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Two rallies

If the “spirit of Edsa” is dead, who, pray tell, killed it? That would be the ex-Yellows, of course.

I believe I should call them ex-Yellows now because they seem to be ashamed to wear their old signature color these days. Even former President Noynoy Aquino, like the rest of the remaining loyalists of his former regime who gathered on Edsa last Saturday, wore black—perhaps to mourn the passing of their three decades of power and influence.

The remaining adherents of the Aquino family’s political faction can change their color to aubergine or back to Yellow again tomorrow for all anyone cares. It still won’t bring their dead movement back to life, as the sparse crowd that gathered to mark the 31st anniversary of the 1986 Edsa “people power” revolt showed.

The passing of the “Edsa spirit” is to be expected. After all, through three decades of neglect, thievery, incompetence, vengefulness and elitism, the ex-Yellows already killed the “body” of Edsa a long time ago.

It may be true that Edsa may have stood for something good before. But the Aquino adherents who were supposed to nurture the ideals that it represented threw it all away.

And these people cannot blame us, who do not share their discredited beliefs, of killing their precious Edsa. Literally and in spirit, we weren’t even near the place these past 30 years, except when we’re stuck in traffic on the way to somewhere else.

The irony of it is, the Yellows proved to be even more power-hungry, money-mad, uncaring and incompetent than the regime that it originally supplanted. And they gave birth, unwittingly, to Rodrigo Duterte, whom the people chose in repudiation of the Yellow belief system.

On the plus side, the ex-Yellows should be happy that they did make it this far and stay this long. But now they have to step aside, if they really don’t want to move on with the rest of the country.

The ex-Yellows have had their fun, enriching themselves while professing their love of God and the Aquinos. It was never about the country for them, these people even treated the various representations of their yellow ribbon standard as a higher symbol than the Philippine flag.

Now they should stop whining and face the reality of their impending extinction. And they can start by ending the search for people to blame for their troubles outside of their own ranks.

Because the Yellows killed Edsa. And, in a perfectly understandable move, they’re not even proud to call themselves Yellows anymore.

* * *

In certain terminally bitter political circles, it’s fashionable to talk about how besieged Duterte must be feeling these days, when he is supposedly losing the support of the people. And when I hear such talk, I remember how many times Duterte has been compared to a certain Donald J. Trump – and how different the two leaders are in at least one crucial respect.

The biggest difference between Duterte and Trump, I’ve always maintained, is the margin of victory between them and their closest opponents. Using this yardstick, it’s clear that Trump has every reason to feel besieged, because he didn’t even get more votes than Hillary Clinton.

Duterte, however, was the runaway winner last May, garnering more than 50 percent of the votes received (through fair means and foul) by the surprise runner-up, the erstwhile bottom-dwelling Mar Roxas.

And yet, Duterte and his supporters are beset on all sides by the raucous losers who are orphans of Roxas and the Yellow regime that backed him. How did it happen, you may ask, that the voice of the majority has been all but drowned out by the noise of the few?

Well, the Yellows do have a still-formidable propaganda machinery all across traditional and new media. They have financial backers among those who are true believers and those merely scared of facing charges in court.

They have the support of liberal elites all over the world, in media, NGOs and multilateral bodies, which they leverage to great acoustic effect. What these Aquino-lovers don’t have—and this is crucial—is the support of the only constituency that matters: the Filipino people.

This is Duterte’s strength. And the people should realize that he will be needing them from time to time, when the din generated by the Yellows threatens to make it appear that they somehow have seized the majority.

The judicious use of this new and much more real “people power” is what will give Duterte the strength to continue. It should always be ready to be deployed.

That is what the majority that voted for Duterte last May needs to understand: While the elections are long over, they still need to protect their president from those who want him removed from time to time.

And last Saturday’s show of force at Manila’s Rizal Park (and elsewhere around the country and even in other nations) should happen again, to remind the plotters and destabilizers that the people will not allows them to have their way.

Noise, after all, doesn’t mean numbers. Sometimes, even the fewest number can create the greatest noise.

Topics: Jojo Robles , Two rallies , Edsa , 1986 Edsa people power , Noynoy Aquino , President Rodrigo Duterte , Mar Roxas
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