Tragedy of Edsa
Some bemoan while others (like left extremists who ironically pooh-poohed people power and were not in Edsa) harshly protest against the fact that the Edsa revolution has failed to transport Filipinos to a better socio-economic place.
This failure is due to the victory of people power being a myth. Edsa was a rebellion of the Enrile-Ramos-Honasan faction of the ruling Marcos clique. They won their revolt because an oppressed Filipino people saw the opportunity of ousting a hated dictator and shielded the rebels literally with their bodies from the dictator’s guns.
Because it was their rebellion, victory was also theirs. Hence, they and not the people who backed them took over the government from the Marcos faction. They extolled and thanked people power with honeyed words but stopped there as they installed a member of the oligarchy as (puppet?) president and buckled down to running the country as it had always been run before, exclusively for the benefit of the privileged ruling class.
Thus, after Edsa it was back to the old grind for the serfs of feudal Philippine society. The people who won it for the rebel trio, enraptured by what they mistook for sweet victory, completely failed to realize that they only succeeded in putting in power one faction of the oligarchy over another. They completely missed noticing that in terms of political power they came out of Edsa empty-handed.
This lack of realization continues to this day.
The Edsa revolution has failed to transport Filipinos to a better socioeconomic place due to the victory of people power being a myth TInstead of uniting to curtail the power of the elite so economics and politics might become more inclusive, people are instead separately choosing which faction’s camp to give their loyalties to. ORLANDO CARVAJAl Columnist
Instead of uniting to curtail the power of the elite so economics and politics might become more inclusive, people are instead separately choosing which faction’s camp to give their loyalties to. The marginalized sector is scattered around the different political camps and siding with the political lord whom they believe will do them enough of the right favors.
The current election campaign is a case in point. Candidates, feudal lords all, yak against the same social problems that have stymied this country since independence and salivate with the same empty promises for solutions. But Filipinos instead of raging as one against their traditional slaughterers, so to speak, are content to choose who their slaughterers will be the next time around.
On one side, the tragedy of Edsa lies in the ingratitude of the elite that assumed power after it. They would not have come out of it alive if not for people power. Yet they have run the country as if they owe the people nothing.
On the flip side the tragedy lies in the people’s failure to see that they did not win but simply helped some oligarchs win at Edsa. For people power to secure a true victory and wrest power from the elite, it has to start its own rebellion, hopefully peacefully again.