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People Power Revolution

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People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and The Philippine Revolution of 1986) was a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines that began in 1983 and culminated in 1986 after the death of Benigno Aquino. In February 25, 1986 marked significant national event that has engraved in the hearts and minds of every Filipino. This revolution was widely seen as a victory of the people against the 20 year running authoritarian, repressive regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos and made news headlines as “the revolution that surprised the world.”

Benigno Aquino’s widow Cory, ran against Marcos. The election was marked by widespread fraud, with Marcos’s thugs beating up election workers and scrambling voter roles. The government declared Marcos the winner. After the election Cory Aquino spoke to a crowd of one million people at a rally in Manila. She proposed a seven part program of nonviolent resistance, including one day work stoppage and a boycott of Marcos controlled banks, stores and newspapers. She urged people to “experiment with non violent forms of protest and declared: “…If goliath refuses to yield, we shall keep dipping into our arsenal of nonviolence and escalate our nonviolent struggle.” The revolution begun.

The assassination of Benigno Aquino was the match that sparked the fire. There was an upsurge in women’s political activity. An all women’s protest demonstration against the Marcos regime was held, which was called WOMB (Women of the ouster of Marcos and Boycott) a militant women’s organization. Gabriela Silang was a Filipina General in the revolution against Spanish colonialism in the Philippines. An women’s organization was formed after Gabriela name (General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action. Another women who took action was a women named Fely Aquino who said, “Torture and sexual violence against women cuts across all class lines. Sexual violence is seen as the key to controlling women political prisoners. Women who take control of their lives by political activism are often targets. Torture is essentially structural, done by a regime which needs to stay in power unchallenged.”

As a result, the final crisis of the Marcos regime was marked by two crucial episodes. The first was the presidential election and the second was military revolt. Presidential election KAAKBAY, a prominent nationalist organization to the left of center, while acknowledging the end hand of the U.S. government in the calling the election, declaring the removal of the Marcos dictatorship to be the first step on the road to Philippine independence. Marcos opted out the United States from watching the election polls. He sent military soldiers to beat up election workers. In 1986, the defense minister deputy chief of staff suddenly defeated from the Marcos government. They barricaded themselves in Manila, along with a small group of sympathetic troops. Hundreds and thousands of people surrounded the area to block the movement of any troops that Marcos might send. Marcos sent Marines with tanks and armored personal carriers to attack the Defense Ministry and in the end the soldiers withdrew.

In conclusion, this part of the Philippine history gave the people a strong sense of pride especially that other nations had attempted to emulate what they have shown the world of the true power of democracy. The Philippine Revolution disposed a powerful dictator. What the story of the Philippine Revolution demonstrates is the people power can have when they withdraw consent. Corazon Aquino peacefully assumed power in the Philippines after the exile of Marcos.

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