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February 28, 2017

The biggest news about the 31st EDSA celebration is not some message about democracy and freedom or love of country but the sparsity of the crowd that assembled  there for the occasion— and Jim Paredes engaged in a stare-down confrontation with boys. Whooa!  I think, henceforth, the image will be the symbol of this event.  In a way, Paredes’ behavior could well represent what has become of the EDSA People Power celebration: a platform to display the bigotry and self-righteousness of the Yellows, the victors of that historic event. Supremely ironic, since the event is supposed to celebrate democracy and freedom of expression.  From now on, he is to me Jim ‘Lukatmi’ Paredes.

Oddly, the name Jim Paredes was never a prominent one in anti-Marcos movements and rallies during Martial law and after.  He was popular as one of the Apo Hiking Society, but as an anti-Marcos activist?   In fact, even in their songs, popular hits as they were, there was hardly any hint of activism or anti-government sentiments.  So where must this zealousness be coming from?

It was his mother, Ester Jimenez, who actually fought President Marcos.  She was a core member of the Light-A-Fire Movement, an anti-Marcos group said to be responsible for the numerous bombings around Metro Manila in the early 80s.  She was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death for terrorism.  She was however released by the Cory administration, which probably explains her son’s devotion to the Aquinos.

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