EDSA 34’s Yellow Ribbon Campaign brings power to the grassroots

MANILA – On the eve of the 34th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, Liberal Party (LP) chapters across the country, together with allies from Tindig Pilipinas, initiated a campaign banking on volunteerism to commemorate the restoration of democracy in our country more than three decades ago.

Dubbed the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, the 95 party chapters with 10,000 active members nationwide worked tirelessly in their communities to craft and hang yellow ribbons as a call to uphold and protect democracy.

The campaign was led by the party’s growing grassroots membership, and participated in by a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals commemorating the peaceful revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

The Yellow Ribbon Campaign is a statement as the party goes all-in on its strategic shift to the grassroots, which builds on the momentum of 2019’s Otso Diretso volunteer-led efforts. Otso Diretso refers to the eight senatorial candidates in the mid-term elections last May.

Campaign membership has been steadily growing since then, with chapters being founded across the nation.

“The idea behind the Yellow Ribbon Campaign came from our chapter leaders and members. This is a crucial ingredient for a successful movement. Let’s bring our efforts back to the people. Let them own it,” Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, said.

The campaign had concurrent efforts online from supporters with #DemokrasyaPaRin which the party also adopted.

“Nakakatuwang makita na marami pa ring mga naniniwala at handang ipaglaban ang demokrasya. Sa Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao, makikita ‘yan sa mga volunteers natin at mga yellow ribbon,” Congressman Kit Belmonte, Secretary-General, said.

“This is just the beginning. The successful Yellow Ribbon Campaign is a testament to how far volunteerism can get us,” former Congressman Teddy Baguilat, LP Vice President for Internal Affairs, said.

Pulling an all-nighter, the Liberal volunteer-members were able to hang countless yellow ribbons in communities across the country, stretching from Pangasinan in the North and Butuan City in the South.

Liberal Party Director-General Jason Gonzales thanked and congratulated the chapters for this initiative saying, “When freedoms and rights are under attack, we can count on our chapter members and leaders — the grassroots — to make a stand. The public can expect more of these types of efforts from our party membership in the future.”

Yellow ribbon is referred in the 1973 song, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” about someone who, after he has “done his time”, was uncertain if he would still be welcomed home.

It became the symbol of resistance when members of the anti-Marcos movement and supporters of former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. welcomed his return from exile in the United States on 21 August 1983, by tying yellow ribbons along the streets from the airport to his Quezon City home.

Unfortunately, he was not able to witness this warm welcome, as he was murdered right on the airport tarmac.

His assassination sparked a movement that ended with the dictator Marcos fleeing the country in 1986 in what has become known worldwide as the EDSA People Power, celebrated every February 25.