19 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/24/2010 15:59
PHILIPPINES
Hopes and disappointments 24 years after the Rosary Revolution
by Santosh Digal
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.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/21/2005 PHILIPPINES
Mgr Cruz: Cardinal Sin, "a man larger than life"
01/20/2004 philippines
"Revolution of the Rosary" and people's hopes
03/03/2005 PHILIPPINES
Sister Lucia of Fatima, protectress against communism
10/11/2004 philippines
Card. Sin rushed to hospital; Radio Veritas prays for his health
by Sonny Evangelista
04/01/2004 philippines
Cardinal Sin celebrates Golden Jubilee

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.