EDSA 3: An Assessment
This paper explores the events of EDSA 3, its viability as a social movement, and assesses how media stirred public opinion and interest as the event unfolded. It does so with reference to some accounts as presented in a distinct form of mass media- newspapers. An attempt was made to illustrate EDSA 3 in a non- linear mode, not to purposely make it fit and be seen as a viable social movement, but rather to reach a fitting explanation to its evolution as reflected on the evidences examined.
People Power: An Overview
The idea of People Power –almost an indigenous social occurrence this side of the world- reveals certain pervasive beliefs among its critics, participants and proponents. For instance, the church and its members retain it as a culmination of non- violent, and prayerful mass street demonstrations for a greatly noble cause and a truly rewarding religious experience. Its proponents judge it as a justified means of saving the country from disaster in the hands of a tyrant. In EDSA 1, Enrile flew off from the Marcos block due to his excruciating distaste of Marcos’ involvement in numerous irregularities and abuses. In EDSA 2, it ranged from uncontrolled rage stemming from exposes on Estrada’s abuses and alleged involvement in various illegal affairs, his eventual impeachment trial, and most notably, the senator- jurors’ refusal to unveil the truth.
People Power 1 and 2 both registered to its advocates as such. With participants mostly comprised of members from the upper and middle classes, the military, business leaders and various cause- oriented groups, the phenomenon emerged as the epitome of a great social awakening to institute a highly- sought after social change. To its critics, the events of both EDSA’s greatly displayed the idea of an “Imperial Manila” since participants to both events were mostly limited to those from Metro Manila. Amando Doronila described it in his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: People power movements have been an Imperial Manila phenomenon. Their playing field is EDSA. They have excluded the provincianos from their movement with their insufferable arrogance and snobbery ... ignoring the existence of the toiling masses and peasants in agrarian Philippines.
Apart from questioning the justification of people power, it also highlights an apparent result of these uprisings. This hint of marginalization occurring in a supposed collective national action, invoked other notable arguments.
. Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista clearly took note of this in her article “The Revenge of the Elite on the Masses’?” She states: …People Power 2 upheld high ethical standards of public service and inspired a new constituency for new politics. Unfortunately, the uprising superseded existing processes in particular the impeachment trial in the senate. Thus, resulting in constitutional ambiguities that sustain the call for Estrada’s reinstatement. From an institutional perspective, Estrada’s ouster through the impeachment process would have been preferable. It could have avoided the constitutional dilemmas that continue to hound Macapagal- Arroyo. But the way events unfolded in January, moral sensibilities and the question of national integrity overrode procedural considerations. In the process, People Power 2 ironically circumvented an institution it had hoped to eventually strengthen. Not surprisingly, this generated problems.
It’s logical to say that EDSA 2 stimulated a wide array of consequences, among which is the staging of the pro-Estrada camp of their own version barely 3 months after. Naturally, international media also took notice of the uprising. One editorial article states: …Whatever curious legal construction anyone may now attempt to put on the ouster of Estrada, he was ousted by a military coup, with the connivance of the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church,...
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