Thursday, August 16, 2007
EDSA 1986 as a Critical Historical Juncture
In the history of the world, there will always be a critical juncture in which the people in a sovereign nation will rise up against the immense socio-economic and political contradictions that have besieged their very existence as a people. Events like these are replete not only in the developed world, as in the case of the French, Russian and American Revolutions, but also in former colonies of the great superpowers. The Malaysians, under the leadership of Sukarno, emerged victorious in their British struggle for independence, and so have been the Vietnamese, in their struggle against the French until their victory against the Americans in the 1970s, among other heroic stories of relentless struggles of a people in revolt. However, there is no more historic event that is no more important and transformative event in the Pacific region in the twentieth century than the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution in the
On the 21st of September, 1972, the late dictator President Ferdinand E. Marcos placed the entire
Aquino’s assassination lit a fire of protest which the country had not seen before. In the months ahead, its flames raged in the city and countryside. Ugarte Field in
Nonetheless, as the Filipinos were already enraged at the senseless assassination of a high-ranking leader of the anti-Marcos movement, the militant ferment to change the Marcos regime started anew in the years 1983-1985. Street protests were once again swelling to levels unseen during the entirety of martial rule, to the extent that it forced President Marcos to commit a serious political blunder – the calling of a snap presidential elections in which he fought against the widow of Sen. Aquino, former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. Expectedly, the snap elections was marred with massive cheating that election officials walked out of tabulation centers in disgust and both presidential candidates conducted their own inauguration addresses. On the other hand, a military coup was already brewing at the general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the
In all of these, it can be safely said that the EDSA revolution is the most transformative event that occurred in the Pacific region in the twentieth century because it convincingly proved that despite decades of oppression, exploitation and fascist rule, a peaceful path towards democracy, peace and social justice is still possible. The Philippine experience showed that political power does not ultimately emerge from the barrel of the gun but from the sovereign will of the people. It teaches a lesson on liberal democracy which has been emulated in many parts of the world up to now, including the peaceful Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the bloodless yet militant people power in Venezuela – that the fate of democracy cannot only be determined through the ballot but also in very direct means of assertions of sovereignty such as cross-sectoral mass mobilizations that can make or unmake the existence of any despotic regime in the reins of powers.
- Baron, Cynthia S. and Suazo, Melba M. 1986. Nine Letters: The Story of the 1986 Filipino Revolution.
. Gerardo P. Baron Books. Quezon City, Philippines
- Pimentel, Benjamin. 1989. The Unusual Journey of Edgar Jopson.
- Republic of the
. September 21, 1972. Presidential Proclamation 1081: An Act Placing the Entire Philippines Under Martial Law.. Philippines
- Schock, Kurt. 2005. Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies.
. Minneapolis, USA Press. Universityof Minnesota
- Simbulan, Nymia. April 17, 2007.Email interview to author.
- Tatad, Francisco. 2006. The Beginning of a Revolution. http://library.thinkquest.org/15816/thebeginning.html.
- Tuazon, Bobby. April 18, 2007.Email interview to author.
- Villegas, Edberto. April 18, 2007.Email interview to author.
 Republic of the
 Benjamin Pimentel. The Unusual Journey of Edgar Jopson. 1989.
 Prof. Nymia Simbulan. Email interview to author. April 17, 2007.
 Dr. Edberto Villegas, PhD. Email interview to author. April 18, 2007.
 Prof. Bobby Tuazon, Email interview to author. April 18, 2007.
 Francisco Tatad. The Beginning of a Revolution. http://library.thinkquest.org/15816/thebeginning.html.
 Pimentel. op cit.
 Villegas, op. cit.