NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!
STATEMENT ON THE 32ND ANNIVERSARY OF EDSA I
“If my people… shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence,
and turn from their evil ways, I will forgive them their sins, and I will revive their land.” 2 Chr 7:14
We, the members of the ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES, join the whole nation in celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. From the dark years of martial law until the fall of the dictatorship, the Church had played an important role. Throughout the years, the Church has had an undeniable influence in shaping the Philippines’ history.
The birth of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) in the early 70s, in particular, was a reaction and an answer to the realities during those turbulent years. This year, in celebration of the anniversary of People Power I, the AMRSP also rekindle that fire of hope in a miracle that a peaceful revolution is indeed possible.
To dream the impossible dream – At EDSA we fulfilled a seemingly impossible dream. A united people toppled a dictatorship after 14 long years of tyranny and darkness. At EDSA, we shouted NEVER AGAIN! The aftermath of EDSA I saw in the Filipino nation a genuine sense of hope. Our bishops in those times saw the events of February 1986 as having renewed the Filipinos’ faith in each other, the faith in their nation, and deeper still, our faith in God who writes our history.
To fight the unbeatable foe – Fourteen long years of struggle and resistance paid for by blood, sweat and tears of our martyrs and heroes paved the way for the EDSA uprising. The unsung, faceless and nameless heroes and martyrs of the resistance paid with their lives so that we may taste freedom and democracy. We showed the world that dictatorship can be toppled. Tyranny can collapse in the face of a united and determined people rising up to change their lot.
To bear with unbearable sorrow – More than 100,000 victims of human rights violations and their descendants still bear the sorrow of a disappeared kin, a salvaged son or daughter, a tortured freedom fighter and the years of separation because of imprisonment.
To run where the brave dare not go. – AMRSP cast its lot with the poor, deprived, oppressed but struggling sectors of our society. True to its prophetic tradition it members immersed themselves in factories, slums, haciendas, in the lupang ninuno of the IPs and lumads, in the mountains even. And these they all did, our forebears, to “right the unrightable wrong”, “to love pure and chaste” not from afar but totally immersed in the daily life-struggles of the workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, urban poor, women and youth.
At EDSA we reached that unreachable star!
Today we are once again called to continue to dream and to toil in the vineyard to realize that dream. The struggle to emancipate our people from poverty and want remains an “unbeatable foe”. Dynasties and elitism remain an “unrightable wrong”. Tyranny and the insatiable lust for wealth and power remain the bane of our leaders. Hate and divisions reign in our politics, culture and social life! Indeed there is a pressing need to change ourselves and our society!
This year, the Philippine Church celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. These same people stood side by side with other Filipinos and faced the danger of being killed; men and women armed with rosaries, flowers and prayers. The legacy of EDSA I and the lessons that we learn from it bid us to assert and fight for the following ideals:
Never Again to tyranny and dictatorship!
Yes to rule of law and justice!
Yes to an equitable distribution of our wealth and resources!
No to political dynasties!
Yes to people empowerment and a government for, of and by the people!
Today we say NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!
Today we march for our rights, our freedoms and our dreams for a better life for our people!
Today we light a candle for peace and justice, for all of Creation. Today we light a candle in hope that we may be led to the path of righteousness and a land flowing with milk and honey.
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