The Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said yesterday in a statement that the president think that EDSA People Power revolution anniversary is “important”. Despite the contradiction to what the EDSA anniversary is celebrating about and what is Duterte’s political stance, especially when it comes to what he believes about the former President Ferdinand Marcos, the Presidential Spokesperson stated this yesterday.
According to him, “I remember he issued a statement right? He always issues a statement in support. So it’s important,” the spokesman told the media. “It’s just a celebration. Many will be there to represent him”, he added. In addition, Panelo also told the media crew that Duterte’s absence on the country’s celebration has nothing to do with his alliance with the family of former president Marcos.
It was also not so long ago that President Duterte was backed by Governor Imee Marcos, daughter of former president Marcos, during his presidential bid (2016). President Duterte then “reciprocated the Governor’s support by endorsing her senatorial bid for the 2019 polls”. On the same year, Duterte supported Marcos’ burial in the ‘Libingan ng mga Bayani’ as he believes that the former president “deserved a heroes’ burial because he had been a commander-in-chief and lawmaker”. This created a public outrage.
Panelo also explained that the President cannot attend the country’s very important event because, according to the Presidential Spokesperson, “Maraming trabaho si presidente (the president has a lot of work to do)”. Since the beginning of his term, this will be the third time that the President will missed the Filipino’s celebration of freedom and independence under the late president Marcos’ violent and brutal martial law.
During those times, many “progressive” groups and leftist movements such as Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and other “Maoist or communist leaning” groups and mass-based organizations revolted against their day-to-day powerlessness and political subjugation perpetuated by Marcos’ martial law.
In one statement, Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said, “Bayan calls on all democratic forces to commemorate EDSA anniversary and resist new dictatorship… It is important to remember EDSA as we confront the rising tyranny of the Duterte regime”.
Reyes also added, “While EDSA did topple a dictator, the rotten social system was not replaced. The social basis for the rise of a new dictatorship – elite rule, foreign intervention, social inequality – all remained”.
Meanwhile, on the same press briefing in Malacañang, Salvador Panelo also stated, “Did he attend the event last time? He did not. He has not done so for two years. So most likely, he will not attend.”.