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Jan 27th
What about Cory II? By Antonio C. Abaya PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 18 September 2009 06:31
What about Cory II? By Antonio C. Abaya Written on Sept. 16, 2009 For the Standard Today, September 17 issue The main headline on the September 15 issue of the Manila Standard Today was quite emphatic and succinct: God save the Philippines from Estrada II – Lacson. The Standard Today's main story went on: "Senator Panfilo Lacson yesterday accused his former boss and ousted President Joseph Estrada of protecting gambling lords and smugglers while in office. "God save the Philippines from Joseph Ejercito, alias Joseph Estrada," Lacson said in a privilege speech before the Senate, adding it was his duty to reveal what he knew of the former president, who plans to run for the presidency again in 2010. "In public, Lacson said that he was uncompromising in the crackdown against jueteng, the illegal numbers game. But shortly after his election, he told Lacson to go slow in the campaign against jueteng to give governors and mayors, especially those who helped him get elected, a source of supplementary funds that they could use to help their constituents. " End of excerpts from the Manila Standard Today. Sen. Lacson is to be congratulated for his exposé on the convicted plunderer, but he probably realizes that its import is dulled by the lateness of its appearance, by the suspicion that it is merely the result of a save-your-own- skin squabbling between two suspects in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case, and that it may have no effect at all on the political judgment of most of the squealing masa, who constitute about 70 percent of the Philippine electorate. Nonetheless, Sen. Lacson is doing a service to the country by doing what he can to prevent Estrada II from inflicting its shadow on this unfortunate country. I can only hope that God will do his share in blocking this tragedy from occurring.. What about God save the Philippines from Arroyo III? Can we expect this headline-prayer from any Manila newspaper anytime soon? If recent public opinion surveys are to be believed, President Gloria Arroyo is the most disliked and the most unpopular president ever in Philippine history. But she claimed, before no less than Pope Benedict XVI himself, that the Good Lord put her in the presidency. So how can anyone pray that God save this country from someone who was placed by God himself in that position in the first place? Did God make a mistake the first and second time around? If so, will God make a third mistake? The truth, however, is that God does not interfere in the affairs of men and women, least of all in the sordid world of Philippine politics. Only Filipino men and women of goodwill can save this country from Arroyo III. But they'd better work fast because the day of reckoning is only eight months away. Can God save the Philippines from Cory II? I ask this question as someone who was one of the first to ask Mrs. Corazon-Cojuangco Aquino to run for president, in June 1985, when she paid her respects during the wake for my recently departed father. Before and during the EDSA People Power Uprising in February 1986, my three then teen-aged children and I took active part in the street protests against the Marcos regime. Our ageing Mercedes Benz was part of the citizens' barricades at the corner of Timog and Morato, to prevent Marcos loyalist tanks from passing through on their way to EDSA. And we took part in the mammoth Tagumpay ng Bayan rally at the Luneta where Cory unilaterally proclaimed herself the winner of the snap presidential elections, despite the official claim of the Comelec that Marcos had won. So in 1985-1986, I was a yellow-shirted Corysta. But by mid-1987 I was thoroughly disillusioned, and I was probably one of the first columnists to ask her to resign.. Though I did not nurse any nostalgia for the kleptomanic Marcoses, I could see that President Cory did not possess the leadership qualities needed to build a New Philippines on the ruins of the old. Cory herself confessed in 1985 that she knew nothing about being president. Her subsequent actuations as president provided the proofs of her own fears. With all due respect to her enormous positive contributions in throwing the Marcoses out, I was discouraged by her inadequate grasp of matters of state, her naiveté towards the Communist movement which was virtually knocking on the gates of Metro Manila during her watch, her lack of vision of what she wanted to accomplish other than the restoration of bourgeois democracy, her preference for the advice from perceived pro-Communists in her Cabinet – including the advice to release from detention of Joma Ssion and other top Communists - which directly led to at least two military coup attempts against her. That is why I am not excited by the rise of Noynoy Aquino as our possible next president. Because, like his non-political mother, he has had no solid accomplishments as a political person, despite his 11 years in Congress, and because his personality make-up is closer to his saintly mother's than to his combative father's, I fear that a Noynoy presidency would be a Cory II interlude, which in my opinion would be a disaster for this disaster-prone country. I do not mind being proven wrong. I am heartened to learn that the Aquino-Cojunagco clan may eventually have to "leave" its vast Hacienda Luisita in Central Luzon because of the continuing labor troubles that plague it, and the large debt that those labor troubles have cost the clan, according to Noynoy Aquino in the September 13 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. . It was his mother Cory who exempted Hacienda Luisita from land reform and turned it into a corporation in which the tenants became shareholders. By deciding to "eventually leave" the hacienda – if the rest of his clan will agree – Noynoy answers one of my questions in Questions for Noynoy of Sept 08. But he would have been more presidential if he had announced that he was putting the hacienda under land reform because it was the right thing to do, not because they were suffering labor troubles and incurring huge debts as a result of those troubles. This has got to be part of his learning curve if he wants to be president. Noynoy was more convincing (and more presidential) when he came out to categorically support the reproductive health bill, which states the government's policy to moderate the galloping population of this country. Noynoy, who was co-author of the bill, came out solidly behind it, fully aware that his saintly mother would have blocked it, and despite the stated threat of Roman Catholic bishops to campaign against any politicians who supported it. (Manila Standard Today, Sept. 16). The power of the Catholic bishops, especially on the population issue, is overdrawn. In 1992, the Protestant Fidel Ramos won the presidency with 23 percent of the votes, despite the campaign of the Catholic bishops against him. In 1995, former Health Secretary Juan Flavier ran for senator explicitly advocating artificial methods of birth control, and, despite the efforts of the Catholic bishops to blackball him, came out fifth or sixth in a field of 55 candidates. It has been said by many that Noynoy should come out of the shadow of his father to be an effective leader on his own merits. My sense is that it is from his mother's shadow that he should come out of. On these two issues at least – Hacienda Luisita and birth control - he is doing exactly that. Bully for him. ***** Reactions to tonyabaya@gmail. com. Other articles in and in acabaya.blogspot. com.

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