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Three years ago, I was asked to be the vice chair of the EDSA People Power Commission. I continue to hold the position since I felt that the generation who experienced the struggle and the triumph was slowly disappearing and that this young generation could no longer relate. This celebration continues to be a national holiday, but it will slowly lose its relevance unless people see the transformation.
Let me share this with you:
For the last 33 years, we’ve been celebrating People Power Revolution. The year 1986 was basically one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever felt in my life. Many of those with us on the stage today come from different generations. Representing my generation, I was then 27 years old back then, a young kid, out of school, just starting work. But the first two years prior to the People Power Revolution basically brought out the courage in many of us to rise up and fight for our democracy and our freedom.
Today, we see a different type of revolution, the transformation from the People Power Revolution that we saw in 1986 is moving forward to a revolution that is creating greater inclusivity for many Filipino people.
Our President Duterte, his pledge to the Filipino people when he was elected was to bring about greater inclusive growth making every Filipino be part of our growing country. What the People Power Revolution thought us was the values that are very important in taking us to where we are today.
The challenge of which the generation that has come after us do not seem to have the same impact and feeling that our generation went through. It is our duty to make them realize that real democracy is essential in bringing the country to greater heights. But this democracy has to be translated, in my mind, into real economic democracy where the country is not only controlled by the rich, but eventually many of those at the bottom of the pyramid moving to the middle class eventually aspiring to become wealthy. Filipinos were never destined for poverty, I’ve always said that the transformation from the fight of democracy has to turn into a real inclusive economy. The President last week signed and swore in about 80 Muslims and government officials to the transitional committee of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
This is history, this is the next revolution that’s being transformed into what was a military revolution now an economic revolution in Mindanao. This is essential for us to see happened. In this lifetime, for the last 45 years Mindanao was ravaged, with a lot of unrest and military warfare. Finally, we see the chance of peace happening. The private sector and the government in its full force would come together in seeing that this dream of President Duterte is happening in Mindanao. Then we can say that the People Power Revolution in 1986 has really transformed into a real peaceful revolution for the entire country, not just for the Filipino people here in Metro Manila, but also for the rest of the Philippine islands.
And with God’s power, I’m sure that the spirit of EDSA will continue to live forever. Maraming Salamat!