The commemoration of the EDSA Revolt have come and gone, but a lingering question remains unanswered for the marginalized majority.
What was there to celebrate?
Surely, it is not the economic quagmire that press our people down in perpetual poverty since the time of the deposed dictator. Thirty-one years after Marcos, we are still smack in the middle of abject depravity. It’s a worsening malady that could have been mitigated had then-President Cory Aquino chose to abrogate all Marcos fraudulent loans and resisted World-Bank economic imposition of neo-liberalization scheme, dubbed Structural Adjustment Program. As a result, we now suffer with a $77.5-B foreign debt and a prostituted economy.
We would not be celebrating the return of pre-Marcos ‘elite democracy’. It merely restores the peaceful mode of passing the torch from among the factions of the ruling class on who would exploit the people next. This equal chance of robbing the poor through the dictatorship of the aristocrats could in no way be an empowerment of the marginalized.
We would not be celebrating the end of state terrorism either. Barely a year into Cory’s Presidency, government troops opened fire at peaceful protest outside Malacanang killing 13 unarmed peasant rallyists. Cory’s ‘total war’ policy spawned vigilanteeism, which has become a convenient tool wielded at whim against perceived enemies of the state and now running amok in the Duterte regime,.
Little wonder why the annual EDSA commemoration has attracted only waning interest from the common people. It has become a pageantry of the elite who hijacked EDSAs promise for their own business interests.
But we can still stop the continuous squander of EDSAs legacy.
We can start by demanding from the Duterte government to stop rehabilitating the Marcoses regardless of how much he owes them in the last election. We should also pressure the government to abandon militarist approach in solving the country’s problems, and instead institute socio-economic reforms, which is the main agenda in its peace talks with the National Democratic Front.
We need to work for thoroughgoing change at overhauling our economic setup. Otherwise, we will be stuck in the seasonal practice of merely changing presidents.###