he passage of time has a way
of distilling reality and bringing out truths that are sometimes hidden or
lost by present circumstances. Case in point is the overwhelming level of
admiration many Filipinos have for former President Corazon Aquino. When she
passed away in 2009, the entire nation seemed beside itself in grief. Her
casket was mobbed by thousands of mourners as it slowly made its way through
the streets of Metro Manila to its final resting place at the Manila
Memorial Park in Parañaque.
numbers of Filipinos still admire her but we believe that number will
continually diminish over time as emotions fade away and a more studied
assessment of her presidency is undertaken. In fact we predict that over
time her presidency will be seen as more of a failure than a success.
back to late February, 1986 when Filipinos started amassing along EDSA in
front of Camp Crame to create a human shield around the rebel leaders who
were finally defying a corrupt dictator who had brutalized his people for
almost twenty years. By the 25th of February an estimated three million
people were along EDSA stranding in front of tanks and preventing them from
moving forward. While no one was killed that day, all those brave souls on
EDSA knew that had Marcos or his lackey, General Fabian Ver given the order
to attack, they would have been trampled by the tanks or mowed-down by
machine-gun fire. Still they stood their ground. And where was Cory Aquino
during all this? Hiding in a convent in Cebu.
Marcoses fled and Aquino was sworn into office, the Filipino people had
given her extraordinary powers that even Marcos never dreamed he could ever
attain. Filipinos handed over on a silver platter a revolutionary government
that gave Aquino all the power and authority of government. She had no
congressional or judicial branches to contend with—she called all the shots.
have changed the Philippines the way on one—past or present—ever could. She
could have jailed all involved in the plunder and human rights violations of
the Marcos regime. She could have de-fanged the oligarchy and redistributed
wealth. She could even have gotten to the bottom of who killed her husband
Instead she accomplished
none of those. She wasted a golden opportunity to lift the country out of
its morass and turn it into a vibrant forward-looking country made up of equals.
The special powers that the Filipino people gave Cory Aquino with the EDSA
revolution will likely never again be offered to any other Filipino
Ninety-five years from now,
when the 100th death anniversary of Cory Aquino comes around, Filipinos of
that future era will no longer have the personal or emotional attachment to
Cory Aquino that Filipinos of today have. All they will have to go by are
the facts. And based on those facts they will likely conclude—as we
have—that Cory Aquino was indeed a failure as president.
Cory Aquino's eventual fall
from grace which we predict, should serve as a warning to all who seek the
highest office in the land. A kind heart and good intentions will never be
enough to get one a free pass. A president must deliver or he or she will be
considered a failure. Sometimes not immediately but over time, Filipinos
further removed from the emotional ties of the moment will pass the final
judgment as to whether one was a success or failure as president.
For much of the last month, my Facebook friends in Metro Manila have been posting comments lamenting their helplessness at being condemned to spend a great portion of what is left of their productive lives stuck in hours of traffic with no hope in sight. They now appreciate why Dan Brown described Manila in his book, Inferno, as “the gates of hell” specifically referring to its “six-hour traffic jams (and) suffocating pollution”.
Since 1620 when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, people the world over
have migrated to America in search of a better life. Filipinos are no
exception. In the '70s and '80s Filipinos who were able to, left for the
U.S. to escape the tyranny of the Marcos regime; today they leave is to
escape the poverty and the lack of opportunity in their homeland.
Whatever the reason, Filipino migrants quickly shed their old habits and
attitudes and embraced American culture.
Both United States and Philippine Governments to Blame for Death of Jeffery "Jennifer" Laude
The United States and Philippine governments share the blame for the tragedy. Two young lives needlessly destroyed: the first, a young Filipino transgender found strangled inside a motel bathroom; the second a teenaged American serviceman now accused of murder.
Death of Filipino Transgender 'Jennifer' Laude Was Totally Preventable
The evening for the young US Marine and his Filipino date "Jennifer" began at the Ambyanz Disco Bar in Subic Bay, Olongapo and ended shortly before midnight at the Celzone Lodge where "Jennifer's" lifeless body was found leaning against the toilet bowl. Jennifer, it turns out was actually not originally a "she" but a "he." A Filipino transgender, Jeffrey Laude, 26, began calling himself "Jennifer" after medical procedures made him look more female than male.
Sorry Mr. President But PNP Chief Alan Purisima Has to Go
What’s with Philippine civil servants these days? It seems that you can stick all their pictures on a wall; throw a dart; and whoever’s photo it land on, that person can be successfully prosecuted for graft. It is unbelievable how pervasive and widespread corruption has become. We go from one corruption scandal to the next and there seems to be no end in sight.
Tear Down the Torre de Manila Building Being Built Behind the Rizal Monument?
According to the developer’s website, “Torre de Manila, DMCI Homes’ newest one-tower condominium, is an exclusive residential community right in the heart of the city.” As of this writing, the 49-story edifice is about halfway complete. But as it continues to rise, so too do the howls of protest from an eclectic collection of groups and individuals who want it torn down. Why? Torre de Manila will permanently mar the skyline behind the Rizal Monument.
How Ferdinand Marcos’s Martial Law Continues Hurting Filipinos to This Day
On the evening of September 23, 1972, two days after it had taken effect, Ferdinand Marcos announced via live television from Malacañang Palace that he had placed the Philippines under Martial Law. It was a calculated move by a devious politician to keep himself in power beyond what the Constitution allowed. A staged ambush attempt against his Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile was the main excuse Marcos (or “Macoy” as he was deridingly referred to back then) used to strip Filipinos of all their constitutional rights. With that, the diminutive Ilocano from the backwaters of Batac, Ilocos Norte became the despotic dictator for over a decade.
Jejomar Binay Should Never Become President of the Philippines
In our July 25th editorial we asked if Vice President Jejomar Binay should be the next president of the Philippines. In this editorial we arrive at the definitive conclusion that that Binay should not be elected president. Since our last editorial, more witnesses have come forward with more allegations against the embattled Vice President. But our decision not to support Binay’s presidential bid is based on irrefutable public acts that in our opinion disqualify him from the presidency.