Filipinos Rally to Mark ‘People Power’ Anniversary

BenarNews staff
2022.02.25
Manila
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An activist holds a sign that says “you are not the one I want to return” during a rally at the People Power Monument along the EDSA highway in Manila to mark the 36th anniversary of a people’s uprising that drove dictator Ferdinand Marcos from power, Feb. 25, 2022. [Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews]

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Actors portraying Imelda Marcos and her late husband Ferdinand Marcos (in wheelchair) perform during the 36th anniversary “people power” rally in Manila, Feb. 25, 2022. [Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews]

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A Philippine activist’s sign calls for voters to reject the presidential and vice-presidential campaign of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio in the May 9 election, Feb. 25, 2022. [Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews]

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Protesters in Manila commemorate the 1986 “people power” revolution that ended Ferdinand Marcos’ two-decade rule, Feb. 25, 2022. [Basilio Sepe/BenarNews]

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An activist flashes a thumb and index finger “L” which means laban, the Filipino word for fight, during the rally at the People Power Monument in Manila, Feb. 25, 2022. [Basilio Sepe/BenarNews]

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Confetti falls on Filipino activists gathered at the People Power Monument along the EDSA highway in Manila, Feb. 25, 2022. [Basilio Sepe/BenarNews]

More than 1,000 Filipinos converged on a historic highway in the Philippine capital on Friday to mark the anniversary of the “people power” revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Now, 36 years on, his son and namesake is leading in early surveys as a candidate for the May 9 presidential election.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., widely known as Bongbong, is vying to replace President Rodrigo Duterte, whose constitutionally limited single term ends this year, in the country’s top office. Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of the president, is Bongbong’s running mate.

Their potential election could protect the elder Duterte, who will lose presidential immunity once he leaves office, from international prosecution over his administration’s war on drugs in which thousands of Filipinos have died in extrajudicial killings. 

“Our hard-won rights and freedoms are now under even greater threat amid the efforts for a Marcos restoration and a Duterte extension in the upcoming elections,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of human rights group Karapatan, said at a rally commemorating the anniversary.

“Today, we are called to continue the struggle for justice and democracy, and to resist the despotic Marcos-Duterte tandem.” 

Students, priests and nuns joined Palabay and ordinary Filipinos along the EDSA highway in Manila as they chanted slogans and vowed to “never again” give power to the Marcos family, whose members were allowed to return after the dictator died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Thousands had gathered along the same highway in 1986 to drive the elder Marcos from office, 14 years after he imposed martial law.

The Marcos family is believed to have plundered as much as U.S. $10 billion (513 billion pesos), but the government has recovered only a fraction of that amount in more than three decades.

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