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EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The 1986 EDSA Revolution,
also known as the People Power Revolution, was a very important event in Philippine history.
Ferdinand Marcos, then President of the Philippines was ousted from the Philippines after nearly
20 years of dictatorial regime. Protesters He was replaced by Corazon Aquino, the widow of
Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the major political enemy of Marcos. It brought a hopeful beginning
of genuine development-economic and political not present in the Marcos administration.
However, these hopes never became a reality. Today, there limited social security in the country,
marked corruption and a huge contrast between the rich and poor. Therefore, the People Power
Revolution proved to be a failure in the Philippines.

One of the basic goals of the EDSA Revolution in 1986 was to provide primary supplies
to the people who were suffering from the monopolies of the Marcos regime. Even so, there is
limited social security in the Philippines which is one of the human rights mentioned in the 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to social security states that all humans should
be able to get food and other necessary amenities at reasonable prices. However, according to the
EDSA article, six in ten Filipinos are trying to survive on incomes of P82 or less per day for their
food and non-food expenses. After Marcos was ousted, the inflation rate rose from 0.77% in
1986 to 14.17% in 1990 under the inexperienced leadership of Corazon Aquino, as mentioned in
the Philippine Statistical Yearbook. According to the CIA World Fact book, around 17% of the
Philippines' youth is unemployed. That is more than 3,400,000 young people that are capable of
transforming the economic condition of the Philippines. There is no doubt that the social security
that the People Power Revolution promised has not been achieved and in some cases, even
worsened.

On the same note, there is a huge gap between the rich and poor in the Philippines. This
was again one of the primary reasons why the People Power Revolution took place. In 2009, the
wealth of the 25 richest Filipinos is equal to the wealth of 60 million poor people, as stated in the
EDSA article. On the Gini Inequality Index, it stands on 44 and succeeded by only by the
infamous Latin American countries. A Working Paper of the International Monetary Fund points
out that in 1985, during the Marcos regime, the income of the wealthiest 20% of the Philippines
was equal to the 10 times the annual income of the poorest 20% of the Philippines, while in
1990, this number rose to 11 times the wealth of the poor. Again, one of the very basic ideas that
led to the People Power Revolution, inequality, was compromised.
A major complain of the People Power Protesters was the blatant corruption of the
Marcos regime. However, the problem is still evident in the country. According to the Global
Barometer Corruption Report 2010, 16% of the services in the Philippines are given after taking
a bribe. The Corruption Perceptions Index 2011 rates it at 2.6 with 0 being highly corrupt.
According to an article published on the 25th Anniversary of the People Power Revolution,
many of the presidents after Marcos, including Arroyo and Joseph Estrada are accused with
allegations of corruption. Even though this was one of the pillars of the EDSA Revolution, the
levels of corruption in the state have barely unchanged.

The common Filipino who took part in the revolution had many hope and expectations
from the new administration. The bitter truth is, these future administrators of the Philippines
proved to be more or less the same. During the revolution, numerous promises were made but
these had no substance. These included ones on social security, removal of inequality and
corruption. The same reasons which were criticized during Marcos’ regime were still profound
after he left the Philippines. This is because the people who worked with Marcos were still free.
The need in 1986 was to punish the supporters of Marcos. Also, the country needed a stronger
and more experienced person as the president. This proved to be a costly mistake and resulted in
worsening of conditions. The People Power Revolution, it can be said, was an incomplete
revolution.