Straying from EDSA 1

Philippine Online Chronicles
Published 25 February 2010

It may sound strange but reality tells us that this year’s commemoration of the1986 EDSA uprising has been laced with a star-studded political gimmick, a story-telling stunt and a confession of teleseryeproportions.

Today, Feb. 25, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino IIIwill lead Liberal Party’s commemoration of EDSA People Power 1 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Inquirer.net reported. Singers Ogie Alcasid, Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, among others, are expected to perform in the event, starkly contrasting the commemoration in previous years.

In February 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 1017 or the state of national emergency, which spurred arrests of government critics and illegal raids. Protest marches to commemorate EDSA 1 were violently dispersed.

Back to today. Perhaps for the first time, Aquino will stand out as the leading figure of the commemoration of EDSA 1. Since he is running for presidency, he is obliged to come out of the open and celebrate EDSA’s anniversary with the people, after staying away from the tense protest marches in previous years.

EDSA 1's commemoration: Liberal Party's way (photo grabbed from flickr.com)

By choosing to commemorate EDSA 1 with such fanfare and showbiz glitz, he is not actually commemorating – he is twisting the meaning of the historic uprising. Sadly, Aquino is further leading the people into oblivion of what EDSA 1 really is (which cannot in any way be a campaign sortie). After capitalizing on her mother’s death, Aquino is now capitalizing on the very historical event which propelled her mother into presidency.

Ahead of Liberal Party’s grand activity, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile earlier made use of the EDSA commemoration rites at the EDSA Shrine to reveal what has been hurting him.

“I have long nursed a certain discomfiture at being paraded as an EDSA hero, while those who bravely dared to fight the hard battle with us seemed to have been forgotten, their idealism ignored, and even their heroic contribution belittled,” Enrile said, adding that previous Feb. 25 festivities had seemingly “glossed over” the role of the soldiers at EDSA I.

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