Edsa: A paradise lost, and may not be regained

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The glory that was 1986 came about because the dictator was ousted, a new President ascended into power, installing a new government, bringing in a lot of hopes. She was unprepared. She even admitted her hesitancy a number of times. But the Church prodded her. The professionals and the business community pushed her. Until the masses who just came merely to expressed their shock and grief for the murder of her great husband, found themselves endorsing her, until she accepted with too much equivocation. She was humble enough to start with humility. Her only advantage was that her predecessor was maligned, hated and demonized, that any successor would be preferable.

But from 1986 to 2015, the number of poor Filipinos has even increased. Social injustice still abounds. The country's wealth is still in the hands of twenty-five families of oligarcs, landlords, taipans, magnates and tycoons. Hacienda Luisita, like all the haciendas in Negros, remain unaffected by agrarian reform, The insurgency problems are getting worse. Crimes are on the rise. More people are jobless, millions of them. And thousands of Filipinos are leaving the country to seek for livelihood abroad. The environment has been ravished and the millions of poor people are often devastated by cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes. And there is a raging crisis in Mindanao.

Perhaps the worst President that followed President Cory was not former president Joseph Estrada but ex-president Gloria Arroyo. In fairness, she is now paying for all of it. That is why President Benigno Aquino III came into power because Arroyo was so maligned, so hated and so demonized that any successor would be preferable. The demise of the revered president Cory provided the tipping point for  PNoy to declare his candidacy, easing out a very loyal party soldier, Mar Roxas, who, by the looks of things, may forever be the "bridesmaid" and never the bride. Mar may be likened to be one of the biblical twelve unwise virgins, who had no lamp oil when the groom finally came.

Today, 39 years after EDSA, some agitators both from the left, right and center are making a lot of noises to perhaps malign, discredit and demonize Aquino. The EDSA spirit is being misused, abused and overused. We do not have a dictator and so we have no one to oust. We do not have a corrupt president, and so we have no one to impeach. But we do have a pervading poverty and hunger among the people. There is too much joblessness, hopelessness. The people are hungry and angry, that they can easily be manipulated to make another EDSA again.

However, the people have finally awakened. They have always been used to be the pawns of revolts and revolutions, ignited by the middle class and the intelligentsia. The poor are always put in the frontlines to man demonstrations and rallies. The power-brokers stay secure in their mansions and yachts. At the end of the day, the powerful grab the money and the power. The poor remains marginalized and forgotten. The true EDSA is lost. We will never have another one again.

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