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(From BusinessWorld (Philippines))
Byline: Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Eighteen years ago, millions converged on Epifanio de los Santos Ave. (EDSA) fronting the military (Camp Aguinaldo) and police (Camp Crame) headquarters in Quezon City, and forced to oust President Ferdinand E. Marcos from power. At that time, the first People Power Revolution stood out as a rare moment of unity and set a world trend on the power of exercising a democratic right.
"Tama na! Sobra na! Palitan na!" (Enough, too much, change him) was the battle cry of the 1986 peaceful revolt, showing the people's frustration with Mr. Marcos's abuse of leadership.
In his article included in the book, Duet for EDSA: Looking Back, Looking Forward, University of the Philippines political science professor Jose Abueva said the 1986 revolution was the high point in the world's "decade of democracy" that peaked in 1991.
"EDSA was the Filipino people's message to themselves and the world- that a peaceful, bloodless revolution to end armed authoritarian rule is possible if the people are united and determined; that the human spirit is unconquerable, resilient and potent against the forces that seek to destroy it," he said.
Other nations such as South Korea, Czechoslovakia, the former East Germany, Hungary and Portugal took inspiration from EDSA, and applied these in their own peaceful efforts at restoring democracy.
In a repeat of that cause, Filipinos revived the spirit of EDSA in January 2001, this time against President Joseph Estrada. The middle-class was frustrated anew by the political institutions, particularly the failure of the impeachment process to remove a corrupt President.