President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos Thursday to be vigilant in protecting their rights and to stay united.
In his message during the 35th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution, Duterte hoped his countrymen would be inspired by the past valiant heroes who fought “countless battles” for the Philippines’ liberty.
“Today, we mark the 35th Anniversary of the People Power Revolution inspired by the valor of those whose sacrifice made the liberties we enjoy today possible,” Duterte said.
“May this serve as a constant reminder for all of us to remain vigilant in safeguarding our democratic institutions, preserving our values, and upholding our rights as Filipinos.”
“As we contemplate the relevance of this occasion, let us proceed with renewed hope and optimism towards the realization of our shared aspirations for our nation,” he said in a statement.
“May this serve as a constant reminder for all of us to remain vigilant in safeguarding our democratic institutions, preserving our values, and upholding our rights as Filipinos,” Duterte added.
For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo called for unity similar to what Filipinos displayed during the People Power Revolution to fight the “constant threat” to the country’s democracy and also amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement commemorating the anniversary, Robredo acknowledged that the promise of EDSA had yet to be fulfilled completely, as she noted “efforts to revise history for the personal agenda of a powerful few.”
Former President Fidel V. Ramos, chief of the Philippine Constabulary during the EDSA uprising and a second cousin of Marcos, said the spirit of the People Power revolution “is not over” 35 years after it toppled what some call authoritarian rule.
Filipinos have to continuously “work” to “enjoy the freedoms and rights embodied in our Constitution,” said Ramos, who, along with then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, played a key role in the Catholic Church-backed gathering at EDSA.
“The revolution is not over and the work remains unfinished until every Filipino enjoys the freedoms and rights embodied in our Constitution, our democracy secure, and we regain our seat in the community of nations,” Ramos said in a statement made public.
There was no statement made public by Enrile.
Meanwhile, with the 2022 presidential election only 15 months away, the Commission on Human Rights encouraged voters to choose new leaders wisely.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement, “We need to be critical as citizens in the real intention of those leaders who would want to be in power again in different positions in the government. Let us not forget those violations in human rights.
“There will be no real change if we do not want to get involved in social issues, and if we do not hold abusers of our democracy and rights liable,”
“Thirty-five years ago, the Filipino people went outside the streets to denounce violence, corruption and lies of a dictator. More than three decades since we restored democracy from the dark chapter of our history – the martial law or military law,” she added.
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