Cory ally Binay absent in 30th People Power celebration

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As a human rights lawyer, Vice President Jejomar Binay then fought against the abuses under the martial rule, while Sen. Gregorio Honasan was part of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, which helped overthrow the Marcos dictatorship.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Both Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Gregorio Honasan II had active roles during the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

On the 30th celebration of the so-called peaceful revolution, however, the two couldn't be found. The two were in Quezon province —  hundreds of miles away from the historical avenue.

When asked why he skipped the commemoration, Binay laughed and explained that he didn't get an invitation.

"There's no invitation, there's no role," the vice president said in Filipino.

However, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told CNN Philippines on Thursday that the event was open to all.

He said they also made the announcement in a media briefing last February 9.

Binay was then a human rights lawyer and fought against the abuses under the martial rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Honasan was part of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement or RAM, which helped overthrow the Marcos dictatorship.

Watch: Who are the 'RAM' boys?

Binay also criticized some of those who went to the event. Among those present was Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel Roxas II.

"Yung iba diyan nangunguna pa sa entablado e nung mga oras na iyon ay wala naman doon, kasama pa nung rehimen na dapat palitan," Binay said.

[Translation: "Others at the event are eager to get on the stage even though they had no participation in the EDSA revolution, they are even part of the regime that needs to be changed."]

Despite his absence at the Manila event, Binay said he continues to fight for the same beliefs he fought for 30 years ago: to experience real democracy and to uplift the lives of many Filipinos.

Binay hits LP

Meanwhile, as many people celebrate the roles the Aquinos had in the People Power Revolution, Binay criticized the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III in his speeches in Quezon province.

"Ngayon po ay fiesta official, ginugunita po natin ang EDSA. Pero nagbibgay din po ng pagkakataon na suriin ano nga ba ang kahalagahan ng EDSA? Sa malungkot na pag-uusap, 30 taon problema ang kahirapan noon, hanggang ngayon problema parin po iyan," he said.

[Translation: "Today, we commemorate EDSA. But this is also an opportunity for us to assess its relevance. It is sad that for 30 years poverty has been a problem, from then until now."]

Also read: Sociologist explains: Despite father's dictatorship, why are Marcoses still popular?

In his speeches, Binay also criticized those who wanted to run for the presidency but lacked experience.

But in the 1986 snap elections, Binay supported the presidential bid of Corazon Aquino, the president’s mother, despite her lack of experience. Asked why he supported the late president, Binay explained that there was an immense need for a leader who can bring change back then.

Binay added that the late president is the wife of former Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., whom he described as an outstanding local government officer.

"Mas matindi ang pangangailangan sa namumuno na magbibigay ng pagbabago, na yun naman ay asawa ng isang magaling na namuno. Si Senator Benigno Aquino was an outstanding local government official," he said.

[Translation: "There was a dire need for a leader that can enact change. She was the wife of Senator Benigno Aquino, an outstanding local government official."]

For his part, Honasan said that there is a need to teach the next generation of leaders and citizens the real history of the People Power Revolution.

He explained that some people are distorting the facts of what transpired 30 years ago.

Related: Aquino tells youth: Martial law not a figment of imagination, know the facts

"Turuan natin susunod na henerasyon ng factual history. Hindi distrortions. Maraming nagpresenta, sila raw ay ganito, nandito kami, nandoon. Kaya tinawag na People Power kasi nagsasama-sama abogado, human rights lawyers, sundalo, at yung sambayanan hindi lang EDSA as a physical location, all over the country and all over the world… Let us teach our next generation of leaders and citizens real factual history para malaman natin na this is work in progress. Wala naman nagsabi na magiging madali," he said.

[Translation: "Let's teach the next generation about factual history, not distortions. A lot of people are saying this or that or that they were there. It was called People Power because lawyers, human rights lawyers, soldiers, the Filipino people joined together. It is not merely EDSA as a physical location. Let us teach our next generation of leaders and citizens real factual history so they will know that this is a work in progress. Nobody said it was going to be easy."]