Millennials on Edsa: Never Again

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol and Morexette Marie B. Erram February 25,2018 - 10:35 PM

Protesters coming from different organizations in Cebu held a protest rally on Sunday as they remember the 32nd Edsa People Power Revolution. CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

She was born a decade after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.

While she may be short on details, Alex Durog, a student at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, is long on beliefs and convictions.

“I learned about the Edsa revolt only through books and oral accounts from elders. But these are more than enough for me to understand the spirit of Edsa and the message it conveys,” she told Cebu Daily News.

Asked what she knew about the Edsa Revolt, Durog replied “It was an uprising that not only inspired the future generations of the country but other countries as well.”

The 20-year-old Mass Communication student called on other millennials to never forget history so as not to repeat its bitter lessons.

“The Edsa Revolution is a reminder that there is power created in collective action,” said the Ormoc City native who is set to graduate this year.

“It served as a perfect example of what collective action can do. It is timeless. Imagine millions of people standing up against a government that violates the rights of the people,” she added.

For 21-year-old Mikee Cubio, the Edsa People Power Revolution would always be remembered as an event that drew Filipinos together.

“It was a bloodless revolt where Filipinos from different parts of the country were one in trying to regain democracy. It was a reminder that change is possible without shedding blood,” she said.

Korinna Lucero, a 22-year-old employee of the City of Naga, described the Edsa Revolution as a fitting way to end an “era of confusion.”

“I learned that what happened prior to the revolution was clouded by what others believed as the truth. Despite the deception, one thing was certain: Filipinos wanted change,” she said.

If there are lessons from the Edsa Revolt that Filipinos must never lose track of, Lucero said, that would be to remain vigilant especially on concerns that affect the society.

“We can’t be too passive of what is happening around us,” she said.

Ma. Esperanza Camba, a fourth year engineering student at the University of Cebu, said the Edsa Revolution proved that violence is not always the key to addressing the country’s problems.

“Change can be achieved through peaceful means. We must inherit the same ideals of those who joined the Edsa revolution,” she said.

The 1986 People Power Revolution ended years of oppression by the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. whose regime was infamous for corruption, extravagance, and brutality.

Marcos, a brilliant, strong-willed lawyer, and military man before he was elected President in 1965, imposed martial law in 1972 — a move which many Filipinos earlier welcomed but later rejected as excesses and human rights abuses by the military and police emerged.

Under the Marcos’ dictatorship, government authorities arrested opposition figures, journalists, student and labor activists, as well as criminal elements.

About 30,000 detainees were kept at military compounds run by the army and the Philippine Constabulary (PC). Newspapers were shut down, and the mass media were brought under tight control.

Invested with dictatorial powers, President Marcos closed the Philippine Congress and assumed its legislative responsibilities with the stroke of a pen.
Martial law was lifted by former President Marcos on January 17, 1981, barely a month before Pope John Paul II’s first visit to the Philippines to beatify the first Filipino saint and martyr, Lorenzo Ruiz.

Veteran Cebuano Human Rights Lawyer Democrito Barcenas, who was among those jailed for opposing Marcos, called on today’s youth to perpetuate the memories of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution and keep the Edsa flame burning.

“People must not forget the significance of the Edsa Revolution. What we achieved in the revolution is now being threatened by the emergence of another potential dictator. There is now an assault against the media and other government institutions such as the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court,” he said alluding to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It is now clear that the people must remain vigilant at all times. The millennials must continue the fight,” said Barcenas.

“The Edsa Revolution is a continuing crusade and struggle which millennials must never forget. Instead, they must get involved in order to protect our democracy,” she added.

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