Metro Manila cops on ‘red alert’ for EDSA People Power anniversary

Groups of people troop to EDSA Shrine to celebrate the People Power Revolution in 2019 <i>Photo: Angel Coloma  / ABS-CBN News</i>
Groups of people troop to EDSA Shrine to celebrate the People Power Revolution in 2019 Photo: Angel Coloma / ABS-CBN News

Metro Manila cops will be put on “red alert status” tomorrow morning as the country marks the 34th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, National Capital Region Police Office Chief Maj. Debold Sinas said today.

Sinas told the media at Camp Karingal in Quezon City that while the Philippine National Police thinks that there are no “imminent threats” within Metro Manila, but they will still deploy their personnel “for any eventualities.”

Throngs of people troop to the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas every Feb. 25 to commemorate the People Power revolution, a bloodless event that ended the two-decade reign of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. For some, the event also serves as an opportunity to voice their opposition to the current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is publicly pro-Marcos. In the past, this has caused commotion and heated arguments to erupt.

Sinas said that under the red alert status, all Metro Manila police will be on standby for possible deployment. Police will also boost their checkpoint operations and patrols, and vacation leave will be canceled.

He added that the alert will go into effect as early as 4am in what he described as “areas of concern,” or venues where protesters are expected to assemble, such as ABS-CBN Corporation’s office and Welcome Rotonda, both of which are in Quezon City.

Read: ‘An incredible feeling,’ Actor Willem Dafoe says of experiencing EDSA revolution while filming ‘Platoon’

In 1983, the assassination of Marcos’ political rival Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. spurred the opposition to turn the anti-Marcos movement into a national crusade. Ninoy’s wife, Corazon “Cory” Aquino, ran for office in 1986 against Marcos, but “lost” the election. The public, believing Marcos had tampered with the electoral results, revolted by showing up in droves at the EDSA Shrine Monument. The mass movement effectively chased Marcos out of office, with the leader fleeing the country and conceding the presidency to Cory Aquino.

The Marcoses have since been accused of attempting to rewrite history, with Ferdinand’s (criminally convicted) wife Imelda claiming that the two decades of dictatorial rule were a “golden age” for the country. This despite the Philippines being plunged into debt under the Marcos regime, the alleged pilfering of the country’s coffers, and the countless atrocious human rights violations — including the arrests and disappearances of thousands of people believed to have been tortured and murdered — that took place under her husband’s regime.

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