In this Feb. 23, 2016 file photo, a worker inspects the lights on a statue of Ninoy Aquino near the People Power Monument in Quezon City ahead of the 30th anniversary celebration of the EDSA people power revolution.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
On EDSA anniversary, Duterte tells Filipinos to rise above 'petty' political differences
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 25, 2020 - 9:25am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been accused of targeting critics of his administration, called on Filipinos to rise above “petty political differences” as the country commemorates the 34th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

In his message, Duterte, who is likely to skip EDSA-related events again, said the 1986 revolution was one of the “most remarkable” events in the country’s history.

“Inspired by the freedoms that we secured in February 1986, let us all rise above our petty political differences so that we may, together, ensure that the legacy of EDSA will remain relevant in the years ahead,” the chief executive said.

The EDSA Revolution is a movement lauded globally that brought down a tyrannical government led by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and restored the nation’s democratic institutions. 

“I therefore join the valiant heroes of EDSA and the countless others whose lives were touched by this bloodless uprising in commemorating its 34th anniversary with renewed hope that the succeeding generations of Filipinos will also have the courage, strength and determination to protect, defend, and preserve the liberties that we have won during that historic revolution,” he said.

Activists and human rights watchdogs said there have been signs of shrinking civic space and historical revisionism more than three decades since the peaceful revolution.

Listen to EDSA stories’

Vice President Leni Robredo, for her part, called on Filipinos to listen to the stories of the individuals who took part in the bloodless revolution.

“Ipakuwento natin sa kanila ang kanilang mga nasaksihan. Itanong natin sa kanila kung paano sila nakahanap ng tapang na humarap sa mga tangke, sa baril at bayoneta at sa mga eroplanong umuugong sa kalangitan na sa isang iglap ay puwedeng magpaulan ng bomba sa mga nagtitipon,” Robredo said in a statement.

(Let’s ask them to narrate what they saw. We should ask them how they courageously stood despite the tanks, guns and bayonets and the airplanes hovering up the sky that can drop bombs at any time.)

The vice president also said the EDSA Revolution is a warning to those who plan to rule the nation with an iron fist that they will fail.

“Sa harap ng mga kuwentong ito, tiyak ko: mas titibay ang ating paninindigan. Buo pa rin ang aking paniniwala: mas malakas ang mga bagay na nagbibigkis sa atin kaysa sa mga pagkakaiba o hindwaang pilit tayong winawatak,” she said.

(Our determination will be strengthened as we listen to these stories. I believe that the things that bind us are stronger than our differences and the rifts that separate us.)

Robredo added: “Pag-aari ng bawat Pilipino ang EDSA. Buhay ang diwa nito: Lahat tayo ay humaharap sa mga hamon at lahat tayo, may angking lakas upang daigin ito. Hindi tayo nag-iisa. Wala sa ating nag-iisa.”

(Every Filipino owns EDSA. Its essence is alive. We are all facing challenges and we have the strength to overcome them. We are not alone. No one is alone.)

1986 EDSA REVOLUTION LENI ROBREDO RODRIGO DUTERTE
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