MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino will lead various activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first EDSA People Power revolution today, acknowledging that much remains to be done because real democracy means freedom from corruption and poverty.
In his message yesterday at the two-day “People-Powered Development,” a local government unit forum on integrating community-driven development in local governance practice at the Heroes Hall of Malacañang, Aquino said his mother, former President Corazon Aquino had said that the true meaning of people power got a different face –not the millions of Filipinos marching through EDSA nor the placards bearing former senator Benigno Aquino Jr.’s face nor the nuns holding rosaries but rather preparedness –“preparedness to fight corruption and preparedness to fight poverty.”
Aquino’s mother was installed president during the EDSA revolution in 1986, which came three years after his father was assassinated in 1983 after long years of fighting the Marcos dictatorship.
The President said people power should not only happen when pushed against the wall and with no choice but to fight.
Aquino thanked the local government officials in helping him in building the nation.“We are aware that not one person holds the solution to all our problems,” Aquino said.“This is one manifestation that the spirit of people power is alive in your hearts and minds,” he said. Aquino said instead of bickering, local government officials must lend a hand to one another, stressing that changes would begin at the local level especially in fighting corruption and poverty.
Aquino said the true spirit of Edsa was people empowerment, which was very much alive in the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (linked arms against poverty)-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services.
The 33 mayors implementing KALAHI-CIDSS projects in their respective municipalities received commendation from the President for their good performance. “Thank you to these leaders. I will not have second thoughts in calling you heroes if you are indeed government’s partner in fighting corruption by not stealing from government coffers and by fighting poverty as well through your pro-poor projects,” said the President, who will attend today a wreath laying at his mother’s monument in Manila, unveil a historical marker at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in Ortigas and partake in a boodle fight, among others.
President Aquino will likewise lead today the unveiling of a marker on a spot at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration building where his mother addressed the people during the 1986 revolution.