The pathos of opposing

I was having fun reading my dear friend Carlos Celdran’s entry (and accompanying comments) about the Frapp for Freedom activity, and suddenly remembered an entry from last July in which I recounted a story told me by an anti-Marcos oppositionist:

This reminds me of a story someone active in the anti-Marcos opposition told me some years ago. I asked him whether or not Marcos’s repeated allegations that certain opposition individuals had plans to assassinate him (Marcos) had been true. One of the plans, I believe, included using a remote control airplane loaded with explosives, which would dive bomb Marcos while he was playing golf. “Oh, sure,” the oppositionist said, “we stuffed a cow with TNT and a timer. We tried it. Big explosion. Lots of ground round, but you know, we never did figure out how we’d get Marcos to go up and pet a constipated looking cow.”

The nadir of a struggle always leads, at least for Filipinos, to the most amusing stories. There are the ones I recounted the other day, about protests in Rustan’s and the Manila Peninsula; Jojo Abinales in a comment recounts the things he did as a young activist.

And I can’t help but recall other stories I heard as a kid. I only wish I could say I remembered them in all their contemporary detail.

There was a meeting in Washington, DC with Raul Manglapus, Ninoy Aquino, and Lorenzo Tañada. Tañada’s hearing aid went kaputt, and he kept shouting “What!? What!?” at a frustrated Ninoy; and in the middle of the meeting Manglapus lay down and took a nap.

Marcos went on a State Visit to Washington and booked a suite at the Shoreham and proceeded to provide a big feed for the Filipino community. Filipinos drove in from as far as New Jersey for the kilo of bangus and other goodies the New Society was giving away -and then some anti-Marcos people, happily laden with goodies, promptly joined the anti-Marcos protests.

One anti-Marcos youth leader ducked into a bathroom to be made over as a woman to evade arrest. Upon exiting the bathroom, friends looking at him broke into hysterics: “he was the ugliest damned woman we ever saw in our life!”

Nemesio Yabut, Marcos-era kingpin of Makati, got a bag of urine thrown on his head; the look in his face was said to be priceless. Another version has the late Manila Mayor Bagatsing undergoing the same yellow baptism.

I remember Cory Aquino recounting how Ninoy was furious when she spent one of their conjugal visits in prison scrubbing his toilet with what seemed like two gallons of Lysol.

Filipino exiles in Los Angeles taking up a collection in the days of the Light A Fire Movement, very solemnly, for one, solitary, Armalite rifle. Eventually, they coughed up the cash. For one. And then, the plaintive question, “Uh, how about the ammunition?”

The wife of a Marcos opponent in exile, smuggled in disguise, to the Manila International Airport to take a flight to Mindanao, from there to take a kumpit to Malaysia and freedom; the escort hiding behind a potted plant to make sure their charge boarded the plane without incident; the escapee, about to board the plane, turning around dramatically to wave at her friends, Hollywood actress-style, “Yoohoo! I’m leaving!”

The perennial problem of people being assigned code names and forgetting them. “Hello! Julie?” “What do you mean? Your code name is Julie! Mine is Cindy!” “Oh, [instert real name here] I forgot what my code name was!”

We like our resistance and peaceful revolutions laden with smiles. And, to end the series of amusing anecdotes, The official Palace documentary, Paglaban sa Kataksilan: 1017 is online. Watch it. It is your patriotic duty. After all, our taxes paid for it.

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    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    MLQ3,

    Just listened to Palace documentary. It’s a load of Gloria propaganda beef against leftwingers but there’s no meat.

    Are they trying to say, that a coup d’état was underway? If so, the documentary failed to prove it big time.

  1. Would it have been better if they did it in french for you?

  2. reminiscent of marcosian type of propaganda (the documentary)

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    Sleeping, you really mean that? That they could prove a coup d’état was underway if they said it in French? Sure! Ask Toting Bunye to prove it in French, will you?

  3. A de Brux You sit in you nice house in a nice country with benefits supplied by the government, which is unable in the long run to pay for all the subdises that it gives to its farmers to hurt the poorer countries around the world.
    At that is in a country where the majority of the people do work for a living and pay taxes, I live in a country where the opposite is true..
    And then you criticize the government with out knowing the truth on the ground. Look at the Police Stations where you report a crime here, No Aircon (Heating for France), No real Facilities an old typewriter which the inspector fights with to keep working and we complain when they are slow to react..
    We all have a part in this story and Yours is Your Country you live in is Part of the CAUSE… FREEDOM to keep other countries down is FRANCES MOTTO..
    Your government has no balls to stand up to the farmers and truckers in your country and you tell our government that it is weak and ineffectual.

    At least we have a government who is actually trying to do some good, Yours what have they done lately?

    You talk about freedom and the limits look at what happened with your Riots..

    Freedom to destroy?

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    And Sleeping, if he succeeds to prove it in French, tell him I’ll give him another beret – he will understand.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    Yeah, Sleeping, since you seem to know much better than a lot of us here do, tell me what happened to the riots in France?

    Re taxes, etc. Why don’t you do something about collecting taxes from the people who evade pay taxes in the Philippines so you guys can have aircon in police stations?

    Why do you allow the likes of Mikey Arroyo and his Dad and his uncle to AMASS cash in the bank and not tell you where they got the money? Why do you let them get away with it?

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    And if Toting doesn’t succeed in proving that a coup d’état was underway, he’ll have to give me back the beret I gave him when he came here for a visit – he will understand!

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    Go back to sleep, Sleeping – you don’t know nuthin’ about freedom!

  4. “You serious Jon? Street protests are not allowed? But I thought she’s lifted the SOE?”

    anna, matagal nang bawal mag-hold ng anti-arroyo rally sa kalsada, whether sa mendiola o sa makati o sa edsa.

    there was no problem sana with the rallies that were planned at edsa on feb. 24… it was meant to celebrate edsa 1986. but when arroyo heard na baka maging isang anti-arroyo event ito, he declared SOE and cancelled all rally permits.

    “Aren’t the mayors empowered to issue protest permits?”

    most of the mayors in manila are pro-arroyo, so they refuse to give permits to the anti-arroyo groups to organize rallies.

    si mayor binay anti-arroyo nga, pero pinagbawalan naman ni arroyo na mag-issue ng rally permits.

    http://politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2005/09/arroyo-admin-no-permit-no-rally-arrest.html

    In a virtual imposition of martial law, President Arroyo yesterday ordered that Makati City will no longer be a place for rallies by the political opposition.

    The Chief Executive’s order rams the consti-tutional rights of a local chief executive, in this case Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, an opposition leader and among those calling for the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo.

    The President’s order would automatically nullify any permit granted by Binay to any group.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    Oh wow! Thanks John; sounds like Pinochet’s Chili all over again with a slight difference, Gloria ain’t a real army general, just some commander in chief illegitimus.

    • jhay on March 6, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    The documentary is more reason not to pay taxes or at least demand their return for better services or even a refund.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    And John, thanks for re-publishing the Mike Arroyo interview in your blog – http://politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2006/02/news-flash-military-coup-topples.html#114108781092074033
    Monday, February 27, 2006
    NEWS FLASH: MILITARY COUP TOPPLES PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT (with help from Communists and Leftists)

    • Voyager6a on March 6, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    I can’t believe this. Flash mob at Starbucks to do what? Gloria’s probably laughing at them. This is not going to hurt GMA or her cabal. They are so inured to all of this that they don’t care if the rallies are in EDSA or Rustan’s. People sipping coffee at Starbucks are the same ones who would kiss Mike Arroyo in the ass given the proper government contract.

    I don’t know. Maybe the schools …

    • Helga on March 6, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Wonder what kind of blocking force awaits the women who plan to march on Ayala this Wednesday. If Mayor Binay can’t exercise his privilege to execute permits to rally as mayor, then we’re in for a bashing. Now, that’s a sight some would relish – women of all ages and backgrounds being water-cannoned (not a pretty wet tee-shirt contest), truncheoned and bloodied (fodder for Jerry Springer – my mother was a bashed, middle aged protester!), and arrested (imagine a paddy wagon full of grandmas, not hookers). I can hardly wait to join them.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    One high-impact action is to boycott gov’t licensing and permit issuing bureaux.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Helga, Chili’s Plaza Mayo Uno kind of protest?

    • Helga on March 6, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    Pretty much, mdm. de brux! Or did you mean the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Argentina? Well, I wouldn’t be too bold equate a march of women who decry Gloria to the Mothers of desaparecidos, but I’d venture that their hearts are all in the same place.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    Helga, Yes, I agree with you.

    I’ll check with my own Mom (over 70) if she and her sister are planning to join – two courageous women, they are not easily intimidated.

    • Helga on March 6, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    There will be quite a few women your Mom and Aunt would feel quite at home with at the march, anna. We will be meeting at the Fire Station on Ayala and Buendia at around 2pm. We’ve been asked to wear bright colors, scarves even.

    I bet all of us wish to echo what June (sorry, her last name escapes me, a singer, too, the wife of Johnny Cash) once said – I’m just trying to matter.

    • Helga on March 6, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    I was just thinking about what June Carter (took a while, but I remembered!) said about just wanting to matter. I marvel at the many women who are a part of our protest movement. They are fearless. They must’ve retained that gene that defines “amazon”. Some say our society is matriarchal – how true.

    In relation to the women I’ll be marching with on Wednesday, many of them are lolas, aunts, sisters, mothers – mater.

    • Dwarf_in_the_Palace on March 6, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    Sleeping, guess it’s really hard to WAKE UP a person
    who pretends to be asleep.

    You moron, DEMOCRACY for GMA is to trample on
    our BASIC RIGHTS.

    FILIPINO people wants to KNOW THE TRUTH behind the
    ISSUES :

    1. GARCI SCANDAL
    2. FERTILIZER SCAM
    3. MARCOS ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH
    4. SMUGGLING IN SUBIC ETC.

    ALL WE GOT FROM YOUR FAKE PRESIDENT IS

    1. CALIBRATED PREEMPTIVE RESPONSE
    2. EXECUTIVE ILLEGAL ORDER 464
    3. PP 1017

    We wish her to G-O
    We ask her to L-eave
    We ask her to be O-usted
    We ask her to R-esign
    We wish her I-mpeachment
    Don’t wait to be A-ssasinated

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    Yes, your assessment is right – amazons they are indeed!

    Just left a message to my Mom c/o my sis’ Yahoo ID not to forget to wear bright colorful scarf/ves.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    Dwarf_in_the_Palace,

    May I suggest that the A bit be changed? Don’t know, something like A for “Don’t wait to be ‘anged!” (“hanged” but silent ‘H’ a la cockney English?

    Otherwise, people would think we’re just a bunch of paid assasins… not good.

    • a de brux on March 6, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    or perhaps, “A” for “We wish you to Atone!” We wish you to Abdicate!”

    There should be lots of words to use which will express a very strong message…

    • Dwarf_in_the_Palace on March 6, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    a de brux, thanks. For me any possible “means”
    is welcome, A-s long as the Nation get RID of her !!!

    • a de brux on March 7, 2006 at 12:12 am

    pidalism: (noun) system of corruption in the Philippines, systemic graft practised in the Philippine government, act of stealing from government treasury by presidential spouse, method of laundering campaign contributions, checks and cash, etc.

    • jmarzan on March 7, 2006 at 1:11 am

    “I require no lectures from the junior Senator from Wisconsin as to the dangers or terrors of Communism. Having searched my conscience and my files, I cannot contend that I have always been right or wise, but I have attempted to pursue the truth with diligence and to report it even though, as in this case, I had been warned in advance that I would be subjected to the attentions of Senator McCarthy.”

    — Edward R. Murrow

    http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/g/good-night-and-good-luck-script.html

    • kimosabe27 on March 7, 2006 at 1:50 am

    Tee hee hee. Such a funny article and a suitable companion read to your Inquirer commentary.

    I indeed agree with your comparison of Atienza and his malodorous LP faction to scrotums. The article forced me to become more hygienic and had my balls some extra scrubbing during the morning shower.

    Needless to say, my nuts are now more presentable than Atienza’s puckered face.

    • a de brux on March 7, 2006 at 2:29 am

    Conrado de Quiros is not my favorite columnist but what he says in his column is dead on.

    “GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) herself said before she lifted the oppression, also called 1017, that it would depend on whether she was satisfied that the military and police had the country under control. What arrant nonsense too. The country does not exist at her sufferance, she exists at the country’s sufferance. And “sufferance” captures the feeling completely.”

    http://news.inq7.net/opinion/index.php?index=2&story_id=68436&col=77

    • d0d0ng on March 7, 2006 at 4:35 am

    Ate Glue and her harassment tactics under 1017 are becoming funnier as the battle shifted in the Supreme Court. Ate Glue defended her 1017 through her solicitor general’s arguments.

    1. “No issue of constitutionality of the law because constitutional rights were not suppressed and no direct injury was done against the petitioner Alternative Law Group.”

    Translated, this means that warrantless arrest was not applied against the Alternative Law Group or any of them hit by water cannon. Hehe! Palusot pa si Ate Glue. I thought this argument can fail you in basic college course of Law I. The Lawyer’s group is just filing the case for the people.

    2. “The dispersal of rallies was not the fault of Malacanang but of the city government who revoked the permit.”

    Translated, Ate Glue had no knowledge and had no written order for the dispersal. This is a classical Pontious Pilate’s argument. Hehe!

    3. “Inspection of the Daily Tribune was not suppression of freedom of the press for it continued to publish what it wanted to publish.”

    Another way of saying that harassment is legal. Huh???? Que horor!

    4. “Petitions questioning Proclamation 1017 should be dismissed because they have become moot since the proclamation was lifted.”

    What greater proof of 1017 as pre-emptive and calculated to circumvent the rule of law and escape accountability. The lifting itself was used as reason to escape jurisdiction of the court, a pure mockery of the entire court system.

    And lastly but not the least, is number 5.

    5. “Courts have no more authority to pass upon issues of constitutionality solely for academic exercise or advisory opinion.”

    Pinakita ang kabastusan ni Ate Glue dito sa mga justices.

    Let us see if the 15 justices can swallow these arguments.

    • d0d0ng on March 7, 2006 at 4:46 am

    ….ang daya talaga ng mga argumento ni Ate Glue.
    Pati justices, dinadaya. Tingnan nga natin, aber!

    ….election, dinaya (garci hello)
    ….kongreso, dinaya (killed impeachment by pork barrel)
    ….senado, dinaya (eo464)
    ….media, dinaya (pp1017)

    gising na bayan! Lalo na ang mga JUSTICES!

    • a de brux on March 7, 2006 at 4:58 am

    “gising na bayan! Lalo na ang mga JUSTICES!”

    Only a litte after 4 AM dodong.

    • karl on March 7, 2006 at 7:03 am

    Adb,CvJ

    it does not matter what time it is…I don’t think any of the justices slept tight last night..unless they wouild declare something again as moot and academic!

    • Karl on March 7, 2006 at 7:13 am

    sleeping,

    Long rebuttals and retorts may work for me and some others..

    But to most they might want to be sleeping instead!

    • Karl on March 7, 2006 at 7:51 am

    Helga,
    A reader of ricky’s blog is asking what time the rally is tomorrow..
    Look for comment 82 of Ricky’s post”We the People”..

    below is the transmittal

    norie
    March 7th, 2006 07:30 82a de brux,

    what time is the makati rally? and where?

  5. Paglaban sa Kataksilan…. (Click)

    Oops. I thought it was From The Opposition, haha.

    Hay.

    Regards.

  6. i did my patriotic duty and watched the palace documentary “Paglaban sa Kataksilan: 1017” after watching the oscars. i fell into a patriotic slumber in the middle of the docu… he3x! 😛

  7. yes, i would also like to ask what time is the rally tomorrow. and if ever an ordinary citizen like me (not belonging to any particular group)would like to join ano gagawin. makikisingit na lang. i might ask my officemates to throw confettis on ayala avenue.

    • mlq3 on March 7, 2006 at 1:32 pm
      Author

    hey, be nice! the docu was directed by lupita kashiwahara!

  8. i guess, but one can only work with so little material, especially if it’s full of innuendos and conspiracy theories…

    • Helga on March 7, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Karl and fencesitter, did you mean the International Women’s Day march? It’s on tomorrow like you said, and we’ve been asked to converge at the Fire Station on Ayala and Buendia Avenues at 2pm. Guess that means we march at 3pm. Thanks for the heads up, will proceed to Ricky’s blog and log a post. Hmmm… is it normal for his blog to load so slowly at this time of day (2pm)?

    On the subject of Frap for Freedom: To all those who’d like to laugh at us who belong to Black & White and Black Friday Protest directly, please check out our blogs and register your derision there as well. MLQ3 has the links, but here they are:

    http://blacknwhitemovement.blogspot.com
    http://blackfridayprotest.blogspot.com

    We’d be happy for the traffic. 😀

    • Helga on March 7, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Fencesitter, in case you or your friends think tomorrow’s march is for women only, I really don’t think it is, anyone should be free to join in. Another reminder from the organizers – please wear colorful solids (pink, orange, green) and don’t forget scarves if you have them!

    • a de brux on March 7, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Re: Opposing

    Ellen Tordesillas has just confirmed that RP is a member of the ICC; there is also a human rights court in Europe.

    For those who have suffered human rights abuse in the hands of Gloria and her government, I suggest they band together to file a lawsuit in the above courts.

    • joselu on March 7, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    it’s getting corny already, every event is so politizied.
    better fix your schedules already for may 01, indipendence day & state of the nation.

    • Observer on March 7, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    adb,

    I don’t think the Philippine Senate has ratified the Rome Statute. If so, it is not yet a member of the International Criminal Court.

    • cvj on March 7, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    Watching ‘Paglaban sa Kataksilan:1017’, I could see why GMA is worried.
    According to the documentary, here’s a description of how the alliance of mutinous soldiers and cpp/npa will coordinate their attacks:

    “Sa ilalim ng Plan A ng Oplan Hackle, may planong pag-takeover sa iba’t ibang pamunuhan ng sandatahang lakas ng pilipinas, kasama na ang Philippine Military Academy at University of the Philippines, mga TV stations, telecom facilities, senado, mababang kapulungan, korte suprema at iba pang ‘high-value targets’….ang kanilang taktika simulan ang pag-atake sa mga kanayunan hanggang makuha ang sentro ng kapangyarihan.”

    That would lead me to conclude either of two things:

    (1) that Oplan Hackle was hatched sometime in the late 60’s, which would have given its planners a 30-year head start in terms fine tuning their plans; or

    (2) Oplan Hackle is of more recent origins, but the extreme left-right are already in possession of a time machine which would give them the time needed for their tactic to work.

    Either of the above possibilities would indeed be disturbing.

    • a de brux on March 8, 2006 at 1:13 am

    cvj,

    Plan A of Oplan Hackle: That was similar to Joma Sison’s plan back in the late 60s when he started recruiting Victor Corpuz who finally defected in 67.

    Exactly that – there’s nothing new. The tactic of an attack from the ‘nayon’ to the site of central government over a period of time is JoMa’s dogma. That someone lifted that from Joma’s website and passed it off as the current tactical doctrine of a new found left-military alliance is highly plausible.

    If for the sake of argument, we accept government thesis of a modern or latter day version of Oplan Hackle, the government has to produce evidence of a a united left wing and military alliance by way of naming names, military defectors and backers. Or one junior officer in active service backed by two very old retired military officers with a few civilian names are not exactly a proof of attempted government overthrow.

    Moreover, if we are to continue on the premise that Operation Hackle would indeed culminate in the overthrow of Gloria and her government on 24th February, then the AFP thesis is defeated because to reach their objective, the tactical alliance would have needed at least 1 army division and at least the same number of leftist fighters from the NPA in order to achieve a realistic overthrow attempt.

    I doubt that they would have been able to do that. Why? LOGISTICS; you need trucks, vehicles, other sort of motorized transport to get those men – NPA & military adventurers – into battle orbit or towards their designated targets.

    How do you propose to do that without being noticed by the major service commands?

    These palace people are spin masters. Unbelievable that they would try to force such thing in people’s throat.

    Wow! But they have the power of propaganda…

    I propose that we train an accusatory gun at them – COUP D’ETAT IN 2001! If people are serious about stopping the propagation of Palace shits, I suggest that people turn around and fire a salvo that they will not ever forget: INDICT THEM for coup d’état…

    • cvj on March 8, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    a de brux, thanks for the background info, was it also called ‘Hackle’ then? The video itself looks like a very hurried hodge podge with a dull narrative. They would have done better by including reenactments like this:

    D .Lim: “Here’s Plan A, my units will simultaneously attack Camp Aguinaldo, Camp Crame, the PMA, ABS-CBN, GMA7, Smart, Globe, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court and other high-value targets…

    K. Roger: “That’s excellent General! For our part, my comrades will start attacking the villages one by one until we are able to surround the cities.

    D. Lim: Agreed! Now, let’s synchronize our watches…

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  1. […] An oppositionist group’s “Black Friday” protest against Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – which involved wearing black, buying a drink, and hanging out at a local Starbucks – has earned ridicule from Filipino bloggers. Walk this Way asks: “You’re spending HOW MUCH for a stupid drink in order to show your “concern” for people’s welfare?” Thingfish at Netnewsasia says: “I’ll have a low fat decaf frappucino with sprinkles and a revolution to go.”” Pinayexpat in Deutschland quotes her friend Ria: “That’s not even just elitist. It’s clueless.” And even critics of the Arroyo administration wonder: “Huh?” The coffee protest recalls for Manuel L. Quezon III other stupid revolution tricks. But the protest’s organizers are pleased with the result: three happy franchises in privileged areas of Manila. […]

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