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EDSA People Power Revolution

The Philippines was praised worldwide in 1986, when the so-called bloodless revolution erupted, called EDSA People
Power’s Revolution. February 25, 1986 marked a significant national event that has been engraved in the hearts and
minds of every Filipino. This part of Philippine history gives us a strong sense of pride especially that other nations had
attempted to emulate what we have shown the world of the true power of democracy. The true empowerment of
democracy was exhibited in EDSA by its successful efforts to oust a tyrant by a demonstration without tolerance for
violence and bloodshed. Prayers and rosaries strengthened by faith were the only weapons that the Filipinos used to
recover their freedom from President Ferdinand Marcos’s iron hands. The Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) stretches
54 kilometers, where the peaceful demonstration was held on that fateful day. It was a day that gathered all Filipinos in
unity with courage and faith to prevail democracy in the country. It was the power of the people, who assembled in EDSA,
that restored the democratic Philippines, ending the oppressive Marcos regime. Hence, it came to be known as the EDSA
People Power’s Revolution.

The revolution was a result of the long oppressed freedom and the life threatening abuses executed by the Marcos government to cite several events like
human rights violation since the tyrannical Martial Law Proclamation in 1972. In the years that followed Martial Law started the
suppressive and abusive years–incidents of assassination were rampant, particularly those who opposed the government,
individuals and companies alike were subdued. The Filipinos reached the height of their patience when former Senator Benigno
"Ninoy" Aquino, Sr. was shot and killed at the airport in August 21, 1983, upon his return to the Philippines from exile in the
United States. Aquino’s death marked the day that Filipinos learned to fight. His grieving wife, Corazon Cojuangco-
Aquino showed the Filipinos and the world the strength and courage to claim back the democracy that Ferdinand Marcos arrested
for his personal caprice. Considering the depressing economy of the country, Ninoy’s death further intensified the contained
resentment of the Filipinos. In the efforts to win back his popularity among the people, Marcos held a snap presidential election in
February 7, 1986, where he was confronted with a strong and potent opposition, Corazon Aquino. It was the most corrupt and
deceitful election held in the Philippine history. There was an evident trace of electoral fraud as the tally of votes were declared
with discrepancy between the official count by the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) and the count of NAMFREL (National
Movement for Free Elections). Such blatant corruption in that election was the final straw of tolerance by the Filipinos of the Marcos
regime. The demonstration started to break in the cry for democracy and the demand to oust Marcos from his seat at Malacañang
Palace. The revolt commenced when Marcos' Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and the Armed Forces Vice-Chief of Staff
command of Fidel V. Ramos, both withdrew their support from the government and called upon the resignation of then President
Marcos. They responsibly barricaded Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo and had their troops ready to combat against possible
armed attack organized by Marcos and his troops. The Catholic Church represented by Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin along with
the priests and nuns called for the support of all Filipinos who believed in democracy. Radyo Veritas aired the message of Cardinal
Sin that summoned thousands of Filipinos to march the street of EDSA. It was an empowering demonstration that aimed to succeed
peacefully with the intervention of faith. Nuns kneeled in front of tanks with rosaries in their hands and uttering their prayers.
With the power of prayers, the armed marine troops under the command of Marcos withdrew from the site. Celebrities expressed their support putting up a
presentation to showcase the injustices and the anomalies carried out by the Marcos administration. Finally, in the morning of February 25, 1986, Corazon
Aquino took the presidential oath of office, administered by the Supreme Court Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee at Club Filipino located in San Juan.
Aquino was proclaimed as the 11th President of the Republic of the Philippines. She was the first lady president of the country. People rejoiced over their
victory proving the success of the EDSA People’s Power Revolution, the historic peaceful demonstration. Although in 2001, there was an attempt to revive
People Power in the efforts to oust then President Joseph Estrada, it was not as strong as the glorifying demonstration in 1986. The bloodless, People Power
Revolution in EDSA renewed the power of the people, strengthened the meaning of democracy and restored the democratic institutions of
government. Continue to the 5th Republic (1986) up to the Present Time.