Age of pretense and cowardice: From Cory to Noynoy Aquino (2)

17

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn out tools.”
–from “If” by Rudyard Kipling

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CONTINUING Pretense: Pretense continued beyond Cory Aquino. The quality is the same but only the degree is different. The pretense that the senatorial election in 1987 during Cory was clean and honest continued until the watch of President Fidel V. Ramos. I should know.

I performed a role in the canvassing of the results of the presidential election in Congress. While the legal pretense was that Ramos won the election; the general perception among the knowledgeable on elections was that Ramos lost to his opponent, now Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

The Cory administration was the most pretentious especially on the issue of graft and corruption. Graft and corruption was more rampant during the time of Cory, even more damning than during the time of President Marcos. Many members of her family and friends as well as members of her Cabinet were deeply involved in graft and corruption – from the theft of the Imelda Marcos jewels to the return of the ABS-CBN and the Lopez empire for a song; from the theft of the Bongbong Marcos and the rest of his gang’s cars and allied vehicles to the return of the Cocoy Romualdez corporations to Lopa, the brother-in-law of Cory; from the payment to Westinghouse of the Bataan nuclear plant to the sale of positions in local government to the old and manipulative members of the Marcos crowd.

The stealing and thieving during the Cory regime was well described by former Speaker Abul Khayr Alonto of the ARMM regional assembly, also former Vice-Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and now crowned by BSA 3rd as the chairman of the government’s version of the MNLF, in the following colorful words describing the methodology of graft and corruption: “Before the time of Marcos, it was under the table; during the time of Marcos, it was over the table; now, during the time of Cory, it is including the table.” With due apologies to Abul, now during the time of Noynoy, it is including all the chairs and the table; it is the whole shebang from the Matuwid na daan or crooked roads to piers and the airports.

So what else is new? It is the same old thing, over and over again.

The graft and corruption levels

RAMOS REGIME: It was also a world of make-believe – a Niagara of pretense. The regime was characterized by whispered information that there were highly questionable transactions involving the regime. There was the PIA-AMARI deal involving the reclamation of a part of Manila Bay which was connected to the earlier Marcos reclamation project. According to reliable sources, the stink about the deal skyrocket to stratospheric heights. It was followed by similarly stinking deals like the sale of part of Fort Bonifacio to modernize the armed forces of the Philippines. The sale was finished but the armed forces did not get modernized. A lot of people are asking: where did the money go. The sale of the stock farm which occupied a sizeable part of Alabang also smelled like the mountains of manure of the animals in the farm did not escape the attention of knowledgeable observers. The centennial projects in Clark Field in Angeles City, Pampanga created furor not because the buildings were impressive but because some leading personalities of the Ramos administration were deeply enmeshed in graft and corruption.

Ramos who was a friend and ally of Salvador “Doy” Laurel, the Chairman of the Rizal Centennial Commission, left a cloud of doubt on the character of Doy Laurel with an unfair charge against him. I know Doy. He is a friend. One thing that could not be associated with the man is graft and corruption. Ramos did not lift a finger to defend him and vouch for his honesty. The evidence in the continuing investigation established Doy had nothing to do with the questionable transaction, so the public prosecutor moved for the dismissal of the case. But some people identified with the Malacañang were pointed to as the culprits.
The Ramos regime also boasted of its policy of people empowerment. The people were not empowered. The government had the power but the people did not even have sufficient electric power. Darkness, as usual, was the fate of the people.
Pretense, pretense, pretense, everywhere was pretense!

GMA REGIME: The GMA boys pretended that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo got elected as President of the country in 2004. But the Garci tape belied their claim. The tape proved, to a very great extent, that the boys of Gloria in the Comelec and in the field in Mindanao manipulated the results of the election. The true winner in that presidential election was Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), the adopting father of Senator Grace Poe, now an independent candidate for president in the coming 2016 presidential election.
The collective evidence proved that FPJ won that election.

Indeed, FPJ won the election but GMA got the proclamation. Again, it was a game of abject pretension!

In the field of graft and corruption, the GMA administration topped them all. It was an insult to the father of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President Diosdado Macapagal, who was labeled by many and in his biography as “The Incorruptible.”  But it also had the effrontery to claim that it was clean and honest.

Pretense, pretense and more pretension! It even had the gall to claim that it was a highly moral presidency. In a book written by Linda Montayre, A nation unbound, the author claimed that President Gloria had so many boy friends. As if to affirm the observation of the author, in a television interview with Winnie Monsod in Baguio when asked by Winnie about her sex life, her immediate unhesitating reply was – “Plenty”! Gloria really knew her numbers, like her Comelec which knew by heart the expertise in multiplication.

And now comes Noynoy

This is the genius of Asperger syndrome – the author of the magic letters associated with the revolutionary organization known as Katipunan, also known as KKK. The reading of his critics of the meaning of the legendary letters is – kabarilan, kafamilia, kainoman, kabarkada, kabaklaan and way down the line. In the immutable rhythmic lines of King Chulalongkorn of Siam, as immortalized in the famous musical, The King and I, “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.” Etcetera includes the native word silahis which means in my dictionary as His by day, Sila by night.

The silahis variety can be found in all levels of the administration of Noynoy. Its achievement in graft and corruption is like durian – smells like hell for everyone and taste like heaven for the crooks of the Noynoy government. And the crooks and grafters of the Noynoy government are prevalent everywhere, just like the silahis in his administration.
Their proliferation reminds me of the rhythm of the famous poem of Lord Alfred Tennyson, Charge of the Light Brigade. Why? Read these –

Graft in front of you, corruption behind you.
Corruption to the left of you, graft to the right of you,
Volleyed and thundered!

Corruption in PAGCOR, graft in the Comelec.
Graft in Customs, corruption in Immigration,
Volleyed and thundered!

Graft in LTO, corruption in LTFRB.
Corruption in the Police, graft in the military,
Thundered and volleyed!

Corruption in MRT, graft in NAIA.
Graft in Labor, corruption in DSWD.
Thundered and volleyed!

Corruption in Congress, graft in the judiciary,
Graft in Malacañang, institutional corruption everywhere,
Volleyed and thundered!

Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and lie,
You ask: why, why and why?
Cowards hide and fly!

It’s all pretension, Noynoy!
You’re only an Asperger Boy.

Silahis in Senate and Palace,
You have an identity problem, kid.
If you don’t know who you are,
That’s why the country is where we are!

We need systemic change,
So rid ourselves of pretense!

Election won’t spin the change,
Revolution should come like rain.
But leaders have no brains,
So we get this thundering refrain:
Canons to the left of you,
Canons to the right of you,
Volleyed and thundered!

But cowards we are all,
That’s why we just roll and roll.

You know the Noynoy administration. It’s just like the Cory administration once again and way down the line. Nothing has changed. If something has changed – it is for the worse. Nothing will ever change in this country– not in a thousand years—unless a revolution comes, whatever it is, whether it is my variety which is a peaceful constitutional revolution or something else. As I told Ninoy once in the US in the presence of Doy Laurel: “The Filipinos are not worth dying for. They are worth fighting for or killing for, if necessary.” But I am just a coward and I move alone just like you, we are not like brave man Duterte who travels around with a phalanx of bodyguards. So not in a thousand years for you and me! But in an era of climate change, as in our time, you can never be sure about the seasons. Great leaders create their own seasons and, I am Roman Catholic, I believe in miracles.

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17 Comments

  1. Erap was naive but not a coward, he left the Palace to avoid bloodshed. He was man enough to stay and face the charges against him instead of going on self exile which was the option GMA gave him. Although the trial produced a guilty verdict, a reading of the facts will reveal that Erap was a victim of a massive frame-up orchestrated by the elite. Compare that to GMA who wanted to escape by running to the airport armed with a TRO from the Supreme Court. She would be enjoying the sunny beaches of Spain or laundered money-friendly Costa Rica if De Lima had not defied that TRO. Speaking of GMA, do you know who “BALBON’ was, supposedly one of the plenty, who was the real reason why GMA was forced to cancel the NBN-ZTE contract even after she adamantly said she will honor it because it was already a done deal? Lets hope someday the real story of this Balbon-NBN-ZTE episode will come out. It sounds more interesting – and lurid – than all the corruption cases you outlined in this article of yours.

  2. Nathaniel Orteza on

    “The Filipinos are not worth dying for. They are worth fighting for or killing for, if necessary.” Such quote fits well with the style of Duterte. How are you friend?

  3. Poor Filipinos we are… being easily deceived by dishonest and selfish leaders. I believe it’s about time to kindle the Filipino spirit of oneness and grit to set us free from this kind of “slavery” of the rich. Choose leaders that are REALLY honest representatives of the poor Filipino people. Peaceful change must start by amending the constitution. Political dynasty MUST BE REMOVED. Political appointments MUST NOT BE ENTERTAINED.

  4. I must admit im a foreigner & im lost with all this. I thought pnoy was doing a good job in starting to attack those corrupt officials. I know its so widespread in every single department. If this wont start to cure it, if only a revolution will cure it then thats what we must have for the sake of the philippines. Let none of us be afraid, in a revolution many will die & its easier for me because im older than most. But even in my youth ive been a patriot for my country. The philippines is my wifes country but i would be a patriot to help this country get through all of this. Im not afraid to speak up & to act for the country as i expect to one day die in the philippines. The filipino deserves more, the poor deserve better, government after government have been guilty of keeping the filipino uneducated & therefor easier to manipulate or control. Come on you brave leaders stand up for your country & im sure millions will join you as the philippines needs this revolution now.

  5. So, will we start hiring foreign mercenaries to start rubbing out all corrupt, bakla and inefficient politicians and bureaucrats before we begin a civic-military junta that shall set the constitutional convention to change our constitution and thereafter set a new election in thirty days?

  6. Dahil sa panggulong Aquinos, panggulong former leaders without exception, panggulong politicians napakagulong philippine sociey we have. Sino naman ang hindi magagalit lalo na kung asin lang ang ulam mo, pababayarin k p ng napaka mahal na kuryente, tubig at tax. Duterte kasuka-suka pero iboboto na lang just to get back at the establishment and the ruling oligarchy. Like him we are very angry but you are right mr adaza, unlike duterte, am a coward, too. We are controlled-everything in the philipines is controlled by the ruling and opposing oligarchies. Something should be done. I guess only the Duterte kind can do it. He seems as angry as we are.

  7. “But I am just a coward and I move alone just like you, we are not like brave man Duterte who travels around with a phalanx of bodyguards. So not in a thousand years for you and me!” – Homobono Adaza
    **********************************************
    Mr. Homobono Adaza forgot to mention the continuing struggle of the Filipino masses under the leadership of the CPP-NDF. It is them who have made the enormous sacrifice to free the nation from foreign domination and from the big bourgeosie-comprador dictatorship. It has been a 47 year struggle for the masses. But I do not believe it will take a thousand years !!! Mr. Homobono Adaza may have given up but not everybody. He should speak for himself !!!

  8. Master of words you are Mr. Adaza and yet those words will permeate into every cell of our body. I agree. As long as we are we, there will be no change.
    Of course Filipinos knows very well that graft and corruption is rampart to a monumental proportion but most Pinoy says “BAHALA NA”

  9. Correction please…It wasn’t King Chulalongkorn who uttered etc..etc..etc..in the movie The King and I. It was King Mongkut, the father of King Chulalongkorn. For your information Mr. Homobono Adaza.

    • thanks ms arlene for the correction. i just realized that the readers of Manila Times are all intellectuals.

  10. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,”
    You haven’t heard the bad news!

  11. Napag uusapan din lang ang eleksiyon si MAR kampanteng kampante kahit alam niya na hindi siya mananalo, dahil ang number 1 niyang taga kampanya si Pnoy alam naman ng tao na puro palpak pagsisinugaling lang at puro pahirap lang sa taong bayan, kaya gusto niya sundin ang TWERK NA DAAN ni Mar.
    At all cost Mar will not lose, all indicators are already there, SMARTMATIC is already in ano pa ba ang hahanapin natin. BAKA ANG SMARTMATIC kastila ang may ari sabi ni Bob Tiglao, o di ba meron tayong kastila na oligarch BKA MAY CONTROLLING INTEREST suspetsa lang naman, sabi ni Tiglao ang me ari o Chairman dating foreingner na aide ni CORY. Kayo na lang ang mag isip isip
    If not doable, si Mar parin dahil last options ala CORY ulit declare shooting war with China at WPS/South China Sea, edi meron naman katwiran Martial Law with concurence of rubber stamp Drilon Senate nahindi rin mananalo ubos ang mga LP Senator Candidate, except Recto totoong tao. DIKTADOR NA NAMAN , just like late CORY DID

  12. I agree to all of what you have said. “unsa pa ba ang atong mahimo sa akong pag lantaw wala naman” Labi na ron ang atong Presidente Pnoy ug si kanhi Cory wala dyud kalainan, Parehas, unta ilisdan na ilang ngalan apelyedo dili Aquino, kana na lang Cojuangco gamiton. Why, Bakit, dahil nakakahiya kay dating Sen. Ninoy Aquino, alam ninyo ba na si Ninoy bago namatay meron siyang SPEECH it was even played in the TV, ang sabi niya gusto niya ang ating bansa ma industrialized para maging maunlad maka create ng trabaho, mechanized farming at ang government guaranteed loan i channel sa mga investors para pagtatayo ng mga factories o planta para industrialization AT HINDI DOON SA MGA OLIGARCHS.

    ANONG NANGYARI WALA DAHIL ANG DATING CORY PINAYAMAN NIYA ANG MGA OLIGARCHS KASAMA NA RIN IYA ANG MGA KAMAG ANAK INCORPORATED, PAGTAPAK NIYA SA MALACANANG DAHIL IBINIGAY SA KANYA ANG PAG KA PRESIDENTE NI ENRILE AT MGA RAMBOYS KAHIT ALAM NILA HINDI ITO NANALO. ANG SUMONUD NIYANG GINAWA NAGDECLARA NG REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT AT NAGING DIKTADOR OO DIKTADOR, TAPOS SASABIHIN SI MARCOS ANG DIKTADOR E MERON CONSTITUTION AT UMIIRAL ANG BATAS. KAY DIKTADOR CORY WALA DAHIL MERON SIYANG FREEDOM CONSTITUTION. ANG MASAKIT NITO PINATALSIK ANG KANYANG VICE PRESIDENTE AT HINANTING ANG MGA RAMBOYS IPINAKULONG PA SI ENRILE, IYAN ANG DIKTADOR. SUMUNOD ANG MASAKIT WALANG MALASAKIT SA MGA MAMAYAN FILIPINO, MOTHBALLED BATAAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, KUNYARIANG BLACK OUT PARA MAG IMPORT NG POWER GENERATORS, IBINIGAY ANG PAG AARI NG TAONG BAYAN ANG MERALCO SA MGA OLIGARCHS O O OLIGARCHS. ANG MAS MALUPIT PA NITO PINAHIRAPAN ULIT ANG MGA TAO DAHIL ANG RUBBER STAMP NIYA SENADO NAG PASASA NG BATAS PSALM AT MAIIBSAN DAW ANG KAHIRAPAN NG MGA TAO AT BABABA ANG SINGIL SA KORYENTE. DA REST IS HISTORY NAGING MALALA ANG KALAGAYAN NG ATING BANSA
    Ang sumunod ang anak Presidente ganon parin pinayaman lalo ang mga oligarchs naging bilyonaryo dolyares pa, na kalista sa FORBES MAGAZINE ang grabe nitong Presidente natin siya daw ang pinaka malinis at si MARCOS ang meron kasalanan sa bayan. Sino ngayong ang may kasalanan sa bayan mas grabe ang corruption ngayon diba. SINO NAMAN ANG NAMAMAYAGPAG SA PAG NENEGOSYO ANG TULONG NA GOVLERNMENT BACK GUARANTEED FINANCING LOANS EDI SILA OLIGARCHS KASAMA YATA SILA DITO MAY CONTROLLING INTEREST KAYA O SECRET SHARES, MAGHANAP TAYO NG NEGOSYO NA WALA SILA OLIGARCHS DI BA WALA LAHAT NA YATA NA CONTROL NA NILA GANYAN KALUPIT ANG MGA AQUINO NA DAPAT COJUANGCO ANG GINAGAMIT NAKAKAHIYA KAY NINOY.
    Kaya parehas silang 2, pinatatalsik ang Vice Presidente, ADOLF HITLER LIKE DICTATORSHIP AT NAZI LIKE LIBERAL PARTY, bakit diba pinatalsik si CJ CORONA, IPINAKULONG SI JPE, JINGGOY, AT BONG AGIMAT, SI GMA alam naman natin walang matibay na ebidensiya binabaluktok at ginagamit ang kaban ng bayan para panuhol. Tama ba ito.
    Panahon ni PFM walang massacre sa Mendiola itinataboy lang ang mga rallyista at walang massacre sa HACIENDA LUISITA at massacre nakakabit na kay CORY.
    Panahon ni Noynoy, meron ba di ba marami kayo na ang mag research baka suntukin ninyo ang mukha niya pag nalaman ninyo.
    Commander-In-Chief daw siya, mga GENERAL 105 howitzers ang pangtataboy daw sa MGA MILF, alam naman nila hindi epektibo, 81MM mortar lang mas effective diba meron pang isa 60MM mortar lang, kung ginamit lang sana ng mga GENERAL edi naka atras ang mga SAF 44 sa MAMASAPANO.
    alam ko iyan maganoy na iyan Mamasapano, kabilang ilog lang ang putukan maririnig mo na sa National Highway, kung ginawa lang sana 5 putok lang ng 81MM mortar walang Massacre.
    KAYO NA ANG MAG ISIP ISIP eto baka hindi ma publish itong commentario baka ang mayari OLIGARCHS nagpanalo kay PNOY. Alam naman natin iyan edi sila ang dapat makasohang ng ELECTION SABOTAGE, hindi si GMA.

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  13. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    04 December 2015

    I note, with no little amount of admiration, that Lawyer-Columnist HOMOBONO ADAZA, likes to lace his well-written by also troubling columns with a stanza or two from famous poets–in a recent past, Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and now Rudyard Kipling’s “Charge of the Light Brigade.”

    With his indulgence, I would like to complete his quotation of a few lines of Hamlet’s well-known soliloquy, to wit:

    “To die, perchance to dream;
    Ay, there’s the rub,
    For in that sleep of death,
    What dreams may come
    when we have shuffled off
    This mortal coil
    with a bare bodkin?”

    With that out of the way, in this column Homobono Adaze dwells on what he characterizes as systemic corruption in past administrations.

    My own take is that Corruption, like a malignant Cancer, has metastasized throughout the body, and has long afflicted the whole bureaucratic pyramid, from the very apex and moving down to the intermediate levels and as far down as the barangay level.

    Half-measures to combat it, like President Aquino’s much-ballyhooed “Daang matuwid” won’t do the job; these can only nibble at the edges, at best. As time goes on, it will very likely get worse and worse.

    As that wise adage goes “Desperate situations call for desperate solutions.”

    The time is here and now.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  14. It is good thing Atty. Harry Roque did join the crowd in the race to the Senate. Lagpas na quota ang mga bading sa Senado.