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Vested interests dim ‘people power’

Political leaders have failed to implement reforms and improve the lives of Filipinos

Nuns and seminarians lead the people in prayer during the 1986 people power uprising. (Photo courtesy of Joe Galvez) Nuns and seminarians lead the people in prayer during the 1986 people power uprising. (Photo courtesy of Joe Galvez)
  • ucanews.com reporters, Manila
  • Philippines
  • February 23, 2011
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Church leaders and civil groups in the Philippines say vested interests of those in power and the government's failure to implement reforms have diminished gains made by the 1986 "people power revolution."

Ahead of the 25th anniversary this week of the uprising that ousted Ferdinand Marcos, Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres said the country’s political leaders since then  have failed to deliver on promised reforms and to improve the lives of Filipinos.

"After 25 years, the reasons why we had [a revolution] still exist in our society today," Archbishop Legaspi said in an interview with Church-run Radio Veritas.

"While we were successful in [removing] a dictator, we were not able to follow through in correcting the abuses," Archbishop Legaspi said.

He said Filipinos were expecting major reforms after 1986 but that vision still remains a "big challenge."

Military Ordinariate Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak said Filipinos are still far from getting reform due to vested interests.

He said the 1986 uprising was "half a battle won with the other half still being fought."

Some people who joined the movement to oust Marcos did so "seemingly not for the right reasons," the bishop said.

Civic groups, meanwhile, plan to march on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue in central Manila to demand "economic relief" in the face of rising prices   .

"We join the Filipino people in remembering the victory of 'people power’ and the toppling of the Marcos dictatorship. However, we also note many of the unfulfilled promises since 1986," said Renato Reyes, secretary general of the New Patriotic Alliance.

He said Filipinos are still confronted with poverty, human rights abuses, corruption, an absence of land reform, and foreign intervention.

"People must once again unite against sky-rocketing prices and unbridled bureaucratic corruption," Reyes said.

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