Let’s leave the past behind and start moving forward in order to sustain peace and progress in the country, former Manapla Mayor Manuel Escalante, said at the 26thanniversary rites of the People Power Revolution at the Capitol Lagoon Park Saturday.
Escalante, who was supposed to deliver a speech for the governor as his executive assistant, dispensed with his prepared speech and spoke extemporaneously to a crowd composed mostly of students, provincial government employees, the military and police.
The “past is past”, Escalante said at the affair.
The University of St. La Salle Maskara Theatre Ensemble presented a tableau about the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the downfall of President Ferdinand Marcos in a bloodless people power revolution and the election of President Corazon Aquino.
But Escalante said in his speech, “Don’t you know that if something bad happens, good things happen, too? We were given an opportunity to become good Filipinos. But we forgot about it. We dwelt on singing (about) the EDSA revolution, doing so many things, blaming the politicians whom we also voted (into office).”
He told the performers ”You were shouting in your presentation, that you will die for the Filipinos. Did you ever know that Ninoy Aquino was a politician? That he was pushed to the wall. But then he died for the Filipino people. But did his son and grandchildren or his family remember what he did? They could not even declare a simple agrarian reform in their own farm, which they declared all over the nation.”
“We are all the same because we blame others except ourselves. Put the blame on yourself. Have faith. Do your job well and if you are a politician and you’re corrupt, then shame on you. As the NPAs said, ‘banana plants are better than politicians because they have hearts’,” he said.
“God is so kind. He gave us another chance as he always does. But the problem with us is that we cannot seem to know what those chances are. We seem to live with the past,” he said.
“I am not saying that we will forget the past. But let us learn from our past experience. But never dwell on the past. Miracles will not happen. It should come from us,” he said.
Let’s stop blaming other people because we cannot move forward as a true nation if we keep on blaming Ferdinand Marcos, Gloria Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, Benigno and Cory Aquino, he said.
“Nothing will happen to us if keep on doing that. Past is past. Let’s blame ourselves and our present leaders,” he said.
Each and everyone of us should be a true EDSA revolution, he added.
Lawyer Andrea Si, who was at the Capitol affair, said “If we don’t remember the past, we are meant to repeat the same mistakes committed before.
“Some people insist on not going after people like former President Arroyo and Chief Justice Renato Corona, and to instead focus on working on the economy and progress,” she said.
But, she said, if the structures of the past that still exist today are not dismantled, the same practices will continue.
“It is important for people to work for reform, you cannot just say forgive and forget,” she said.
She said many people voted for President Benigno Aquino because they were hungry for change since Gloria Arroyo was really a repeat of Ferdinand Marcos.
“By booting out Gloria through elections we were saying we want change in government but the structures are still there, those in the Supreme Court are still her appointees,” Si said.
She lamented that at the impeachment trial for Corona it is not important for the defense to reveal the truth, they are using technicalities to hide the truth.
“The people may be silent now, but it does not mean they do not want the truth,” she said, citing the people’s sudden burst of anger that led to the ouster President Joseph Estrada.
Si said the was at the Capitol affair as a Girl Scout along with the government employees, military, police, and Boy and Girl Scouts, there were no elected government officials present.
“It seems to be delivering a massage about how the provincial government feels,” she said.*CPG