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A Salute to the Heroes of EDSA


Thousands flock to EDSA to support the anti-Marcos rebels

n his 2/17/2018 commentary in the Inquirer, Bryan Tiojanco argues why “People Power” still matters. A Yale Law School JSD candidate, who graduated cum laude from UP Law, Bo Tiojanco points out that the Philippines was Asia’s first liberal democracy, but Filipinos appear “all too willing to tolerate dictatorial powers in the name of reform or change.” Many Philippine presidents likewise seemed just as willing to indulge the public and curtail individual freedoms. Emilio Aguinaldo, Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, Ferdinand Marcos—of course, and now Rodrigo Duterte all seem to have manifested dictatorial tendencies while in office. Tiojanco warns that “a liberal democracy whose citizens have little faith in the freedoms of democracy is a dictatorship-in-waiting.”

Jasper Doomen is a professor of Constitutional and Administrative law at the UK’s Open University. In his 2014 Ph.D. thesis, Doomen argues that both freedom and equality are essential to the survival of a liberal democracy. During the Martial Law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippines had neither. Today, Filipinos might have freedom, but most will readily admit that inequality still exists.

Family clans control many towns and cities. And power simply transfers from one generation of oligarchs to the next. There is no level playing field in the Philippines, and the odds are forever stacked in favor of the rich and powerful.

But against all odds, for a brief and shining moment, Filipinos from all walks of life came together and leveled the playing field. From February 22-25, 1986 millions gathered along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to speak with one loud voice against tyranny and abuse. They were not going to take things sitting down anymore. And that voice had the power to send Ferdinand Marcos and his cohorts packing.


Demonstrators lock arms and stand in front of military vehicles halting their advance

Now thirty-one years later, we humbly salute the heroes of EDSA—the millions of men and women, young and old, rich and poor—who stood up to a tyrant and showed the world what People Power was all about. Thank you to all who participated. Published 2/19/2018


Pinoys Must Always Remain Vigilant Against Fake News

I once thought that tyrants like Ferdinand Marcos would never make it in today’s wired and networked world. When he declared martial law in the 1972, he shuttered radio and TV stations, padlocked the printing presses of newspapers, and made sure Filipinos heard, read, and saw only what he wanted them to. Published 2/2/2018


Duterte Thinks Pacquiao Should Be the Next Philippine President

We Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte repeated statements he made a year ago regarding boxing legend and current senator, Manny Pacquiao: ”Gusto kita gawing presidente” adding, “alam mo kaya mo” (I want to make you president—you know you can handle it). Published 12/19/2017


The Philippines Is More Important Than Many Filipinos Realize

We hope that the recently concluded Asean Summit in Manila and President Rodrigo Duterte's meetings with world leaders has opened his eyes to the pivotal role the Philippines must play in the region and the world ... Published 11/18/2017


The Philippines Is No Longer a Christian Society

Man’s first loyalty should be to God and not to political or economic interests and much less to evil, powerful people who engage in all kinds of demonic activities. How was it that so many church-going German Catholics and other Christians gave their support and loyalty to Hitler, a murderous tyrant ... Published 10/29/2017


Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to Organize U.S. Opposition to Marcos

I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge more than 100 times in the 46 years that I have lived in San Francisco but my most memorable crossing occurred 45 years ago this past week when I rode in a 4-car convoy for a weekend retreat at Camp Arequipa, a girl scout camp in Fairfax, Marin County. There were about 20 of us, young Filipino activists from all over the U.S. ... Published 10/3/2017


President Duterte Will Most Likely End as a Failure

We Filipinos have to learn that in a properly functioning democracy, there are no shortcuts, no quick and easy way of doing things, no miracles—only hard work and constant vigilance. We said as much in an early editorial and we want to stress that point again today in light of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos ... Published 9/22/2017


US Pinoys Call for Prayers to the Blessed Mother for Protection from China

Satellite pictures have now exposed to the world China's secret immoral rushed construction of extensive military bases, runways and stations in seven different areas deep inside the Philippines' UN defined 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Massive fortified buildings and runways are at advance stages of construction in expanded reefs and islands ... Published 9/8/2017


Duterte’s Timeframe Just Went From Six Months to More Than Six Years

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promise during the 2016 election was that he would need just six months to eradicate the drug problem in the country. Then as president on September 2016 he admitted that he would need another six months to achieve that goal ... Published 8/21/2017


Free Education? Not So Fast Mr. President

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill that grants free tuition to students in state-run colleges and universities. Called the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017, the new law, Republic Act (RA) No. 10931, left it to lawmakers and government executives to figure out a way to fund it, for the 2018-2019 school year ... Published 8/4/2017


Why Is There No July 12 Philippine National Sovereignty Day Celebration

President Rodrigo Duterte won the most votes among US overseas Filipino voters in the May 2016 elections partly due to his strong showing in The Filipino Channel (TFC) special town hall forum on the Philippine elections held on May 1, 2016 and presented to a TV audience of 250,000 cable subscribers. At this town hall forum, representatives from all the presidential candidates passionately presented their candidates' views on a variety of topics and were cheered on by their supporters dressed festively in the political colors of their candidates ..." Published 7/21/2017


Ex-President Aquino’s Dilemma Could Be President Duterte’s As Well

Philippine Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales just filed criminal charges against former president Benigno Aquino III for the blotched military operation commonly known as the Mamasapano Massacre. Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and former Director Getulio Napeñas of the Special Action Force (SAF) were likewise charged along with Aquino. The three headed the 2015 police operation codenamed Oplan Exodus where 44 SAF police officers were killed by the combined rebel forces ..." Published 7/15/2017


Chinese Missiles and Fighter Jets Soon Based at Panganiban Reef Just West of Palawan

In According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), a Washington-based think tank, and a part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), China has upgraded its facilities in Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef), Fiery Cross Reef, and Subi Reef. According to the June 19, 2017 AMTI report, China is continually “expanding its already substantial communications and radar capabilities on the artificial islands. A very large antennae array is being installed on a small outpost at the southern side of Mischief Reef ..." Published 7/4/2017


President Rodrigo Duterte Can Still Do the Right Thing

In a recent article in Asia Times, William Pesek a Tokyo-based journalist and former columnist for Barron’s and Bloomberg noted that President Rodrigo Duterte might be “shooting the 100 million-person (Philippine) nation in the proverbial foot?” with his bloody war on drugs, instead of continuing to improve the economy he inherited from former President Benigno Aquino—“an economy on the ascendancy – from weak link to investment-grade growth star in just six years” ... Published 6/25/2017


Why Xi Jinping Threatened War If the Philippines Drills for Oil

Though nothing Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has said or will say carries any shock value anymore, his surprising announcement on May 19 caused seismic tremors. At a Manila press conference on that day, Pres. Duterte disclosed that while attending the “One Belt, One Road” summit in Beijing on May 15, Chinese Premier China Xi Jinping warned him that there would be war if the Philippines tried to enforce a United Nations arbitration ruling and drill for oil in the West Philippine Sea ... Published 6/15/2017


Philippine Congressman warns of Duterte dictatorship, pleads for Congress to convene

Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat has expressed serious concern that President Rodrigo Duterte is dangerously close to becoming a dictator and it may just happen without Congress doing its constitutional role to be a check against abuses by any other equal branch of government ... Published 6/1/2017 


Read more articles from our archives

ANALYSIS | Zamora Reef surveillance pics indicate China island building despite diplomatic overtures
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, under the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has affirmed that aerial surveillance photographs published in early February by the Philippine Daily Inquirer reinforce a message that AMTI had delivered, most recently in December ...

Aguirre: Palace didn't violate press freedom
MANILA -- The Office of the President did not commit any violation of press freedom under the 1987 Constitution. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II made the statement Wednesday in response to the incident where Rappler reporter Pia Ranada was barred from entering ...

Bong Go on P16-B frigate deal: ‘Walang nabago, walang binago’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s special assistant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday maintained his innocence, saying he had nothing to do with the controversial procurement of the two P16-billion Philippine Navy frigates ...

Anti-graft court orders arrest of Davao del Norte solon
MANILA -- The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Davao del Norte (2nd District) Rep. Antonio Floirendo, Jr. in connection with the graft case filed against him by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for the alleged anomalous lease of land at the Davao Penal Colony ...

Pastor fleeing church granted refuge in BC, Canada
The pastor of a politically influential, wealthy and secretive Christian church in the Philippines with global links has been granted refugee status in Canada after he claimed that he was targeted for murder.

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