25 Years After EDSA

Fellow Emilians,

Today is February 25, 2011.

Twenty-five years ago today, a nation broke the shackles of martial law and rendered itself free without a drop of blood shed. A woman derided by the dictator as a plain housewife who knew nothing and had no experience took a solemn oath as our president. Yes, she indeed had no experience … “in lying, cheating, stealing, and assassinating political opponents,” but humility and faith in God she had in spades. The dictator’s family were forced to flee to the United States with their tails and loot intact. Our nation tried to recover from 20 years of darkness and despite the numerous coups against the Woman in Yellow, still kept up its adherence to democracy, even if rather flawed.

That symbol of non-violent resistance, a people’s defiance of evil in high places, even became the inspiration of people’s uprisings in other countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, wherein 40 years of Communist rule became undone in the space of just a few months.

Now, a quarter of a century later, the housewife’s only son has followed in her footsteps as our president. We as a nation are still getting back our feet from nine years of rule by a midget who is trying to use every legal option to protect herself and her family from accountability, even getting elected in the august halls of our Congress. The dictator’s family are also creeping back into power, with his only son working where he himself once was.

Elsewhere in the world, we’ve seen people on other countries try to force their “overstaying” leaders out of power. Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, gone. Bahrain and Libya, under siege. Maybe it’s time for those leaders to cut and cut cleanly.

Does this relate to us in MAGDALO? In a way, it does, and the message is clear.

In 1986, there was nary a meaningful coverage of the EDSA Revolt in our paper, but yet our fledgeling staff witnessed the biggest moment in our country’s history. We strove in every way possible to write the news, even if the stories on the front page are about EAC’s 13th anniversary celebrations.

In 2011, our paper’s fortunes are on the wane, and the people within are in adept denial of the shame they have put on its pages. No different from the dictator’s minions who still believe EDSA was a crime against their Great Apo. While yes, they have been through some journalism seminars, but what do they have to show for it? Not even a baker’s half-dozen of issues … all of quality found wanting. On top of that, they are being brainwashed to mark the people that came before them as the enemy – when the real enemy are the people who put them in the paper in the first place.

Emilians, as we mark 25 years of EDSA today, we must pray that President Noynoy Aquino emerge from his bachelor self into a leader that his parents in heaven will be proud of. The lessons of EDSA ’86 – sacrifice, freedom, unity in our darkest hour, and the power of prayer – must be instilled in our youth, because they are the hope of our nation.

LONG LIVE FREEDOM!

UPHOLD THE SPIRIT OF EDSA!

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