25 February 2015

President Aquino leads wreath-laying ceremony at EDSA People Power Monument
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday led the wreath-laying ceremony at the People Power Monument in celebration of the 29th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

The President arrived at the monument, located at the corner of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and White Plains Avenue in Quezon City, at 11:33 a.m.

He was received by Executive Secretary and Chairman of the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) Paquito Ochoa, Jr.; EPPC Vice Chairman Jose Pardo; and EPPC Commissioners Cesar Sarino and Ogie Alcasid.

President Aquino witnessed the Unity Walk of 300 uniformed personnel from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who walked towards the monument with their arms locked.

This is a reenactment of the union of forces of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) and the AFP on February 23, 1986, led by then head of the PC, former president Fidel Ramos, and then defense secretary, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Ramos and Enrile were among the proponents of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

After the Unity Walk, President Aquino proceeded with the offering of the wreath, which was followed by a moment of silence in honor of the unsung heroes who offered their lives for freedom.

Present during the ceremony were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, and other Cabinet members.

Also present were AFP Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang and PNP Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and other police and military officials, as well as Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, and other Metro Manila mayors.

They were joined by former Manila mayors Alfredo Lim and Mel Lopez, members of the August Twenty-One Movement, Yellow Ribbon Movement and religious groups and students.

President Aquino left for the Main Chapel of the Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA at 11:40 a.m. PND (ag)

President Aquino urges Filipinos to continue fighting for peace
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on Filipinos to continue fighting for peace, as the country celebrated the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Wednesday.

In a speech delivered after the Holy Mass at the Our Lady of EDSA Shrine in Mandaluyong City, President Aquino noted the importance of sympathy, love and trust in dealing with the challenges to achieve peace as he recalled what occurred in 1986.

“May imahen po mula sa EDSA People Power Revolution na tumatak sa pambansang kamalayan: Mga madreng nakaluhod, nangangamba man sa mga baril sa kanilang harapan, ay nananalig pa rin at nagmamalasakit. Sa pag-aabot natin ng rosaryo at bulaklak sa mga armadong sundalo, sa pagkakapit-bisig natin upang pigilan ang pag-abante ng tangke, napatunayan natin: Malasakit ang pinakamakapangyarihang tugon sa galit; walang mas lalakas pang sandata sa pag-ibig,” said President Aquino.

President Aquino also reminded the people on how peaceful change could be achieved, such as what happened after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, as he stressed the importance of the ongoing peace talks in Mindanao to continue despite the Mamasapano incident.

“Talagang masakit po ang nangyari sa Mamasapano. Huwag nating kalimutan na pumunta ang ating mga kapulisan doon, hindi para maghasik ng karahasan, kundi upang ipatupad ang batas. Nagsakripisyo sila para makamit ang kapayapaan, di naman po makatwiran na ang kanilang inalay para sa kapayapaan ay maging mitsa pa ng karahasan,” he said.

“Sa ngalan ng mga Pilipinong nakipaglaban sa EDSA at sa lahat ng mga kababayan nating nagsakripisyo at patuloy na nagsasakrispisyo para sa kapwa at bansa, ituloy natin ang laban tungo sa kapayapaan at kaunlarang matagal na nating inaasam,” the President said in parting.

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the people to look at each other as brothers, sisters and friends, instead of enemies.

“How do you avoid war? Work towards the eradication of this mentality, this atmosphere that makes people enemies,” Cardinal Tagle said during his homily.

He said that during the first EDSA People Power Revolution, “the Filipino showed the world our deep capacity to see a brother, a sister, a neighbor in anyone”.

“Let us look at each other as brothers and sisters. We are friends. We are all Filipinos and Filipinos have a mission to the whole world,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the EDSA People Power Commission, Executive Secretary Ochoa, said this year’s celebration of the People Power Revolution was made simple in view of the mourning period for those who died in Mamasapano last month.

For the first time in five years, the holy mass was the focal point of the celebration, he said.

This is to acknowledge that the Filipinos’ faith in God was a major element in the peaceful revolution, Ochoa said, noting that a bigger celebration is planned for the 30th anniversary celebration next year, which will be the last to be held under the Aquino administration. PND (jm)