demonstrators lock arms in front of an armored vehicle hoping to stop it
from moving forward.
years ago, There was euphoria throughout the country, and indeed
throughout the world. The Filipino people had kicked out a brutal tyrant
and sent him and his entire family packing. And they did this without
violence or loss of life. Ferdinand Marcos, a two-bit dictator who
thought he and his family owned the Philippines had overplayed his hand
and soon found himself inside an American military transport headed for
Guam, then Hawaii.
It must be noted that
although it was a bloodless revolution, the millions of Filipinos from
all walks of life who showed up at EDSA to stand with the rebels were
prepared to lay down their lives. For four days they amassed at EDSA,
eventually blocking the path of tanks and facing down soldiers carrying
M16 assault rifles. If Marcos' Chief-of-Staff and his onetime chauffer
Gen. Fabian Ver had his way, troops still loyal to the dictator would
have charged the crowd and caused a bloodbath of epic proportions.
Thankfully, that did not happen. Nevertheless, for the tens of thousands
blocking the path of Ver's military machinery, dying on EDSA during
those four tumultuous days was a very real possibility.
Corazon "Cory" Aquino
the prime beneficiary of the EDSA revolution became president and ruled
the country for six years. By her own admission, she said she knew
nothing about running a country having been "just a plain housewife" all
her life. She formed a cabinet composed primarily of strident Marcos
haters who were equally unqualified like she was. Having almost no
government experience under her belt, she followed bad advice or
downright wrong advice from those around her and accomplished little or
nothing during her term in office. The country suffered from 12-hour
brownouts almost on a daily basis, business productivity had ground to a
halt. The oligarchy and the forces behind the Marcos regime quietly
began reconstituting their power bases and before long, the old order
was back at the helm.
When Cory Aquino was
sworn in as president on the 25th of February 1986, she was sworn in as
the head of a revolutionary government. She had no senate or congress to
contend with, and no Supreme Court to tell her what she could and
couldn't do. She had absolute power—more power than Marcos ever dreamed
he could have. Aquino could have permanently changed Philippine politics
and put the country on the right path if she only had the brilliant mind
and vast experience of her late husband Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino.
Unfortunately for Filipinos, she didn't, and thus accomplished next to
nothing during her term as president.
Aquino and Grace Poe.
So what does all this
have to do with Grace Poe, you ask? It has everything to do with her.
Filipinos might be on the verge of electing another untrained,
inexperienced individual for president. Like Aquino, Poe is a charming
Filipina, who can disarm the public with her warm smile and humble
demeanor. But like Aquino, her glaring inexperience will ultimately be
her undoing. The country is currently facing very precarious situations:
in the West Philippine Sea versus China; in the Middle East where the
low price of oil could force the repatriation of millions of Overseas
Filipino Workers (OFWs); and in Metro Manila where overpopulation and
heavy traffic are slowly choking businesses and destroying the
Filipinos' quality of life. Add to the above an endemic drug problem,
numerous rebel and terrorist groups around the country, widespread
corruption, global pandemics, and the accelerating pace of technological
change, and it becomes very clear that having an inexperienced leader is
a very dangerous proposition.
Grace Poe might make a
good leader—even a great leader ... someday, but not now. Remember the
12-hour brownouts during the Cory years, her inability to even get to
the bottom of who killed her husband Ninoy, her failure to bring about
any lasting change, and thus the failure of the EDSA revolution itself;
all these should be reason enough not to put another individual with
little or no experience in Malacañang.