Fr. Robert Reyes

Practice ‘5 Rs’ to understand EDSA I, running priest tells people

Practice ‘5 Rs’ to understand EDSA I, running priest tells people
By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—There are steps that people can take to keep the spirit of EDSA I alive, according to “running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes.

He said the people could practice these “5 Rs” to understand EDSA I—remembrance, repetition, reflection, renewal and realization of its lessons, values and spirit.

Embarking on Wednesday on a 28-hour walk from Navotas City to the EDSA Shrine to help keep alive the spirit of the 1986 People Power Revolution, Reyes observed that many of the urban poor considered the historic event “a middle class thing.”

He said that contrary to that perception, EDSA I was for everyone because the people worked together to unseat a dictator, although some believed that only the face of the tyrant had changed.

Reyes said it appeared that the lessons of the peaceful uprising had not been learned.

Members of urban poor groups joined Reyes in his 28-hour pilgrimage, or “Lakbay dalangin,” to the EDSA Shrine.

The group has passed a number of government offices, including the Department of Public Works and Highways whose projects displaced poor families in Navotas.

“[This] is my humble contribution to the commemoration of EDSA I,” Reyes said. “May our leaders relearn the lessons and start a truly meaningful journey with the poor before, during and, most especially, after the May elections.”

Choose wisely

In a statement issued to mark the 24th anniversary of EDSA I, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) lamented that the gains of the historic event were short-lived.

It said that as in 1986, a similar conjugal dictatorship and deceit, corruption and disregard for the rule of law were prevailing in the country.

But the AMRSP also said the people once again had the chance to rid the country of these horrors by choosing a new group of leaders wisely and refusing to fall prey to the blandishments of candidates.

“We cannot allow these to rule and dominate the Philippine landscape, especially now that we are again hearing sweet promises of hope from those aspiring to be [our] leaders,” it said, adding:

“We must learn the lessons of our history and be vigilant to never again fall into the pit of destruction caused by men and women’s insatiable quest for power.

“We have reached our limits! We cannot allow another betrayal to happen! Let us all be united in guarding our future by not being easily swayed by the promises of those who claim to be poor, or poor in origin!”

The statement was signed by AMRSP chairs Sr. Mary John Mananzan and Fr. Jesus Malit.