MANILA – President Benigno S. Aquino III Feb. 24 used the People Power Anniversary celeberation at EDSA to rally the people to his crusade to free the country from the bondage of what he described as a “two-faced judiciary.”
“As we tread the right path together, I am confident we can achieve a free society that is rid of a two-faced judiciary that espouses justice that is partial,” the President said after offering wreaths at the monuments to his late parents, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon C. Aquino, in Rizal Park in Manila to commemorate the 26th anniversary of EDSA.
“We all had chances to correct our mistakes in the past and fill the gap of those mistakes in history. If you want to stay in the old system, go ahead and play deaf, blind, and mute and do not participate,” he said, speaking in Filipino. “But if you agree that there is something wrong in our past system that needs to be reformed, let us join hands and do things right.”
Later in the day Aquino signed a pledge on the Commitment Wall at the People Power Monument, White Plains,Epifanio de los Santos Ave, (EDSA).
His pledge: To do things right every day “as we remember the freedom fought by Filipinos during the 1986 People Power Revolution on EDSA.”
Aside from the President, governors belonging to the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) led by ULAP National President Alfonso Umali Jr., members of religious organizations, and ordinary Filipinos wrote their pledge on the Commitment Wall.
Camarines Sur Gov. El Rey Villafuerte pledged unity in the government, progress, and prosperity for the country, while Albay Gov. Joey Salceda hopes for more tourists in the country; Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto”
Mangudadatu and Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza pledged a peaceful and progressive Philippines; Palawan Gov. Abraham Kahlil Mitra committed environmental protection, good governance, and transparency,
while Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman said it is the first time in two decades that ARMM has joined the celebration of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
Also signing were People Power Commissioner Jose Pardo, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president and chairman Miguel Varela; Francis Chua, president, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industry-Philippine China Business Council; Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) president Edgardo Lacson, Federation of Filipino – Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) president
Tan Ching; and President of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) Sergio Ortiz – Luis, Jr. All of them pledged to help the country in accelerating economic growth, providing more jobs, enhancing
target for export, promoting Filipino products, and boosting corporate social responsibility programs.
Aquino also witnessed the presentation of a plaque of recognition to this year’s Spirit of EDSA Foundation awardees. The trophies were presented by Edsa Foundation founding chairman Chris Carrion to this year’s awardees – Mark Benjamin Lozano and Catherine Felicia Marie Peralta.
He likewise witnessed the “Salubungan” rites of the military, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious groups, business, youth, and government sectors. A helicopter dropping yellow confetti
completed the “Salubungan,” while the crowd sang “Handog ng Pilipino” and “Bayan Ko.”
Among those who attended the 26th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution were Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada, Senate President and former Defense Minister
Juan Ponce Enrile, Senator Gringo Honasan, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Cabinet members, and local government officials. The event was also attended by former
Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino III, chairman emeritus of the August Twenty-One Movement (ATOM).
In his homily during the anniversary mass at the EDSA Shrine, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle said EDSA is not about leaving it to elected political leaders to re-create a new, peaceful community.
Rather, it should follow the Lord’s way – look for co-workers to create a peaceful environment.