Tag Archives: People Power Revolution

[Statement] Reclaim EDSA from the Elite -SANLAKAS

Reclaim EDSA from the Elite
Sanlakas Statement on the 27th Anniversay Celebration of EDSA I People Power Revolution

sanlakas-logo2Sanlakas, together with the Filipino people, celebrates today the EDSA People Power I anniversary. But while it is an important milestone in the democratic struggle to end the tyrannical regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos, it is but a culmination of decades of sacrifice – in sweat, tears, and blood – of the Filipino working class.

Years before the fateful day of February 25, 1986, the working class has long been openly challenging Marcos through daring and innovative mass actions, the most famous of which is the daring La Tondeña strikes in October 1975. From this we learn an important lesson – victories are not won overnight, and it is through smaller collective actions that we build political revolutions. It is through smaller struggles that we set the conditions for quantum leaps in the movement for the advancement of our democratic rights.

Unfortunately, a section of the traditional political elite has successfully manoeuvred to claim the anti-Marcos struggle as their own, relegating in history books the role of unionists, indigenous peoples, and peasants to mere footnotes. The grand effort towards historical revisionism is so great that while anti-Marcos politicians from the Liberal Party bask in public glory and help themselves in partaking state power, scores of Martial Law-era political detainees continue to rot in jail without hope of release. The activists who fought for our democratic rights continue to be pursued, tortured, and incarcerated by the very government which existence had only been possible because of their sacrifice. Until now, the deaths of labour and student leaders like Ka Lando Olalia and Lean Alejandro, perpetrated by the military backers of post-EDSA regimes, remain to be without justice.

But it is not just the history of the struggle which the elite stole from the working class, it is also the outcome. The post-EDSA administrations have seen the return of traditional politicians which basically continued a foreign policy subservient to the imperial power of the United States. Land reform has been derailed by a landlord-dominated Congress, purchasing power of the working class consumers continue to decay even as inflation remains low, and every Filipino still owe P59,000 in debt. Meanwhile, the oligarchy which has been the target of Marcos’ “democratic revolution from the center”, and which Marcos himself perpetrated by creating new plutocrats from his pool of cronies, has further entrenched themselves through the purchase of privatized public utilities sold at the height of Ramos’ neoliberal frenzy. Nothing has changed in this respect.

This, while the section of the elite which took over has largely bungled in their mandate to make the Marcoses pay for their crimes. The Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) recently announced that they are waving the white flag, even as they are yet to reclaim more than half of Marcos’ loot. The Marcoses themselves are back into power, with a Senator, Governor, and Congressman. The annual platitudes and self-congratulatory remarks of this elite must be put side-by-side with its two-decade long story of incompetence and impotence. But we suspect that goes beyond incompetence, and it just shows their insincerity and hypocrisy when they fought with the working class to put Marcos and his cohorts to justice.

Clearly, it is time that we reclaim EDSA from the elite. Sanlakas calls on the Filipino working class to remember its historical role in EDSA, and repudiate the elite which has stolen the victory from us.

February 25, 2013

Contact Person:
Manjette Lopez, Sanlakas Secretary-General @ 0922-860-8863
Val De Guzman, Media Liaison @ 0919-965-7509

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Edsa 27 -INQUIRER.net

Edsa 27

Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 24, 2013

inquirerIt cannot be denied that the second Aquino administration has done much in a concerted effort to revitalize the spirit of Edsa. But we must not conflate the legacy of the People Power Revolution with any administration, not even this one.

This is precisely the mistake the Edsa People Power Commission makes, when it blithely assumes that today’s 27th anniversary celebration is an occasion to spotlight President Aquino’s brand of “kayo-ang-boss-ko” governance. A key passage from the commission’s press release reads: “Approaching the midpoint of the Aquino administration, Edsa 27 will be an opportune time for all Filipinos to gather together as an expression of unity and support behind the unprecedented political, legislative and economic gains of President Benigno S. Aquino III.”

Actually, no. The Edsa anniversary, like the yearly rites we observe for Independence Day, the birth of Andres Bonifacio and the martyrdom of Jose Rizal, is not only resolutely nonpartisan; it is part of the necessary myth-making process that lies at the heart of our nation-building project. The myths that we need are not fabrications or noble fictions, but the larger truths of history: that we have the power of self-definition; that the freedom we are entitled to must be earned again and again, that it cannot be won without a struggle; that the face of the oppressor, the “manlulupig” and “mang-aapi” we describe in our national anthem, can assume the countenance of a fellow Filipino; that we have it in us to liberate ourselves, according to our fundamental dignity. The last line of “Bayan Ko,” the unofficial anthem of the anti-Marcos freedom struggle, phrases it well: “makita kang sakdal laya”—We long to see a nation that is truly free.

Read full article @opinion.inquirer.net

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Remembering 1986 EDSA and People Power -The Freeman

Remembering 1986 EDSA and People Power
By Cherry Piquero-Ballescas, The Freeman
February 23, 2013

the freemanHow many of our people remember the historic events of February 1986? Then, the Filipinos showed the world how faith, unity, and courage broke the chains of dictatorship and martial law, without bloodshed. People’s power, Filipino style, became a model others would emulate later in various parts of the world.

The price of freedom did not come without costs, without sacrifices. Martyrs gave up their lives to expose, to fight Marcos and his authoritarianism. Ninoy Aquino believed in the goodness of people. Dictators and dictators’ supporters followed different values.

Ninoy’s death triggered anger, courage among millions of Filipinos. His grieving wife, Cory, reluctantly was pushed into the political arena and emerged President after Filipinos, willing to give up their precious lives marched through EDSA and various parts of the Philippines to declare “tama na, sobra na, palitan na!”

Read full article @www.philstar.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] People power abused: mutant candidates in the making -akolikasan.blogspot.com

People power abused: mutant candidates in the making

by Rodne Galicha, akolikasan.blogspot.com

Rodney Galicha is also a fellow HR pinduteros

(An edited version of this essay was published in Manila Standard Today on October 3, 2012.)

Nobel laureate and former United States vice president Al Gore when asked about the inaction of politicians on the present climate crisis, he answered back poignantly – political will is a renewable resource.

To my surprise, in another instance I have heard him suggesting that in a crisis wherein governments and businesses are unable to act, we should emulate the people power revolution of the Philippines.

People power? Where is it now? Gone were the days when we had to take up arms and kill people, and be killed, for our sovereignty as a nation. Gone were the days when we held our arms close to each other to trample down a dictator.

We are facing a bigger crisis. Economic fall-down? No, in the eyes of our present and former administration – a transcendent perspective of investment based on how we flaunt our country’s natural resources and sovereignty in a pompous and seductive way.

A self-crisis created by ourselves being puppets of the power shared to the supposed leaders and defenders of our inherent human and natural rights. A self-inflicted crisis, a disease brought about by apathy and blind obedience to the mutant power. And the only cure is to reclaim such power and make it again of the people, by the people, for the people.

Recent studies say that the Philippines is the most typhoon-vulnerable country in the world, second in economic risk for natural disasters and third most prone to hazards of climate change.

We have swum in floods, our relatives and friends buried in landslides, drowned in raging seas. From the bellies of Manila Bay tons of plastic wastes showing off how irresponsible we are and how the implementation of laws are inutile. Not counting the industrial wastes which are legally exported by overly consuming countries and accepted by us with open arms as if we are happy to be called a sovereign state of dumps.

We have not learned from the lessons of the past such as the Marinduque mine disaster, and now, the leak of water and sediment wastes from a mine in Padcal, Benguet. The mutant power behind the venerable flag of the country is bullying the very honorable statesmen to continuously flaunt our mineral resources almost to be given free to aliens, forcing to lastly give an environmental compliance license to the future biggest mine in Southeast Asia situated in South Cotabato, displacing indigenous peoples communities, thousands of trees to be cut, huge mine waste pits near an active volcano with thousands of hectares agricultural land downstream.

Gradually, the mutant power opened wide the gates of our gardens and farms to mutant agricultural species, or monsters – controlled by one or few transnational corporations. Unknowingly, in our veins flow unnatural modified nutrients which will result eventually to a mutation of our genes. Safe food mixed with genetically modified organisms, less rationality with more profits.

In this country where freedom of expression is recently suppressed, how can we reclaim the power we just lent to the leaders who now become mutants?

We put our hopes in the chosen few, as of now. There are still a handful trusted leaders in our society but are endangered, either by suppression or death.

On October 3, we commemorated the fifth anniversary of a man who sacrificed his life for his people, Armin Rios Marin. He was elected councilor for his staunch stand to defend the fragile ice-age island ecosystem of Sibuyan in the province of Romblon. As he joined the island’s defenders, they successfully kicked out the world’s largest nickel mining company. Though he only served for three months, he lived by his principles and public trust to the last breath of his life – we have given him the power and together with the community, nourished and made it a platform for selfless public service and payment for ecological services.

How many of our leaders now are willing to stand up selflessly for the general welfare, for a healthful and balanced ecology?

Yes, the biggest crisis we have now is ecological crisis and to solve this is to reclaim and exercise power we have as a people. This week, people who seek power are lining up asking us to lend our sovereign power to them.

They are pleading to borrow our natural power. We shall not allow them to abuse it; else our society shall become a dynasty of mutants.

The natural environment is the center of our life. It is where biodiversity gives life, clean water, clean air, food, medicine, shelter and clothing. It is where the non-living things serve as platform and balancing system for the whole life-cycle.

God-given, yes. And we should manage it responsibly with accountability. The real essence of sustainable development must be exercised.

Remember, mutants may be heroes on silver screen – but in public service, no way.


All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Photo blog] Lest We Forget by AKP

Lest We Forget
by AKP

As we commemorate the 26th anniversary of the People Power Revolution that ousted a dictator, let us take time to remember the victims that made February 25, 1986 a date to be remembered.

The Martial Law years will forever remain to be a dark patch in Philippine history. The people we lost, the loved ones that are still missing, the lives that were forever changed by the conjugal dictatorship that ruled with shamelessness and greed, are forever documented by photographs. Their stories, which have been told for thousands of times, still deserve to be told, and shown, a thousand times over.

The 21 years of Marcos rule, nine of which under martial law, are years defined by fear, neglect, repression and abuse. According to cold statistics, over 100,000 people have been either incarcerated, killed, disappeared, and tortured. Many are still missing, even up to this day.

These photographs present a very small percentage of the entire number of Martial Law victims. But through them we hope that the old may remember and the young will know, that there was a period in Philippine history that called for heroes, and many have risen up to the challenge. They gave up their identity, their liberty, their lives, so that we may enjoy the “blessings of independence and democracy”.
And for that, with respect and reverence, we remember.

Topmost photos (left to right) Ceferino Flores, Disappeared. Fr. Tulio Favali, Murdered. Teddy Rabelista, Disappeared. Center photos (l-r) Danilo Deldoc, Summary Execution. Atty. Hermon Lagman, Disappeared. Atty. Zorrp Aguilar, Murdered. Bottom photos (l-r) Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Incarcerated. Vilma Riopay, Tortured. Dr. Aurora Parong, Incarcerated.
See more photos @ akpimages.com

AKP Images is a collective of photographers based in different parts of the Philippines. Their cameras are their tools in injecting change in our society. AKP strive to be agents of change in our own communities. The stories we share are the struggle of the people we serve.

[Video] The Edsa Stories: June Keithley – focusweb.org


Uploaded in youtube by edsastories

In February 1986, after the military knocked down the transmitter of Radio Veritas, the Catholic broadcast station that played a key role in the powerful uprising that dismantled Ferdinand Marcos‘ dictatorship and restored democracy in the Philippines, the station transferred to a secret location. It was June Keithley , together with Angelo Castro, who continued broadcasting in what was now called Radyo Bandido. She became the voice of that powerful medium; she was the broadcaster who kept everyone’s spirits alive and gave the people valuable information that helped them mobilize into a successful movement that brought down Marcos and his government.

Read more

[In the news] Militant lawmakers file reso vs hero’s burial for Marcos – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News

Militant lawmakers file reso vs hero’s burial for Marcos – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News.


Seven progressive lawmakers had filed a resolution “strongly opposing” plans to bury the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In House Resolution 1297 that was filed Monday, the lawmakers said Marcos “does not deserve a hero’s burial” after he committed “gross crimes against humanity, plunged the nation deeper into debt and foreign control and plundered the nation’s resources” during his 20-year term.

“Filing this resolution is a matter of principle and to prevent a mockery and distortion of history. All efforts to erase the dark legacy of the Marcos dictatorship should be blocked in Congress and other fora,” Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño, one of the lawmakers who filed the resolution, said in a text message Tuesday.

The other House members who filed the bill were Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio and Gabriela Women’s party-list Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus.

Marcos’ widower, Imelda Marcos, is currently a member of the House of Representatives as Ilocos Norte representative. His son, Ferdinand Jr., is a senator.

HR 1297 is a response to a resolution earlier filed by Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III and signed by about 200 lawmakers allowing Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Escudero, father of Sen. Francis Escudero, served as agriculture minister during the Marcos regime.

The militant lawmakers said Congress will become a “laughing stock” if it adopts the resolution giving a hero’s burial to Marcos.

“A congressional resolution urging President [Benigno] Aquino [III] to give Marcos a hero’s burial would send the absurd message that the Filipino people overthrew a hero during People Power I, and that the international community’s sympathy for that uprising is wrong,” they said in the resolution.

Marcos was ousted from the presidency by a mass uprising known as the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986. He was replaced by Corazon Aquino, President Aquino’s mother

The lawmakers urged President Aquino to “put an end to the issue” and to immediately provide compensation for alleged human rights violations under Marcos. President Aquino has already asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to decide on the burial issue of the former strongman, citing “personal bias” on the issue.

Former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the president’s father, was assassinated in 1983 as he arrived in Manila, a crime widely blamed on the Marcos regime. — KBK, GMA News

[Blogger] Politics for Breakfast: Anti-Cory Propaganda Youtube Video

Politics for Breakfast: Anti-Cory Propaganda Youtube Video.

by James Mathew Miraflor
Politics for Breakfast

Someone forwarded me this YouTube video. Judging by the sophistication of this video (graphics, technology used, and all), either it was made by a very political multimedia professional, or someone out to demolish the Noynoy administration hired an expensive multimedia professional to do this. Let us watch the video with a critical mind, and an appreciative eye for cool animation. Enjoy!

This video represents a long-running line of argumentation blaming the EDSA system for the economic and social quagmires we are in, while positioning the Marcosian authoritarian government of the 70s  as the one that put Philippines on the global map of competitiveness. This argumentation has many flaws, as both Marcos and Aquino had their share in pushing the Philippines towards the path of maldevelopment.

In any case, one cannot simply dismiss the criticisms of the pro-Marcos camp, especially with Bongbong’s assertion that we could have been a Singapore had EDSA I never happened (with Aquino III answering that we could have been a Libya otherwise) having appeal on those who witnessed the economic wrath and misery of the neoliberal era.

[In the news]Marcos burial resolution tears to shreds Edsa mandate – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Marcos burial resolution tears to shreds Edsa mandate – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

By Amando Doronila
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Source: Inquirer.net

MANILA, PhilippinesHouse Resolution No. 1135 seeking the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani turned on its head the policy mandate of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that toppled his 14-year dictatorship.

The resolution signed by 216 congressmen flagrantly defied the sovereign will of the people expressed by their uprising in the streets on Feb. 22-25, 1986, restoring democracy dismantled by Marcos when he declared martial law on Sept. 21, 1972.

The House move signaled the start of the campaign initiated by Marcos’ family and political heirs to restore the dictator’s political legacy through the burial of his body on the hallowed grounds of the heroes’ cemetery, according him the honors of a national hero.

This is all in defiance of the mandate of Edsa I.

The campaign to rehabilitate Marcos immediately whipped up a storm of controversy over the issue of the whether he deserved to be buried at the military cemetery, burial grounds of outstanding citizens of the Republic, including two past Presidents (Diosdado Macapagal and Carlos P. Garcia), military leaders and men of letters.

The charge against the House resolution was led by the powerful Catholic Church, which was the Marcos regime’s principal protagonist during the dictatorship.

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), the largest organized group of Catholic schools and institutions, issued a strongly worded statement on the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan, honoring Filipino soldiers who fought heroically to resist the superior force of Japanese invaders in Bataan 69 years ago.

The CEAP called on the congressmen who signed the House resolution to withdraw their signatures, warning them not to be part of the attempt to revise or falsify history. The statement bluntly said the resolution would “desecrate” Edsa I.

The organization pointedly denounced claims of Marcos supporters that he was a war hero as false, and went on to say that the massive corruption of the dictatorship sent the economy to its knees, turning the Philippines into the “sick man” of Asia.

Epic clash

HR 1131 triggered an epic clash over two great political traditions that have defined the themes of political discourse during the past 39 years.

The discourse is framed by the demolition of Philippine democracy and the establishment of a dictatorship in September 1972 and by the restoration of democracy with the Edsa People Power Revolution of February 1986.

For four decades, these traditions have marked the cleavage line along which Philippine politics has polarized.

Once again, the dictatorship-vs-democratic restoration paradigm has been forced up to the surface with the House initiative seeking the political rehabilitation of Marcos and legitimizing the the dictatorial legacy of his regime.

The House resolution was a sharp attack to overturn the doctrine that Edsa I ended the dictatorship. The revolution was an emphatic and direct exercise by the people of their sovereign right to change regimes.
Attack on mandate
No legislative act of elected representatives of the people in parliament can revoke that mandate of the Edsa People Power Revolution.

Thus, HR 1135 clearly contravenes the mandate of Edsa I to abolish the dictatorship and cannot be used by members of Congress to engineer the restoration of the Marcos dictatorial legacy and vindicate the regime with the flimsy argument that burying Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani would bring to a closure the dark episode of the dictatorship, promote national reconciliation and allow the country to “move on” toward national unity.

Those who signed the resolution are members of a political institution that was one of the first to be padlocked by Marcos when he declared martial law.

The lawmakers have also become the beneficiaries of a free and independent legislature that was restored by President Corazon Aquino in the wake of the l986 revolution.

And yet they are now at the forefront of the campaign to restore the legacy of the Marcos regime, ignoring in the process the fact that Edsa I was the charter of the abolition of the dictatorship and the restoration of Philippine democracy.

The congressmen are not in step with redemocratization. They are swimming against the historic tide of democratic restoration following Edsa I.

They are backsliding to the era when complicit parliament served as a rubber stamp of the dictatorship. The congressmen would find it hard to claim that their resolution represents the sentiment of the people in regard to Marcos’ rehabilitation.

No accountability

When the Philippines rejected the dictatorship in Edsa I, we didn’t make a clean break with a sordid past. Even with the restoration of democratic structures we have remained chained to the past.

Representatives of the people in Congress have been beguiled by the false argument that the rehabilitation of Marcos is an act of “statesmanship” that can throw wide open the gates of national reconciliation.

Under this approach, there is no recognition of accountability. There is no concession of wrongdoing and no expression of remorse for the plunder of public wealth and the deaths, disappearances and torture of victims in military “safe houses” of the dictatorship’s gulag system.

The Marcos heirs are back to positions of power and influence after free elections, flaunting their wealth, and mocking the Edsa People Power Revolution as if it never happened. There is no reconciliation without justice and no concession of guilt. The House resolution has torn to shreds the people power mandate that rejected the dictatorship.