Politics, showbiz at Edsa I rites Thursday

February 22, 2010

Maila Ager
February 23, 2010

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Expect this year’s commemoration of the first Edsa revolution to be a mix of personalities from the worlds of politics and show business.

Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and running mate, Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, and their full senatorial ticket will be present when the country commemorates on Thursday the 24th people power revolt that toppled the dictatorship of then president Ferdinand Marcos, said lawyer Abigail Valte, head of the Aquino team’s media bureau.

The event, to be held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, will also be star-studded, with singers Ogie Alcasid, Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, and band Sponge Cola leading the pack, Valte said.

At least 18,000 people are expected to fill up the Coliseum and a much bigger crowd is expected to gather outside the venue, Valte said.

The event, she said, would be highlighted by Aquino’s “marching order” to the “Yellow Army” to be “agents of change” by helping ensure honest and clean elections this coming May.

Valte said the celebration would be concluded with a fireworks display.

Simultaneous celebrations, she said, would be held in Naga City, Davao, Cebu and other parts of the country.

Aquino’s campaign manager, Florencio Abad, said they were expecting that Aquino’s rivals would accuse him of using the occasion to advance his presidential bid.

But Abad, in a joint press conference, said the senator could not dissociate himself from his parents – the late President Corazon Aquino and martyred Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr., who are both extolled as people power icons.

“The focal point of people power revolution apart from people, who came out and massed in 1986, will be Ninoy, who offered his life so that the dictatorship can be dismantled and democracy can blossom in this country,” he said.

“You cannot deny the fact Noynoy has been an intimate and almost inseparable part of the whole process. His candidacy I believe is part of the whole continuum,” Abad said.

Later on, Abad admitted that the commemorative event is “intrinsically” a political event.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, campaign manager of Aquino’s senatorial slate, also admitted that the occasion was both “political and commemorative.”

“People power is political. It ousted a dictator. So precisely, commemorating people power after 24 years, people power moved our country towards new direction after ousting a dictator,” Pangilinan said in the same forum.

“We moved the nation towards new direction precisely because of people power and have to move it towards new direction in 2010 and we believe it will be people power peaceful electoral revolt that will move our nation towards new direction,” he said.

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