Sangil: The resurrections

Like a yo-yo. Some politicians can be compared. Others failed in their comeback. Others, like the Marcoses of Ilocos scored the greatest comeback in the political history of our country. Much has been written about them but there are still snippets which I have been wanting to write. Maybe BBM already forgot the two interviews I had with him at DWRW, a local radio station in San Fernando. He was running for a senate seat at that time. (Segway. Nakalimutan niya akong pasalamatan).

I also remember seeing Imee tending her little gift shop in Fontana and seemed happy. Sometime in mid-2000 I invited her to be guest speaker of our Rotary Club in Angeles City and I was seated beside her and we discussed some issues but what I cannot forget was her apprehension that how the electorate will react on her brother Bonget’s run for the senate. Bongbong was elected and so was Imee later on. The acceptance of the public became resounding when BBM polled 31million votes in his presidential run. The comeback is complete.

On the other side of the coin are the Aquinos of Tarlac. Years of exile in the United States, Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. wanted more than anything in the world for the presidency. So when he learned President Ferdinand Marcos was ailing he planned a comeback. He never made it. His assassination in the tarmac changed the course of our political history. The wife and son became president instead as consolation prizes.

RETRO: This is what happened when Tita Cory, Ninoy’s widow assumed the presidency. There was a major overhaul on the local government level, removing local officials. Many governors and mayors identified with the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the ruling party during the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos . Many were booted out and replaced by anti-Marcos activists as rewards for their efforts.

At the height of people’s euphoria after Marcos was forced into exile by the Americans to Hawaii. In the meantime a constitutional commission was created to dismantle the 1973 constitution and to install a Cory oriented one. Aquino appointed OICs, ‘blessed’ by Cory magic prepared for the 1988 polls.

All over the country the Cory magic was at work. The people dazed by the mesmerizing yellow fever,and in protest against the departed regime, elected street parliamentarians to office disregarding maturity,political experience, capability and leadership potential of the anointed.In Pampanga the first tragic casualty in defeat in a congressional race was Estelito Mendoza. He was pitted against Oscar Rodriguez, an activist lawyer of the poor. Aber Canlas, an engineer fro FloridaBlanca and builder of many Infrastructure projects like Folk Art Theatre, Cultural Center and others retreated from a possible showdown against Emigdio Lingad of Lubao in the second district congressional race

Swept to victory in the electoral race in the 1988 polls were Bren Z. Guiao, the late Ninoy Aquino’s public relations man as governor and running mate Cielo Macapagal Salgado. Except for Fred Halili of Mabalacat who was a dyed in the wool member of KBL, all towns were swept by those identified with the new government. Roy David in Porac, Manuel Santiago in Guagua, Javier Hizon in Mexico, Norberto Blanco in Bacolor, Paterno Guevarra in San Fernando, Oscar Tetangco in Apalit, Nelson DeLa Cruzin Arayat and Alfonso Pelayo in Candaba.

Two political giants, Francisco G. Nepomuceno and Rafael L. Lazatin came down in defeat as Antonio Abad Santos aka ‘Bubusok’ . The young firebrand toured the 33 barangays with his fiery speeches resulting in the defeat of the two revered figures. The province politicians who were identified with Marcos Kilusang Bagong Lipunan fell on the wayside. Israel ‘ Baby’ Eusoof of Guagua, Romy Pamintuan of Apalit and Tomas Guevarra of Mexico were forced to give up their seats as President Cory Aquino declared a revolutionary government. Even two of the most well loved and respected mayors, Benigno Espino of Arayat and Armando P. Biliwang of the capital town of San Fernando were replaced. Many of them never went back to politics, some attempted but thwarted. Few others made it and reclaimed their seats.


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