Former DILG Secretary Reveals Possible Failures of EDSA Uprising and the Unfinished Revolution

Former Cabinet member and head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG, Secretary Rafael "Raffy" Alunan revealed the possible failures of the Unfinished EDSA People Power Revolutions of 1986.


Sir Raffy remembered the glory days of the 1986 EDSA revolutions that happened 32 years ago, particularly the last four fateful days in February 1986 when the revolt morphed into a peaceful People Power Revolution.

Raffy Alunan remembered how the Filipinos came togehther as one nation in heart and mind, from EDSA to other parts of the archipelago, to free themselves from the yoke of the authoritarian rule.


According to Raffy Alunan the Filipinos missed the truth and the big picture that the Marcos regime symbolized our society's brokennes; that we were the problem we had to fix; not "pasismo," "communismo" or "feudalismo," but "TAYO MISMO."

Here's the Complete Statement of Former DILG Sec. Raffy Alunan:

The unfinished revolution

So here we are, 32 years later after those four fateful days in February 1986 that began as a revolt and then morphed into a peaceful People Power Revolution. For four days, especially the last three, the Filipino came together as one nation in heart and mind, from EDSA to other parts of the archipelago, to free themselves from the yoke of authoritarian rule that started with the common good in mind but ended in self-service 14 years later. But after 32 years, we find ourselves still mired in traditional politics and divided all the more by injustice, exclusion, impunity, poverty and insurgency.

Last Thursday, the Camera Club of the Philippines headed by Sonny Camarillo invited former President Fidel V. Ramos, Pastor “Boy” Saycon and I to share our thoughts about the Revolution. We focused on the elusiveness of national unity. We reminisced that in February 1986, for one brief shining moment in our history, Filipinos from all walks of life set aside their walls of division and came together for a common purpose to open the doors to real change, "tunay na pagbabago." Unfortunately, we quickly lost sight of our goal when traditional politics re-emerged from the shadows to dominate our lives to this day.

EDSA was about a heaven-sent golden opportunity to change our "ugali" – our attitudes and behavior such as apathy and gross negligence - driven by a deeply embedded culture of self-interest and entitlement that infamously tolerates and accommodates greed, crime and corruption. We said it was about unity of purpose for self-reform to forge ahead and build our nation for future generations. We needed to acknowledge that we were the problem and that the solution could only come from within our hearts and minds. That, to us, was the real revolution – transforming ourselves into better Filipinos for a better Philippines.

Unfortunately, we're still divided. Instead of taking advantage of the window we opened to usher in real change, we squandered it. We didn't let go of our "ugali," which was why martial law was allegedly imposed in the first place, and the same reason why it failed. Traditional politics never left, we didn’t stop it and it has divided us all the more. It has a family business mindset where gaining a government position is the sure fire way of enriching oneself and staying in power. A study by the Ateneo School of Government shows that the top 15 poorest provinces in the country are governed by political dynasties.

The 1987 Constitution mandated an enabling law to define and ban political dynasties. Thirty years later, the country remains in the grip of “fat” political dynasties that occupy multiple positions of power all at once in the government – national and local, elected and appointed. The Ateneo study also revealed that provinces exhibiting lower levels of poverty arise from “thin” dynasties that lord it over their constituencies one after the other following a systematic plan of succession. The reason we still don’t have an enabling law is because Congress is ruled by dynasties who obviously refuse to give up their power.

In 1972 President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in order to create a new society, free from the grip of the oligarchs that controlled the economy and the lives of the Filipino people. Unfortunately, absolute power created another oligarchy called the “cronies” and brutally suppressed any opposition, including perceived competition for power from within that led to JPE’s revolt in February ‘86. The trouble was that most of us had the wrong notion that if Marcos was deposed, our problems would be over. We missed the truth and the big picture - that the Marcos regime symbolized our society's brokenness; that we were the problem we had to fix; not “pasismo,” “comunismo” or feudalismo, but “TAYO MISMO.”



How can we unite when our “ugali” reflects a moral crisis? Do we ever admit our mistakes and make amends? Do we internalize, learn bitter lessons, and voluntarily reform like mature adults? Do we first weigh if our actions will harm or benefit the greater good? Do we identify ourselves as Filipinos before we say what our regional, religious or tribal links are? Do we ever think and act as a united cohesive society working for the national interest? No to all that. We remain selfish, parochial, greedy, unethical, unjust - the very opposite of what it takes to be solid citizens for nation building.

We talk about our problems to death day in day out, but don't do anything to address the root cause - our “ugali. We’re unable to reinvent ourselves into becoming better Filipinos for a better Philippines. We’re unable to form a Team Philippines that can be better than the others. It’s still the other way around and we’re consistently falling behind. That's why there's a lot of anger and violence. Now, we have a President whose heart is in the right place, but doesn't have the critical mass to help him effect real change. That’s because we remain passive and a deadweight to the call for “Tunay na Pagbabago.”

We're trapped by our “ugali.” We’re stuck to our corrupted ways that, for perspective, provided the basis and justification for martial law, only for the regime to fall into the same black hole it tried to stop in its early years. We have yet to break free and reinvent ourselves to create a new Filipino, 32 years after EDSA. We cannot hope to compete and survive in the 21st Century, and beyond, if we don't acknowledge that we are the problem and that the solution lies in our hands. We must mend our fences, make things right, close ranks and unite to build a strong nation for our children.

Our national reputation for unfinished business is notorious. We must bring closure to the many walls that divide us. We must finish our journey towards “pagkakaisa” and “pagbabago” that we started at EDSA in February 1986. That’s the vision and mission. Long live the Spirit of EDSA!




Source: Rafael Alunan FB Page

Former DILG Secretary Reveals Possible Failures of EDSA Uprising and the Unfinished Revolution Former DILG Secretary Reveals Possible Failures of EDSA Uprising and the Unfinished Revolution Reviewed by Phil Newsome on February 26, 2018 Rating: 5
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