» 02/24/2010, 00.00
Hopes and disappointments 24 years after the Rosary Revolution
On 24 February 1986, millions of Catholics took to the streets of Manila. Armed with rosaries and led by Cardinal Sin, they forced President Marcos to flee after almost 20 years in power. Susan Ong, who was present at that fateful moment, remembers the revolution. For her, “The spirit of democracy is still here; however, much more has to be done for the people and the country’s development”.
Manila (AsiaNews) – “I still remember vividly the sea of people and the hopes of the Filipino people who thronged to EDSA road to topple Marcos,” said Susan Ong, a theology professor at Catholic University of Santo Tomas, Manila. She spoke on the 24th anniversary of the Rosary or People Power Revolution, which is being celebrated today in the Philippines. Susan is one of the millions of Catholics who played a key role in the overthrow of the military regime of Ferdinand Marcos that brought democracy to the country in 1986, with rosaries as their only weapons, egged on by Card Jaime Sin, then archbishop of Manila. “The spirit of democracy is still here; however, much more has to be done for the people and the country’s development,” she said.
The People Power Revolution broke out in 1986 after 20 years of military regime under then President Ferdinand Marcos. Elected democratically in 1966 and re-elected in 1970 (a first for the Philippines), Marcos could not run for a third term and so on 21 September 1972 he declared martial law. For the next 14 years, he held absolute power over the country and its people.
In 1986, under pressures from within and without, the dictator called a snap election, certain that he could use fraud to stay in power. However, on 25 February, millions of people gathered on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), one of the capital’s main thoroughfares, armed with rosaries, to face off troops Marcos had sent to crush the uprising. After four days of non-violent demonstrations, the military joined the protesters and Marcos was forced to flee.
Card Jaime Sin, General Fidel Ramos and Corazon Cojuangco Aquino led the demonstrators. Ms Aquino, who would soon be elected president, had lost her husband, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, gunned down more than two years earlier by the dictator’s soldiers as he got off a plane at Manila Airport.
“I came from the provinces,” Susan Ong said, “My parents did not know that I was a part of the Revolution. I can still recall [. . .] someone saying that Marcos’ soldiers were going to shoot at the people. [. . .] It was scary, but I thought it was better to die for the freedom and democracy than allow Marcos to perpetuate his dictatorship. [. . .] The Revolution changed our politics and society, and we can still see today its fruit.” Yet, “after 24 years, corruption in public and private life has not been eliminated and that is discouraging for people.”
Since Marcos fled, four presidents have held office. They are Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo. The presidency of Estrada and Arroyo have been characterised by major cases of corruption, attempts at controlling mass media and violence against opponents.
Even though economic growth is higher than in the past, poverty levels remain high, up to 30 per cent in some regions.
For Susan, “only the Church’s pastoral and educational work can promote the values that underpinned the Rosary Revolution.”
Mgr Cruz: Cardinal Sin, "a man larger than life"
Mgr Oscar V.Cruz, archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, described Cardinal Sin to AsiaNews as a man "with the truth of the Gospel always before him, who never feared powerful people".
"Revolution of the Rosary" and people's hopes
Sister Lucia of Fatima, protectress against communism
16/04/2016 08:57:00 PHILIPPINES
Filipino bishops: A rosary a day until the presidential elections
On 9 May, the Filipinos called to the polls to elect a new president. Msgr. Villegas called on the population to be guided by the power of prayer. In the history of the country, the recitation of the Rosary is very significant. In 1986 - under the leadership of the late Card. Sin - the "Rosary Crusade" led to the end of the Marcos dictatorship.
Card. Sin rushed to hospital; Radio Veritas prays for his health
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
25/04/2016 HONG KONG - CHINA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.