FORMER President Fidel V. Ramos reminded Filipinos that while feat on attaining democracy was achieved during the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution that led to the ousting of former leader Ferdinand Marcos, change does not end with it.
In his speech at the 32nd anniversary of the revolution, the former chief executive said both citizens and government leaders must firmly instill the values of solidarity and unity the revolution inculcated in the past.
“Unang-una, ang ating (First of all, our) 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, ‘yon ay umpisa lamang ng ating pagbabago, ‘di ‘yan ang katapusan (It is just the start of change, it is not the end),” he said.
“The outcome, which is a better future for our Filipinos, must be done by the succeeding administrations,” Ramos said.
Joey Concepcion, Presidential Adviser for Economic Enterprise shared this sentiment saying in order to claim success, every single Filipino must achieve prosperity first.
“32 years from today, many of us, as part of the EDSA revolution have moved on,” Concepcion said in a speech. “The challenge (on) the accomplishments we achieved during those times is to see how democracy works for all.”
Since the revolution, the Philippines witnessed leadership change six times, and in every administration, Concepcion admitted not everybody agreed with how each president ran the country.
“The task is to make our economy inclusive and that is the only way that all of those who sacrificed their lives that brought about what we have today (we) will achieve their dreams of real democracy and eventually greater prosperity for all.”
Concepcion stressed that democracy in a way is not fulfilled if prosperity is achieved by only a few.
“In each leadership that we had in the past, the challenge is always how to bring prosperity to all our Filipino people. Today, we have that single chance, a leader that may bring about that opportunity to bring wealth to the least fortunate,” said Concepcion.
During the commemoration, the symbolic “Salubungan” of the military and the civilian sector was reenacted. Among others, awards were also conferred to the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), savior hero Melvin Gaa and former president Ramos.
The AFP received EDSA People Power Commission Award for the role it played in quelling terrorists in the recent Marawi siege. The same award was received by PO3 Christopher Lalan, survivor of the Mamasapano carnage, in behalf of his Special Action Force 44 comrades.
Meanwhile, the Spirit of EDSA Foundation and Good Citizenship Award was posthumously given to Melvin Gaa, who died saving 83 people from the fire that raged NCCC Mall in Davao last December.
The award was received by his wife Rosila Gaa and his mother Rosie Gaa.
This year’s commemorative program led by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) is in coordination with the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC), Spirit of EDSA Foundation (SOEF) and other national and local government agencies.
NHCP Chairman Rene R. Escalante, Acting Executive Director Ludovico D. Badoy, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero joined Ramos in the conduct of the program.
Representatives from civil society and various religious sectors were also present at the celebration.
Programs for the revolution’s anniversary will run all day. The ‘People Werpa’ another event will start at 5 p.m. Sunday and will end at around 8 p.m. at the EDSA People Power Monument in Quezon City.
Earlier, a demonstration by several groups entitled “People Power against Tyranny and Dictatorship” was held along northbound of Quezon Avenue all the way to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.