As the nation celebrates the 27th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, Akbayan Youth calls on the youth to carry on the spirit of the people power by remembering the struggles carried on by earlier generation of youth and students, women, farmers, workers, common folk and academics, among the multitude of others culminated in toppling over the dictatorship and reinstating a democratic government.
Akbayan Youth Spokesperson JC Tejano said that these struggles have paved the way for the restoration of democratic freedom and rights curtailed under martial law years. “We, the youth of today, exercise and enjoy democratic freedom and rights. We owe these to the past generations who suffered and fought under martial law,” Tejano said.
Tejano said that the passage of the Marcos Compensation Law, although belated by more than two decades, is a triumph of the people’s clamour for the continuous quest for truth and justice.
“We commend the Congress and the Aquino administration for the passage of the law,” Tejano said. “It recognizes and compensates thousands of victims of the Marcos dictatorship. Yet, more than that, we look at the law as setting the records straight and establishing the facts that the Marcoses and their cronies continue to revise in favour of the dictator. Marcos was never a hero. He was a tyrant, a liar, a plunderer, a murderer. Those who say otherwise are proven wrong first by history, second by this legislation,” Tejano added.
Akbayan Youth calls on the youth to not keep calm just because our basic civil liberties are guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution. Do not keep calm just because People Power is already part of Philippine history.
“We call on the youth to continually be vigilant. EDSA People Power Revolution and its lessons should always be imbibed in our collective memory. We must learn from our Martial Law experience and embody its lessons for us to break loose from the tendency to repeat it,” Tejano said. “The spirit of the People Power must flourish in our democratic institutions and processes, such in the upcoming May 2013 elections,” Tejano added.
“We urge the youth to support progressive candidates and vote on the basis of track record and platform, instead on names and popularity. Ultimately, we call on the youth to carry on that spirit of People Power. That is, the spirit of reclaiming our collective freedom and democracy, not just in the streets but in reclaiming politics through the exercise of our right to vote intelligently,” Tejano said.
Akbayan Youth, together with Akbayan Party and the ML@40 Coalition, strongly campaigned for the passage of the Marcos Compensation Law. Further, Akbayan Youth has initiated last year an on-going democracy exhibit for the current generation to revisit and relearn the lessons of martial law and people power revolt.###