World condemned Edsa II, not Edsa III—Erap

February 23, 2009





Former President Joseph Estrada yesterday stressed that it was the Edsa ll coup d’ etat staged by then Vice President Gloria Arroyo and her coup plotters in 2001 and not the masses’ Edsa lll that has been condemned worldwide.

Sought for reaction over the warning of President Arroyo that the Philippines would turn into an international pariah if its people staged another uprising, bloodless or not, to unseat those in power, Estrada said that experts locally and internationally have declared that “the rule of law was set aside for the rule of force in Edsa ll.”

“Edsa 1 was accepted, with President Cory. But it was Edsa ll where the whole world said that this was wrong as this was done outside of the Constitution,” Estrada said.

“It was said that the rule of law was set aside and that the rule of force prevailed. Edsa l was destroyed because of the coup that was Edsa ll. Edsa l was admired the world over, which is why this event should be celebrated. Edsa ll was wrong, which is why it is not being celebrated,” he stressed.

At the same time, Estrada agreed with Mrs. Arroyo’s call for unity and reconciliation if this will benefit the nation but said reconciliation must be done with the masses first.

In a telephone interview, he mentioned his concern about working with the administration that has been greatly tainted with graft, particularly in projects the proceeds of which he said only line some officials’ pockets.

San Juan City Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito for his part said it would be the masses who would ultimately decide if President Arroyo should be pardoned or not.

“It is not a problem with me to unite. But she has to first reach out to the masses and there should not be corruption in her government,” the former leader said, adding that now is not the time to talk about politics, as he urged the Arroyo administration to come up with immediate measures against the global

financial crisis that has left thousands of Filipinos jobless.

He also urged President Arroyo to ensure food security for the masses, amid various scams now being prevalent such as allegations of rice and poultry smuggling.

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar Binay said the Arroyo administration is deliberately downplaying the real meaning of Edsa 1, with the end of totally erasing its significance from the people’s memory.

“If we allow the Arroyo administration to have its way, Edsa l will end up as just a typical holiday, rather than a pivotal period in our history,” he said.

Binay said Edsa l gains special meaning under the regime of Mrs. Arroyo.

“The conditions that led to Edsa l have resurfaced. And it took only eight years of Mrs. Arroyo to undo the legacy of Edsa l and bring this country on the road to uncertainty,” he said.

“The world looks kindly and admirably on a people that assert their right to live in dignity. When the democratic avenues are shut down by an intolerant regime, the people have no recourse but to assert themselves. This is one key lesson of Edsa l that Mrs. Arroyo refuses to acknowledge,” he said.

“Church heroes” of Edsa l yesterday scored Mrs. Arroyo’s claim that the world won’t accept another people power uprising, saying she doesn’t have the right to say so.

“No one can tell except God,” said Bishop Teodoro Bacani, adding that another upheaval is possible and if its reason is justifiable, the rest of the world would still accept it.

He said what the country needs right now is for the people to unite again if only to defeat the alleged rampant corruption in the government.

Sisters Ping Ocariza and Sr.Terry Burias from the Daughters of Saint Paul congregation also echoed the prelate’s claim that only heaven could tell the fate of the nation.

Burias, for her part, said they are ready to face the same challenges of Edsa l if the time calls for it.

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero Monday stressed that the Filipino people always have the right to oust an oppressive, and corrupt leadership. “It is an inherent right. This is what Edsa is all about,” he said.

Escudero pointed out that it is the people who ultimately decide to exercise this option when all legal and constitutional means have been exhausted to change an untenable political situation.

In an earlier interview with Reuters news agency, the opposition senator said while Mrs. Arroyo has turned out to be a “bad president,” he does not think there will be another Edsa revolt “provided there will be elections” in 2010.

“This one (Mrs. Arroyo) has clearly been a bad president and nine years is too long,” he added.

More opposition figures scored the Presidentonn her speech during the commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of People Power 1.

In a text message, Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño said People Power is the ultimate antidote people can resort to against corrupt leaders.

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan yesterday called Mrs. Arroyo an “ingrate” for her remarks on the “popular revolution” that toppled then strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and brought her to power in 2001.

“We could say she’s an ingrate,” Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bayan. “After benefiting from people power, she now condemns it as a political aberration. She has in fact attempted to quash it every chance she gets. Such an insecure president. She forgets that anywhere in the world, people power is still the answer to tyrants and corrupt leaders. She’s clearly on the wrong side of history,” Reyes said.

“What would be highly unacceptable to the people all over the world is another Gloria. It is Ms Arroyo who never learned from the lessons of people power,” Mariano said yesterday.

Mariano said that “the political and economic bases for another people’s uprising exist.” With Jason Faustino, Charlie V. Manalo, Pat C. Santos, Gerry Baldo and Tribune wires







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