On People Power
SESC Statement on the 35th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution
On this day, 35 years ago, the Filipino people took to the streets and successfully overthrew the Marcos Dictatorship. Diverse sectors of Philippine society came together, and, through their peaceful and collective effort, ended a regime that stifled our civil liberties, destroyed the economy, and set back the nation’s development for decades.
Today, the UP School of Economics Student Council commemorates this momentous victory for democracy and human rights. We remember especially the crucial role of the University’s student movement in empowering others, mobilizing, and keeping alight the torch of resistance.
However, as we celebrate this occasion, we must also remember that in many ways the Revolution is not yet finished. The overthrow of Marcos was only supposed to be the beginning of our path to freedom and prosperity. Despite this, it is clear that progress has been slow in the decades after the ouster - that power simply returned to the traditional political elite while oligarchs and the former dictator’s cronies retained control over the economy. As we continue to fight against the rising tide of authoritarianism, let us also remember that Duterte’s continued popularity is buoyed by the failure of successive administrations in delivering on the promises of People Power.
In the pursuit of realizing EDSA’s promises, we call on the nation to never forget the tyranny that made the Revolution necessary. We call especially on the youth to step up, make their voice heard, and deliver the vigilance that the defence of democracy requires of us all.