Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday called on Negrenses to embrace the spirit of EDSA in their hearts and minds, and let their voices be heard in peaceful and honest elections in May.
Marañon, who spoke at the 27th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution rites at the Capitol Lagoon and Park, said it is sad that after 27 years, we appear to be backsliding.
Corruption, warlords and many people who want to win the elections through guns, goons and gold are back, he said.
We should prevent this by protecting the vote to strengthen democracy, he said.
The foundation of a strong democracy is the conduct of a clean and honest election, the governor said, as he urged the members of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army to be vigilant in maintaining the peace and order.
He said 27 years ago, Filipinos earned the respect and admiration of the world for the bloodless revolution at EDSA, where, armed only with rosaries, they stood against the might of tanks.
“Miracles happened at EDSA 27 years ago…we must embrace that spirit again in our hearts and minds to move the country forward,” he said.
“Let us put an end to rhetoric, and work together to address the nation’s biggest enemy today, which is poverty,” he added.
“Let us also stop dirty politics, I am challenging everybody to conduct their campaigns on a high level,” the governor also said.
He called on candidates to tackle issues and programs instead of dwelling on personalities.
The future for Negros, which God has spared from numerous calamities, is bright, he added.
He thanked the Capitol employees for making Negros Occidental one of the most progressive provinces in the country, citing its numerous awards for excellence, and an increase of 23 percent in its rice sufficiency level from 2011-2012.
At the EDSA rites, Marañon also distributed insurance benefits to families of tanods and officials from the different barangays in the province amounting to P1,257,458.*CPG
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the 27th EDSA revolution anniversary is an event that is history-changing and is worthy of celebration.
“That was one time in our history when we stood proud and we were 10 feet tall to the rest of the world,” he said.
Leonardia recalled that, after that event, to show how significant and successful it was, other countries tried to imitate it. “But where people power is concerned, I think that was an original Filipino recipe,” he said.
He recalled that he happened to be the president of the Negros Press Club at that time.
Leonardia said the attaché of the USSR was in Bacolod City then and he was barely able to get the last plane out because their embassy was looking for him.
It was his thrust, when he was NPC president, to invite information attaches of other countries to meet with members of the club so they could exchange experiences and media practices, he said.
He was invited to Moscow and the USSR as one of the first Filipino mediamen because of that kind of program, Leonardia said.
“I think I had seen myself how it was when it happened,” he said.
Leonardia said that when he went around the Bacolod Public Plaza the night after the success of EDA, there was a spontaneous celebration, among those he saw there was former Bacolod councilor Constancio Legaspi, who was very visible on the stage in the middle of the plaza.*CGS