Last February 25, the Filipino people once again commemorated the People Power Revolution on its twenty-sixth year. Such national event has made a mark in the history being known as a bloodless revolution which other countries attempted to do as well. For the masses, it was the ultimate symbol of the true empowerment of democracy. Having ousted a so-called tyrant through the unity of the Filipino people and without any bloodshed, the EDSA Revolution manifested that power does lie on the hands of the masses.
It may have meant a success for some, especially to Marcos’ enemies, but the real question is, “Did the People Power Revolution really give us freedom? Change? This paper will try to assess the pros and cons of the said revolution. Did the Filipino people really become better off because of it? First, let us look into the positive side of the argument. At some point, the People Power Revolution did mean a success. The Filipino people succeeded in abolishing the prevailing dictatorship at that time. It is true that during the Martial Law, there was oppression.
Freedom is quite out of reach and abuses are rampant. Human rights have been greatly violated as there were many assassinations. Even the media were greatly monitored. There is a lot of suppression going on to say the least. What the People Power significantly brought forth was the fact that with unity and strong faith, anything is possible. Filipinos from different social classes and different fields of profession have gathered up with one goal in mind – to stop the long standing dictatorship and bring back the freedom that was once lost.
Militaries, religious personalities like cardinals, priests and nuns, celebrities and the mass people have all joined hands and pushed forward a peaceful, bloodless revolution. On the opposite side of the argument however, it poses that the revolution may only be considered as a short-term success. It only provided short-term solutions and benefits after all. Indeed, we have attained democracy and regained the power that was once taken away from the people. Because of the evolution, doors were opened for change – a change in the administration, a change in the lives of the Filipino people. But that’s all there is to it by far. Moreover, the succeeding administration that of former President Cory Aquino did not actually give the people that ideal change which is promised during the revolution. In fact, there were many detractors of her governance. Issues about her incompetence and failure to deliver vital economic reforms were some of the complaints against her. There were even several attempts of military take over during her time.
Such soldiers were strongly against the corruption among her influential relatives as well as to her failure in delivering the basic services. Even though, President Cory was clear of any anomalies with regards to her, still tolerating the abusive activities of her relatives and friends didn’t escape the prying eyes of critics. In fact, these only added to their allegations against her. Furthermore, it is believed that the economy of the Philippines was better off during President Marcos’ administration. Peso had a higher value.
Many infrastructures were put up and until now, they are of use to people. The ousted president was also able to establish good diplomatic relations with foreign communities and earned himself recognition from both Asian and American diplomats. But more importantly than these aftermaths and Marcos’ contributions is the ironic misconception about the real reason for the EDSA Revolution. Many people may not know this, but the revolution was actually put into action because of a busted plan of coup d’ etat.
Former President Marcos had found out that his staffs were planning an uprising and so for them to push through their plan; they made it a public knowing. This enabled them to gather more people and thus resulted to what happened on February 25, 1987. Going over what I have discussed in the preceding paragraphs, it may be evident enough that I am not really a fan of the People Power Revolution. I don’t really believe that it has brought the change that the people at that time were looking for.
Twenty six years have passed and yet the Philippines is still not the country we have envisioned for. Corruption, nepotism, graft, favoritism and other anomalies are still present. In fact, there were still people who should have been convicted during Marcos’ time and yet are free even today. It’s true that the People Power Revolution is a remarkable event in our history. But, people should at least know what they are celebrating for. No matter how flowery they put it, the revolution, for me, is still a lie that has attained the dignity of age.