PGMA's Speech during the Flag Raising Ceremony in Celebration of the 24th Anniversary of the Peaceful EDSA People Power Revolution
People Power Monument, EDSA, QC
February 25, 2010
Thank you, Secretary Ermita.
Other members of the EDSA Commission; former President Ramos, one of the key players of EDSA; Mayor Belmonte; Mayor Lim; other officials of the Philippine government both civilian and military; ladies and gentlemen; mga kababayang Pilipino.
In February 1986, Filipinos taught the world how to be free again. Today, almost a quarter century after that glorious revolution, we join in celebrating -- please sit down to those who have seats -- we join you in celebrating the bloodless revolution that has inspired many peoples all over the world to stand up for their own freedom. Peaceful revolution is a hallmark of the Filipino struggle. It is also our guide now as we wage war on various fronts: against poverty, against hunger, against ignorance.
People Power is the force that we will use to win this war.
People Power is not partisan; it is not about whose politics one supports. It is about the heroism of the many who held strongly to their faith in the Filipino and who have sought a new Philippines that would stand proudly beside any free nation in the world. It is a spirit that brought to the fore the greatness of the Filipino. The greatness that is continuously manifest today in the millions of our countrymen and women who make their own daily sacrifices so that our country can turn around.
The world embraced EDSA 1 in 1986.
The world tolerated EDSA 2 in 2001.
The world will not forgive an EDSA 3 but would instead condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable. Under these circumstances who would invest, foreigner or Filipino in the Philippines; how would we weather the difficulties arising from the global economic crisis.
The Philippines has come a long way since 1986. We regain our freedom and our national pride but somewhere along the way we became complacent.
People Power gained a partisan meaning which started to divide the nation once more.
A few years ago I declared, that one of our goals is to heal the wounds of EDSA to some extent but not necessarily to the extent that we want it, we have achieved this to some extent. Most of those who used violence to express their opposition have a change of heart and are now working with mainstream society to fast track our growth.
The few who have vowed to fight the constitutional authority many of them are now seeking their own place in our political system placing themselves under the Rules of the Constitution.
Today at EDSA, we celebrate not only EDSA's historical role in people power but its role as the main artery of the metropolis.
After this ceremony here in EDSA Shrine, we will walk along EDSA once again, not in order to wage a peaceful revolution but instead to do something that is very important to our future -- the future of our economy.
We will inaugurate, we will walk to the nearest MRT-LRT station and inaugurate the closing of the loop that connects the LRT and the MRT, and therefore that will bind the metropolis as never before so that people can travel faster, cheaper and safer from any part of the metropolis to another.
EDSA 1 is a testament to the courage of the ordinary people who troop this stretch of highway in 1986. Today's EDSA we troop again this stretch of highway as a testament to the quiet heroism of the ordinary Filipino -- the commuter who travels the MRT or the LRT everyday to and from work, to and from school.
This commuting Filipino is a symbol of the Filipino that will bring us to the verge of first world in 20 years.
Mabuhay ang People Power! kaya Mabuhay ang karaniwang Pilipino!
Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.