Twenty five years after the historic EDSA People Power I, we are in a much better position to evaluate the legacies it left behind.
One undisputed achievement of EDSA I was that it put an end to the dictatorial Marcos regime. The kind of democratic set-up which eventually replaced it starting with the Cory Aquino government harks back to the pre-martial law years of governance which basically was an elite democratic system which in one sense is a contradiction in terms for how can an elitist system be democratic at the same time?
People say we are democratic because we elect freely our public officials. At the same time the kind of people being elected but more especially the program and policies that gets to be implemented do not really reflect the wishes and interest of the vast majority which a democratic set-up is supposed to ensure.
Then the majority of those elected especially to Congress and the Senate belongs to a narrow circle of traditional political families who really do not put the interest of the majority at the forefront of their concerns.
We see this in how graft and corruption at the very top has flourished with some occupant of Malacañang getting involved in these anomalies even as they try to suppress the truth and protests over these through the use of massive deception and coercion.
The failure of succeeding governments after Marcos to push through any meaningful economic programs for the peasantry and the workers of the country show the elitist and foreign bias of the government. So joblessness, hunger and despair continue to haunt many Filipino households especially in the rural areas and squatters colonies in the urban areas.
The absence of national industrialization and the continuing adherence of succeeding governments to the neo-liberal programs prescribed by the International Monetary Fund has kept our economy exposed to various international financial and economic crisis leaving many of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families vulnerable to various kind of political and financial shock waves.
These are the nitty gritty issues of day-to-day existence which many have chosen to ignore when evaluating the legacy of People Power I. That faction of the elite who were then out of power and wanted to take over from Marcos and his cronies are not too concern about day-to-day living because they have the resources to tide them over unlike the vast majority of our people whose lives operate on a day-to-day basis. And so the unavoidable differences in perspective as we try to assess the legacies of People Power I 25 years after.
For the overwhelming majority of our people, there was only a change in the face of the leadership and nothing substantial and meaningful in their daily lives changed , while for the members of the elite who recovered their wealth and were restored to power – it is always something great to celebrate. # nordis.net