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Jan 16

Cory Aquino’s statement on the Council of State

CORAZON C. AQUINO

I regret that I cannot attend the Council of State meeting on January 24 for reasons of principle. By that action, I do not mean to be disrespectful of the Council nor to renege on one of my duties as a former president. Nevertheless, I apologize to the Filipino people, particularly those whose sense of propriety I might be offending.

While I value the Council of State highly as an institution, I believe that it can only function effectively as a top-level advisory body in an atmosphere of trust. And there lies the problem. At the heart of the crisis besetting the current administration is the fundamental issue of trust.

The very legitimacy of the President’s mandate remains under a cloud of doubt despite the administration’s self-serving statements to the contrary. Rather than resolve the issue in a transparent and forthright manner, the President has opted to muddle it further by insisting that any allusion to the legitimacy issue is part of a grand conspiracy to unseat her.

This is most unfortunate. This posture does nothing to restore the people’s trust in the presidency and in the government. Worse, my presence in the meeting may create more confusion as to where I really stand with regard to my July 8, 2005 statement seeking her voluntary resignation. The absence of trust on both sides gives me great discomfort to even contemplate participation in the forthcoming meeting of the Council of State.
I believe that I would be serving the interests of the Filipino people better at this time by sustaining my efforts to help strengthen our fragile democracy.

Over the short term, this entails working to restore confidence in democratic governance by advocating constitutional avenues out of the present political crisis. To this day, I maintain that the least painful path for the nation is for the President to make the supreme sacrifice of relinquishing her office. Short of that, I believe our nation would be due for protracted political turmoil.

Over the long term, my dream is to create an empowered citizenry as the foundation upon which our democracy can endure and flourish. Toward this end, I have reached out to various sectors to undertake major initiatives to improve the lives of the poor, who stand to suffer the most from the persistent crisis. By systematically lifting millions of Filipinos from poverty, we can help them regain their human dignity and make better choices as part of mainstream society.

Let me also ask the Filipino people to join me in praying for our nation at this critical time. For it is my belief that the most pressing problem impinging on the national interest is neither political nor economic in nature. It is a moral issue that cannot be resolved by structural or legal interventions and by government programs endorsed by the Council of State. It can only be addressed by the President herself.

16 January 2006

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  1. Nick Nichols

    Thanks for posting this, Manolo. Such statements should be much easier to grab off the net than they are.

    There’s no excuse for such a continuing hoarding of complete statements (think monopoly) by the MSM but the well-head sources (Aquino in this case) have to publish. It’s so easy.

  2. joey legarda

    It’s sad but it is also expected.
    If Cory is really sincer in her projecting herself as a truely religious & spiritual person.
    Normaly religion helps us to be humble.
    A deep spiritual life makes it possible for us to go beyound
    the earthly ways.
    But then again, religion used for selfish purpose makes us only hypocrits.
    Religion is something that happens inside a church only.
    It does not translate in our everyday life.

  3. Jon Mariano

    Cory is doing things her way. That’s what she believes in, and it’s admirable. But is it going to make a difference?

    Will praying make a difference? To many Filipinos, the answer would be in the affirmative. Is it trying to use religion for selfish purpose? I think not; therefore Joey was out of line in this regard. Asking people to pray is a lot better than asking people to revolt…

    If you consider praying as being religious. Then using the Bible is also the same? What comes to mind is Davide’s use of the Bible in Erap’s case.

    As Catholic nation, Filipino’s lives revolve around it. Think of the government’s stand on contraceptives. It’s Catholicism’s direct influence, don’t you think so? Think about the fiestas, church weddings and baptism, etc. These are religious activities that touch people’s lives.

  4. joey legarda

    Ok Jon, maybe I was being a bit to cruel, sorry.But I still think religion & politics don’t mix.

  5. baycas

    no religion with politics?

    “That’s up to Divine Providence. Divine Providence put me here. The Lord is a very good Manager of my career.” – on gloria’s reelection bid in 2004

    “While religion is often an ally in the pursuit of power, once power has been secured, religion can become an unwelcome constraint in the quite different processes of state administration” (http://www.crosscurrents.org/Demerath.htm ).

  6. baycas

    no religion with politics?

    “That’s up to Divine Providence. Divine Providence put me here. The Lord is a very good Manager of my career.”
    – on gloria’s reelection bid in 2004

    “While religion is often an ally in the pursuit of power, once power has been secured, religion can become an unwelcome constraint in the quite different processes of state administration.”
    – N.J. Demerath and Karen S. Straight (wwwdotcrosscurrentsdotorg/Demerathdothtm)

  7. Jon Mariano

    I agree that religion should not be used in politics.

    Should we “kill” those who do? It’s actually provided for in the constitution (not the killing!).

  8. joey legarda

    Jon, I have had dealings w/ people of other religions & no religions.It was a plesure dealing w/ them because they where real people.no pretentions.honest & sincer w/o having to put on so many faces.

  9. Jon Mariano

    Personal relationships and business relationships with people of various beliefs is one thing and there’s no question that we as Filipinos are quite respectful of each others beliefs. However, using religious beliefs in running the government or formulating policies and laws is to me, unacceptable.

  10. blackshama

    Corazon Aquino’s failure to implement serious restructuring of Philippine society right after EDSA 1986 (a missed opportunity, if history will tell us) is part of the present problem. If she complains of lack of empowerment, she should look back on the record of her governance. Land Reform? The Cojuangco family was first to exploit the legal loopholes. Was this moral? If Mrs Aquino would follow her conscience she should at least be contrite about this.

  11. joey legarda

    Jon, I think before we can be good catholics or what ever religion we have.we must first be very responsible people & secure people.If religion for us is just a form or a ritual or others use it for networking.Then we miss the entire point of what religion should be.religion is supposed to be a source of spiritual strenght & philosophy in our life.It must be something that is reflected in the things that we do and we really don’t have to talk about it.Our actions will show.In a country like the Philippines where there is much poverty religion has many faces & also many destortions.
    In the harsh political enviorment of the Philippines.religion is comparmised continously.In a way it’s used ina avery selective way.
    I tjink it’s better to let God be the judge to what our leaders do.

  12. leb

    It’s not a question of religion or spirituality but of principles. Cory Aquino should be commended in staying away from the Council of State where she will be interacting with people whom she does not trust anymore.

  13. Grace

    You are my hero Pres.Aquino!!Thank you so much President Aquino for giving back our democracy!!!

  14. Marvin

    isa sa mga magaling at marangal na presidente si dating pangulong Cory Aquino. sana magkaroon pa ng presidente na katulad niya.

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