Ninoy, Cory and PNoy 2-A A +A
As I See It
Thursday, August 21, 2014
THE statement of Ninoy has become classic. “The Filipino is worth dying for.” Cory Aquino became President of the Philippines on Feb. 25, 1986 (until June 30, 1992). Millions of Filipinos believed that Cory will carry on the dreams of Ninoy.
Cory has the dreams of Ninoy but she has also the nightmares of Ninoy. The Marcos ghosts were still hovering. It cannot be denied that there are Marcos loyalists around. They were haunting Cory through a coup d’état that could have instituted another military regime. Cory stood firm with her faith in God and trust in the Filipinos.
It was hard for President Cory to meet both ends in the post-Marcos Philippines. She paved the way for the creation and promulgation of a new Philippine Constitution to replace the 1973 Constitution (the Marcos bible on governance to affect dictatorship). Cory’s move were awe-inspiring (could be poetic also). She made Marcos political prisoners free. Her works of redemption were biblical.
The lady president tried to negotiate with the insurgents with sense of gravitas and carried herself with aplomb to end their rebellion but she did not succeed. She went around the country and turned to the private sector for assistance in revitalizing our ailing economy. She was here in Bacolod to boost the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) and to bring the “Star of Hope.”
Her patience was tested by a member of the military who staged a series of coup d’état by staging popcorn action and barking misanthropy. Their comic ineptitude did not bite the taut intelligence and internal logic of the Filipinos. Each scene of choreographed violence staged by the nerdy soldiers was not supported by the people.
Under the nose of President Cory, there was still the continuing warfare between the Communist insurgents and the military. Those who were shouting for reform under Marcos continued their outcry for social justice. They were reminding Cory of what Ninoy said, “No to Marcos! No to dictatorship! No to violation of human rights!”
President Cory ended her term of office with humility. Her supporters were pushing for the extension of her stay but Tita Cory was humble enough to say, “I am up to June 30, 1992 only.” She left to us the 1987 Constitution to be followed so that “dictatorial rule” will not happen again. This 1987 Constitution was followed by the other presidents after her . . . Ramos, Estrada, Macapagal-Arroyo, and now her son, PNoy.
The 1987 Constitution carries the important fundamental principles of the government. It recognizes the aid of Almighty God. The Filipino people are sovereign. There is the renunciation of war as an instrument of public policy. (We are not going to war with China even the Chinese are already in our territory. We need to review this).
There is the supremacy of civilian authority over the military. (The salary of the military and the policemen have been increased. The civilian employees of the local and national office are still praying to Almighty God to make their Constitutional wish come true.) The separation of the Church and State is emphasized. (So, no more Team Patay and Team Buhay.)
We recognize the importance of the family as a basic social institution, and the vital role of the youth in nation-building. (We learn a lesson from “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real.” I hope this could be real.) It guarantees a system of government through suffrage (genuine voting). (We don’t need, “Hello Garci!” to win.)
There is the separation of powers . . . Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. (PNoy knows this already. This is very much a part of his “Matuwid na Daan”.) Our Philippine constitution guarantees local autonomy. (Our top leaders could not just dictate our mayors and governors.) And above all, we have high standards of morality in public service, and accountability of public officials. (We make our “Panunumpa” every Monday.) Our Constitution bans foreigners from owning natural resources and private enterprise affected with public intent. (Many want to change this for personal interest.)
Our government, according to our Philippine Constitution, is a government of laws and not of men. Are we going to change the 1987 Constitution? Jesse Jackson said this, “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 21, 2014.