Duterte says People Power Revolution restored Filipinos' right to vote
President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged on Monday how the 1986 People People Revolution had restored the Filipinos' right to suffrage.
In his message for the 33rd People Power Revolution, Duterte recalled how the Filipinos showed to the world that history can be rewritten without the need to resort to violent means.
"Indeed, the peaceful revolution that brought together Filipinos from all walks of life during those tense four days of February 1986 has given rise to a Philippines that was reborn from the ashes of its tumultuous past," he said.
The 1986 bloodless revolution led to the end of two-decade dictatorial rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos and this catapulted to power late President Corazon Aquino.
Duterte, however, is a close ally now of the Marcos family as he is endorsing the senatorial bid of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator.
"As the entire nation prepares for the upcoming Midterm Elections this May, let us always remember how this historic revolution restored our power to collectively chart our future through the ballot," Duterte said.
"May we all have a profound sense of appreciation and understanding of what we lost and what we reclaimed," he said.
Duterte expressed hope that the occasion would inspire Filipinos, especially the younger generation, to deeply value the freedom and liberty that they won in Edsa.
Edsa or Epifanio delos Santos Avenue is the place where millions of Filipinos converged to oust the Marcos regime in February 1986.
"Let us never forget the sacrifice of those who came before us so that we may always be motivated to preserve and protect the democratic way of life that we enjoy today," Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo defended Duterte's absence in the commemoration of the People Power Revolution at the People Power Monument on Edsa.
This was the second consecutive year since he assumed office that Duterte did not show up in the usual flag raising ceremony at the People Power Monument.
According to Panelo, Duterte has been working tirelessly, including on weekends.
On the eve of the People Power anniversary celebration, Duterte was in Cebu where he campaigned for the PDP-Laban and other guest senatorial candidates.
On late Monday afternoon, Duterte is set to attend the barangay leaders for their 1st National Assembly of Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas.
"While the President has to attend to more pressing matters of the State and may not be physically present during the commemoration of the People Power Revolution, he will however be there in union with the celebrators as well as in recognition and reminder to all that our government is a fruit of democracy and our sovereignty resides in the people and all authority emanates from them," the spokesman said in a statement released late Sunday.
"The lesson learned in Edsa is unmistakable. Power is transitional as life is ephemeral. You abuse either and it will be taken away from you. As a wise sage says: Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad'," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS