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Bayan blasts Malacanang: Duterte’s move to mute EDSA celebration is ‘dangerous’

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Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to hold “simple, quiet” commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution on February 25 was fraught with “danger” considering his efforts to sanitize the dark legacy of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In a statement, Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said: “The current regime said it has opted for simpler rites but apparently wants to mute the lessons of the struggle against the dictatorship in favor of looking towards the future. This is particularly dangerous today when there are real efforts to rehabilitate the Marcoses and pave the way for their eventual return to Malacanang.”

Reyes said celebrating People Power today has become necessary to “pay tribute to the Filipino people, the real heroes who mobilized and waged a long and determined struggle, both legal and armed, to oust the dictator Marcos.”

Duterte’s decision allowing the burial of Marcos’ remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last after November after a 27-year long wait which Reyes considered as part of “ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the Marcoses and revise history.”

What has irked the militant group the most was Malacanang’s decision to hold the People Power celebration inside Camp Aguinaldo which Reyes noted was “the headquarters of the AFP which is currently waging all-out war against the people.”

Palace Spokesperson Ernie Abella defended the simple celebration of EDSA People Power as it was “time to move on from just celebrating the past, remembering the past.”
“The emphasis has shifted. It is no longer a celebration of the past. It is now a reflection on what can happen in the future. It is a moving on from those things,” said Abella.

Bayan and CARMMA (the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang) are holding a “People’s Commemoration” on EDSA as an alternative to Malacanang’s muted celebration.

“Our protest calls on the people to resist intensifying fascist repression and state-sponsored all-out war, while pushing for the revival of the peace talks that seek to address the roots of the armed conflict. We will march along EDSA and demand genuine change, including the change supposedly promised by Duterte which he has yet to fulfill,” said Reyes.