By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
A bloodless and peaceful uprising, the Edsa people-power revolution on February 27, 1983 was a gift of the Filipinos not only to their country but also to the whole world.
This was the message of Ambassador Crescente Relacion during the 27th anniversary celebration of the historic event at the new Philippine mission office in the Jelaiah area yesterday.
“It was a bloodless and peaceful uprising which ousted an authoritarian regime,” said Relacion, adding that many similar uprisings happened in other parts of the world after the Edsa revolution, citing the fall of the Berlin wall, the ouster of Suharto in Indonesia and the Arab Spring.
Attended by mission staff, overseas Filipino workers and representatives of various Filipino groups, the celebration highlighted the life of a hero, Ninoy Aquino, through a film showing. His death triggered a revolt that led to the downfall of a dictator, which then restored democracy in the Philippines.
Relacion said the Filipino uprising became a model of people power struggle in the whole world, inspiring many nations to unseat their corrupt and authoritarian regimes through peaceful and bloodless means.
“At that moment, we showed to the world that Filipinos are capable of great courage in moments of overwhelming adversity,” he added.
The envoy also urged Philippine schools in Qatar to hold film showing about the life of Ninoy and what transpired during the revolution.
“Let’s tell our children and the future generations of what transpired in Edsa 27 years ago and the lessons we learned from it that never again in the history of the Philippines will we ever allow a single man to dictate the course of our nation,” he said. He also cited a quote saying: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Many younger Filipinos who were born in Qatar do not have knowledge about Ninoy and the Edsa people power revolution.
The documentary film featured his struggle as an ordinary person, a journalist and a senator who wanted to bring back democracy to the Philippines. From being a war correspondent of The Manila Times, he was elected as senator. Then he was jailed for seven years by the dictator during the Martial Law years.
Suffering from a heart illness, the regime allowed him to travel to the US for medical treatment. Then after his recovery, Aquino decided to go back to his country where he was assassinated at the Manila International Airport.
In a press statement, President, Noynoy Aquino stressed that “the lesson of EDSA is not just about gaining back our freedom by overthrowing a dictator but also using this freedom to inspire Filipinos to forge ahead towards progress.”
Reiterating that the peaceful revolution serves as an inspiration to all, he urged Filipinos to work hand-in-hand in achieving “sustainable progress and inclusive growth.”
Noynoy, or popularly called “PNoy”, is the son of Ninoy and the late former president Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino who is known as the first female president in Asia. Time Magazine named Cory as its “Woman of the Year” in 1986.