Yesterday’s celebration of the 34th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power I drew the least crowd since the country started observing the historic event that restored democracy following the departure of the late Ferdinand Marcos from Malacanang.
According to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and Quezon City Police District (QCPD), only 400 people showed up at the People Power Monument — the lowest ever number of attendees.
“It’s better — lesser people, means less trouble,” declared NCRPO director PBrig. Gen. Debold Sinas.
In 2019, police recorded a total of 1,459 attendees during the EDSA anniversary.
This year’s attendees also finished their program earlier than the 10 a.m. schedule they made.
In 1986, an estimated two million Filipinos trooped to EDSA to force the late strongman Marcos out of Malacanang.
PSG: No chance for any plot
For the outgoing top security aide of President Rodrigo Duterte, the overwhelming support of the Filipino people is the best shield of the Commander in Chief against any ouster plot, which surfaced before the start of the EDSA celebrations on 22 February.
Erstwhile Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra said that with the solid support of the people, any attempt to oust Mr. Duterte will fail.
In a text message to Daily Tribune, Niembra also cited the full support of the 135,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the President.
“It will not succeed,” Niembra said.
“The people love him and the majority support him, including the AFP,” he added.
A group called “Bunyog,” led by a certain Ricky Tomotorgo, who his followers claimed uses the alias Enzo Recto (insurrecto), has called for the ouster of Mr. Duterte.
However, Bunyog’s plan to muster enough support flopped.
Among the issues being raised against the Duterte administration are the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States, the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), press freedom in view of the questioned ABS-CBN franchise, the arrest order against former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and the continued detention of Sen. Leila de Lima.
Unite vs communists, terrorists
Meanwhile, the AFP, in commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, urged the public to work with them in fighting communist rebels and local terror groups.
In a statement, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Filipinos must work together in the quest for peace and progress.
“Let us once again unite with the AFP in neutralizing the communist terrorist group — the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing and defeating the local terrorist group anathema who wreck the lives of our children, destroy our families, and ruin our posterity,” Arevalo said.
“Let us reject and fight the members and leaders of the communist terrorist group and Daesh-inspired local terrorist groups who are menace to society,” he added.
Arevalo said the whole military force joins the Filipino nation in remembering the peaceful uprising in 1986, noting that this is the day in which every citizen must manifest unity, resolve, courage and determination.