Relive the Spirit of the EDSA People Power Uprising

February 25 marks the 37th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Uprising. That day i­­­n 1986 was a glorious moment in our history when Filipinos showed unity, courage, and vigilance to oust the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., who flew with his family to Hawaii. Ironically, we are now again under the leadership of another Marcos. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. came to power more than six months ago after one of the most divisive elections in the country.

Our current situation under President Marcos Jr., seems to show that the promise that was the 1986 People Power Uprising have been squandered.

Inflation is rising and the value of the Peso continues to shrink. Prices of food and basic necessities continue to soar especially agricultural products that were affected by various policies on import liberalization including that of the Rice Tariffication Law. This situation lies in a backdrop of massive joblessness and worsening poverty while only a handful few are getting richer.

The Marcos Jr. administration has also inherited Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s machinery against legitimate dissent like the Anti-Terrorism Law, the Anti-Terrorist Financing Law and the notorious National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Thus, constriction of civic and democratic spaces continues as various forms of human rights violations and more vicious patterns of attacks against human rights defenders, including church people, have resulted to a more dangerous landscape of impunity.  The life-threatening practice of red-tagging is still very prevalent as the NTF-ELCAC intensifies its attacks against well-meaning organizations and personalities.

Militarization, along with the government’s all-out war, continues to rage in the countryside as the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines remains in limbo.

Drug related killings continue. According to the UP Third World Studies, there were already 210 drug related killings from July 2022 to February 15, 2023 under  the Marcos presidency1. However, despite the global clamor against the previous administration’s bloody drug war, the Marcos Jr. administration declared that it will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court.­

While the US bases have also been driven away a few years after the EDSA uprising, they are now back. The Marcos, Jr. administration has agreed with the United States to expand the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to cover more “strategic areas”. Under EDCA, the US is allowed to build structures within Philippine military bases where it can pre-position troops and weapons. This travesty on the country’s sovereignty is a big threat to peace as it will drag us into conflicts that we should not be a party to, not to mention the social costs of high US military presence.

Even in this dark context, when historical revisionism is on the rise, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines is inspired by the words of Prophet Isaiah: “Justice is pushed aside; righteousness stands far off, because truth has stumbled in the public square, and honesty can’t enter. Truth is missing; anyone turning from evil is plundered. The Lord looked and was upset at the absence of justice. Seeing that there was no one, and astonished that no one would intervene, God’s arm brought victory, upheld by righteousness… (Isaiah 49: 14-16). We thus call on our member churches and the Filipino people to relive the spirit of the 1986 EDSA People Power Uprising and let us be God’s arm for truth, righteousness, peace, and justice.

Signed:

24 February 2023

REV. FELIPE B. EHICAN, JR.
Chairperson

RT. REV. JOEL O. PORLARES
Vice Chairperson

DR. GAY B. MANODON
Vice Chairperson

MA. KAY CATHRINE F. ALMARIO
Vice Chairperson

MS. MINNIE ANNE M. CALUB
Acting General Secretary


1 https://www.facebook.com/up.twsc?ref=name