Just as what we all expected, the twentieth anniversary celebration of the EDSA People Power 1 turned out to be more than just a commemoration.
Every year, the Filipinos, whether part of a militant group or merely civilians who believe in the ideology raised by EDSA 1, go to EDSA and Ayala to remember the efforts shed by brave Filipinos who wanted change in the way the government handled its people.
This year, the celebration of that strong aspiration for change has been quite a noisy one. The observance of EDSA 1 has been countered by the president’s declaration of State of Emergency. This announcement from the president shook the nation. It also ignited the people’s pathos as to what extent the president needs to call for such a statement. The term, though is not new to us, is quite unfamiliar to the public. What does it mean if the nation is under the State of Emergency? What will it give to the president being the highest ranking official of the land? What will it do to the people? What is really happening in our nation now that such a declaration is released? Is it necessary for such a statement? Some say it’s a step before martial law. Others say it’s a milder term for martial law so to keep the people out of panic. What’s really the it?
In my opinion, the reason the president calls for State of National Emergency is that GMA herself feels that this nation is out of everyone’s control, not even under her control, if only she didn’t declare such. Consider this scenario: What if the people who rallied in the streets weren’t dispersed that early, and by such could gather a big crowd? What if those alleged coups were pursued and all the other forces joined the coup, withdrew their support from the present administration, and called everyone else to rally against the president, ask the resignation of the president and after which, everything in the constitution follows? How about if this scene happened the other day or yesterday, or is going to happen today or tomorrow?
The president has already foreseen this situation. The reason for her declaration of the nation under State of Emergency. She’s too afraid she might lose her position if she’d stay lenient and let the people be awakened again through the gatherings in EDSA to commemorate the 20th anniversary. She’s too afraid she might be taken over by just anyone else other than her, believing to herself the pride she has as the president of the Republic. I mean, at this time, there is no point of surrendering to the will of the people, to considering the legitimacy of her position as imposed by election. This time, there is no point to submit to people’s call for her resignation. Not this time. Not the EDSA celebration could crash her power; too mild a situation is for her. If she had gone through the Garci scandal, if she had prevented her impeachment proceedings, if she had gone through series of turnovers in her cabinet members just as quick and easy, then she might have been thinking that any revolt raised through EDSA could nevertheless, well, be absurd.
Let it be the case for her, but not until every Filipino heart would once again be ignited as called for by the need for change.