Not a Ninoy or Cory-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Filipinos in New Zealand will have a Meet-and-Greet event with President Noynoy Aquino on Oct. 22, 2012 as part of his state visit upon the invitation of Prime Minister John Key.
About a thousand people are expected to congregate in Skycity Hotel, the most prominent landmark in Auckland. A rousing welcome is expected because during the weekend, Filipinos throughout New Zealand are gathering in Auckland for the annual Pistang Pinoy, and Monday happens to be Labor Day, thus it is a holiday.
Most of those who have signed up will be there primarily for a photo opportunity with the President, and maybe listen to what he may have to say about the role of overseas Filipinos in the development of the Philippines. Of course, he is expected to talk about the forthcoming elections, and campaign for his senatorial candidates.
Which brings me to his choice of candidates: Cynthia Villar (NP), Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (PDP-Laban), Alan Peter Cayetano (NP), Risa Hontiveros (Akbayan), Juan Edgardo Angara (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Grace Poe Llamanzares, Jamby Madrigal (LP), Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (LP), Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (LP), Antonio Trillanes IV (NP), Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda.
What the two old “ideological” parties--Nacionalista and Liberal—are offering are personalities and interests of families instead of coherent political and economic directions for the country.
Probably the most ideologically defined election the Philippines had was when Cory Aquino ran against Ferdinand Marcos. The opposition stood for human rights and freedom, while the party-in-power signified military rule and cronyism. Voters had a clear choice, and chose human rights and freedom.
Cory, principled as she was, stood steadfast on the ideals that her martyred husband, Ninoy died for. But elements of the ousted regime fought repeatedly to oust her. Thought they failed, they successfully weakened the economy and compromised Cory's idealistic vision.
Fidel Ramos who succeeded Cory, brought stability by giving amnesty to the coup plotters and easing up on Marcos cronies and supporters. The contaminants from the corrupt regime soon found themselves back in power, with Joseph Estrada as figurehead.
People saw Noynoy Aquino as a reincarnation of his father and pride of her mother, so they voted for him. But then, he is neither a Ninoy nor a Cory; he is his own man, born from heroic pedigree, educated in the politics of compromise in Congress where he previously served and president of an ideologue-less society.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2012.