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MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of Filipinos from different sectors gathered in Quezon City on Friday, February 25, to commemorate the anniversary of EDSA 1, an uprising that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. out of office.
In this year’s event, organizers treated White Plains grounds as a mock classroom, where demonstrators served as students of a lesson on the myths of the Marcos dictatorship years.
“If the Marcos family did not steal anything, why was there ill-gotten wealth that was recovered?” said Ricky Tomotorgo of party-list group Bunyog. He was referring to the P174.2 billion in Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth that the Presidential Commission on Good Government recovered as of 2021.
Meanwhile, senatorial aspirant and former congressman Neri Colmenares refuted the claim that the late dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., had nothing to do with the atrocities committed by his father’s administration because he was young back then.
“He was 23 when he was vice governor of Ilocos Norte, then governor. He was part of the martial law government that committed plunder, human rights violations, and corruption,” Colmenares said.
Detained senator Leila de Lima and ousted Supreme Court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno – both victims of the Duterte administration – also delivered short recorded messages.
Comedians Willie Nepomuceno and Mae Paner also drew laughs for impersonating Marcos Sr. and Imelda Marcos.
Under Marcos Sr.’s one-man rule, there were 70,000 instances of arbitrary arrests, 30,000 documented tortures, and 3,000 people killed.
The commemoration of the EDSA anniversary is highly important this year, as it comes on the heels of the potential return of the Marcoses to Malacañang.
Marcos Jr., no thanks to what appears to be a systematic disinformation campaign in recent years, has made him a frontrunner for the presidency in the May elections.
While Filipinos commemorate EDSA 1 as the day the country regained its democracy, Marcos Jr. and his family remember it as the day they lost their power and fled out of the country.
If Marcos Jr. emerges victorious in the elections, will Friday be the last EDSA commemoration? Progressive group Bayan does not think so.
“This cannot be the last EDSA. EDSA is the people. Even if there is no longer any official celebration, we won’t allow a collective amnesia to happen,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said in an ambush interview.
“Marcos Jr. poses a huge threat to democratic aspirations of our people,” he added. “It threatens to erase all their historical liabilities against our people. That’s their endgame.” – Rappler.com