Arroyo hit over ‘self-serving’ statement
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s statement about how the world does not need another EDSA is “self-serving” and that Filipinos will always have a reason for a popular revolt for as long as she stays in power, her critics in and our of government said Monday.
Arroyo was quoted as saying that the world would not forgive another EDSA revolution because it would show the Philippines as being politically unstable.
The first EDSA revolution was in Feb. 25, 1986, three years after former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was assassinated at the then Manila International Airport and his widow, Corazon, led the military-backed popular uprising that toppled 20-year dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The second was in January 2001 when then president Joseph Estrada, after a three-year stay in office, was ousted by another military-backed and bloodless uprising that installed Arroyo, then vice president, in power.
“That’s a self-serving statement when in fact the world at that time honored us. She [Arroyo] is the one who besmirched EDSA,” said Leah Navarro, a convenor of the Black and White movement.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said Arroyo’s statement would only show that she was an ingrate.
“After benefiting from people power, she now condemns it as a political aberration. She has in fact attempted to quash it every chance she gets. Such an insecure president,” said Reyes, referring to several protests that called for Arroyo’s resignation.
Navarro said Arroyo’s “holiday economics” or order to move the holiday from Wednesday to Monday was also not good because it did not show the true meaning of EDSA.
“I wish they would have thought of something else…who is she trying to avoid?” said Navarro. She added that Arroyo also never paid attention to the EDSA 2 anniversary last January.
Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teodoro Casiño said in a text message said people power was an “antidote to corrupt leaders like her who undermine democracy, violate human rights, and abuse state power. No wonder she is so paranoid.”
Casiño said that contrary to the President’s statements, the world would be more unforgiving if the Filipinos abandon people power and allow the rule of another tyrant.
Another partylist lawmaker, Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis, said “Filipinos will always have just reasons to protest and oppose Arroyo’s brand of corrupt and repressive leadership.”
“What would be highly unacceptable to the people all over the world is another Gloria. It is Ms Arroyo who never learned from the lessons of people power,” Mariano said, stressing that “the political and economic bases for another people’s uprising exist.”
“Ms Arroyo’s perpetuation of unabated and large-scale corruption, gross human rights violations, desperate clinging to power to the extent of declaring a state of emergency in 2006 and the planned Charter change, and subservience to US dictates fuels people’s resistance and highly condemnable to the world’s people,” Mariano said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Aquino will not participate in any activity to commemorate the people power revolution because she will undergo chemotherapy this week for her colon cancer, according to her spokesperson Deedee Sytangco.
Navarro said there were would be no rallies because they were also considering the current financial crisis.
Speaking Sunday at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) in Taguig City to mark the start of a four-day commemoration of the 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Arroyo said that another upheaval would earn “condemnation” from the rest of the world.
“The world embraced EDSA I in 1986. The world tolerated EDSA II in 2001. The world will not forgive an EDSA III, but it will instead condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable,” she said.