Return of ‘darkest days’ warned during EDSA People Power rally

Bayan Muna Partylist chairman Neri Colmenares speaks at a rally to mark the 37th anniversary of EDSA People Power in front of the Fountain of Justice at Araneta Street in Bacolod.*Bayan Muna photo

Bayan Muna Partylist chairman Neri Colmenares on Saturday, February 25, said “EDSA is not a place, but our victory as Filipino people united against corruption, poverty dictatorship, and abuse of our human rights”.

Colmenares, who spoke at a rally in front of the Fountain of Justice in Bacolod to mark the 37th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that ousted Ferdinand Marcos Sr., called on the Filipino people to continue the struggle to prevent a repeat of the abuses of the past.

He said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s offer of reconciliation “should not be just for show and should be based on sincerity,”

“Many victims of human rights violations during his father’s regime still have to be reparated. A means to show his sincerity in calling for unity is by returning to the ICC (International Criminal Court), resuming peace talks, and addressing impunity. Such moves would do well to show that he is a different man from his predecessor,” Colmenares said.

Marcos on Saturday said “I once again offer my hand of reconciliation to those with different political persuasions to come together as one in forging a better society — one that will pursue progress and peace and a better life for all Filipinos”.

Bayan Negros, which spearheaded the rally in Bacolod on Saturday, in a statement said the Marcoses’ return to power is a “fraudulent victory” already ushering a return to some of the country’s darkest days, particularly for Negros.

“Similar to Marcos Sr.’s martial law rule is the militarization in farms. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has made a war zone of Negros’ farming communities, with multiple reports of bombing, hamletting and murders staged as fake encounters with armed rebels,” it claimed.

As our resources are being exploited or neglected and farmers mistreated, food supply and inflation are issues that will certainly worsen, Bayan Negros said.

As self-appointed Department of Agriculture head, Marcos sees importation as the answer to our food and inflation crises, failing to heed the calls of farmers for aid and genuine land reform, it added.

Marcos Sr.’s dictatorship lasted 20 years partly due to the changes made to the Constitution, which is threatening to repeat itself now under his son, it said.

“Extending the presidency under Marcos Jr. and providing him with more power will not be for the benefit of the Filipino people,” Bayan Negros said.

The calls from the EDSA Revolution 37 years ago to hold the Marcoses accountable remain the same, it added.*

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