Wrong, wrong, wrong!

The following article Macapagal speech, 20 minutes; Cory, 10 minutes – Jul. 01, 2004 is full of errors. Reader beware.

Readers of the above article should note the following:

“She was the second Philippine president — after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos — to serve at least two successive terms.”

No. Do the math. Quezon, two terms: 1935-1941 (full 6 year term) , 1941-1944 (elected to a partial term, 2 years, to extend term to 8; extended some more in 1943); Quirino, succeeded in 1948; elected to a full term in 1949; Garcia, succeeded in 1957 (March), elected to a full term in December, 1957; Marcos, two full terms: 1965-1969 and 1969-1973.

She is the third (Quirino, Garcia, and her) to succeed a president and then win a full term. She is the fourth (Osmena, Quirino, Garcia and her) to succeed a president; she is the fifth (Quezon, Quirino, Garcia, Marcos, herself) incumbent to successfully stand for election or reelection.

“But it was Corazon Aquino, who helped lead a popular revolt in 1986 that led to the ouster of Marcos, who could claim credit for possibly the shortest inaugural speech delivered by a Philippine president.”

No. The shortest was this: “In memory of our great and illustrious friend who is now lying in state, let us pledge ourselves to establish better and closer understanding among us, and I beseech you to manifest more tolerance, goodwill, and love, which we need in this supreme moment of our history.” delivered in Council of State Room, Executive Office Building, Malacanan Palace, 17 April 1948 by Elpidio Quirino after being sworn into office after the death of Roxas.

Cory’s is the 2nd shortest; the 3rd shortest was Quezon’s at Corregidor. Osmena was the only president who did not make an inaugural address of any kind on the day he took office.

“At the time, Marcos, accused of robbing Aquino of victory in the February 1986 snap election, was also proclaiming himself at Malacañang as the elected president.”

The Batasan Pambansa proclaimed Marcos. What FM did was hold his own inauguration.

“It was at 7 a.m. on a cold morning on Nov. 15, 1935, when, escorted by horses, Manuel L. Quezon and his family left their house in Pasay for the Legislative Building for his inauguration as the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth.”

No one is ever “escorted by horses,” unless they perform in a Circus. You get a cavalry escort. The last president to have a cavalry escort was Marcos in 1981.

“As in the fashion of the day, the uniform for the VIPs during Quezon’s inaugural was cutaway, vest and top hat. Nick Joaquin wrote in his column for the Inquirer in November 1987 that, just to be different, General Douglas McArthur came in gray double-breasted suit and a straw hat with scarlet band.”

Nick Joaquin was, alas, wrong. Non-cabinet members and non-members of the official U.S. delegation came in coat and tie, MacArthur, not yet formally appointed as military adviser to the Commonwealth, simply wore what everyone else wore.

“President Ramon Magsaysay, who took his oath as president on Dec. 30, 1953, was the first elected president to wear a barong on his inauguration.”

Per Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, the proper term is baro , barong is wrong, like saying “wearing a shirtof”. You wear a baro to, not on, your inauguration, don’t you?

“On Dec. 30, 1969, Ferdinand Marcos became the first president to take his oath of office in Filipino. He was also the country’s first and only reelected president.”

There is a debate on whether FM was the first to take his oath in Filipino. Marcos’s own propaganda says he was the second, but no one seems to know who was the first, unless it was Laurel in 1943. It is part of the Marcos mythology to claim he was the first and only president to be reelected. He was the first and only to be reelected to a full second term.

“President Manuel Roxas had the distinction of having two inaugurals within months.”

Roxas was inaugurated president in May, 1946. The Commonwealth oath of office included a pledge of allegiance to the sovereignty of the U.S. When our independence was recognized in July., 1946, Roxas took his oath of office again, without the pledge of allegiance, as befits the president of a sovereign nation. Technically, he only had one inaugural, as he was serving out his 1946 May term when he re-took his oath in July, 1946.

“In the general elections of 1946, Roxas won over Sergio Osmeña Sr. and was inaugurated as the last Commonwealth president in ceremonies held at the grounds of the ruined Legislative building in Manila, witnessed by a crowd of 200,000 people.”

Incidentally, it is wrong to refer to Osmena as Sergio Osmena, Sr. A president must be known by the name he signed official documents with, and not what people want to inflict afterwards. If you adopt the use of Osmena, Sr. as acceptable, then we should also use: Manuel L. Quezon, Sr., Jose P. Laurel, Sr., Ramon Magsaysay, Sr., Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr., and so forth –any president who had a son named Jr.. This is the same lack of logic that inflicts middle initials on presidents who did not use them.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

7 thoughts on “Wrong, wrong, wrong!

  1. our proficiency in english is simply gone among the younger generation? uhmmm… what led you to conclude this? (don’t use me as an example hehehehe). i’m a little curious about this claim. not that i have anything to disprove or even claim anything opposite to that. 🙂


  2. Here’s another one from Ambeth Ocampo’s article yesterday:

    Our history provides two other victims of fate (that of the vice-president taking over after the demise or resignation of the president): Carlos Garcia was vice president and took over when Ramon Magsaysay died in a plane crash in March 1957. Earlier, there was Elpidio Quirino who became president when Manuel Roxas expired from a heart attack. Now that it is literally being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    There is a third one: Sergio Osmena, who became president after Manuel Quezon’s death in August 1944. Our dailies should really have fact checkers for these things. Else, they would be instruments for the public’s miseducation.

  3. The problem of factual and grammatical errors is common. our proficiency in english is simply gone among the younger generation, as for facts, it’s a problem the world over with papers.

  4. Shouldn’t someone be checking the accuracy of the data? Also, I’ve noticed that of late, the Inquirer has printed stories which have a lot of factual and grammatical errors.

  5. Don’t articles like that pass through a battalion of editors before seeing print?

    That makes me more disillusioned with the media.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.