REMEMBER THE TRUTH, MARCOSES ARE BACK -- FVR By Stella O. Gonzales Cardinal Sin, Corazon C.

Aquino, Image from Philippine Daily Inquirer Fidel V. Ramos, and President 23 February 1999 Joseph E. Estrada FORMER President Fidel Ramos yesterday urged Filipinos to ''remember the truth'' as he denounced the return to power of the very people toppled by the historic 1986 Edsa uprising. ''Today, a number of these people--thanks to our own democratic processes--are back in power, making the decisions that shape our lives,'' Ramos told a breakfast forum at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. ''The interests they represented are still around. They are enjoying a new-found respectability, and daring even to revise our understanding of what happened in those dark days of dictatorship--to win back, in other words, what they lost to the people in a bloodless revolution.'' The strong words were obviously in reference to cronies of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, as well as two of his children, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Imee, who are now Ilocos Norte governor and representative. Ramos, one of the key figures in the uprising, reminded Filipinos that ''Edsa is a continuing revolution--an unfinished confrontation with the forces of arrogance, greed, oppression and indifference.'' He dared President Estrada and other leaders who did not take part in the uprising to now participate in it by declaring themselves in favor of what the people did then, and promoting what the people had fought for. ''This means taking actions that will enhance rather than restrict our democracy, curbing corruption and cronyism in high places, carrying on with economic liberalization and social reform, and seeing to it that justice is delivered to the long-suffering and powerless,'' he said. ''And I mean concrete and decisive action--not just brave words or slogans that may sound good on camera but which very quickly become undone in the real world.'' The statement--made in the wake of reports of corruption in the government--was an apparent reference to Mr. Estrada's promise that he would go after anyone who violated the law, without favor to his family or friends. Still, Ramos said he was ''delighted'' that the President had ''forthrightly embraced, by his official orders, the concept that Edsa must continue in our lives.'' Opposite side Ramos chided those who were claiming to have been part of the revolt but who were actually at the opposite side of the fence. ''Every year, fewer and fewer people come to Edsa itself to commemorate our 'People Power Revolution.' This, I suppose, is only to be expected. But also every year, it also seems that more and more people claim to have been at Edsa--or were one with us--in February 1986,'' he said. He said he did not begrudge these people the right to defend themselves and to peddle their own version of history. ''But it is up to us--the people in the street, the pedestrians of the moment--to remember the truth, to recover our senses, to reject falsehood, and to rededicate ourselves to what we fought for 13 years ago: freedom from the rule of one man, one family, and one coterie of cronies, and the right and the opportunity to grow into

violence.'' Akbayan Rep. Nevertheless. under Estrada.'' 'Only 8 months' Militant groups also lamented the return to power of the Marcoses and their cronies. At the House. He said problems concerning pornography. ''to celebrate the successful comeback to the happy days before Edsa. The outspoken Sin even thanked the President ''for declaring this day a national holiday. ''About 75 percent of the Filipinos still live below the poverty line. there was good reason to commemorate Edsa because.'' he said. They could still start afresh. Edsa's libertarian .'' No change In his homily during an afternoon Mass at the Edsa Shrine. She described this year's commemoration as a ''grand reunion'' of Marcos' monolithic Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. and that anti-life and anti-family values continued to threaten the youth. party list representatives expressed regret over yet unfulfilled ''dreams. many Filipinos were still impoverished.the fullness of our nationhood. ''Mr. Beltran added: ''Now. abuse and exploitation still abounded. he said the unemployment rate had gone up to 13.'' said KPD chair Sonia Soto. Sin reminded Filipinos that they had a collective mission to uphold what was fought for at Edsa.'' Kilusang Mayo Uno chair Crispin Beltran said Filipinos had ''no reason to rejoice'' in the commemoration as ''the conditions that pushed the 1986 uprising remain and have even worsened after Marcos. Ramos said. had no access to decent housing. Yet. to build a society of peace. he noted. Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin breached expectations by not delivering scathing remarks against the Estrada administration or the return to power of the Marcoses and their cronies. the Philippines had become Asia's most vibrant example of a restored and functioning democracy. The Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya said it took the President only eight months to set back whatever gains the people may have achieved through the Edsa revolt.'' Citing labor figures.'' this was not enough to satisfy the people's aspirations for social and economic upliftment.'' he said. Ramos also said it was not too late for those who stood at the opposite side to renounce despotism. progress and justice. the Marcoses and their cronies have been fully rehabilitated and allowed to recover their ill-gotten assets. Loretta Ann Rosales said that while the uprising brought about ''formal democracy.3 percent and that an average of 435 workers were being retrenched daily. The plight of the Filipino masses is worse than before. she said. ''in union with the awakened masses.'' he said. ''Were it not for Edsa. not many of us would be here today enjoying our liberties.'' But he observed that 13 years after the revolt. and were suffering injustice precisely because of their poverty. Estrada has successfully reinstated the Marcoses and their most rabid cronies (Eduardo) Danding Cojuangco and Lucio Tan back in power. Worse.

of plunder. Jr. How times have changed. Teresa Aquino-Oreta said the restoration of democracy would not be complete if most Filipinos remained poor. Renato Magtubo said farmers had yet to taste whatever gains were made at Edsa. ''The Philippines' post-Edsa experience has shown that economic growth and democracy go hand in hand. the younger Marcos brushed off claims for compensation by the 10. even of being non-existent. Rosales particularly deplored Malacañang's proposal to tax the underground economy while offering amnesty to ''big tax evaders like Lucio Tan. Ilocos Governor Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr." but a mere "political power grab.'' Fernan also said the uprising ''will forever be the Filipinos' shining legacy of political awakening for the cause of democracy and freedom. yesterday declared that the 1986 EDSA revolt was "no revolution. With reports from Gerald G. relax the rules on warrantless arrest.ideals were not only forsaken but were also being trampled on by measures pushed by the Estrada administration.'' he said in a statement ''It was during (Marcos') strongman rule that the country lagged behind its neighbors economically. 1999 Philippine Daily Inquirer <www. saying "some" of the victims were merely motivated by "greed. require all taxpayers to disclose their assets and liabilities.'' Sanlakas Rep.inq7. People will value democracy if they see that it has helped improve their lives. Reporters FOR the past two administrations. and suspend workers' right to strike.'' Magtubo said. ''To most of them. owning the land their families have tilled for generations remains a dream. And a dream it shall remain with the Estrada administration's endorsement of stocks distribution and corporate farming. the Marcoses were accused of unsurpassed greed. ''Democracy is meaningless to a person with a grumbling stomach. At the same time. ." The statement came just a day after the country celebrated the 13th anniversary of the EDSA people power uprising that threw the Marcoses out of Malacañang.000 victims of human rights violation during the Marcos administration." The younger Marcos even expressed doubts that there were really torture victims during his father's 21-year reign. the Marcoses are accusing their victims of being too greedy. Democracy Senate President Marcelo Fernan urged Filipinos to preserve the democratic institutions restored after the> Back to Top WHAT EDSA? WHAT VICTIMS? -.'' she said. By Annie Ruth Sabangan and Dennis Carcamo.Ferdinand Marcos. Lacuarta and Volt Contreras Source: February 23.'' But Sen. These days. and of torture. She said among these were the proposals to scrap the minimum wage.

they want money. was unavailable for comment. mahirap pa rin.000 victims of human rights violation filed a class suit against the Marcoses and went on to win in the Hawaii District Court. But at the provincial capitol." Instead. "It boils down to money. Mayor Alfredo T. saying "there was no revolution. cacique pa rin. they will fight among themselves. some 10. saying the human rights victims only wanted money. Revolution is a change in social order. although they have not yet been paid until now. In 1992." . No celebrations In Tacloban City. Romualdez. The victims were awarded $2. They don't want an apology. Both groups are composed of victims of human rights violations during the martial law years. No victims "We will apologize if we have done something wrong. The amount was formerly part of the Marcos secret bank accounts in Switzerland.2 billion in damages." Marcos said. bailiwick of Imelda Marcos."Some of these people that are claiming they are human rights victims have never been victims of anything except their own greed. No apologies Marcos also rejected all calls for an apology from the Marcoses. he described the people power revolt that ousted his family from Malacañang as "a political power grab. the Marcoses and the government have agreed in principle to set aside one-third of the $580million Marcos bank accounts now held in escrow at the Philippine National Bank." he said. Leyte Gov.ÊI have always maintained that EDSA is more of a political power grab than an ideological struggle. The statement was the strongest made by a member of the Marcos family since they were driven out of power by the EDSA revolt. younger brother of Imelda. [If there is a chance to get money. Marcos also belittled the 13th anniversary celebrations of the EDSA revolution last Monday." he added. Iyung mga mahirap. and not an apology. Residents said this was the first time in 13 years that the city did not mark the event. We have not even seen that the so-called human rights claimants do actually exist. The Marcoses have taken on a higher profile since President Estrada took office last July. "And I think their true colors are showing because kung mayroong pag-asang magkapera." "There was no revolution. city officials did not celebrate the EDSA people power anniversary. More recently.] He was referring to reports of a feud between Claimants 1081 and the Samahan ng Mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (SELDA)." Marcos told newsmen. Remedios Loreto-Petilla held an EDSA anniversary program "to remind the people that EDSA restored democracy in the country. Iyung mga cacique (landlords). mag-aaway-away na rin sila." Marcos said in an interview with newsmen in his office at the Ilocos capitol. Estrada is a friend of the Marcoses.

the plunderers and human rights violators. the nerve." "It seems he is in a fantasy world. it is revolting and disgusting. The other demands include an apology." [It was as if they had forgotten that they were kicked out of thePhilippines because of what they did. that was the best thing a leader could do to protect an endangered democracy. In a statement to news agencies. an admission of wrongdoing. iyan ang isang kahanga-hangang gawain ng isang lider na protektahin ang naghihingalong demokrasya ng bayan. saying it was one of the best things that Marcos did for the country. these issues will be resolved and put to rest once and for all. Cobarrubias expressed longing for martial rule. Marcos loyalist Cherry Cobarrubias denounced the EDSA celebrations.] --With a report from Inocencio Maderazo . Karapatan and SELDA executive director Marie Enriquez said. Better under Erap Marcos added that his family was receiving better treatment under President Estrada than under previous presidents. including the human rights claimants. He even raised the possibility that the Marcos issue will be put to rest within Estrada's term. the Swiss money. Santos Lamban of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) pointed out that the a US court had already awarded $2." she added. Etta Rosales (Party-List. At the same time. another political detainee. He said this only showed that the Marcoses were really guilty of human rights abuses. iyung mga pinaalis nandiyan na ulit. and Imee." she added. Rep. [Especially when Marcos declared Martial Law. branded Marcos "a historic ignoramus.2 billion to the 10.000 human rights victim. said Marcos needed a "reality check. "To hear Bongbong saying this. saying the family was pretending to be blind to history.] "It's like a nightmare. Mate said Romualdez should have held an EDSA anniversary celebration regardless of his affiliations. a former political detainees and member of Claimants 1081. This presidency coddled the thieves. I think there is a distinct possibility that in his term. 'Historic ignoramus' Rep. parang nalimutan na nila na pinaalis sila sa Pilipinas dahil doon sa ginawa nila. SELDA officials added that compensation was not the only demand of the human rights victims." she said." he said. and we as a family and we as a country can put all these things behind us. Heherson Alvarez. Blind Human rights groups angrily challenged Marcos' statements on the victims of martial rule. and the prosecution of the Marcoses. Sanlakas). saying the social and economic situation in the country only deteriorated after Marcos left.Former city mayor Uldarico E. "The President has shown sincerity in his effort to resolve the issues surrounding the cases. "Lalong lalo na nang si Marcos ay nagdiklara ng Martial Law. "How do you expect the son of a dictator who is like an isolated prince to know reality?" Rosales said.

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