Youth, opposition, militants hold protest rallies in commemoration of 1986 People Power EDSA Revolution

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Several young people were seen attending protests actions  in Mendiola and EDSA  on Tuesday, February 25, to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago, who joined progressive groups who marched from España Boulevard to Mendiola, said the presence of the young indicates that the young generation’s concern to protect democracy.

“The young ones and the forever young in the struggle for democracy and genuine freedom are here… because the threat of a dictatorship that the generation before us experienced is still experienced today,” Elago  said.

Our presence here in this gathering is to show that the young people will not forget the abuses committed in the past and we are ready to join the struggle against any threat of dictatorship, she also said.

On the other hand, Opposition coalition Tindig Pilipinas hit President Rodrigo Duterte’s government  for the franchise woes of media giant  ABS-CBN during the commemoration of  the 34th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that ousted  the presidency of late dictator and President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986, as  they cited the suppression  of the freedom of the press.

Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, former Social Welfare Secretary at the time of former President Benigno Aquino III and now convenor of Tindig Pilipinas, cited  how press freedom was curtailed during the martial law of President Marcos.

Soliman likened the Marcos regime  to Duterte’s government which ABS-CBN is  now going through.

“Si Marcos virus noon, ipinapasara ang ABS[-CBN]. Press freedom ang kanilang isinisiil. Ngayon si Duterte gusto rin ipasara ang ABS-CBN (The Marcos virus back then wanted ABS-CBN to close. He curtailed press freedom. Now, Duterte also wants ABS-CBN to close.),” Soliman said, after  the coalition staged a protest in front of the historic EDSA Shrine in Quezon City.

Soliman   questioned Senator Bong  Go, Duterte’s former special aide and now an  ally in the Senate, on why he would convince the President to have the franchise of the network be renewed.

“Ano naman ang kanilang laro na kukumbinsehin ni Sen. Bong Go na huwag isara? Bakit kailangan na kumbinsihin siya? Wala bang batas? Wala bang proseso na kailangan sundin dahil ‘yan ay nasa batas at Konstitusyon?  (What is their game now that Sen. Bong Go said he would convince the President not to shut down the network? Why would he convince him? Is there not a law or a process that can be followed because it is what is stated in the law and Constitution?)”  she said.

Members of the coalition attended mass at the church prior to the rally.

During the protest, the group shouted, “Duterte virus, puksain”, as they likened him to the coronavirus disease  (COVID-19) that has so far killed over 2,600 individuals.

The protesters, wearing iyellow shirts, the color of then President Corazon Aquino and the Aquino allies,  were wearing cloth masks bearing words critical of Duterte.

“Ito ay simbolo sa pagtingin namin na ang Marcos virus noon ay naging Duterte virus. Parang noon nagka-SARS at ngayon may coronavirus. Noon may Marcos virus, ngayon may Duterte virus dahil siya ay naging taksil sa kanyang mga pangako (This is a symbol of our view that the previous Marcos virus has become the Duterte virus. Before, there was SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Now there is the coronavirus. Before, there was a Marcos virus. Now there is a Duterte virus because he has not made his promises.),” said Soliman.

Soliman also said there was no large mass demonstration staged during the commemoration of the 1986  Revolution as a safety measure amid the threat of the coronavirus disease.

However, Soliman said many youths who did not witness the human rights violations in the Marcos dictatorship had been joining protests in different parts of Metro Manila and the regions.

Several other militant organizations have conducted protests around Metro Manila and in the provinces during the commemoration of the EDSA Revolution of 1986./Stacy Ang 

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