The 1986 EDSA Revolution’s legacy: Three key aspects of the 1987 Constitution that hobbles Philippine progress

It’s that time of the year again when we celebrate that supposedly seminal event in Philippine history when, according to the local lore, the forces of evil (porportedly the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos) were vanquished by the forces of good (supposedly the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan).

Marcos removed. Game over.

The 1986 “People Power” EDSA “revolution” is finished.

Song-and-dance: The late Cory Aquino with former President Gloria Arroyo
Song-and-dance: The late Cory Aquino with former President Gloria Arroyo
Somewhere between that point and the turn of the century, EDSA 1986 became all about the “heroism” of the late Ninoy Aquino and former president Cory Aquino. What happened to the contribution of the military elements that were also instrumental to achieving this happy ending? As the favourite philosophy of the average Filipino politician goes, “What are we in power for?” The EDSA revolution, we are told, was all about the reinstatement of the supremacy of civilian government. As such, the civilian component of this “revolution” were the good guys and the key characters in its military aspect were the bad guys.

Tough luck for the army:

The winners get to write the history books.

Jim Paredes himself used this very winners’ privilege against his Twitter archrival Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, saying that “The people went with good intentions. But the coup plotters had other intentions different from ours”. So the “people” (presumably those who did “People Power”) had good intentions, while the “coup plotters” had other intentions — agendas, if you like. What were those “good intentions” supposedly harboured by that subset of the cast of characters that were involved in this “revolution” who are favoured by today’s history writers? It’s all in the narrative told by those who emerged “Victorious” from this “revolution” and who went on to legitimise themselves as the new civilian government of the Republic and whose “heroism” is now trumpeted continuously by the Big Media owners of that cultural artifact now known as “Edsa”.

The emotionally-charged song, dazzling dance, and nebulous symbolism that is continuously delivered into every Filipino’s living room everyday by Big Media — Paredes’s Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo, Tito Sotto’s Panahon Na, the Yellow merchandise that emerge from the commercial woodwork on every Aquinoist occasion — these all symbolise those so-called “good intentions” that define “Edsa”.

But beyond the paraphernalia that represent these “good intentions” where exactly are the specific artifacts that “symbolise” those “long-term aims” that remain unfulfilled today? The second Aquino president himself, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, is increasingly under critical scrutiny owing to a lack of any evidence of a plan of some sort that leads to fulfilling a vision of some equal sort.

When the dust settled in the months following the 25th February 1986 street “revolution” that ousted Marcos and seemingly (at the time) ended decades of government thievery, Filipinos were left with a Constitution within which remained enshrined key tenets that were to hobble the country’s development in the three decades that were to follow. These tenets include, among others:

(1) use of a method of selecting state executives and legislators on the basis of their mass popularity rather than by their professional qualifications;

(2) persistence of an investment policy that ensures continued domination of key Philippine industries and assets by the traditional clique of oligarchs and clansmen; and,

(3) prohibition of the establishment of foreign military bases within Philippine territories.

These three features of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines that was pretty much the single biggest enduring legacy of the 1986 “revolution” alone have collectively contributed the majority bulk in the sack of intractable issues now exerting its crushing weight on the back of the average Filipino — the thievery being perpetrated by politicians elected to office by the popular vote, the continued delivery of (at best) mediocre services by for-profit corporations that manage the nation’s critical infrastructure, and the severely-atrophied military capability that reduces the Philippines to whining about its international “rights” under the thumb of a vast military superpower that considers itself above international law.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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21 Comments on "The 1986 EDSA Revolution’s legacy: Three key aspects of the 1987 Constitution that hobbles Philippine progress"

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Rey Mendoza
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1. Democracy means equal opportunity for the unwashed to be as much elected into office as the perfumed ones. You refer to a policy that made it possible for Ilustrados to sideline Andres Bonifacio in the Tejeros Convention. This is intolerable. 2. The 60/40 rule in ownership of business (70/30 for advertising agencies) assures Filipino control of thought and economy. This is the secret behind China’s phenomenal growth. The reason for scarcity of foreign direct investments is attributed to high costs and unprofitability of doing business in the Philippines, not constitutional prohibitions. 3. Prohibition of foreign military bases is held… Read more »
Jim DiGriz
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1. The difference between Dictatorship and Democracy is, that in Democracy you vote, then they tell you what to do. In a Dictatorship you don’t need to vote.
2. That is just a naïve statement. Filipinos (you mean oligarchs) and control of though and economy? Great. No wonder we are screwed.
3. The bases brought this country 5 Billion US$ a year. In the 80’s! But I guess since all the streets in the Philippines are paved with gold we won’t need their money which could go to good use like education, infra structure and alike.

NYC2MNL
Guest
1. This equal opportunity thing that you perceive is anything but, as evidenced by the constant recycling of familiar family names that we see in public office. 2. I absolutely agree with you about the high cost and unprofitability of doing business here, especially if you do intend to do the right thing and abide by the rules to the letter. Not leveling the playing field for foreign investors don’t help either. If you are looking for investors to inject funds into a certain sector wouldn’t it be in your best interest to sweeten the pot? 3. The US also… Read more »
joeld
Guest

This year’s EDSA celebration will be held in Cebu. Why is that? Of course a simple minded pinoys would accept the palace’s explanation….

libertas
Guest
“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell EDSA has lost its significance and meaning as, like so many things, it is highjacked for political branding and a distortion of history. The annual jamboree inevitably raises the question – what has been achieved since EDSA? – and the answer is always one of disappointment, reinforcing that tge real tragedy is ‘what should have been, and what could have been’ if it was not for the politucal agenda of the corrupt kingmakers and political elite. The people wanted, and were promised sytem change,… Read more »
joeld
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About half of the 2015 national budget is under Pnoy’s lump sum funds. That is 1.3 trillion petot out of about 2.3 trillion. How does that sound for good intentions?

The yellow dictator is treating our country like his very own hacienda. As I have said, he should be dragged outside of the palace and shot in front of his family.

Bjorn
Guest

@ JoelD
What needs to be done, need not be said.

What needs to be said, need not be done.

I hear you.

Gogs
Member
Back in 2010 when Yellow Fever 2 was picking up steam there was this rationale used by many. I will quote from somebody who blogged in one of my social networks. “It is a fact that Noynoy Aquino just needs to get the chance to be president and his parents’ legacy shall be continued especially since a son will never be able to stain such a high legacy.” Given his many gaffes as well as whatever metric you want to use poverty, smuggling , number of senators and congressman facing charges, allies seriously prosecuted , that bloggers prediction seems to… Read more »
libertas
Guest
Time magazine had feted cory aquino 4 years earlier but took a very different stance in 1990 – from hero to zero. Ilda used this extract in one of her articles. It is worth reproducing. The reality was the opposite of the carefully crafted myths/propaganda. “Charges of incompetence and graft increasingly tainted Cory Aquino and her government. When rebellious soldiers launched the seventh abortive coup against Aquino on Dec. 1, their most pointed complaints focused on the administration’s failure to deliver basic services and on allegations of corruption among the President’s wealthy and influential relatives. The charges, magnified by the… Read more »
libertas
Guest
Play connect the dots 1 trillion slush fund controlled by pnoy aquino and unaccountable/unauditable – that alone achieves the distinction of the most corrupt president ever. Some specifics which show that the only agenda is self-interest/family interest and future control The secret DAP has blown a hole in any pretence of pnoy aquino being honest or honorable. Just another crook. 5 billion pesos secretly allocated from DAP to cojuangco run tarlac consortium.(stated reason – hacienda luisita compensation!!??) 2 billion pesos also allocated from DAP to upgrade/build tarlac roads DBM refuse to confirm/give list of DAP allocations – how much more?… Read more »
Bjorn
Guest

The ‘Spirit’ of the revolution was to get rid of the Dictator. The ‘Legacy’ is the elections that are the direct result of getting rid of the Dictator.

But sadly, the corruption never ceased. Now it is institutionalized to the point where it does not even matter who the President is.

Sometimes people need to do what elections can not accomplish. It is not usually pretty, just ask the Ukrainians, but it can be VERY effective.

Thomas Jefferson
Guest

@libertas

Thank you for exposing the truth!

libertas
Guest

Thanks
Veritas et libertas ultra omnis sunto
Truth and freedom above all else.

Bjorn
Guest

Whining about the rights of the country instead of having a proper military capable of defending its nations borders…that one has got to hurt the collective filippine ego.
OUCH!

Toro Hyden
Guest
The Aquinos and the Cojuangcos, are partners with the NPA Mafia, to rule the country. The shipment of arms on the MV Karagatan was financed by them. The bombing of the Miting de Avance at Plaza Miranda, was masterminded by Benigno Aquino , Jr. with the help of the NPA Mafia. There is nothing good that the Aquinos have done for this country. They have, only done to: (1) establish Feudal Oligarchy Kleptocracy. (2) protect their Hacienda Luisita, by destroying the Land Reform Program. (3) continue to deceive the Filipinos, by hyping their greatness and heroism. (3) using their relatives… Read more »
Gogs
Member

It’s Hitler in the bunker time for Noynoy getting this desperate .

Marcus Tullius Cicero Parvus
Guest
Marcus Tullius Cicero Parvus
Complaining that EDSA hasn’t changed anything is like complaining that a diet is ineffective after having only done it for a single day. These things take a long time to work, and for revolutions even centuries. Just look at France, or for that matter, the States following their respective revolutions. In short, get over it. I have nothing against criticizing governments (and tour government sucks), but begging to differ is quite different from being stubborn. The former is a mark of intellect and wisdom. The latter is a sign of inflexibility and narrow-mindedness. I agree: our government sucks. But the… Read more »
Gogs
Member

Did you see the post above yours ? Whether it’s a prank or not Marcus Parvus, the email and phone number match office of Coloma. Of course anyone can fudge that but the reputation fits those bozo wimps up the river.

libertas
Guest
Amongst the wealth of surveys/propaganda/statistics, there are only a few metrics which determine the real status and progress of a country. ( which should always be put in context by comparing to peer countries/global averages) Poverty % Unemployment % Underemployment % Ofw’s %/number Corruption ( % of annual budget) Global freedom index – ranking …….. …….. They, and maybe a few others, are the acid test, and it would be interesting to chart/graph them at 5 year intervals throughout the past 28 years, relative to ASEAN neighbours etc. ( ben kritz could do that) I suspect it would be quite… Read more »
libertas
Guest
Doy laurel was a decent man. He got screwed by the deceitful cory aquino, and to add insult to injury his key role in EDSA has almost been forgotten about. You can’t trust an aquino to keep a promise. You can rely on them to put self-interest before that of the country. His role and subsequent betrayal would make the basis of a good film “Celia Diaz Laurel, wife of former vice president Salvador “Doy” Laurel, remembered her late husband’s legacy, as well as his disappointments, on the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution. In an interview with… Read more »
Pres.Aquino
Guest
Our beliefs define our vision of the world; they dictate our core competencies that every student must remain competitive as good as our ability to determine consensus people more for the same care of the President Corazon C. Aquino truly neutral religious roots of our ideals and institutions history. Catholic Church Government and society only tell people. This is a radical with mankind and thwarts the building up of knowledge and community. We must therefore leave morals as far as possible religious and “conservative “in the consciousness changed the same occupations as men, economic devastation our idea of cultivating a… Read more »
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