February 25, 2012
As it was with the first, so shall it be with the second Aquino regime.
This was the assessment of the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan as it joined the nation in observing the 26th anniversary of the EDSA People Power 1 which toppled the Marcos Dictatorship.
“We pay tribute to the Filipino people who rose in their millions against the US-Marcos dictatorship. EDSA was the culmination of a long movement against the US-backed Marcos dictatorship. Let us also remember the many youth and students who went underground and offered their lives while fighting the dictatorship,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“We commemorate Edsa I not because it represents a heroism that is singularly ascribed to any one person or political ‘color’. We commemorate Edsa I because it represents the Filipino people’s dreams and aspirations that have yet to be fulfilled. And these dreams and aspirations will not likely be fulfilled even under the second Aquino regime. We should definitely have no illusions in that regard,” Reyes said.
The group said that the president’s speech was basically a rehash of the “daang matuwid” message which was used in last year’s EDSA 1 commemoration and his two ‘State of the Nation’ speeches. The speech again celebrated such government initiatives as the Conditional Cash Transfer program. Aquino’s speech also made mention of improved ratings from foreign ratings agencies.
“Twenty-six years after EDSA, there is still continuing hunger, poverty, rising unemployment, increasing US intervention as well as persistent human rights violations. Sadder still is that the human rights victims under the Marcos dictatorship have not received true and complete justice. They are joined by the human rights victims of the Arroyo regime who also have yet to receive justice under the so-called ‘daang matuwid’,” Reyes added.
“If there’s anything we learned from EDSA and the last 26 years is that we can’t pin our hopes and aspirations for change on the ruling elite. These dreams have been betrayed by all post-Edsa1 regimes. The current regime’s combination of anti-corruption rhetoric, CCT and PPP won’t bail us out of the worsening crisis,” he said.
“The biggest lesson of EDSA is that if we want real change, we have to rely on the people’s collective and determined struggle for national independence and genuine democracy,” Reyes said. ###