Critics say ‘never again’ on Marcos uprising

People’s movement: Catholic nuns marching towards the EDSA Shrine during the protest. — Reuters

Hundreds of Filipino protesters marched through Manila on Sunday, marking the anniversary of the uprising that ousted Ferdinand Marcos, while vowing to prevent his son from repeating the dictatorship.

Marcos Jr won the presidency in a landslide in 2022, nearly four decades after a “People Power” uprising ended his late father’s 20-year rule and chased the clan into exile in the United States.

While Marcos Jr remains popular, his campaign to alter the 1987 constitution has proved divisive.

Critics warn the effort could lead to the abolishment of term limits, with presidents currently allowed just one six-year stint in office.

“The theme of this protest is to reject Marcos’s charter change moves which is a move to remain (in) power... which is basically what happened 38 years ago,” said economist Rosario Guzman, 58, who had also taken part in the 1986 uprising.

“No to Cha-Cha (charter change),” read a protest banner displayed behind a mock black coffin marked “Freedom and Democracy”.

Marcos maintains he is primarily seeking to amend the charter’s economic provisions to allow more foreign investment, and ideally create more jobs.

He has said the political aspects, including term limits, should be tackled later.

According to police in Manila, a few hundred people joined Sunday’s march, a far cry from the crowd that paralysed the capital’s main avenue over four days in February 1986 until the military withdrew its support for the elder Marcos. — AFP

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