EDSA spirit long obscured

THE President’s 15-minute speech (wholly in Pilipino) on the occasion of the silver commemoration of the EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLU-TION (EDSA I) should be one chilling  reminder.

EDSA 1 has given this country worldwide fame, catapulting it to the upper rung among nations regarded as bulwarks of  freedom – and made Pres. Cory a re-vered icon of democracy.

The euphoria that exploded lustily right after the Marcoses fled the country on February 25, 1986 was a loud articulation of a people’s long-muted and fervent HOPE for CHANGE.

For a free, democratic social order characterized by good and honest discharge of public duties and ridded of grafters that plundered the nation’s coffers. For a government that values and res-pects human dignity and human rights and prioritize their protection above all other governance agenda.

For a government that could provide more job opportunities to its people, more basic social and health care services, schools, infrastructures to them, as well as farmers’/fisherfolks’ assistance.

For a government bureaucracy manned by outstanding civil servants and local governments peopled by competent, qualified and FREELY-elected officials in a clean, honest and credible electoral process.

Alas! The events AFTER EDSA 1 did not, however, turn out to be what its players/stakeholders fervently hoped.

The nation quickly became a disappointing mess, especially  after Pres. Cory’s term. Electoral fraud grew worse, even as violence and massive vote-buying/vote-selling cha-racterized the process. Elective and appointive public officials quickly BACKSLID, in a proportion even more mons-trous than during the Dictator’s reign! Graft and corruption worsened, with the sudden emergence of public officials “with IMMODERATE GREED”, and who, in time, became no-torious with their involve-ment in all sorts of scandals.  PLUNDER of public coffers became the GAME OF THE GENERALS and all public officials as well. And disre-gard for human rights by subsequent administrations   became even more vogue and blatant.

EDSA 1 is so historic a legacy – an incredible triumph of collective human will against the purveyors of social, political and economic evil in the preceding reign of dictatorship – to be easily negated/rendered meaningless by current-day excesses.

I reckon, PNoy timely reminded all of the still UNFINISHED task in pursuit of that  EDSA I promise: a better, decent quality of life for every Filipino in an ambience of peace and true freedom!-Alex ‘Rapido’ Almario

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