Plain and Simple | People power 32

IF OTHERS want to erase it or demean it, I won’t. Filipinos stood 10 feet tall with it.

Where were you on those fateful days? I was with the leaders of the opposition at that time. I was with them in the old Ateneo grade school building in Matina.
If my memory serves me right, the opposition led by then Assemblyman Zaf Respicio (yes, he was a member of parliament at that time) planned to stage the oath-taking of Cory Aquino and make Davao the capital of the revolutionary government.
With Zaf were leaders of the Yellow Friday movement led by Nanany Soling and Dion de la Cerna. There were the leaders of JaJa (Justice for Aquino, Justice for All Movement). There were Ramon Mitra, Chito Ayala, Paul Dominguez, Arturo Borjal, Nene Pimentel, among others. Yes, Fr. Malasmas.
But the opposition leaders here heard that the military would stage a coup against Marcos. The hours on those February days were ominous. There was this news that a military general identified with Marcos will bomb the opposition.
There was an advice from the leaders that we lie low as we stay vigilant. I went home and we prayed that nothing bloody would happen. We were glued to our radio and TV for news updates. Then we saw the images of people at Edsa protecting Enrile and Ramos cause any time the forces of Marcos led by General Fabian Ver would send his troops to pulverize Ramos and Enrile.
Cardinal Sin called on the people to go to Crame to protect Enrile and Ramos. It was so precarious at that time. Heeding the call of Cardinal Sin, the people marched to Crame to provide the plotters the human shield. Butz Aquino, the younger brother of the slain Senator Ninoy Aquino led the march from Isetan Cubao to Crame.
The days that followed were the most dangerous times. Any time there was bloodshed. Anytime the people there would die. Priests and nuns led the people in prayer. You see these in the images taken by the photographers there. They collected the events in the People Power Book.
I’m glad I bought a copy of this book. I will always tell my children and apo about that bloodless revolution of the people. This generation should know and the generation to come on this and how we as a country became the model of people power. The real power belongs to the people.
Marcos fled and the dictatorship was over. There was euphoria all over the country. Those who were there should tell their stories. In that people power book, two or three photos of Rene Lumawag were included. The ringing of the San Pedro Cathedral bell and the poignant scene of a cancer-laden person carried out by people because he wanted to vote for Cory Aquino. This man was from Toril.
But the people power story did not happen during those fateful February days. It started long ago when Marcos did not want to vacate power.
This one is another story to tell.

Posted in Opinion