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The EDSA Imperative

February 22, 2010

EDSA is almost a blur.

Yes, the surviving players are going through the motions of reenacting the milestone events of those four days in 1986.

Yes, the calls for unity are there along with the strains of  ‘Magkaisa’  filled the airwaves.

But one wonders ruefully if indeed the spirit of EDSA be being revalued and given more meaning as Filipinos prepare for what should be watershed automated elections.

Or do the unmitigated political bickering and erosion of democratic institutions serve to further devalue EDSA’s lessons.

It is most telling that the regime now in power is being pilloried as having exceeded the record of the dictatorship in human rights abuses and corruption in half the time it took Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

One only needs to canvass the sentiment of the man on the street.

Yes the Arroyo administration touts economic progress as its most visible accomplishment.

But the reality is the economy would have long gone under without the sustained blood and sweat earnings of Filipino contract workers abroad.

Yes, Filipinos must recapture the spirits of selfless heroism, the power to turn back menacing tanks and the return of authoritarian rule through prayer.

But this can happen only if we find leaders ready to forswear their narrow material interests, and shed  their lap dog loyalty to political patrons who gave them political favors.

Only leaders such as these can breathe new life, new meaning to people power.

This is not an empty admonition.

In some dark alley there is an emerging scenario that the coming leadership change in the military leadership could portend could be the opening moves of a draconian plot drawn up by men close, very close to a top ranking political power holder.

The democratic space we cherish so dearly must be preserved and continually enriched.

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