ON MONDAY, the Philippines will be commemorating the 27th anniversary of EDSA 1 — The 1986 People Power Revolution which freed us from the clutches of a tyrannical ruler.
To mark the momentous occasion, President Benigno Aquino III will likely sign a landmark bill that would provide just compensation to thousands of human rights victims during the Marcos era.
“The EDSA People Power Revolution, which restored and ushered political, social and economic reforms in the country, serves as an inspiration to Filipinos everywhere, as a nation and as a people,” Pres. Aquino said.
The Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 sets aside and appropriates a P10-billion fund (plus accrued interest) for the victims, and will be “sourced mainly from funds transferred to the government by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and held in escrow,” reported Philstar.com.
“The deposits, including interest, currently amount to $625 million. The funds were recovered from the Swiss bank accounts of the Marcoses,” Philstar.com further said.
However, as of press time, Secretary Manuel Mamba, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office chief said that this is only “a tentative proposal” and that it has not been finalized yet.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) has announced, through a press release, that learning modules containing lessons of EDSA 1 were due to be released this week in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said “that the lessons of the critical markers in Philippine history are not lost in generations of Filipino,” according to the press release.
“EDSA People Power is about freedom, democracy and unity which we should always protect and cherish,” Luistro further added.
The modules were developed by the National Educators Academy of the Philippines of DepEd, in congruence with Presidential Proclamation No. 224, which mandates the commemoration of EDSA People Power Revolution.
“This is our modest contribution in creatively promoting the values of EDSA,” Luistro emphasized.
“Equally important, we want our young to protect our sovereignty and uphold freedom and justice at all times,” he further added.
For those who witnessed one of the most memorable key moments in our country’s history, celebrating the victory of EDSA 1 would serve as a reminder that even as ordinary citizens, we are equally responsible in safeguarding the democracy that we’ve fought so hard for, during those dark and dismal years of the Marcos dictatorship.
As the late President Corazon C. Aquino once said, “I don’t have any formula for ousting a dictator or building democracy. All I can suggest is to forget about yourself and just think of your people. It’s always the people who make things happen.”

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