Metro Manila mayors are allegedly being forced to send people to attend the 30th anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution this Thursday, February 25, 2016. However, the mayors resisted and did not follow the supposed instructions from the EDSA People Power Commission. President Benigno Aquino III has declared it as special non-working holiday.
According to a report at Inquirer, the mayors are being required to ask their respective local government units (LGU) to send 200,000 people each to EDSA that day. But that’s not all. They are also allegedly asked to be responsible for the expenses for their residents who will go to EDSA. Incidentally, this will be the last EDSA anniversary under the Aquino administration.
In line with this, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said he has not received any official report about this so-called ‘Hakot’ system. He noted that Malacañang will conduct an investigation to confirm if the concerns of the Metro Manila mayors are true or not. Nevertheless, Lacierda emphasized that it is important for Filipinos to be part of the celebration.
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Meanwhile, the Philippine government has prepared a lot of activities as part of EDSA 30th anniversary celebration. Last February 15, 17 and 19, there was a series of dialogues dubbed as TalaKalayaan, wherin participants are from different sectors of society. This includes students, seminarists, military, government officials, and members of non-governmental organizations.
Last Sunday, February 21, was the launching of ’12:01,’ a youth-oriented comic book by multi-awarded author Russell Molina at book artist Kajo Baldisimo. This tells a story about a group of friends that were still out in the streets past curfew during the Martial Law under the Marcos regime. This Monday, February 22, a wreath laying ceremony was held at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
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On Thursday, February 25, is the reenactment of the ‘Salubungan’ where children and grandchildren of the so-called heroes of the 1986 People Power Revolution will participate. The program will be attended by no less than President Noynoy Aquino, the son of the late President Cory Aquino and Ninoy Aquino. Several roads will temporarily be closed that day.
As of posting, former president and now Manila Mayor Joesph “Erap” Estrada, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, and other Metro Manila mayors have not yet comment on the issue of alleged ‘Hakot’ system. And because the 2016 elections is getting closer and election campaign for national positions is on-going, Malacañang said the celebration will strictly be ‘no politics.’