MANILA, Philippines, February 26 ------ President Duterte stressed the importance of defending the legacy of the country’s bloodless revolution that toppled the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and installed Corazon Aquino as president. While he skipped yesterday’s rites marking the 34th anniversary of the people power revolt, Duterte issued a statement in which he recognized how the uprising led to the restoration of democracy. He called for unity, urging allies and critics to rise above political differences.
“Inspired by the freedoms that we secured in February 1986, let us all rise above our petty political differences so that we may, together, ensure that the legacy of EDSA will remain relevant in the years ahead,” the Chief Executive said in a one-page message. He also underscored the need to “defend and preserve” the freedoms we gained during the first EDSA people power. “I therefore join the valiant heroes of EDSA and the countless others whose lives were touched by this bloodless uprising in commemorating its 34th anniversary with renewed hope that the succeeding generations of Filipinos will also have the courage, strength and determination to protect, defend and preserve the liberties that we have won during that historic revolution,” Duterte said.
Although the President opted not to attend the commemoration activities at either the EDSA Shrine or the EDSA Monument, he still recognized the importance of the Feb. 25 peaceful revolution in the country’s history. “For its important role as a catalyst for the restoration of our democratic institutions more than three decades ago, the People Power Revolution remains as, beyond doubt, one of the most remarkable events in our nation’s history,” the President said. “Let us all have a meaningful commemoration.”