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Duterte on EDSA anniversary: Be inspired, value freedom

Lian Buan
'Let us never forget the sacrifice of those who came before us so that we may always be motivated to preserve and protect the democratic way of life that we enjoy today,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

PEOPLE POWER. President Rodrigo Duterte says the EDSA Revolution should inspire Filipinos to protect their democratic rights. Malacañang file photo

MANIILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte, whose administration has faced criticism for alleged human rights violations, said the 1986 EDSA Revolution should inspire Filipinos to value and protect democratic rights.

“I am hopeful that this occasion will inspire all of us, especially the younger generation, to deeply value the freedom and liberty that we won in EDSA,” Duterte said in his message to Filipinos for the 33rd anniversary of the EDSA Revolution on Monday, February 25.

The President acknowledged in his message the “sacrifice of those who came before us.”

“Let us never forget the sacrifice of those who came before us so that we may always be motivated to preserve and protect the democratic way of life that we enjoy today,” he said.

Malacañang earlier said Duterte will “most likely” skip the EDSA rites on Monday as he has in the years before. The President was delivering a speech late Sunday night, February 24, at the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Cebu.

Duterte also included in his message a call to voters.

“May we all have a profound sense of appreciation and understanding of what we lost and what we reclaimed,” he said.

Protesters in rallies over the weekend slammed the Duterte administration for policies they described as “tyrannical” and a return to the dark days of Martial Law. (READ: Powering through a crisis: Defending human rights under Duterte)

The EDSA Revolution is a globally-lauded bloodless movement that overthrew strongman Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy to the Philippines.

Duterte on Sunday reiterated his endorsement of the late dictator’s daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, a senatorial candidate who was on the same stage as reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III. Pimentel’s father, PDP-Laban founder and former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr, was a political prisoner during Martial Law. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.