Fidel Ramos graces EDSA at 30 event at Arellano University

Ms. Marianne Santos, former President Fidel V. Ramos and former Sec. Rafael Alunan III were the key speakers in the forum conducted by the Arellano University School of Law.

Last Wednesday, September 2 2015, the Arellano University School of Law conducted an activity entitled, "EDSA @ 30: How the People Power Revolution transformed the Philippines." A panel discussion and open forum discussing the martial law regime and the distressing status of the Philippines today.

The distinguised guests during the event were former President Fidel V. Ramos, former Cabinet Member and Secretary Rafael Alunan and Marianne Hontiveros. These guests played their own respective parts when the Marcos regime was becoming more and more unpopular by joining the long silent protest of the student youth that turned into People Power.

Each of the guests tackled how they experienced the revolution happened 30 years ago. From the time when Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino was assasinated up to the time they succeeded overthrowing the dictatorship.

Included in the event was the film showing of the short documentary film entitled, "LABAN: The Meaning of EDSA Revolution" directed and produced by Ms. Sally Jo Bellosillo. This documentary film includes interviews of former Senator Butz Abad, former President Corazon Aquino, former President Fidel Ramos, former RAM Commander and now Senator Gregorio Honasan, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and Manuel Quezon III.

The documentary film contemplates what was happening during the martial law, how the People Power prevailed in EDSA, what happened years after the historic1986 revolution and the status of the Philippines today.

In one of the interviews in the film, Senator Gringgo Honasan said that the purpose of overthrowing dictatorship was accomplished but the control of power remained the same as the power was transferred from an elite to another elite.

There were already three EDSA revolutions. The first one was the overthrowing the 20-year long dictatorship. The second revolution was unseating Joseph Ejercito Estrada. The last but failed revolution was the attempt to reinstate Estrada into his former seat.

The series of EDSA revolution was sick revolutions according to Honasan. There are no fundamental changes after these revolution and according to Bishop Socrates Villegas, the people are getting poorer.

There was a forum after the individual discussion by the guests. Questions were gladly answered by distinguished guests.

On the question on how successful EDSA really was and why there was a transfer of power from an elite to another elite which will defeat the meaning of people power, Former Secretary Rafael Alunan III and Ms. Marianne Hontiveros answered the question categorically.

They said that during that time, people needed a leader that can defeat Marcos during the 1985 snap election. Salvador Laurel presented himself as a contender against Marcos but his charisma failed to please the majority as he exuded vibes of a traditional politician. He was then rejected and eventually decided to be just a vice presidential candidate. Cory Aquino gained the sympathy of the people and the magic that Ninoy had. She was seen as the only winnable contender in the snap election.She was an instant icon after the death of her husband. After the successful series of the event during the revolution, she was immediately chosen as President because people believed that she was the rightful winner in the snap election.

On the question on how the people can continue the revolution especially now that the Philippines is ranking deep below in the world, former President Ramos answered the question into two important points. The first point was that every individual needs to improve himself in able to help others improve their lives. No one can effectively help others when one is at ill. The second point was there is a need to reform the government system. He suggested that the country needs to shift from presidential form into parliamentary. He cited Great Britain as example since the British Parliament is considered as trend setter in Europe and one of the richest stable country in the world.

The panel discussion, open forum and book signing of former President Ramos lasted for about three hours. The event was attended by more than three hundred law students of the university.
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  1. Kailangan natin ng hindi corrupt, matapang at matalino na presidente.