Archive for the ‘EDsA II’ Category

Cory Aquino’s "Apology": A Betrayal?

December 29, 2008

Days after former President Cory Aquino’s supposed apology to former President Estrada, I am still in wonderment and puzzled about all the hullabaloo coming from her political allies. Does a former President lose her right to rue one of her public actions? Can an icon like no longer look back to one of the most controversial portions of our history?

Or are all these manifestations of insecurity on the part of her political allies? That she is no longer one with them in affirming that “they did the right thing” in participating in EDSA II?

Among the comments against her that I read, the most galling is the Philippine Daily Inquirer Editorial Opinion on December 26, 2008. Allow me to quote some excepts:

“…former Corazon Aquino’s apology to the disgraced former President Joseph Estrada for the “mistake” of Edsa 2001 is a betrayal of the highest aspirations of the democracy she helped restore in 1986…”

My opinion: Very strong words. I wish that has been reserved for the power-seeking couple now occupying Malacanang.

It also betrays the elitist understanding of the former President…of the dynamics of recent mass movements in Philippine politics.”

My take: No supporting arguments were offered for this contention. I wonder what are the credentials of the writer regarding the topic of mass movements. I am not even sure that EDSA II is the result of a mass movement.

Edsa II was a direct political action triggered by evidence of grave presidential wrongdoing…”

Last year’s well-argued, solidly based Sandiganbayan decision finding him guilty of two of four counts of plunder is the best justification for Edsa II.”

I say: Does the Inquirer say that everytime there’s evidence of “grave presidential wrongdoing” an EDSA II must be launched?

I think this editorial and comments like this reek of political self-righteousness as in, “Yes, we were completely right”, and a refusal to re-study EDSA II. And probably this also shows a refusal to recognize that they were used and conned by a power-seeking couple that now occupies the stinking Palace by the Pasig river.

To be consistent the allies of former President Aquino should launch another EDSA II and it is probably only right to expect the Inquirer to lead this if they believe in their own editorial. And we will probably see who has a poorer understanding of the dynamics of mass movements.

Cory’s Apology And Our Inutility

December 24, 2008

When former President Cory Aquino apologized to former President Erap Estrada for her participation in the so-called EDSA II, which her spokesperson later said was made in jest, initially I cannot make heads or tails out of it. But mulling about it I think she was really serious about it and it seems the “clarification” of the spokesperson was just an attempt in damage control. Because mmediately after the apology, a firestorm of criticism emanating from former allies battered the former President who is not known for making jokes.

I cannot make sense of the criticism directed at Cory from the likes of Sen. Gordon, Archbishop Cruz and her own son Noynoy. First of all, if a person wants to issue a mea culpa it is his or her full right to do so. Anyway, nobody is yet suggesting that the former President’s mental faculties are already impaired. And to me a person battling for her life (she is stricken with cancer) and who has no political ambitions is even more credible.

But maybe those who reacted are a bit insecure now about their historical role in EDSA II or simply they are being self-righteous about it.

There was a wide consensus among the educated then that Erap was a bit inept, obviously undisciplined and he lets some friends make deals when he was President. But to depose Erap in such a way when there were legal avenues open and there were no insinuations that Erap was throttling the legal remedies (unlike the current occupier of Malacanang) subsequently became the bone of contention.

EDSA II never really gained widespread acceptance (Erap still had a positive trust rating when he was deposed and the poor never really accepted his fall as evidenced by the so-called EDSA III; moreover, it was just a Manila event). Even in the international plane, world leaders and personalities never praised EDSA II and it even drew criticisms. Probably EDSA II even demeaned EDSA I. As evidences seeped out, more and more it looks liked a simple power grab by an oppurtunistic clique who was able to con the educated class and a the same time a mutiny on the part of the military.

The power grab resulted not in a better government but in a more corrupt, shameless and abusive regime. And a Pandora’s box was opened–that extra-constitutional means of regime change is possible and can be legalized by a complicit Supreme Court. I think Cory is aware of this and I think this is the foundation of her change of heart regarding her EDSA II participation.

Most of the other political allies of Cory are still silent about her apology. Are they this deferent to Cory or is this silence a tacit admission that they themselves have already doubts about the rightness of their participation in EDSA II?

To widen the view, let us take note that notable ESDA II participants like former Senate President Villar and former Vice-President Guingona has already made peace with Erap. I think Cory’s move is along this line. The only difference is that Cory has probably the guts to make her apologies public and for this she drew flak.

The ignominy right now is not Cory’s apology. It is just like making a mountain out of a molehill. Our current ignominy resides in the situation where we have a regime geometrically worse than Erap’s and yet we cannot do anything about it. And that “stellar” gathering where Cory made her apology is just the final proof of our current inutility.

[Photo credit:alaykayresilmojares]

Cory’s EDSA II apology opens controversies & distrust among Filipinos

December 24, 2008

Calling the EDSA II revolution a mistake, Corazon (Cory) Aquino, one of the leaders of the movement which ousted former Pres. Joseph (Erap) Estrada from power has brought the nation into new controversies. The sudden confession of the ailing former president opened wounds— sowing confusion among doubting Filipinos who bewailed the endemic poor leadership in the national government.

Rather than bridging the often-repeated “reconciliation” among warring political parties, the demure housewife and former chief executive unwittingly exposed the short-sightedness and immaturity of leaders who stood as huge obstacles to the progress of the country. There were those who surmised if cancer and treatment had put her on tremendous strain; her ability to think sanely as before might have taken a beating.

As a devout practitioner of Catholicism, the former president who’s trying to define her legacy as an infuential public servant may have scored high on matters of faith, but she has placed the people in a void of uncertainty whose damage is too early to quantify. The effects are likely to cause lasting shockwaves on how politics will be played in government affairs like the next presidential election. They will cut across the way people will view what is morally right and wrong as they rule over the scandals that see no end.

By seeking Estrada’s forgiveness, Cory repudiated the collective action of her party and those who pushed for an end of blatant thievery, corruption and ineptness during and after Estrada’s administration. The damning evidence of incompetence and plunder laid bare during the 6 years of trial reduced the public to docility and silent acquiescence—- a treacherous problem of Filipinos no wanted to touch.

Like a modern-day soap opera, Estrada’s dizzying legal battle and his privileged imprisonment shown in TVs, radios, and newspapers ended in a conviction hailed by the people. But it was quickly reversed by Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo (GMA)— herself, a sore symbol of almost all things that had gone wrong with the country. Many believed GMA, the current prexy with an outrageously low approval rating of negative (-30) cleverly pardoned Estrada for political convenience. It was unclear though whether Cory’s apology to Estrada was linked to her frustraion over GMA’s mishandling the government. Cory called on her to resign amidst uncurbed corruption as the wagons of Estrada’s political come-back had rolled in from the first station.

Because of Cory’s change of heart, there are deepening doubts on whether Filipino leaders are up for the job of steering the country to better times. In spite of the early justifications and defense for the widow of Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino, her position strengthens the chance of the come-back of the Estrada and his “weather-weather” gang. The Filipinos are left in an impasse: Wala na ba talagang ibang mga magagaling at matitino?

The demoralizing effect of Cory’s declaration puts the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) leadership, a staunch supporter of EDSA II on the defensive. It revives anew the questions on church-state separation and the constitutionality of the power take-overs which left a serious lingering leadership vacuum in all political fronts.

Most of all, it irreparably damaged the Cory brand of uprightness and wisdom she shared with her martyred husband Ninoy Aquino, leaving Filipinos one less of a person to trust and emulate. (Photo Credits: Joe Galvez; Marcial Pontillas21; Marcial Pontillas21; gmaresign; Marcial Pontillas21; Marcial Pontillas21)=0=


I Was Not Surprised When Erap Was Deposed In 2001

November 28, 2008

I was not surprised when Erap was deposed in 2001 by the supposed “EDSA II”. I got an inkling of it way back in 2000.

Filipinos invariably talk about elections. In a gathering in Ibalon in 2000 there was a talk of who will probably succeed Erap after the 2004 elections. Of course the majority said that Gloria is the frontrunner being the sitting Vice-President and a former topnotcher in Senate elections. The somebody shot back, “What made you think Erap will finish his term”.

The person was close to some powers as is some of the other members. “What is the lesson of EDSA?” The same person answered the question, “The military is pivotal“.

That set me thinking. And watching.

Soon the “I Accuse” speech of Sen. Guinnago came out. Next came the Villar “touchdown”. Afterwards, the impeachment melodramas in the Senate that was broadcast live nationwide. After that, “Itsa Dos”.

A friend asked me why I was not high on Gloria (like most of the educated then). Told him I lived in Iligan City and “isinusuka sila doon ng tao“. Gloria spent her early years there. It was the place where her mother practiced medicine and it is where their true ancestral house in located (not in Pampanga unlike what most people supposes).

I asked a relative why. “Masama ang ugali. Manggagamit“. And it is said that the place where one came from knows the person best.

The person added, “Gloria never forgot the humiliation of her father. She idolized him.” I didn’t know then if the words were a warning to me.

And that got me thinking of the Harry Stonehill case and the subsequent canning of then Secretary of Justice Jose Diokno.

“Think of it, mga padi. If Gloria succeeds Erap in 2001 and wins in 2004, that is 10 years. Lot of time to really do something”.

But I don’t think now that the person really knew then how black Gloria’s bones are.