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Jan 19

Raul S. Manglapus: An Idealists’ Life (Outline)

Prologue: the Rizalian approach to political action
Rizal, the Philosophy of nation-building; Mabini’s call for restoring freedom under the Americans; the assumptions of RSM’s formative years

Chapter I Blue Eagle, The King 1917-1939
RSM in the context of his times, his family, his schooling, the conscious nation-building of his generation and the emergence of political and social consciousness.

Chapter II Land of bondage, land of the Free 1939-1945

The role in the public arena RSM’s generation was expected to assume; how they assumed it, in terms of Catholic-centered social involvement; debates on reform; the call to arms in December, 1941; how his generation answered that call; the divisions of society on the basis of collaboration; the debate on what kind of independence to expect.


Chapter III Mentored 1946-1957

From veteran, to journalist, teacher then political activist: the transition from commentator to mover, recipient of presidential favor then political orphan with the death of Magsaysay.

Chapter IV Quixotic quest 1957-1967

Keeping the reformist flame alive; the lessons of the third-party efforts; the enduring ability of the Old Order to maintain its grip on power; lessons learned, efforts attempted, culminating in the third-party bid for the presidency.

Chapter V Socialist, but Christian 1967-1972

The quest for a new, centrist ideology; the rise of radicalism; RSM and the new clash of generations; the effort to craft a new Charter; the inevitable collision of Left vs. Right and the squeezed-out Middle.

Chapter VI Latter-day Ibarra, 1972-1986
RSM as Propagandist; divisions in the Opposition, the long process of awakening for the public vis a vis Martial Law; debates in the American press, debates among exiles and those at home; the collapse of the Left and Right visions of power, reemergence of the Middle.

Chapter VII Once more, unto the breach 1986-1992

Return home; painful lessons of how little things have changed; the call to gallantly serve; the question of what kind of democracy to establish, and the kind of sovereignty to assert.

Chapter VIII Senior statesman, 1992-1998

The culmination of the lessons learned, politically, in the successful Ramos campaign. The vindication of party-building, economic reform, the jealous protection of a carefully-nurtured reputation.

Epilogue: An estimation: the idealist as politician
A question as old as Rizal: RSM as the exponent of reform, of the Middle as authentic means and constituency for political action.

2 comments

  1. The EQualizer

    His tenure as Foreign Affairs Secretary was overshadowed by a flippant remark he made during a Senate hearing on the rape of Filipina domestics in Kuwait during the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

    He said publicly “If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it,” to which many people suggested that the SOB be sent there to get sodomized.

  2. Dodie

    I hope that prominence can be given on how the late Senator and Foreign Secretary propagated his idea that nations liberated from Security State regimes will, FOR SURE, be victims of SUCCESSIVE coup attempts, all within a few years. Senator Manglapus went on TV propagating this political theory and even organized an international meeting of newly democratic states to discuss this further.

    This contribution is significant because, I think this is why President Cory Aquino defied every advice to extend the revolutionary government and its Freedom Constitution. Instead, she rushed the crafting of a democratic Constitution. Without the cover of this new constitution, the later coup attempts would have been successful. Our soldiers could have been persuaded that a military junta was more true-to-form and less anomalous than a revolutionary government led by civilians, but which was just really held up by the military. Without the ratifying plebiscite, our peoples’ consent to EDSA I can only be argued as a reasonable conclusion and cannot be really confirmed. Military and political adventurers would have exploited this.

    The greater debt to Pres. Cory is the restoration of our constitutional government ASAP, even more than her role in ousting the dictatorship. In ousting the dictator, she had popular support. Multitudes acted and contributed towards that goal. However, in shortening the life of her Revolutionary government, she was mostly alone. Most, if not all, sectors of society wanted a few more years of revolutionary government so that reforming society, recovering ill-gotten wealth, seeking accountability, obtaining justice and restoring functionality to governmental structures can be facilitated. But had this extension happened, the coups would have overran everything, anyway. General Ramos, De Villa, Biazon, et al. will have no constitutional cover to to convince the troops to respect civilian supremacy and its sitting authority. Surely, without Sen Manglapus’ insights and his strong influence on Pres. Cory, we would have suffered a different fate.

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