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Remnants of the Peaceful War
Freedom. That’s what we all want.
There is nothing more fulfilling than experiencing the freedom to exercise our rights. There is nothing more comforting than a united nation. There is nothing more heartening than being in peace.
Thirty-six years ago, Filipinos came together to fight the militaristic regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. The People Power Revolution would be an event that would change the country’s history. A tale that would be spoken for decades. An occasion that would perhaps be difficult to find today: a fight against war with peace.
Now that the people are once again given the opportunity to pick their next leader, many would not want to experience the same perils, moreover letting their predecessors face what they have faced. The pain of the past has not been forgotten, and perhaps it never will be.
Leading up to that moment of the rally was a series of torments. The country’s foreign debt increased from $600 million to $26 billion in Marcos’s 20-year rule. The value of the peso decreased, and a dollar would be equivalent to P18.60.
With the increasing poverty in the country, Filipinos were forced to work overseas to provide for their family. Later, labor export would be an official policy. Other families that stayed were forced on simple corn and rice meals, as income would never be enough.
Marcos’s influence was spread massively. His people dominated the significant industries, incurring loans. The Congress was dissolved, and the media was shut out. He replaced them with his own men and created his “New Society”.
With all these events, was it really a “golden age”?
Anyone who dared protest against his regime was arrested, even tortured, and killed in his reign. Historians believe that 3,257 known extrajudicial killings marked the Marcos dictatorship. Moreover, there were 35,000 documented tortures, 77 ‘disappeared’, and 70,000 incarcerations. Furthermore, one could not forget the brutal murder of his rival, former senator Benigno Aquino, Sr.
Thirty-six later, after everything we’ve been through, can the country redeem itself?
The Philippines is in increasing debt. Its people are crying for compassion, justice, and will. The revolution in EDSA will be a lingering reminder to all of us. Will we make the same mistake or learn? In this day and age, we have a voice, and we can make a choice.
With the election drawing near, the future is in the hands of the country’s voters. We shall not disappoint the people who sacrificed themselves more than thirty years ago. Never again should history repeat itself.