Robredo: EDSA anniversary deserves more than a quiet celebration

MANILA, Philippines – For Vice President Leni Robredo, the country should not "move on" from the lessons learned during the 1986 EDSA Revolution, or else it could end up repeating the mistakes of the past.

"This anniversary is an event that to me deserves a more dignified treatment than a 'quiet celebration,' in the guise of 'moving on,'" Robredo said in a speech delivered before Ateneo de Manila University students on Tuesday, February 21.

Robredo's statement came a few days ahead of the 31st anniversary of the revolution that toppled former dictator Ferdinand Marcos after more than two decades in power.

The EDSA Revolution anniversary is celebrated on February 25 each year, with momentous activities. But Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella earlier said that this year's celebration will be low-key.

Robredo, who defeated the late dictator's son and namesake Ferdinand Marcos Jr in the 2016 elections, emphasized that the nation should continue celebrating People Power as a form of preserving history.

"I believe that the truth of our past will ensure clarity of direction in our future," said the Vice President.

Filipinos were divided over the issue of Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last year. The Martial Law period during the Marcos dictatorship has also been a subject of heated debate, with human rights victims and activists countering the views of the Marcos family and their loyalists.

Known for his close ties to the Marcoses, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the burial of the late strongman at the Heroes' Cemetery. This was a move affirmed by the Supreme Court with a vote of 9-5.

Marcos' burial took the country by surprise last November 8 as it was only announced roughly an hour before it took place, prompting a series of protests organized by Martial Law victims and human rights advocates.

Even when she was part of Duterte's Cabinet as housing chief, Robredo had been vocal in opposing the burial. (READ: LIST: Where Duterte and Robredo part ways

"Moving on and forgetting may leave us in danger of making the same mistakes all over again," said the Vice President. (READ: 'Conjugal Dictatorship' to be relaunched in time for EDSA anniversary– Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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