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EDSA revolt rites to be ‘simple, quiet’

Celebration of the 31st anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution will be “very simple and very quiet,” according to Malacañang, with the theme shifting from mere remembering to moving on. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

MANILA, Philippines - Celebration of the 31st anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution will be “very simple and very quiet,” according to Malacañang, with the theme shifting from mere remembering to moving on.

“It’s time to move on from just celebrating the past, remembering the past and to move on into the whole aspect of nation building, to give it a more positive outlook and… a more positive understanding,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing yesterday.

Malacañang gave this year’s celebration of the country’s historic event the theme “A day of reflection: Celebrating People Power for nation-building.”

The celebration comes three months after former president Ferdinand Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani with President Duterte’s blessings, despite protests from martial law victims and human rights groups.

Duterte had said Marcos, though ousted by the 1986 revolt, deserved to be interred at the heroes’ cemetery as a former president, commander-in-chief and war veteran.

Last Wednesday, former president Fidel Ramos, who played a key role in the civilian uprising against Marcos’ 20-year rule over three decades ago, said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea had informed him that the anniversary rites on Feb. 25 would be smaller and would be held inside Camp Aguinaldo, not at the People Power Monument, as usually done in the past.

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Medialdea is head of the organizing committee of the event.

Ramos said Camp Aguinaldo was chosen as the venue to avoid traffic jam.

“They transferred the celebration. It seems that it would be small. It will be inside Camp Aguinaldo to avoid traffic jam,” the former president said in Filipino during the launching of his book “FVR XYZ Files.”

As to the probability of Duterte joining the celebration, Abella said: “Hopefully, if it’s done within the grounds. And I think they’re having some simple rites in Malacañang. I think there’s a planned mass or something like that.”

Asked if Duterte is expected to show up during the event, Abella replied: “Well, I suppose so… I haven’t heard anything to the contrary.”

Pressed if Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery would keep him away from the celebration, Abella said: “Like I said, we move forward and not look back to the past.”

Ramos also urged Malacañang to build an EDSA Learning Center at the back of the People Power Monument by next year, but Abella said the proposal has yet to be discussed.

Last year’s EDSA anniversary rites featured the traditional salubungan, a reenactment of the meeting of soldiers and civilians on EDSA that led to Marcos’ ouster.

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