Duterte calls for unity, solidarity on EDSA anniversary

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte hoped the 32nd anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution will foster "unity and solidarity" among Filipinos.

In his message released on Saturday, February 24, Duterte said he joins the entire nation in commemorating the historic event, which he said has "shown the world how a people's courage and resolve can alter the course of our nation's history."

"Since then, the People Power Revolution has become the enduring symbol of our determination to fight for what is right and – during our country's most crucial and trying times – to defend and uphold our cherished democratic values," he added.

Duterte then wished Filipinos a "meaningful celebration" on Sunday, February 25.

"May this occasion foster unity and solidarity as we pursue our hopes and aspirations for our nation. Let us further enrich our democracy by empowering our citizenry, defending their rights and strengthening the institutions that safeguard their freedoms," the President said.

For the second year in a row, however, Duterte decided to skip the annual commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution. (READ: Duterte on EDSA anniversary: No group has monopoly of patriotism)

"We confirm that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not attend the People Power anniversary celebration. The President will be in Davao," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday.

Instead, former President Fidel V. Ramos led the traditional flag-raising ceremony at the EDSA People Power Monument on Sunday morning. The re-enactment of the "salubong" was also held after the ceremony.

The historic 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who is now buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) upon the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.