The 1986 EDSA “People Power” Revolution: Fake news?
When Malacanang’s assistant communications secretary Mocha Uson ran a Facebook poll on whether the 1986 EDSA “People Power” revolution that ousted a dictator was “fake news” or real — 84 percent of the 61,800 voters said the widely-celebrated peaceful revolution was a product of “fake news.”
But in a recent press briefing, Malacanang palace immediately pushed back from her poll’s result.
Philippine Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, “According to the law, EDSA is not fake news. We honor the EDSA revolution having declared it as a public holiday. We still recognize and we will always recognize EDSA not only as an important historical event, but it was the first bloodless People Power revolution in the entire planet earth and it remains significant.”
Uson explained that she never claimed that EDSA 86 was “fake news, and that her blog only serves as a megaphone for the voiceless.”
But contrary to her claim, Uson reposted a couple of memes discrediting the nuns who stopped the tanks during the bloodless revolution as propaganda.
Netizens critical of the celebrity blogger slammed Uson’s attempt to revise history.
Palanca winning writer and Facebook user Miguel Syjuco wrote: “They’ll disingenuously pretend that it’s just a poll and it has nothing to do with historical whitewashing. Unless of course the poll says that more people believe edsa people power was fake news, in which case they’ll trumpet it as fact.”
Meanwhile in the Bay Area, these Fil-Ams say Uson’s revisionist attempt has bigger implications such as the delegitimization of activism and movements.
“These are attempts to delegitimize movement at all, in the first place, in de-legitimizing an action such as the people power, it can also cause the de-legitimization of actions of people’s movements and people’s actual calls against dictatorships, against tyranny,” says Raymond Jegillos.
“It was a mass movement of folks who are really really discontent with a dictator, a man who Ferdinand Marcos was a fascist, numerous, countless human rights violations,” said Katrina
Liwanag. “And if we are going to say that it was a hoax, how do we explain 400 political prisoners who were arrested during the martial law era.”
For some Filipinos here in the Bay Area, their biggest question is, who will benefit by these attempts to revise history?