The unfinished revolution must move on
The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang joins the Filipino people in commemorating the 1986 Edsa uprising. We pay tribute to the people who stood against the Marcos dictatorship in various avenues of public opinion, in the sanctuaries of solidarity, in the streets of protest, and in the armed resistance in the countryside.
The lessons of Edsa I live on to this day—when we opposed the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, when we kept vigil against the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses. We must continue fighting for justice and recognition for the martial law victims, for this should serve to warn fascists and human rights violators of the inevitable verdict of history.
We uphold the people’s history of antidictatorship struggle, and continuing opposition to historical revisionism. We enrich our collective memory by passing it on to the next generation, along with the greater lesson that only through militant struggle can the people overthrow dictators and fascist regimes.
Previous regimes celebrated the Edsa uprising with much fanfare while betraying the people’s aspiration for true freedom and democracy. The Duterte administration is faring no better by holding a token commemoration inside the premises of an institution that implemented martial law.
Should the Edsa uprising be remembered through reflection, as prescribed by the Duterte administration, then it shall be realized that decades after 1986, nothing has fundamentally changed. The people are still mired in poverty, oppression and exploitation. The causes of the armed conflict remain unresolved. Therefore, the people should continue to struggle for genuine development and social justice. Only then shall there be genuine peace.
As long as vestiges of martial law remain, we “move on” by remembering Edsa and taking up the challenges that the historic event has not addressed. As long as the fascists employ all-out war to suppress dissent, the people have all the right to defend themselves. No single regime can effect genuine change by itself.
We move on—the struggle continues, and should continue for as long as there is a reason for the people to rise up. After all, the people are, in the words of revolutionary poet Emmanuel Lacaba, the revolution.
BONIFACIO ILAGAN, spokesperson, Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.