On EDSA Day, Duterte tells Filipinos to safeguard democracy, set aside differences

Published February 25, 2021, 10:33 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

As the nation marked the EDSA People Power anniversary, President Duterte has urged the public to put aside differences, continue to safeguard democracy, and work together for a better country.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President made a pitch for unity and vigilance in his message to mark the 35th anniversary of the popular revolt the toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. EDSA Day, which falls Thursday, February 25, is a special non-working across the country.

“As we contemplate the relevance of this occasion, let us proceed with renewed hope and optimism towards the realization of our shared aspirations for our nation. May this serve as a constant reminder for all of us to remain vigilant in safeguarding our democratic institutions, preserving our values, and upholding our rights as Filipinos,” the President said.

“Guided by the spirit of EDSA, let us set aside our differences and work together in building a legacy that we can proudly leave behind for future generations of Filipinos,” he said.

The President also remembered the country’s heroes including those who courageously fought for the nation’s democracy more than three decades ago.

“Our history has been shaped by the countless battles that the valiant heroes of our past have fought,” he said. “Today, we mark the 35th Anniversary of the People Power Revolution inspired by the valor of those whose sacrifice made the liberties we enjoy today possible,” he added.

The President added that he hopes everyone would have a “meaningful celebration” of the EDSA anniversary.

On whether the President will attend any EDSA commemorative event, the Palace has yet to release his official schedule for Thursday.

In 1986, Filipinos took the streets to overthrow the 20-year Marcos dictatorship that has been marred by corruption and rights abuses. The government later declared EDSA Day as a special non-working day, acknowledging that it “restored democracy and ushered political, social and economic reforms in the country.”

Early in his term, the President endorsed the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite strong opposition from various groups. Duterte later revealed that the Marcos family offered to return part of their wealth to the government, possibly through settlement. No further details have been disclosed by the President since then.