In her message on the commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the EDSA revolution, Robredo stressed the historic uprising didn’t ask for a “perfect leader” but “a government where people live with dignity, a government that is honest and is not abusive.”
Geremy Pintolo/File
People power a warning vs iron-fist rule – Robredo
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The EDSA people power revolution that toppled the 20-year Marcos dictatorship should serve as a warning to anyone who attempts “to suppress again the people with an iron fist,” Vice President Leni Robredo said yesterday.

In her message on the commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the EDSA revolution, Robredo stressed the historic uprising didn’t ask for a “perfect leader” but “a government where people live with dignity, a government that is honest and is not abusive.”

“There’s no perfect leader and there’s no perfect democracy, but we didn’t gather then to call for a perfect leader or a perfect democracy,” said the Vice President, who was among participants in the peaceful revolt in 1986.

She added that after 34 years, Filipinos continue to face challenges because of the people who attempt to destroy the essence of the revolution “for their personal agenda.”

“May EDSA serve as warning to anyone who attempts to suppress us with an iron fist. They will not succeed,” Robredo stressed.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said the bloodless revolution is proof that Filipinos can stop abuses and corruption in the country.

“We commemorate People Power every Feb. 25. It is very important to remind all of us to reject abuses and dictatorship. We have proven that Filipinos can work together and oppose abuses and corruption. With the threat of authoritarianism, it is important to reminisce about the lessons we’ve learned from EDSA People Power,” he added.

“The commemoration is important because we can see now the threat of the return of authoritarianism, one-man rule. So what’s the lesson of EDSA?Ultimately, walang (there’s no) forever. Pangalawa, ‘pag napuno ang salop, ang mamamayan na mismo ang kikilos kaya dapat tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagbabantay (Second, when the scale becomes full, the people themselves will act. That’s why we need to continue with our vigilance),” Pangilinan noted.

Relating the Senate committee hearing on the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise, he stressed the essence of the people power revolt.

“We have to learn from the lessons of people power and accept and acknowledge that, in the end, the strongest equalizer and force that could face abuses and tyranny are the people who act and stand up,” he said partly in Filipino.

Commission on Human Rights spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia also called on Filipinos to resist efforts to revise the country’s history.

“More than three decades since the peaceful revolution, our continuing duty is to remember. It is in remembering that we protect our country against the many forms of human rights violations arising from authoritarian tendencies. Human rights is for all. This comes with the reminder that the government exists to protect and uphold the rights of its people – regardless of race, color, gender, religion or affiliation,” De Guia said.  

Commissioner Jose Maria Concepcion III of the EDSA People Power Commission said the true essence of democracy is in uplifting the lives of Filipinos, especially those in the marginalized sector.

“In the end, democracy is when we free everybody from poverty and that’s the real challenge that we are facing,” said Concepcion, who led government officials in a wreath-laying ceremony at the People Power monument. 

Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the 34th commemoration of the historic event was generally peaceful and orderly.  –  With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Janvic Mateo, Emmanuel Tupas, Rhodina Villanueva, Jaime Laude, Neil Jayson Servallos, Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Paolo Romero

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