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Saint and Tippler
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on August 8, 2009 65 Comments 18 min read
The Explainer: State funerals Previous The Long View: Awakening Next

This week there were columns by David Pilling in the Financial Times, an obituary in the BBC, in even as Time Magazine devoted its Asian edition cover to Cory Aquino, Ellen Tordesilla came upon a shining example of the President getting some foreign media exposure too -in the (in)famous page six section of The New York Post. The Post reported that the President spent a cool $20,000 on a dinner at Le Cirque. The bill bloat seems to have come from several bottles of wine. The restaurant says its wine ranges from $28 to $12,000. The news item got top billing on Grub Street (in contrast to the American First Lady taking her kids out for burgers).

A Palace reporter tells me the guest list comprised almost 30 individuals: a party composed of lawmakers (plus staff and spouses), a number of cabinet officials, the President’s own people plus US-based allies (FILUSA and its leader) to commemorate the 41st wedding anniversary of the President and her husband.

New York Post page six

We know from the press reports the following were part of the President’s delegation and featured in events during her visit:

Eduardo Ermita, Heherson Alvarez and Alberto Romulo Arthur Yap, Gilberto Teodoro, Cerge Remonde, Bayani & Marides Fernando; Senators Lito Lapid, Miriam Defensor-Santiago; Speaker Prospero Nograles; Reps. Rodante Marcoleta, Daryl Grace Abayon, Catalina Leonen Pizarro, Godofredo & Remedios Arquiza, Agapito & Socorro Guanlao; , Gov. Tet Garcia of Bataan and City Mayors Nitoy Durano of Danao in Cebu and Fernando of Mariki; FILUSA’s Jacqueline Lingad Ricci, etc.

Per Ellen Tordesillas, the dinner was upon the invitation of Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte. And Sec. Cerge Remonde confirmed it took place.

A senator shared, online, an email from a Filipino in New York which differs from the information above (perhaps because second-hand knowledge) as follows:

I’m overly sensitive today especially when I have learned from one of my patients who works as a waiter at  a Filipino-French restaurant in New York, that GMA and twenty three of her entourage had a dinner that cost the Filipino taxpayers $40,000 during her recent state visit to the US.  He claimed that their wine alone cost  $16,000 and they paid in HARD COLD CASH. That is the cost of one dinner alone and how many dinners and lunches did they have during their stay in the US?

Here’s the dinner menu of Le Cirque, and here’s Le Cirque’s wine list. Here’s a theoretical breakdown of how the presidential party could’ve racked up the bill:

Dinner expenses simulation

The contrast with the Cory a new generation has come to know and appreciate, couldn’t be more vast. I wonder how someone like Bookmarked! who was touched by the events of the past days, or someone like Quiet Time Ramblings, who went to the wake and described her experiences there, will feel about articles like the New York Post’s.

Anyway, see also Greg Macabenta on the President skulking around Los Angeles.

Show Obama the Money

Well worth bearing in mind an official response to questions why the President wasn’t rushing home as quickly as possible after Cory died:

Remonde said President Arroyo could have flown anytime she wished had she been on a chartered flight, but she was on a commercial flight to save on costs.

Summing up Cory’s life continues among bloggers. Some more noteworthy entries follow.

From Belmont Club, And last, on the funeral:

That procession in the rain was Cory’s last duty of state; the final act in the public drama. It was also, to those who understood it, the concluding chapter in a love story. At the end of the cortege was a relatively modest grave, no grander than that which a successful small businessman might have, dug beside the spot where Ninoy lay. It was where she wanted to go. When she first learned she had colon cancer more than a year ago, Aquino told her family she would refuse aggressive treatment. Her time, she said, had come. Her daughter Kris related how, when the end was near, she was called back into the room by a nurse from the corridor, where she had stepped out to drink some coffee. Cory bade her daughter bend and said, “I can see him now. Your father is holding out his hand to me.” Dylan Thomas wrote of grave men near death, who see with blinding sight”; of those on their deathbeds who, perhaps from the effects of medication, delirium or that blinding sight see before them those to whom they would come. Underneath the story of the People Power revolution was also a story of a woman who avenged her husband and reached out to him across the gulf of death with the frail hand of love.

And also, from the same blog (Belmont Club) in Maria Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009)

There is at the location where the multitudes gathered in Manila to chase out Marcos an artistically inept statue of something called Our Lady of EDSA. It is a hideous representation of the Virgin Mary as she is believed to have come to a poor and desperate nation. It’s a terrible statue – all gray concrete and rain stains. But nobody minds its aesthetic defects because everyone who was there in 1986 saw the real Lady of EDSA in the flesh: a little woman, once beautiful in youth, in a dowdy yellow dress giving multitudes for a moment a glimpse into all that they could be. She could be their mirror because she was empty of normal ambition; and that is the way of miracles, when we see the extraordinariness of it all for the first time because we have learned to see. Goodbye Cory. And thank Ninoy for us.

And from Ricky Carandang:

It has become fashionable these days to say you failed. That the freedom that you helped us win in 1986 has not gotten us any closer to building a just and prosperous society. That while you yourself were not corrupt, your relatives and your advisers were. That we’ve simply replaced one set of thieves and murderers with another.

It has become fashionable these days to blame you for all of that. Because you didn’t do enough to prevent your revolution from being dismantled from within.

But the people who say that fail to see what 1986 was really about. It wasn’t about you saving us from the Regime and everyone living happily ever after. You did your part everytime you were called upon to do so. The problem was we expected you to do it all by yourself while we stood on the sidelines. We didn’t realize that we had a role to play too and that one person would not be able to do it alone. You didn’t fail. We did.

From Hansley Juliano in Spaces of Resistance:

Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino embodies, in ways that people would be hard-pressed to actually articulate, the revolutionary trajectory of the Filipino in their quest for self-realization and the establishment of a true government of the people, for the people and by the people. We see in her the personification of what can be done to make the best out of a bad situation. It has not been new to us. Emilio Aguinaldo was thrust in the global political sphere in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, and exhausted every effort he can in order to maintain the independence his people were able to grasp from Spanish hegemony, if not for the tragic mistake of trusting the “cold, calculating Sons of the North.” Manuel Quezon, for all his flair, pushed on the platform of immediate independence despite its unfeasibility not just solely because he wished to strengthen his political acumen but because he is also among those who wanted a Philippines that truly speaks for itself.

Cacique democracy, it must be admitted, can never be separated from Tita Cory’s political identification. And yet despite this, it appears that, similar to that a creole like Quezon gained Malacanang at the downfall of the Federalistas, she was able to achieve what before seemed already a hopeless effort: an inauguration of a new revolutionary tradition. Though many would say that, in her later years, she is a fading voice of conscience in a society that has already lost its own and is apathetically (and pathetically) bumbling towards a hand-to-mouth existence, no one can claim that all that effort for re-imagining and reinstating what the people seeks for themselves did not make any relevant impact on the people’s fight. Her humble demeanour, never the first to impose but willing to strike back (as witness her denouncement of her own Vice-President, Salvador Laurel, after his turnaround during the Christmas Coup of 1989), appeals to our masses in the same way that we have a fanatical devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (she herself being one), the essential mother figure. That Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attempted to ape it (and ultimately failed to do so) shows us how permanent an image she has imprinted in our cultural consciousness.

From Rosselle Tugade also in Spaces of Resistance:

The death of President Aquino cornered the Filipino people in such a situation: we are reminded of how we whitewashed our hopes, how fragile we have become in the face of change, how impatient we are at engaging in long struggles, and more importantly, how infantile our democracy is. After her tenure, President Aquino was the subject of criticism because of acts of injustices which transpired during her time: the refusal to repudiate national debt, the Mendiola Massacre, and the exclusion of Hacienda Luisita from the agrarian reform project. These, of course, were all very real but Cory was neither the best executive this country ever had. Amidst the criticism to her government, the spirit of forgetting intervenes to make the most of us surrender to the conditions of what we were born into, hence making us prisoners into another vicious cycle of stagnation. Cory Aquino’s life was a life of suffering, but it was a suffering with acceptance and suffering for a purpose. Her greatness certainly does not lie in her acuity at managing the bureaucracy; it rests within her courage and faith as an ordinary person to heed the call of democracy and freedom which are far larger than her own life.

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom, Hannah Arendt says. But in order to do so we must know first of which crimes against the country should be placed under the platform of justice. It is only then that we may proceed to making the guilty accountable and to growing more maturely from what has happened. Whatever fate the Philippines has experienced for the past two decades is surely not the result of a case of a quick forgive; it is rather the consequence of forgetfulness and an allergy to learning from the past.

As the rest of the Filipino nation poured out their sympathy for Cory, I cannot help but fear that what we have been grieving over is not the loss of a great woman and her extraordinary life. I fear that what we have seen is regression into the nostalgia of a golden age we enjoyed but did not care to fight for and preserve. The task then is for us to move out of the preference for forgetting and do so as how Cory did: inspire one another with the spirit of revolution and hope.

From A Leftist’s Reflection on the Death of Former President Corazon C. Aquino:

I contented myself with the proposition that my current disposition is valid, politically correct and consistent with the masses’ interest and pulse. Cory will not have my sympathy.

But then again, as I was watching Mrs. Aquino’s funeral service, I cannot help but notice the continuing pouring of support and sympathy from many people. I am not talking about here of middle class people who we often associate with Cory but rather, of ordinary, everyday people; the labanderas, the obreros, the manangs, the urban poor, the probinsyanos; the very same masses we from the broad left movement have sworn to serve with utmost passion and dedication.

They have no anger in their eyes, no impassioned tirades on the Aquino government’s horrible mistakes, no finger pointing, no rage, no resentment. All I saw on television was a long yellow line of sad heart-broken faces waiting for their turn to view their president one last time; mourning as if they too have lost a loved one, grieving as if they too lost something important in their life.

My first reaction was sheer amusement and bewilderment which immediately turned into anger. How could the people have possibly forgotten? How could have they possibly forgiven Cory and her regime when they were never given any exoneration from their misery and poverty in the first place? How could they idolize her and identify with her?

I concluded this could be the result of the Filipino people’s overt romanticism, its legendary propensity to easily forgive and forget which inevitably fused with corporate media’s proclivity for creative spins and spectacles. I said to myself, this would quickly fade as it was quickly created with the people going back to reality; back to their wowowee dreams, back to our same old rubbish shitty lives.

However, each passing day was a revelation. Particularly, what struck me most was when people were asked why they were there. Almost all answered that they wanted to pay tribute to the woman who helped them restored democracy, who helped them reclaimed what was rightfully theirs. From the mother who brought her daughter all the way from Isabela to teach her about democracy, the students who were too young to even remember Edsa 1 up to the laborers and the poor who proudly claimed to have been participants to people power 1, 2 and even 3, all said it was because of democracy.

Then it finally dawned on me why this woman despite her regime’s numerous social and economic transgressions is so loved and cherished by a people representing three generation of Edsas. It’s not so much because she is religious, a mother-like figure to many, a glorified widow or simply a martyr; beyond the labels, our ideological flexing and the comfortable branding of pundits, Cory has been duly recognized by the people as an icon in their transition from despotism to rule of law, their struggle from tyranny towards a sense of freedom and democracy. Cory is first and foremost the representation of that ideal, of that difficult journey towards democratization, of that collective national experience.

And it did not stop there. She will also be remembered as a defender of that particular form of democracy flawed and wanting it may be in so many ways, not measuring up to our Marxist concept of a democratic archetype. From people power 2 which removed an incompetent and corrupt regime up to her participation in the fight to throw out the illegitimate Arroyo regime and its sinister plan to amend the constitution, Cory will be remembered and respected as a person who despite her privileged status joined the people in their most trying and important political junctures.

She will also be remembered for her seemingly incorruptible disposition and her lack of desire to cling to power more than what was bestowed to her. This is in sharp contradiction with the succeeding governments that followed her especially the current Arroyo regime which has shown its penchant to further its illegitimate rule through a combination of brute force and fake consent.

By Jessica Zafra:

To us she was the symbol of the world we wanted: a world where people could speak their minds without disappearing, where public servants actually served, where leaders were honest, just, selfless, intelligent and dignified.

You don’t have to be 35 and up to know that that was not the world we got. These days when we speak of politics at all it is with indifference, anger, or “Please, could we talk about something that doesn’t make us nauseous?” But there was a time when we could discuss government with hope, pride and trust in our leaders, and that was when Corazon Aquino was president.

It did not last. We were cruelly disillusioned: “Pare-pareho lang naman pala kayong lahat.” The revolution had failed us, if it was a revolution at all. Later, whenever Tita Cory urged us to join mass protests against official corruption we still went, but many of us wondered what for. Massing on the streets would cause traffic jams, disrupt business, generate bad press for the country. We should be mature, let the democratic process take its course.

In other words we had resolved to suck it up. Grownups do it all the time.

So we did what was deemed pragmatic. We made compromises and dug in.

We didn’t want any trouble. We got by; some would argue that we did pretty well under the circumstances. But something rankled. If we were doing the right thing, why were we beginning to loathe ourselves?

We heard ourselves speaking with fond nostalgia about how orderly the city was during the Marcos years, how at least there was support for the arts. More and more we found ourselves throwing our hands up and saying, “Whatever.” Is that what being an adult is like, saying “There’s nothing I can do”? No more applying your imagination, just sheep-like acceptance? Because if that’s maturity, it is not a good thing.

When I heard the news of President Cory Aquino’s death I was surprised at how upset I was. I found myself getting teary-eyed when talking about her. Most times I will gouge your eyes out before I let you see me cry, but in this instance it’s all right – my friends are getting soppy, too. On TV, hardcore former coup plotters are weeping because Tita Cory is dead.

Thousands of people with nothing to gain lined up for hours at La Salle and at Manila Cathedral to pay their last respects to our president. They had nothing to gain but their self-respect and the feeling that they had a country. Politicians promise us everything, but sometimes all we really want is to feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

On Monday morning on EDSA I thought it was 1986 all over again. Why this massive outpouring of grief and affection for a symbol we thought we had outgrown?

I think Tita Cory reminds us of our other, better selves – the ones who were prepared to make sacrifices for a noble cause. Politicians and governments have sorely disappointed us, but we never lost faith in Tita Cory the human being. She never mocked our aspirations or knowingly insulted our intelligence. She defended the Constitution from those who would bend it to their own ends; she rejected the idea of perpetuating herself in power. Say what you will about the missed opportunities and lost chances, Cory Aquino was decent to us.

She was a good person.

And after all our “growing up,” “learning to face harsh reality” and losing our illusions, it turns out that character does matter. Being good does make a difference. You will not receive praise or payment for it, and other people will mistake your goodness for weakness, but it resonates among people you won’t even meet.

AFP Catholic Church constitution corruption Cory Aquino democracy generations Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Philippines politics presidency public opinion rule of law

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  1. I think that this only serves to underscore the fundamental difference between the two presidents.

    Tita Cory would not have spent the people’s money on a meal so extravagant, as she was always conscious of keeping her expenditures to a minimum.

    Even as a private individual who could very well afford it, she wouldn’t have blown $20,000 on a Le Cirque dinner.

  2. $20,000 meal just does not have the same impact as saying it was a P956,600 meal.

    That’s almost 1 million pesos for a meal. For their sake, I hope it was delicious.

  3. Kumusta, MLQ. Itong paggastos ng P1M ni GMA para sa isang sandaliang kainan ay mahirap ngang tanggapin dahil sa malubhang sitwasyong ekonomika ng Pilipinas, at dahil din sa pagluluksa ng mga Pilipino para kay Gng. Cory Aquino, pero mas nakakadismaya ang mga nadidinig kong kuwento na yung anak niyang si Mikey ay bumili raw ng isang relo na may tatak na Patek Philippe na nasa halagang P5M! Kumuha pa daw siya ng isa pang bodyguard para lang bantayan ito. Totoo ba ito? Makukumpirma mo ba? Sana nga hindi totoo. Kung napakabulgar nga yung P1M na kainan ni GMA sa New York, times five po naman ang ginawa ng kaniyang panganay! Salamat po.

  4. Kumusta, sir? Narinig ko po ito sa radyo. Nagblind item po minsan sa A.M. radio-show ni Mike Enriquez noong isang linggo pahigit. Hindi po nila binanggit yung pangalan ni Mikey nang deretso. Huminto lang sila sa salitang “M”. Yun daw ang unang titik ng kaniyang pangalan. Nung pabirong tinanong din ng kasama ni Mr. Enriquez kung saan ito nakatira, “Pampanga” ang sagot. Pero uulitin ko po na hindi po nila binanggit nang deretso ang pangalan. Alam mo naman po yung istilo ni Mr. Enriquez, pabiro, kaya hindi ko po alam kung seseryosohin ang mga sinabi niya o hindi. Pero may kasabihan po na sa loob ng mga matutusok na biro ay mahahanap minsan ang mga butil ng katotohanan. Salamat po uli sa pagsasagot mo sa komento ko. Ingat po!

  5. MLQ3 ayokong magmura pero pwede bang pagbigyan mo naman ako?

    Baboy yang pangulo natin sinamahan pa ng mga baboy! ano bang ginawa nila duon sa Le Cirque habang naghahapunan? nag toast dahil namatay na si Cory? o nagtoast dahil tuloy pa rin ang saya ng mga baboy na yan?

    patawad MLQ3 pero, tsk tsk tsk…kababuyan na yan e.

  6. Tony Abaya’s take on Cory:

    “So what was the legacy of Corazon Aquino? Simply that she was instrumental in dismantling the Marcos dictatorship. She did not have any plans for a New Jerusalem, and she did not proceed to try to build one. Her only frame of reference in governance was the pre-1972 configuration of our polity. To the extent that she restored that configuration, she was successful. Those who, like me, had expected more from her, were disappointed.

    In hindsight, her watershed mistake was in mixing pro-Communists and anti-Communist members in her Cabinet, perhaps on the motherly instinct that she could get her noisily quarreling children to live and work together if only she could ladle out equal amounts of love to both sides.

    But it was not to be. According to my neighbor and TV co-host , the late Teddy Benigno, who served as Cory’s press secretary, the conflict between the warring camps sometimes erupted in shouting matches and even in challenges to fisticuffs during Cabinet meetings, from which President Aquino would flee to another room, there to cry in frustration.

    It did not stop there. Apparently from the influence of perceived pro-Communists in her Cabinet, President Aquino released from detention the top Communists bagged by the military, including Joma Sison, founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

    The lessons from this story seem to be
    a) Love cannot solve all problems even if ladled out in equal amounts to all warring sides;
    and b) the next revolutionary government should be ideologically homogenous.

    Trying to please everyone by giving them seats in the junta-government ends up displeasing everyone. Love is simply not enough to run a country as fractious as the Philippines.”

  7. if it is maritn romualdez who is paying, then it is also coming from the people’s treasures. isn’t the romualdez-marcos clan known for wallowing in stolen wealth that the government is still trying to recover?

  8. GMA wasting people’s money.
    Or GMA insensitive to the plight of the poor Filipinos.

    We are just wasting our time discussing.

    GMA and her group have been doing them, anyway. Since birth.

    We can only blame ourselves for letting them.

  9. “You did your part everytime you were called upon to do so. The problem was we expected you to do it all by yourself while we stood on the sidelines. We didn’t realize that we had a role to play too and that one person would not be able to do it alone. You didn’t fail. We did.”-Ricky Carandang

    This one a tribute to Cory, could be also a tribute to Gloria. Always the people at fault…never the leader of the government. This kind of comment leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  10. “Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat at paalam.”Cory Aquino’s Last SONA

    Gloria Arroyo’s Political Plans after 2010 (Last SONA): “Lalala lalalaa lala lalaalalaaala. Lalalala lalalal lalala lal lal lalalalala la lalala lala la lalalalala lala lalalalala la. Lalal la lal lalal lalala lalala lala lalaalalalala lala lala laalalaaa laalaaa laaala lalala lalalaalala lalala lala laala lala lalala lala lalala lalalaa lala lalaalalaaala. Lalala. Lalala lala lalalaalaalaa lalala laaa, lala laaalaa lalala lalalaaa? La. I can’t hear you!”

  11. Grabe talaga! Iba talaga ang mga elected officals natin. Even if the money came from Rep. Martin Romualdez you can’t help but ask where he got that cash to foot the bill.

  12. Esa mujer.

    “Corazon” in Spanish means heart. And that we can all agree Cory had. She was imperfect, yet in her conduct and the way she lived her life, she embodied all the good things her name stood for: goodness, compassion, love.

    Esa mujer, on the other hand, seems to seek only what her name represents, while failing to achieve any of it.

    For all time, one shall be remembered as a light.

    May the judgment of history remember the other as a blight.

  13. “Always the people at fault…never the leader of the government. This kind of comment leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”

    My sentiments exactly. That’s why we have to take our fate into our hands, and not depend on others to do things for us. I beg to disagree, as well, when people say that Cory gave us our freedom. We fought for it, even as Cory was comfortably ensconced in the U.S. before Ninoy was killed. While Cory and Ninoy were living the middle class American life in Boston, there were already those of us who were out in the streets and fighting up in the mountains. Before Ninoy, there already were the Ed Jopsons and the Eman Lacabas who sacrificed their lives against the dictatorship.

  14. Btw, for a taste of heaven…


    …and danilo suarez and amelita villarosa “did not want to make much of the affair” (from inquirer).

  15. “Carl on Sun, 9th Aug 2009 12:48 am
    …Cory was comfortably ensconced in the U.S. before Ninoy was killed. While Cory and Ninoy were living the middle class American life in Boston…”

    You seem to be suffering from selective memory. Give the woman a break, her husband had to have his heart operated on. That organ failed probably from the agitation of having her wife having to strip naked in front PC guards every time she visited Ninoy, who by the way, was only jailed from 1975 to 1980.

    To quote Cory: “‘I am just one of the thousands and millions of victims of the Marcos dictatorship.And I know very well that I am not the victim who has suffered the most. But it just so happened, perhaps, that I am the best-known victim of Marcos’ long list of victims.”

    “there were already those of us who were out in the streets and fighting up in the mountains”

    So you’re a leftist huh? Figures.

  16. “Carl on Sun, 9th Aug 2009 12:48 am
    Before Ninoy, there already were the Ed Jopsons and the Eman Lacabas who sacrificed their lives against the dictatorship.”

    Therein lies the appeal of Ninoy my friend. People gravitate toward leaders who use parliamentary means to effect change. We want leaders who fight for change in parliamentary arena. We’re sick and tired of gun-toting neo-messiahs who think they deserve our ears just because they can carry an M-16. The NPA, MILF, Abu’s, and the military adventurists, FUCK THE LOT OF THEM. They’re no worse than the trapos and corrupt military and police they suppose to fight.

  17. This is IMELDIFFIC (pardon my caps) to the max! When everyone was mourning of a loss of an ultra simple president, here’s comes an ostentatious habit of President GMA!

  18. Ninoy broke down, and struck a bargain with the devil so that he could be released and brought to the U.S. for treatment. And Cory speaks the truth when she says she suffered very little compared to others who fought the dictator. Because she was from the elite, unlike most of the others who were martyred, she got recognition and sympathy.

    Until 1972 and further on, Ninoy was a trapo. He even played footsie with the communists, helping to create the NPA with Commander Dante, to counter Marcos’ growing hold on the military. Fuck the NPA? That was Ninoy’s brainchild. By Ninoy’s own admission, he was obsessed with the power play among the elite until some time after his incarceration. Politics was a game, finding gimmicks to hoodwink the masses that would continue to perpetuate the authority, the power and the priveleges of the upper classes. Way before Ninoy’s road to Damascus, even before the first quarter storm, many others had already seen the light.

  19. “Carl on Sun, 9th Aug 2009 3:27 pm
    He even played footsie with the communists, helping to create the NPA with Commander Dante, to counter Marcos’ growing hold on the military. Fuck the NPA? That was Ninoy’s brainchild.”

    Ok I’ve heard enough. You must have mistyped Ninoy instead of Joma Sison. Either that or you’re drunk from Ninoy-is-Communist Marcos Kool-Aid.

  20. “mlq3 on Sun, 9th Aug 2009 12:27 pm
    SoP 1975??? He was picked up on September 23, 1972 and detained then.”

    Thanks for the link. And pardon the date, typo error-the 2 is just below 5 in the keyboard.

    Now let me just check if the letters N, I, N, O, Y are anywhere close to the letters S, I, S, O, N in the keyboard. Nope didn’t think so. Our friend Carl must have really meant Ninoy is a founding member of the NPA.

  21. I won’t compare apples and oranges. And I am VERY VERY VERY convinced that the two women in question here were cut from COMPLETELY DIFFERENT bolts of cloth.

    They’ve got some pretty expensive things going down their colon these days. Guess their daily diet of Filipino flesh just doesn’t taste as good. Better hope nothing they ate was carcinogenic by any account. At least THEY should.

  22. Billions of dollar and thousand of lives had been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan wars by the American and British governments and their people were not able to complain. And here we are Filipinos nanggagalaiti sa $20T na ginastos ng Presidente.

  23. Quoting from National Artist, writer and historian F. Sionil Jose:

    “In espousing a revolution as a solution to our ancient inequities, was Ninoy playing the usual elitist game of betting on both sides? It is a well-known ploy of the oligarchs to support both sides in a political contest and it is well known to those in power and in government that many of the oligarchs are supporting leftist elements to assure their survival just in case the left will triumph.

    Shortly after EDSA 1, the former Army lieutenant Victor Corpus, who joined the NPA, visited me. I asked him if it was true that Ninoy really supported the New People’s Army; yes, he said.

    It was Ninoy, after all, who introduced Commander Dante Buscayno to Jose Maria Sison, the founder of the Chinese wing of the Communist Party, and Hacienda Luisita is known to have been the sanctuary for Commander Dante.”

    Only a fool who doesn’t know the facts and the history would reject outright the intricacies of political affiliations at that time. Commander Dante, a former sugarcane cutter at Hacienda Luisita, was intimate with Ninoy. Dante has openly admitted that Ninoy’s support was crucial to the formation of his budding guerrilla movement. Dante also said that “Benigno Aquino took Jose Maria Sison to the Hacienda Luisita and had two aides take him to meet Dante by a twisted mango tree that still stands in Manga village. The NPA was born that night, March 29, 1969. It had only 45 armed soldiers.”

    Now, if some people want to believe myths that support their own rose-colored view of the world, that’s fine. But that doesn’t excuse them from being fools.

  24. SoP, the situation during martial law i covered a long time ago here:

    so you can review that. i will only add what a biographer of chino roces told me the other day, concerning his research: the writer, no admirer of marcos and an admirer, obviously, of chino roces, said the communists were stealthily supported by opposition figures going into martial law, and as far as things went, marcos actually had a plausible case for martial law, considering not just the political situation but the massive floods that year.

    ninoy’s transformation into something other than a demagogue occured after he was in jail, when he understood the limitations of armed struggle, and not so early at that -consider the light-a-fire movement, etc. it was only after that, that some, including ninoy, began to realize that armed struggle does not solve anything, certainly not toppling a regime that was capable of terrorism, too. whether urban guerrillas or communist cadres in the hills, the residual authority of the state, however illegitimate and unpopular, could only be contested if one leapfrogged past tactical parity as an objective and straight to turning it into a moral contest. but that would require a willingness for martyrdom and not the heroism of the guerrilla fallen in an encounter. which is why ever since ninoy’s going to his death, peaceful, non-violent resistance has been the dominant discourse which left and right, unwillingly most of the time, have had to embrace to achieve political success.

  25. Quoting from a Special Report by Fe Zamora, published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 22, 2008:

    “An Aquino travel companion in the United States wrote about a “covenant” between Marcos and the exiled senator. The “covenant” included the position of “prime minister” in the National Assembly, provided that Aquino won a seat in the 1984 elections. That was why Aquino had to come home in 1983, so he could establish residency and prepare for the campaign.

    Aquino worried over reports that Marcos’ health was deteriorating. He was particularly concerned about the succession problem. He told his wife he wanted an audience with Marcos.

    Aquino also sent word to the NPA chief, Rodolfo Salas, about the planned homecoming. The intermediary was a woman of Filipino-British parentage.

    Salas, through the intermediary, advised Aquino not to come home yet for security reasons. Besides, the opposition would benefit more if Aquino could go on with his work as a free man in the United States or even in Australia or Germany, where the senator had planned to live after his fellowship ended.

    Aquino sent a to-do list to Salas. On top of the list was to “help revitalize” the Liberal Party (LP). A splintered LP was a weak LP. A “united” LP would have strong chances of winning seats in the 1984 Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP) elections.

    Aquino wanted to participate in the IBP elections, and if he won, he was eyeing a coalition government that would include the Left. His intermediary also impressed upon Salas that the exiled senator wanted a “peaceful transition” in government.

    That Aquino would suggest a “peaceful” option with a group waging an armed struggle did not surprise Salas. He knew Aquino was a traditional politician who would use any avenue or group, the NPA included, to advance his cause.

    Salas met Aquino in the late 1960s when the senator brokered the groundbreaking meeting between Jose Maria Sison of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and Kumander Dante of the NPA. Salas was then the CPP political officer in charge of Central Luzon.

    On a few occasions, Salas visited Aquino at his Times Street home in Quezon City to deliver a message or pick up gifts for the guerrillas, which came usually in the form of firearms.”

    Those were the realities of the time. Was it playing with fire? Riding on the back of the tiger? Perhaps. Maybe a force of circumstances, as well. Thomas Aquinas was widely known as a sinner and a fornicator (God, give me chastity . . . but not yet). He did become a Saint of the Catholic Church.

    Deaf, dumb and blind would-be hero worshippers may want their idol squeaky clean. But the DNA, so to speak, confirms that the NPA was Ninoy’s bastard child.

  26. ‘It was Ninoy, after all, who introduced Commander Dante Buscayno to Jose Maria Sison’

    I read the same story in Asiaweek during the 1990s. It was an article about Rodolfo Salas.

  27. “Billions of dollar and thousand of lives had been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan wars by the American and British governments and their people were not able to complain. And here we are Filipinos nanggagalaiti sa $20T na ginastos ng Presidente.” Neurologically challenged

    Comparing a country’s leader prediliction for luxury that is a recipient of American tax dollars in aid and the cost of supporting Empire for its citizens is clear indication of a neurological disorder.

  28. The amount that Rep. Martin Romualdez dished out for that dinner could have funded so many projects for the 1st District of Leyte that could have benefited a lot of Leytenos who he might be forgetting put him where he is now. But then again, even in his desire to be a different kind of Romualdez as some of people have pegged him to be when he was campaigning, it is becoming more evident he is still cut from the same cloth and its never going to change.

  29. “Carl on Mon, 10th Aug 2009 12:24 am
    Deaf, dumb and blind would-be hero worshippers may want their idol squeaky clean. But the DNA, so to speak, confirms that the NPA was Ninoy’s bastard child.”

    Interesting conspiracy theory. I’ll reserve judgment ’til I hear the definitive account straight from the mouth of Kumander Dante or Joma. ‘Til then, I’ll file this under my kwentong kutchero cabinet.

    Even if it were true, I don’t see how it diminishes Ninoy’s enormous contribution to the cause of non-violent democratic advocacy. To say that Ninoy’s achievements are tainted because of his affiliation with the far left would be like saying Oscar Schindler doesn’t deserve the accolades afforded to him by holocaust survivors just because he’s a member of the Nazi party. In the end, his actions and decisions exonerate him from the violence that NPA’s perpetrate to this very day, four long decades after the group was formed (with or without Ninoy’s hand). You said it yourself, he reached out to the left to participate in parliamentary avenues. In the context of history, this is what we as a people should hope from the armed groups. We’re a democracy now, thanks to Cory and Ninoy. These people should lay down the guns, form parties to contest elections and let the people decide via votes if the people want their plans for change, not force their ideologies upon us with a barrel of a gun.

    I stick by my view to give armed groups the middle finger and give two thumbs up to Ninoy.

  30. carl on sun:

    For those of our countrymen who died in the armed struggle against the Marcos dictatorship , I truly feel sympathy for the families they left behind , but they made the choice to engage in armed struggle and would therefore have been prepared for the worst of the consequences — if they lost, death or incarceration. If they had won, they would have been heroes. They happened to be on the wrong side of history. Leftists shouldnt feel any bitterness towards people like Cory Aquino, because they think she stole their thunder. Leftists unfortunately failed to capture the imagination of the people. And today, communism as an ideology is past its prime ( after the collapse of the USSR, Eastern bloc countries and the emergence of china as a capitalist dictatorship), and is probably best looked upon as being on the political fringe.The problem with leftists is they think their view of the world is the only correct one, a bit like the moslem fundamentalists or taliban.

  31. SoP,
    ‘Interesting conspiracy theory. I’ll reserve judgment ’til I hear the definitive account straight from the mouth of Kumander Dante or Joma.’

    Joma admitted the same thing in one of his books. I forgot the title. I will look for it in my library.