Anti-Marcos group: Quiet EDSA anniversary rites part of revisionism

MANILA, Philippines – Anti-Marcos group #BlockMarcos Movement said on Wednesday, February 22, that the "simple" celebration of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution follows the path to historical revisionism.

Law student Kat Leuch, the group's spokesperson, accused the government of trying to remove the emphasis on People Power with a "watered-down" celebration.

"Makikita na patungo ito sa historical revisionism. Tinatanggal 'yung emphasis sa People Power, tinatanggal 'yung emphasis na meron naging diktadurya noong panahon [ni] Marcos," she said.

(We see that this will ultimately lead to historical revisionism. They are removing the emphasis on People Power, they are removing the emphasis on the fact that Marcos ruled as a dictator.)

This year, the changes include the scrapping of the "Salubungan," the reenactment of the union of forces that symbolized the end of Ferdinand Marcos' regime.

The Duterte administration earlier said it is aiming to keep the rites "simple." The theme for this year's celebration is "A Day of Reflection." (READ: Robredo: EDSA anniversary deserves more than a quiet celebration)

 

No moving on

Leuch and her group floated a giant "Hukayin! (Exhume!)" banner lifted by balloons at the People Power Monument early Wednesday morning to celebrate the beginning of the EDSA uprising 31 years ago.

She said their group's aim is to urge President Rodrigo Duterte to have Marcos' remains removed from the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).

"We are floating this huge 'Hukayin' banner to remind our government that there are people who refuse to 'move on,' to remind the Marcoses that their patriarch will not rest in peace until justice is served," Leuch said.

STARTING EARLY. The #BlockMarcos Movement started setting up their banner at 5 am to catch the morning rush hour. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

STARTING EARLY. The #BlockMarcos Movement started setting up their banner at 5 am to catch the morning rush hour.

Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

The #BlockMarcos Movement also urged the public to join protests on Saturday, February 25, to condemn the injustices during Martial Law.

"We have an authoritarian leader in the likes of Duterte. We see that he grants his promises to the Marcoses – a betrayal of the public," added Leuch in Filipino.

She said they will assemble at the People Power Monument at 9 am on Saturday, then hold a caravan to the Libingan ng mga Bayani to demand the exhumation of the late dictator's remains.

Several groups have also organized demonstrations, concerts, and lectures on Martial Law.

"The people have to reclaim 'People Power' by making sure that we all fight together towards radical change in the political system," Leuch said.

'Duterte's real allies'

Last year, the Martial Law period during the Marcos dictatorship was a subject of heated debate, with human rights victims and activists countering the views of the Marcos family and their loyalists.

Known for his close ties to the Marcoses, Duterte ordered the burial of the late strongman at the Heroes' Cemetery. This was a move affirmed by the Supreme Court with a vote of 9-5.

Marcos' burial took the country by surprise last November 8 as it was only announced roughly an hour before it took place. It prompted a series of protests organized by Martial Law victims and human rights advocates.

"Kitang-kita kung sino ang pinapaburan ng gobyernong ito – hindi ang taumbayan. Ang tunay niyang kakampi ay ang mga tulad ni Napoles, ni Bongbong Marcos – ang mga tulad ng mga taong patuloy na nang-aapi sa taumbayan," she said. (READ: Senators to SolGen: Why spend taxpayers' money to acquit a criminal?)

(It is evident whom this government favors it is not the people. Duterte's real allies are the likes of Napoles, Bongbong Marcos those who oppress the people.) – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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