By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo called on the youth to keep in mind the lessons learned during the 1986 EDSA Revolution amid the lamentable realities that are taking place in the country again.
“The task of nation building remains up to this day. We have not fulfilled our responsibility to our nation if we forget what EDSA is all about,” said Robredo in a speech delivered Saturday before University of Santo Tomas (UST) high school students.
“Our work is not yet done. EDSA was just the beginning–you are its conclusion,” she added.
The Vice President made the remarks a week before the 32nd anniversary of the People Power Revolution on February 25 that toppled former dictator Ferdinand Marcos from power.
She was the guest speaker at the UST senior high school’s first Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Advocacy lecture, where she spoke about the injustices and human rights abuses under the Marcos regime.
Robredo, a lawyer and former housing chief, lamented that the things of the past are happening,again — with “media under attack, those who dissent are bullied and trolled—in real life and in social media, and people are arrested, tortured, and killed because they are on a drug list.”
Amid all these, she reminded students to relive the spirit of the People Power Revolution.
“Thirty two years after, our country is at crossroads once more. If people today feel that democracy has not worked, if we are disenchanted with freedom and rule of law, it is not because the revolution failed us. It is because we failed the revolution,” she said.
But having said that, Robredo asserted it doesn’t mean there should be another hero or a one-time revolution.
“What we need are our collective, daily acts of kindness; respect for people’s rights; and servant-leadership. We do not need new saviors; our new heroes should be you,” she said.
“You do not have to die for our country, like Ninoy. It is better to live for it, by taking care of the poor and the powerless,” the Vice President added.
Thirty five years ago, Robredo was a sophomore Economics students at the University of the Philippines when opposition leader and former Senator Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino was assassinated.
Robredo, who defeated the late dictator’s son in the 2016 vice presidential elections, recalled the times in history when Ninoy’s death “changed the course of our nation’s history forever.”
“In many ways, the sight of his bloodied face and his death changed me. It opened my eyes to a lot of bitter realities. Apparently, it did the same thing to a lot of people,” she said.
“His death made many Filipinos realize that from the beginning, everything was a game of manipulation,” she added.