Marcos calls for 'unity, reconciliation' on his first EDSA anniversary as president

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Marcos calls for 'unity, reconciliation' on his first EDSA anniversary as president
Then president-elect Bongbong Marcos is in tears as he visits tomb of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
The STAR / Edu Punay, File

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sent his "warmest greetings" to all Filipinos here and abroad who solemnly recall the 37th EDSA People Power Anniversary, a popular uprising which ousted his father from power in 1986.

Late Thursday, Marcos moved the February 25 regular holiday to Friday as a special non-working holiday, with the Department of Labor and Employment calling Saturday just an "ordinary working day."

"As we look back at this moment in our country's history, we remind ourselves that despite the polarizing and divisive nature of our politics, it is our capacity for peace, unity and reconciliation that made us great and worthy of global acclaim as a people," Marcos said in a statement released by the state-run Philippine News Agency.

"To obtain our aspirations moving forward, we must compose ourselves and appropriate our actions towards settling our differences and identifying collaborative ways to nurture our society."

Marcos said that by accepting diversity, Filipinos deepen interpersonal relationships and discover how to make things work "better for all."

While touting diversity in Marcos' message, his father was infamous in persecuting political dissidents which lead to the arrests of 70,000, torture of 34,000 and deaths of 3,200 others during the Martial Law-era of 1972 to 1981, according to Amnesty International.

Marcos earlier questioned this data when asked about the abuses of his father's military rule.

The president said that at the heart of democracy is the need to resign from individualism for the sake of the common good and "embrace our infinite love for humanity."

"Let us keep in mind that the world matures and ages in fortitude when people are free to speak their minds and challenge the realities that shake their convictions and beliefs," Marcos said. 

"If we truly stand for democracy, let us face the future by making our sense of community and patriotism the defining cornerstones of our society and the overarching goals of all our efforts in nation-building. I wish everyone a meaningful commemoration," he added.

The Social Weather Stations on Thursday reported that 62% of Filipino adults feel that the spirit of EDSA People Power is still alive, even after Marcos' 2022 win and the widespead misinformation that supported his candidacy.

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