Aquino to celebrate EDSA in calamity-hit areas
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III will celebrate the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution in an unusual way: he will be visiting provinces hardest hit by deadly calamities.
This year's EDSA celebration, with the theme Kapit-bisig sa Tungo sa Pagbangon (Together towards progress), is different from past years in several ways.
Moving away from the tradition of celebrating it in EDSA itself, the event will be held in Cebu, which was Malacañang Palace said was also a significant place during the Revolution.
"This year's celebration is unique because it will be held outside Manila and will end in places affected by recent calamities," said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Sunday, February 23.
"The traditional Salubungan or the re-enactment of the meeting of the military and civilians on EDSA will be held at the Capital of the province of Cebu," he added.
Coloma said Cebu was important because it was "the bailiwick of the opposition during the time of Marital Law and where former President Corazon Aquino stayed when the military turned against President Marcos on February 22, 1986."
The Palace explained the move to Cebu as an attempt to reduce traffic on EDSA, "to give consideration to commuters who use the said thoroughfare where various government infrastructure projects have already been initiated."
Visits to provinces
But even before the actual Salubungan on Tuesday morning, the President will already be busy. He is scheduled to visit Cateel, Davao Oriental on Monday, February 24, which was badly hit by Super Typhoon Pablo in December 2011.
Coloma said Aquino would "check on the progress of the rehabilitation and the rebuilding of the communities there."
He will then head to Loon, Bohol, which was affected by a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October 2013 where he will hold a town hall meeting to discuss their situation, "in order to determine whether the government is taking the right steps to care for the victims," said Coloma.
After Sulubungan, Aquino will visit Bantayan Island also in Cebu that was affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), before making stops in Guian, Eastern Samar and Tanauan, Leyte, as well as Tacloban where he will check on the projects of the Department of Health.
The start of EDSA's official celebration however remains traditional, and will begin on Monday.
Former President Fidel Valdez Ramos will lead the annual flag raising and wreath laying, along with EDSA People Power Commission Vice Chairman former secretary Jose Titoy Pardo. - Rappler.com