Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, presides over the Mass for the 35th anniversary of EDSA Shrine in Quezon City on Sunday, Feb. 25. (Photo by Valere Jane R. Callorena/ The Varsitarian)

THE PEOPLE Power Revolution serves as a reminder that conflicts can be resolved peacefully, Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said during Mass for the 35th anniversary of EDSA Shrine in Quezon City.

The anniversary coincided with the commemoration of the four-day uprising in 1986, which toppled the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., on Sunday, Feb. 25.

In his homily, the CBCP head said the revolt in EDSA became a model of peace to the world, achieved with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ang naging simbolo ng Edsa ay ang ating Birheng Maria, Reyna ng Kapayapaan,” David said. “Ito ang misyon natin bilang isang bayan: Ang ihandog sa mundo ang isang dakilang regalo; ang mapayapang paraan ng pagbabago, ang katotohanan, kalayaan at katarungan ay kayang makamit ng walang dahas.

Kung ibig natin ng mapayapang paraan ng pagbabago, iwaksi ang karahasan,” he added.

David reminded politicians that legislation requires finding common ground, taking a swipe at the newest attempts to amend the Constitution.

Walang kuwenta ang batas kung malimutan natin ang pundasyon nito: kasunduan,” he said. “Kapag nawala ito, maaari na namang gamitin [ang batas] sa pang-aapi sa mahihirap, sa pang-aabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan, at sa pang-aalipin sa maliliit.

“We have seen how the law has been weaponized by people who have no respect for it,” he added.

Opposition to the latest charter change attempt was the dominant theme in this year’s EDSA commemoration.

The Church has expressed concerns over the people’s initiative, a method of amending the charter that has since been stopped after allegations of bribery in exchange for signatures surfaced in the media.

David said in his homily that exercising synodality can reinforce the true meaning of People Power.

Kaya bumalik tayo sa pag-uusap kung ibig nating malubos ang pinangarap sa EDSA [at] kung ibig natin ang mapayapang paraan ng pagbabago,” he said. “Kailangan magkatagpo-tagpo tayo para sa makabuluhang pag-uusap.”

The idea to build the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace came two days after the first People Power Revolution. 

The late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, who called for Filipinos to troop to EDSA, and Antipolo Bishop-Emeritus Gabriel Reyes, had passed through an empty lot at the intersection of Ortigas Ave. in Pasig and EDSA. They later proposed to erect a shrine as an act of thanksgiving to Mary, to whom they attributed the People Power’s success.

EDSA Shrine, designed by National Artist for Architecture Francisco Mañosa, a Thomasian,  opened its doors in 1989.

Its fifth and current rector, Fr. Jerome Secillano, concelebrated the Mass. Fernando Pierre Marcel B. Dela Cruz


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