An open letter to the Filipino people on the EDSA spirit:
No I am not Socrates Villegas who is writing to the dead Cardinal Sin.
No, I am not a bishop nor a priest, nor an oligarch nor a politician nor a yellowist nor a RAM nor a loyalist.
I write because I lived through those times and the incredulous twisting of scenarios and justifications must be exposed. Enough of self proclaimed heroisms, of romanticized patriotism, of false “por la patria”. EDSA was not a revolution by the people. It was a government takeover.
Cory did not win the snap election. Marcos did. NAMFREL together with those who walked out during the votes’ tally conspired to make it appear that Marcos cheated to win. Of course, there was cheating. From both sides. Without the “cheating” votes, Marcos still won.
Enrile and Honasan planned the coup way before EDSA. They were discovered and were about to be arrested when they holed up in Camp Aguinaldo that fateful weekend. Cardinal Sin and the political opposition plus the deposed power elite and the age-old entrenched oligarchs took the chance to drive Marcos out. Just like in Rizal’s Noli and Fili, the bishops and the hacienderos ruled.
A million plus Filipinos trooped to EDSA out of the 64 million living then. They were a miniscule segment. It was not a protest. It was a concert. It was a fiesta. Sure, they sang “Bayan Ko” with such fervor. But love of country was more than just singing.
There was an insignificant blood shed other than the killing of some loyalist troops because the Armed Forces of the Philippines refused to shoot at each other. There was honor among brothers in arms.
Marcos with all the evil ascribed to him, refused to fire on the Filipino people and attack the rebel forces. Even in his impending doom, there was no desperation to use whatever force necessary to cling to power. The “evil” dictator did not want to shed the people’s blood.
It was a coup d etat initiated by Enrile and Honasan. Ramos was a Johnny-come-lately. It was not their military genius that won the battle. It was the rest of the AFP’s refusal to fire at their comrades in arms.
EDSA did not have a spirit to start with. It was about a bunch of plotters’ desire to survive and the bishops’ and power elite’s hijacking. Cory was just a tool with Ninoy’s blood to annoint her. The puppeteers had their last say.
There is nothing to celebrate in Marcos’ departure and in the oligarch’s and traditional politicians’ retaking of the government. The poor remained poor, the marginalized, the debased, the maltreated, the exploited, the beggars and the the prostitutes never had the chance. EDSA was a drug to lull the masses to thinking theirs was a moment of greatness, their indelible mark in history. Truth was, EDSA was their continuing misery.
No, I am not Socrates Villegas.
I write this, because precisely, I am not.