“Low key” is how this year’s commemoration of the February 1986 civilian-military uprising known as EDSA 1 is being described by the Duterte regime. There will be none of the “Salubungan” (the meeting of the key leaders of the mutiny and defecting police and military officers) that had been part of the celebration since the overthrow of the Marcos regime. Instead of its being celebrated at the People Power Monument on Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in the vicinity of Camps Crame and Aguinaldo, whatever rites will mark that event 31 years ago will be held in the the latter military camp.
Keeping politics out of the five days of mourning after her death last August 1st until her funeral last Wednesday seemed especially incongruous. In the end the initially earnest efforts to keep politics out had to yield to the obviously political message the very presence of the throngs flooding the streets — and some of the placards they were holding up — were sending.
Few have remarked on it in recent days, but Corazon Aquino was not only politically active until the time of her death, having opposed charter change and added her voice to the clamor for Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo to resign. She was also the first woman president of the Philippines, which was itself a fact of far- ranging political significance.
In 1987, a libel suit filed by then President Corazon Aquino against Philippine Star columnist Luis Beltran alarmed press freedom groups. In a column on the failed 1987 coup, Beltran had playfully (and inaccurately) described Mrs. Aquino as the first commander-in-chief in the country’s history to hide under a bed during the attempted assault on Malacanang by Gringo Honasan’s putschist gang.