MANILA (Mabuhay)—As the nation commemorates the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution Tuesday, neophyte Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV on Tuesday challenged the Filipinos to join hands in a new battle against poverty.
”As we came together in1986, once again, let us join hands to help the country’s poor and give everyone a chance to gain employment and livelihood,” Aquino, a multi-awarded youth leader and social entrepreneur before being elected into the Senate said.
Aquino said the country has achieved freedom from the clutches of dictatorship through peaceful and bloodless protest 28 years ago but the fight will continue, this time, against the prevalent inequality and lack of economic opportunities.
”At present, the revolution to end poverty continues and more than ever, we need to unite to fulfill the full promise of EDSA,” Aquino said.
Aquino, the youngest senator of the present 16th Congress, was only nine years old when a bloodless people power ended dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and catapulted his aunt, former President Corazon Aquino to power in 1986.
Another neophyte senator Nancy Binay said EDSA Revolution is still “a work in progress as many of our countrymen remain mired in hunger, poverty and inequality.”
”Twenty-eight years ago, we gathered in EDSA to demand for our rights. Today, we are still marching hand in hand – so that every Filipino, regardless of economic status, age and sex, can gain and enjoy true democracy, justice and equality,” Binay said.
Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano said the problems besetting the country today would not go away if the people do not unite and fight them, just like what happened in EDSA 28 years ago.
”The spirit of EDSA still alive after 28 years. Our grandparents and parents fought for the kind of country they wanted not only for them, but for us as well. Now, it is up to us to honor that spirit and fight for the kind of country we want,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said the EDSA celebration should also serve as a reminder to the government to institute reforms and stamp out corruption wherever it may be found.
Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Filipinos should not forget the EDSA People Power that brought back democracy in the country 28 years ago.
”To our countrymen, we should not forget that a People Power is one way to bring back our democracy ,” Drilon said.
”If we have freedom to criticize our government and scrutinize the way the government spends people’s money, that is because we have freedom of expression under our democracy,” Drilon added.
Last Monday, the Senate passed an economic bill seeking to boost job creation by promoting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Sen. Aquino authored Senate Bill No. 2046 or Go Negosyo Bill wherein Negosyo (business) Centers shall be established in all cities and municipalities to assist entrepreneurs on how to set up and manage their business. (MNS)