EDSA after 25 years, its relevance for social change*
Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
February 25, 2011
On the 25th year of the EDSA uprising, we recall the triumph of the Filipino people in toppling down the Marcos dictatorship, and reaffirm its revolutionary character as reflected in the struggle for the people's collective aspiration to be free from fascist rule.
Twenty-five years after EDSA, however, no fundamental social change has taken place. Terror and chronic poverty under the post-Marcos puppet regimes continue to hound the Filipino people. In fact, social deterioration is staggering: people have been pushed to suffer poverty far worse than before; many have become politically disenfranchised, and thousands remain landless and jobless.
Graft and corruption are more deeply embedded than before; bureaucrat-capitalism is entrenched even further, as proved by the Arroyo clique's acts of plunder and the recent AFP scandals. Rabid militarism continue to victimize workers and peasants, as shown by the bloody Mendiola, Hacienda Luisita and Maguindanao massacres, and the human rights violations and extra-judicial killings that go unabated until now, with impunity.
Marcos's rigged snap-elections as well as all post-EDSA I national elections use massive fraud and treachery to ensure the ruling class's hold on power. Even the automated election of 2010 was believed to have been pre-programmed or electronically-rigged in favor of the scion of the "mother" of democracy.
Large-scale mining, logging and agri-business companies in Mindanao and throughout the country continue to plunder the country's natural resources, which has resulted in the irreversible destruction of the environment, and have brought about monstrous calamities that have claimed the lives of thousands.
In truth, those who greatly benefitted from EDSA 1 have been the anti-Marcos faction of the ruling class of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords -- mainly, the Aquinos, the Cojuangcos, the Lopezes, Enrile, Gen. Ramos and other "balimbing" generals, and former cronies such as Lucio Tan. The families of the ruling class have had taken advantage of the first EDSA uprising to legitimize their power grab.
This was repeated with the rise of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her ruling clique after EDSA II. The Arroyo regime has had exploited EDSA 2 to later on wield Marcosian edicts and tactics during its reign and keep itself in power, servile no less to the interests of big landlords and big bourgeois compradors, and its imperialist master.
US imperialism took advantage of both EDSA I and II by throwing its support to whomever among the ruling elite can win back the "confidence" of the people and assure at the same time that foreign monopoly interests in the country are preserved.
Given that both EDSA I and II have had been exploited by the reactionary bourgeois classes for their rule to continue after Marcos, an EDSA-type of uprising, clearly, can never lead the nation towards a thorough-going revolutionary change that follows the path of peace based on social justice, sovereignty and genuine democracy.
There is, however, a true revolution that is presently taking place: It is the people's nationalist and democratic revolution, one that is advancing from the countryside to encircle stretches of towns and cities across the archipelago, aiming to eventually dismantle feudal, bourgeois and imperialist economic monopoly and political power.
This real revolution, which carries with it the people's aspiration for genuine land reform, nationalist industrialization, true democracy and sovereignty, is advanced by the alliance of the workers and the peasant classes alongside other progressive and positive forces. It is led by the Party of the working class.
In light of these, the NDFP-Mindanao urges the Filipino people to denounce the empty promise of bourgeois democracy offered by the ruling class through their egotistic and obscure view of the EDSA uprising. We must solidly unite to take the road of genuine revolutionary change through the national-democratic revolution with a socialist perspective, and pave the way for the realization of our aspirations.
Long live the revolutionary spirit of the EDSA uprising!
Carry on with the National-Democratic Revolution!