Monday, February 20, 2012

EDSA Revolution - The Enduring Legacy, The Tough Lessons of EDSA

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the most important Edsa 1986 players - his breakaway from the Marcos regime was one of the triggers of that historic revolt - continues to enjoy an enviable place in history.

Day after day, since January 16, people have seen him live on national television steer the nation through a most important phase: the unprecedented impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

People hold on to his every word, praise or criticize it, but basically they want to listen because they want to be led by someone they can trust. His voice at this week’s Edsa anniversary commemorations is one of those most awaited.

In an interview with the BusinessMirror, Enrile described Edsa thus: “It was an event that was done by the people at the time of extreme social torment in the country. It was cited in the return of the right of the people to elect their leaders. Although, I must tell you that during martial law, the people who were in it from 1970 onward were elected. Although from 1974 all the way to 1977, there was no one elected. But the people who remained in office as mayors, councilors and governors were elected. Only the elections of senators and congressmen and the periodic elections of local officials have been suspended during that period. If you remember, we had the first national election for all local officials in 1980. There was a reason why that happened. It did not happen just like that. It happened as a consequence of a clash of ideas inside the administration.” Then he added cryptically, “Let historians find out.

Asked what other lessons from Edsa could we apply today, Enrile replied: “Di ba nagkaroon tayo ng disunity and social spasms. I’m not saying these could not happen again. In the life of a nation, you cannot tell what would happen. You are peaceful today; tomorrow you may be in turmoil. In turmoil today, tomorrow may be like a typhoon that passed….[and then] you have calmness.”

Pressed to elaborate on whether he believes the key lesson is reunification, the Senate President said, “The lesson is that we should follow the laws of the land meticulously.”

But he was evasive when asked if such an upheaval was possible again if the current leaders do not follow the law of the land. Obviously, because his role in the impeachment trial has put him occasionally on near-collisions with the Executive and the Judiciary, Enrile said, “I will not answer that question.”

So, what is the relevance of Edsa to us now, 26 years after? In Enrile’s view, it is this: “We have regained our freedom, supposedly from what others considered an oppressive government, although that is debatable.

Read further news from SOURCE.


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