By Fidel V. Ramos
Former Philippine President
(First of Two Parts)
“The EPP Commission shall:
(a.) Initiate activities that expand awareness of the principles and values that the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution stands for; and
(b.) Plan, organize and implement the yearly commemoration of the 1986 EDSA PPR every 25th of February;…..” (Section 2, Executive Order 47, ‘Institutionalizing the Legacy of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution’ dated 24 November 2017)” — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
It’s almost that time again. Within two weeks from now, as of this writing, we shall be observing the 32nd EDSA “People Power Revolution” 22-25 February. To Metro Manila residents of 30 years ago, that was a SHINING PERIOD OF PHILIPPINE HISTORY THAT RESULTED IN THE OVERTHROW OF THE 15-YEAR DICTATORSHIP OF FERDINAND MARCOS – PEACEFULLY AND NON-VIOLENTLY – TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE’S RELIEF AND THE WHOLE WORLD’S WONDER!!! WOW!!!
To some politicians and journalists, that was a battle of family clans. (Marcos vs. Yellow Army); clash of conflicting political ideologies (freedom vs. authoritarianism); spiritual contest between sinners and the equally sinful; or just an uprising by hyper-energized military adventurists with excess testosterones. From hindsight, the EDSA PPR was all that – and much more – because it preserved democracy and enhanced freedom.
Last 05 February, top officials spearheading the forthcoming Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA PPR visited FVR at the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation, 26F, ExportBank Plaza (corner Buendia and Pasong Tamo, Makati).
Our VIP visitors were National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairman Rene Escalante (longtime DLSU History Chair); with ExecDir Ludovico Badoy and staffer Ellen Samonte; plus EDSA People Power Commissioners Chris Carrion and Pastor Saycon.
- ESCALANTE IS A PRODUCT OF ST. CAMILLUS COLLEGE SEMINARY; ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY; UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES; TENNESSEE LINCOLN MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY; NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON HISTORICAL RESEARCH OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR CULTURE AND THE ARTS; CHED TECHNICAL PANEL ON HISTORY; AND NHCP AS COMMISSIONER SINCE 2010, WOW!!!
MEANINGFUL COMMEMORATION IN 2018 (AND BEYOND?)
RECALL THAT THE NHCP AND EPPC CAME TOGETHER TO SYNERGIZE THEIR NATIONWIDE LINKAGES AND PATRIOTIC FERVOR TO “EXPAND AWARENESS OF THE PRINCIPLES AND VALUES THAT THE 1986 EDSA PPR STANDS FOR” WHEN PDU30 ISSUED EXECUTIVE ORDER 47 LAST 24 NOVEMBER 2017, THAT PROVIDES, AMONG OTHERS, THUS:
“WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 82 (s-1999) created the EPPC to institutionalize the legacy of the 1986 EDSA PPR, through a dedicated organization established specifically to institute appropriate activities that will serve to enshrine the EDSA PPR as a continuing and permanent source of inspiration for future generations;
“WHEREAS, E.O No. 82 was amended by E.O. No. 17 (s-2010) to rationalize the composition of the EPPC and streamline the organization of activities for the commemoration of the 1986 EDSA PPR;
“WHEREAS, there is need to further amend E.O. 82 to ensure effective integration of the functions of the EPPC and the NHCP;
“WHEREAS, the NHCP is mandated, among others, to implement historical educational activities for the popularization of Philippine history;
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order:
“Section 1. Sections 2 to 6 of E.O. No. 82 are hereby amended as follows:
“Section 2. Functions. The EPPC shall have the following functions:
“a.Initiate activities that will expand awareness of the principles and values that the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution stands for;
“b.Plan, organize and implement the yearly commemoration of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution every 25th of February;
“c.Submit regular reports to the President; and,
“d.Perform such other functions as may be directed by the President.
“Section 3. Composition. The Chairman of the NHCP shall serve as ex officio Chairman of the EPPC. The ECCP shall have four other members from the private sector who shall all be appointed by the President and shall serve for a period of three years. The President shall designate one of the members as Vice-Chairman of the EPPC.
“Section 4. Secretariat. Secretariat support to the EPPC shall be provided by the NHCP.
“Section 5. Funding. Funding for the implementation of this Order shall be charged against the current appropriations of the NHCP. Subsequent funding requirements shall be incorporated in the annual NHCP budget proposal through the General Appropriations Act.
“Section 2. A new section after Section 6 is hereby added as follows: ‘Section 7. People Power Monument. The NHCP shall assume the management of the People Power Monument and ensure its continued maintenance and upkeep.
“Section 3. Except for the foregoing amendments, all other provisions of E.O. 82, as amended, shall remain unchanged.
“Section 4. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
“(Signed) President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”
FEATURES OF PROPOSED 32ND EDSA ANNIVERSARY, 2018
DURING OUR MEETING AT RPDEV, THE NHCP AND EPPC OFFICIALS PERSONALLY RELAYED THEIR INVITATION TO FVR TO JOIN PRESIDENT DU30 AT THE LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI, TAGUIG CITY, MORNING 22 FEBRUARY, TO START THE 4-DAY EDSA COMMEMORATION.
The NHCP likewise presented these proposed activities:
22 February (Thursday):
Launch of the Photo Exhibit “EDSA 1986: Before and Beyond” by the Camera Club of the Philippines and Press Photographers of the Philippines at the Cinema Lobby, Trinoma Mall; and gathering of new documents about EDSA PPR.
23 February (Friday):
Seminar or Symposium on Good Citizenship based on moral values enshrined in the Constitution; Tree Planting and other Outreach activities; visits to the photo exhibit; and essay writing and painting contests on the Youth’s Perception about EDSA 1986.
24 February (Saturday):
Eucharistic Mass by His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (for confirmation) at EDSA Shrine.
25 February (Sunday):
Holy Mass by Cardinal Tagle at the EDSA People Power Monument; commemorative program led by President Du30 at the EDSA People Power Monument with jobs fair led by DOLE; medical-dental-optical services led by DOH; and Diskwento Caravan led by DTI – all to be held along White Plains Avenue.
THE PROPOSED THEME IS: “EDSA 2018: EFFECTING CHANGE TOWARDS STRENGTHENED DEMOCRACY.” SIMILAR ACTIVITIES ARE ALSO RECOMMENDED AT THE LEVEL OF PROVINCES AND CHARTERED CITIES TO BE LED BY LOCAL OFFICIALS.
PEOPLE POWER FREEDOM LEARNING CENTER
THE SPIRIT OF EDSA COMPELS OUR UNSWERVING OPPOSITION TO INJUSTICE, GREED, DESPOTISM, CORRUPTION, COMPLACENCY, AND POVERTY. ITS MOST DRAMATIC MOMENTS MAY HAVE PASSED – BUT THERE REMAIN MANY DECISIONS AND ACTIONS STILL TO BE DONE BY NATIONAL LEADERS AND ORDINARY CITIZENS – UPON WHICH DEPEND THE ULTIMATE SHAPE OF OUR PHILIPPINE FUTURE.
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, THE PHILIPPINES INCLUDED, THERE ARE NEW TYRANNIES IN THE FORM OF SELF-SERVING DESPOTS, GREEDY AUTOCRATS, AND CLIQUES OF CORRUPT OFFICIALS WE MUST STILL CONFRONT AND REMOVE. THERE ARE STILL OLIGARCHIES, OPPORTUNISTS, AND WARLORDS WE HAVE TO ELIMINATE FROM OUR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC LIFE.
AS A SENIOR VETERAN, FVR REITERATES HIS RECOMMENDATION THAT THE EPPC – ASSISTED BY THE SPIRIT OF EDSA FOUNDATION (SOEF) – AND NOW REINFORCED FURTHER BY THE NHPC, BY VIRTUE OF PRESIDENT DU30’S E.O. 47 – SHOULD COLLECT AND CENTRALIZE SIGNIFICANT MEMORABILIA, WRITINGS AND OTHER HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS IN ONE ACCESSIBLE LOCATION (LET’S CALL IT THE PEOPLE POWER FREEDOM LEARNING CENTER) TO FACILITATE THE EDUCATION OF YOUNGER FILIPINOS ABOUT EDSA, (THE LEGACY, NOT THE HIGHWAY).
DURING EARLIER CELEBRATIONS, LGUS WERE ENCOURAGED TO CONDUCT FLAG-RAISING CEREMONIES, MILITARY-CIVILIAN BONDING ACTIVITIES, AGRICULTURAL-INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITS, JOB FAIRS AND ATHLETIC TOURNAMENTS – ALL FOR THE PURPOSE OF FOSTERING A STRONGER SPIRIT OF UNITY, SOLIDARITY AND TEAMWORK NATION-WIDE.
THE GREATEST LOSS TO OUR POSTERITY WOULD BE OUR FAILURE TO IMPART THE VALUES OF TRANSCENDENT EVENTS IN PHILIPPINE NATION-BUILDING TO THOSE WHO NOW BEAR THE TORCH OF NATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND TO OUR YOUNGER GENERATIONS.
TO REINFORCE OUR PEOPLE’S SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM AND INSURE OUR NATION’S BETTER FUTURE, THE PRESIDENT/COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF SHOULD NOW ESTABLISH AND INSTITUTIONALIZE A PPFLC, WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY, IN A VENUE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC IN CAMP AGUINALDO (ADJACENT TO OUR PEOPLE POWER MONUMENT) THAT SHALL SERVE TO INSPIRE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A STRONGER SENSE OF APPRECIATION OF THE SPIRIT OF EDSA AS OUR ESSENTIAL TOOL FOR NATION BUILDING.
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
YOUNGER FILIPINOS NEED TO LEARN EARLY HOW THE FREEDOM WE SOMETIMES TAKE FOR GRANTED WAS ACHIEVED – AND, FROM TIME-TO-TIME, HAVE TO BE REMINDED – BECAUSE IT IS THEY WHO WILL CARRY ON WHAT THEIR ELDERS HAD FOUGHT AND DIED FOR, IN THE SERVICE OF GOD, COUNTRY, PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. COMMEMORATING THE SPIRIT OF EDSA IN SUCH A MODERN, MULTI-FACETED SYSTEM WOULD ENABLE ORDINARY FILIPINOS TO SERVE AS UPRIGHT CITIZENS (READ “PATRIOTS”) EQUALLY WELL AS THE SOLDIERS/LAW ENFORCERS WHO FALL IN COMBAT.
IF WE LEARN, INCULCATE, CHERISH AND PRACTICE ALL THESE PRECIOUS LESSONS FROM OUR STRUGGLES TO BE TRULY FREE, THE PHILIPPINES CAN BECOME THE ICON OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES WHICH NEED TO AVOID THE KILLING OF THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS LIKE IN THE RECENT PEOPLE’S UPRISINGS IN LIBYA, EGYPT, TUNISIA, YEMEN, IRAQ, SYRIA AND NOTABLY MYANMAR (WHERE BLOODY CONFLICT IS STILL ONGOING).
KAYA NATIN ITO!!! WOW!!!
Abangan, Part II.