No regrets for militant solons on EDSA 2

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
First Posted 14:43:00 12/23/2008

Filed Under: Politics

MANILA, Philippines — Unlike former president Corazon Aquino, militant leaders who played key roles in the ouster of president Joseph Estrada are standing by the military-backed popular uprising in 2001.

EDSA 2, which the event came to be known, was the correct response to the situation; it was Estrada’s successor, then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who bungled it, partylist Representatives Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela said.

“I stand by EDSA 2, the problem is that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did not learn the lessons of both EDSA 1 and 2,” Maza said in a text message, adding that Arroyo’s “corruption-ridden and repressive regime betrayed the causes that people power stood for.”

Ocampo said he believed that the uprising was an “apt popular response” to the turn of events following the impeachment proceedings against Estrada at the Senate.

“The future, not the present events, will show whether EDSA 2 was correct or not,” he said.

The two lawmakers hobnobbed with Estrada on Monday at the launch of “Global Filipino,” a biography of former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.

Estrada was one of the main guests along, with Aquino and another former president, Fidel Ramos.

In a brief speech, Aquino apologized to Estrada for taking part in ousting him in 2001. Her spokesperson Deedee Siytangco, however, said the statement was said in jest.

Ocampo said Aquino’s apology to Estrada was understandable “in the light of the huge public disappointment turned into outrage” over the Arroyo administration.

Speaker Prospero Nograles said the apology might have come too late.

“Personally, I feel that the mea culpa statements or a realization of the same were much too late, the event having occurred in early 2001 and we are soon entering 2009,” he said.

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