DEATH and Resurrection. That is what came to my mind while I watched the replay of the last moments of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino during the TV replays commemorating his death anniversary last Saturday. He was killed by an assassin's bullet, probably ordered by one who felt that he was, politically, extremely dangerous.
I am sure the one who ordered his killing, whether connected to the late President Ferdinand Marcos or not, assumed that with Ninoy's death the military-backed reign of the dictator, already threatened by the rumblings of an uneasy public, would return to stability. How wrong he was!
The violent way with which the opposition senator died, his blood-stained face and dirt-spattered clothes staring at everyone in the newspapers and on television, spurred the nation into a paroxysm of grief I only once before witnessed. Upon that national grief People Power was born and the Marcos dictatorship was blown away by it. Ninoy's wife Cory became President and democracy experienced a re-birth. President Cory was the dead Ninoy's dream resurrected.
With the restored democratic space, however, trapo politics also found a golden (or maybe "rotten" is a better description) opportunity to take advantage of the situation. With Ferdinand Marcos around, a few close friends and associates discovered an almost limitless opportunity to amass wealth through corruption. Without him politicians right and left, national and local, thousands upon thousands of them, found they could now tap into the national treasury, too.
Each new Government Administration elected into office after Marcos spawned new corrupt officials, with new and less sophisticated methods of stealing us blind. They knew we knew they were corrupt, but they did not care. They flaunted their illegal activities in our face, daring us to sue them, knowing all along that the system will let them get away with it. No big fish except maybe President Joseph Estrada has ever been convicted, but even he was set loose by Executive fiat. We were free, but so were they free to steal from us. Freedom did not save us from depression. Towards the end, it was almost like suffocating from martial rule all over again.
And then Cory died. Our living symbol of a clean and honest official was snatched away from us by cancer. And a new generation of Filipinos was thrown into another paroxysm of grief such as was shown only when Ninoy was killed. That national grief looked for an outlet. There was no dictator for People Power to blow away, but there was a bigger and uglier face, Corruption, that the Nation's psyche focused its attention on. We looked for a symbol, and found Ninoy and Cory's son. We elected him President by the biggest of margins ever, and he has vowed to end Corruption under his watch. P-Noy is the dead Ninoy and Cory's ultimate dream resurrected.
Death and Resurrection. Yin and Yang. The Alpha and the Omega. One following on the heels of the other, both so interconnected that they form a never-ending circle. Is P-Noy for real? Yes, like Life and Death. Is he the Ultimate Savior? No, he's only one of a series of resurrections our country has to pass through in its journey through History. There will be more deaths. Many more. But here's the happy thought to always remember: Life is, always, just one horizon away.