Not crazy for Edsa I @30 | Inquirer Opinion

Not crazy for Edsa I @30

12:05 AM March 01, 2016

CRONYISM IS still endemic. A new set of oligarchs has repackaged themselves. Corruption is still prevalent. Plunderers are living it up. Penury is still appalling. And we remain largely backward.

Rights violators still strut around. Victims still cry for justice. Political prisoners still abound. Rallies are still blocked. And those that Edsa I put in power are now drunk with power.

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The military thinks we are all communists. And the communists are the “usual suspects.”

The police body mass index is still horrible. Criminality is even more pervasive.

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The law remains a tool of the high and mighty. The courts remain frustrating to many.

More migrants are in exodus. Many farmers remain landless. Many workers stay as slaves.

Children still die of simple illnesses. Many of our youth are clueless of the lessons of history.

Trapo get themselves as stinky as they could. Congress is essentially a rubber stamp. Elections essentially remain a circus and a musical chair game.

GI Joes are still here. Or did they ever leave at all?

Our islas bonitas have been exploited, defiled and sold to the devils; our lives mortgaged.

And yes, we have voted the remorseless “imeldific” Imelda Marcos back in power, and we might have a reinvented Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as our next president soon. And Gloria Arroyo is running even as she is sick. While Juan Ponce Enrile is, well, just sick. The successors of torturers and other rights violators Ver, Aguinaldo and Abadilla are resurrected in Palparan, Baladad and Zaragoza.

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If this is what Edsa I is after 30 years, then we are not crazy for you.

That we have run full circle is an indubitable indictment of the past and present administrations that allowed this.

So instead of the hullabaloo, drama and fanfare, it is time to be honest for once. Instead of resorting to populist romanticism, we need to take stock and really change things fundamentally. Instead of cynically accommodating the poor and exploited and the hypocritical showcasing of exceptions rather than the rule, it is time for redress, if not karma. The people must take back the power. Over time.

So what’s wrong with just celebrating Edsa I @30 and allowing things to change even as they remain the same all these years?

A whole damn lot.

—EDRE U. OLALIA, secretary general,National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, [email protected]

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