The President of our Republic did not show up for the second time in the already two Edsa People Power celebrations during his administration. Though he sent message calling the entire nation for unity and strengthening the gains of the 32-year old bloodless revolution, this wheelchair observer would like to echo and convey what I perceived are the meanings of his non-appearance. All meanings are DU30’s philosophy in politics and challenge to the nation’s thinking mind as I personally view them.
For example, he said that let us strengthen democracy. A run of the mill words in speeches. But when Duterte was the one that uttered the words, it splattered multiple meanings. As if he is asking history on what happened after thirty years. And perhaps, it will lead us to revisit history. His words expose how volatile the world and the word we often called “democracy.”
Since the Spanish time, the American time, even in the Japanese occupation, in the post war era, in martial law time and up to the advent of modern technology, the strengthening of democracy is the battle cry for different kind of struggles. But when Duterte was the one talking about it, the word chiseled questions in the tablet of epistola and wake-up call chronicles. Again, what happened after 32 years that sprout many political colors and unending greed in the spoils of war? Questions that are actually chilling and jolting, seriously.
His messages and thoughts about the Edsa commemorations even before his ascendancy were all double-bladed. Is there a hidden meaning about the words commemoration and celebration? What are to be commemorated and to be celebrated? Did Mr. Webster, the Oxford dictionary and the great lexicographers like Samuel Johnson, Eric Patrigde and even J.R. R. Tolkien have perfected the meaning of commemoration and celebration. If these words were bladed, have they sharpened it? DU30 is using the words as a Swiss-made razor.
DU30 is a divergent leader and very much poles apart to other leaders outside Malacanang. He is not an ordinary gavel holder or baton player as shown in his leadership and in handling the Philippine affairs domestically and nationally.
DU30 himself is a message to the nation. From nowhere and literally nowhere, God gave us Duterte as the president. The message is why Duterte while multiple battle-scarred aspirants were available fighting to the bones to be president?
The President’s statements for both years were all generics. But his lines were two-edged sharp knives that can inflict wounds and pains to sensitive and mind-mapping people.
Even his opting not to attend Manila’s commemorative rites for the EDSA uprising have meaning. Is he needed there? The absence of the incumbent President in that important national event is a soul-searching picture of what really happened to the nation after 32 years. Why Duterte preferred a retreat in his city instead of joining the barrage of noise and music and speeches in the world famous Edsa.
Sabi niya, “I enjoin the entire nation in commemorating the 32nd Anniversary of the People Power Revolution. More than three decades ago, we have shown the world how a people’s courage and resolve can alter the course of our nation’s history. Since then, the People Power Revolution has become the enduring symbol of our determination to fight for what is right and – during our country’s most crucial and trying times – to defend and uphold our cherished democratic value.”
Sapat na sapat ang mga pangungusap na ito upang himayin natin ang kanyang mensahe. He gave extra emphasis in his statement, “to defend and uphold our cherished democracy.” These words drove me to recall the proletariat in one labor uprising in Europe that shouted: “Don’t give us dozens of motherhood statements. We need the offspring.”
Are there words and thoughts about the grand celebration Duterte opted to keep in his heart and soul. Definitely many. Just read the languages in DU30’s body locomotion. Again, what happened after 32 years of annual celebration and restaging what happened in February 1986. Have we drawn the map of giving the Filipinos what should be given to them? Have we defined the 17 sustainable developments that the Filipinos should enjoy after Edsa Revolution. Do we move, define and prepare the table to serve these goals to the people after 32 years.
What are these goals?
(1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere (2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (3) Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages (4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (6) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (7) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all (9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation (10) Reduce inequality within and among countries (11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development (15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.
These are all basic needs and not cerebral in whatever ways.
Narito pa ang mga pangungusap ni DU30 tungkol sa Edsa.
“May this occasion foster unity and solidarity as we pursue our hopes and aspiration for the nation. Let us further enrich our democracy by empowering our citizenry, defending their rights and strengthening the institution that safeguard their freedoms.”
“Foster solidarity and unity.” So beautiful and awesome words. Again, the bells are tolling a simple message. Are solidarity and unity best defined in the dictionary of meanings to lessen the errors?
Why instead of attending the rites at the Edsa People Power Monument in Quezon City, the President preferred to stay in his home province in Davao City?
There is a beautiful line in the world famous musical “Les Miserables”.
It runs like this: “There are words that are better unsaid and better unheard.”
Whether said or unsaid, heard or unheard, DU30s message are strong double-bladed wake up calls.