By NITZ ARANCON
UNLIKE in previous years, neither city hall nor the capitol organized a single activity to remember the 1986 Edsa “People Power” Revolution yesterday.
Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano merely gave pronouncements, mostly motherhood statements, about the 33rd Edsa 1 anniversary.
The bloodless revolt that restored Philippine democracy in 1986 has been celebrated here each year until recently. The annual tradition began during the administrations of Pablo Magtajas and Vicente Emano who led Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, respectively, after the first Edsa revolution.
Cagayan de Oro was a known seat of the opposition during the latter part of the Marcos years. It was the birthplace of the Mindanao Alliance of the then opposition leaders Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Homobono Adaza and Reuben Canoy.
After the Mindanao Alliance’s breakup, Pimentel’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP) completely merged with the Laban ng Bayan (Laban). The PDP-Laban is now the administration party.
Mayor Oscar Moreno said city hall decided not to organize any Edsa celebrationelated activity “kay ang sentro sa Edsa ‘People Power,’ didto ra man gyud sa kaulohan… didto sa Edsa.”
Despite the absence of fanfare here, Moreno said people should not forget the bloodless revolution that has been emulated in other countries.
Yesterday was a holiday but there was a skeletal force manning some important city hall offices.
Misamis Oriental board member Gerardo Sabal said the capitol also had no Edsa celebration activity. He said there was no order from Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano for capitol officials and employees to gather at the capitol grounds for a ceremony.
Sabal said neither was there any Edsa celebrationelated activity at the provincial board.
There was no explanation for the absence of fanfare at the capitol.
But Gov. Emano, whose father figured prominently in the local opposition to the Marcos rule in the ’80s, issued this statement:
“We believe in the democracy that Filipinos in the Philippines are enjoying right now. We thank those who offered their lives in extending efforts to achieve lasting peace and development in the countryside. How much more if we scratch barriers and end political division, we can reach greater heights that our people well deserve.
“Today’s 33rd year commemoration of the People Power revolution can be a good venue to campaign the end of painting political colors. We must cut the rope of being tied from our political differences. The hope of our fatherland is counting on us, the leaders who should model the spirit of forgiveness and forgetfulness.
“We may have followers and die-hard supporters, but we, being who they’re looking up to, have the responsibility in telling them: ‘We follow and die for the truth and for the general welfare of our dear brothers and sisters who are still suffering from scarceness of opportunities to live normally and decently.’
“Once again, we salute those behind Edsa People Power revolt in February 1986. But, please be reminded that the revolution does not mean solely against the so-called dictatorship of the Marcos regime. The real uprising must be against poverty and lack of opportunities brought about by our political disunion.”