duterte made the statement in his message at the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution in Camp Aguinaldo, which was delivered by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“No single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim credit for the bloodless revolution at EDSA in the same way that no single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim a monopoly of patriotism,” Duterte said.

The President hoped commemorating the peaceful revolution would inspire heroism among Filipinos.

“EDSA lives on and the spirit should continue to inspire heroism in all of us for the greater glory of God and country,” he said.

Among those at the Camp Aguinaldo event were EDSA Revolution personalities like former president Fidel Ramos, former senator Juan Ponce Enrile, and Senator Gregorio Honasan II.

Also present were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

In his speech, Duterte recognized the selflessness of the Spirit of EDSA Foundation (SOEF) awardees, such as Valiente Namion, a wheelchair attendant at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport who found P100,000 and returned it to its owner.

He also cited another awardee, Sabrina Artadi, a former beauty queen who hosts a feeding program for streetchildren in Manila.

Namion and Artadi are this year’s SOEF Good Citizen Movement awardees.

The complete list of awardees is below:

For the military:

  • Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Army)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Braulio Balbas Jr (Navy)
  • General William Hotchkiss III (Air Force)

For the religious:

  • Sister Sarah Manapol (Catholic)
  • Aleem Said Akmar Bashir (Muslim)
  • Bishop Jonel Milan (Protestant)

For the Filipino people:

  • Bobby Aquino (Luzon)
  • Ching Montinola (Visayas)
  • Uriel Jojo Borja (Mindanao)

SOEF Good Citizenship Movement awardees:

  • Valiente Namion
  • Sabrina Artadi

Duterte’s absence

Duterte chose to be in the Davao region on Friday. (READ: Duterte to skip EDSA anniversary event in Camp Aguinaldo)

He will attend the turnover of a drug rehabilitation facility from the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

The Camp Aguinaldo event was among the activities to celebrate the 31st EDSA Revolution anniversary.

On Saturday, February 25, there will be a wreath-laying and flag-raising ceremony at the People Power Monument in Quezon City.

The Duterte administration has been criticized for its “simple” EDSA anniversary celebration. But Malacañang said the government has no intention of “downgrading” the commemoration.

Vice President Leni Robredo, among those who criticized the low-key celebrations, did not attend the Camp Aguinaldo event although Medialdea said she was invited. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.