“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not the soldier know
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the Valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.”
From “The Charge of the Light Brigade”
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
BEGINNING of pretense: The age of pretense and cowardice started with the Cory Aquino term up to the Benigno Simeon C. Aquino 3rd (BSA 3rdfor brevity) administration. Elections will perpetuate it; a peaceful constitutional revolution will end it. The choice is yours and mine – ours. We will not only determine our personal destinies; we are going to determine the destiny of our country – now and tomorrow.
How did it begin? It started with the lie that EDSA was a revolution; it was not, it was a mere change of administration. It continued with the lie that there was no agreement between Cory and the Opposition that Cory would only be a ceremonial President and Salvador “Doy” would be Prime Minister to govern the country with his Cabinet.
So the revolution was a pretense. Its real objective was to allow Cory and her crowd to dissolve the Batasang Pambansa so there would be no more Parliament and only Cory and her boys could issue laws to suit their needs and interests; for Cory and her crowd to change local officials and to remove everyone they did not like in government, including the Supreme Court and the members of the judiciary. It was a coup to seize power for the oligarchs and vested interests who were outsiders headed by Cory during the time of Marcos.
The continuing pretense is that the revolution was for the people. Of course, it was not; it was for Cory and her crowd. But Cory personally did not govern; she did not rule. She was a marionette of her manipulating crowd. Some of those who surrounded her who were members of the Cabinet had the effrontery to mock her from behind her back trying to immortalize what her opponents trumpeted in media that she was TWA – Talaga Walang Alam – (meaning, she knew nothing). It is because of this slogan that she was secretly mocked from behind by some of her closest men. I pitied Cory because she was my friend but she was so good and obedient to her family and the hungry entourage in the Cabinet and in the world of business that she allowed herself to be abused.
It was bad for the country. I was so enraged but I was lost in the crowd because I was a loner – a Lone Ranger without a Tonto, a Don Quixote without a Sancho Pancha; a man so involved with ideals, principles, integrity and vision; a man not willing to swim with the current because the waters stunk and saturated with the stench of the unfeeling oligarchs and their running dogs.
The pretense of people support and invulnerability of those who, like the biblical Pharisees, pretended that they had the people in their pocket was smashed in the first senatorial election in 1987after the assumption of power by Cory. In that election as the destroyed records of the Comelec and Namfrel but which the group of Enrile got through two witnesses revealed that out of 24 senators who genuinely got elected, 14 belonged to the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD).Through the magic of the Cory computers, the Cory COMELEC proclaimed 22 senators of Cory and two of GAD.
Because of the false and dishonest proclamation, ten of those proclaimed in the Cory team were actually computerized senators. They lost the election but won the proclamation. This is the biggest and most scandalous case of dagdag bawas (plus and minus) in the history of senatorial elections in this country. But the Cory media until this day denies the truth and continues with the scandalous pretense.
Beginning of cowardice: When did cowardice begin? It started almost simultaneously with the pretenses of the Cory entourage. The Enrile crowd, despite its almost total command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Constabulary, just did not have the guts to contest the orders of the Cory government. It was fear of the popularity of Cory with the Manila crowds, falsely translated by the new Cory media that the country supported the so-called Edsa revolution. Of course, that was another pretense because almost all local governments were controlled by the Marcos people. But cowardice allowed the pretenders to rule and the rest is history.
The new opposition, the Kilusan Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the Marcos party, instead of doing battle with the Cory regime hid in dark corners and refused to fight the Cory regime because they were afraid of the people who, according to media, supported the new regime. It was a plain case of collective cowardice. Some of the leading members of the KBL desperately tried to work out an arrangement with the Cory crowd and Cory’s family, headed by Jose “Peping” Cojuangco – now one of the top leaders of VP Jojo Binay band. Some of them succeeded; some of them fled into obscurity. The explanation of this behavior of the men and women of the KBL is cowardice, and to a great extent opportunism.
Those associated with Vice-President Salvador “Doy” Laurel who should be honored for having engineered the fall of Marcos by having organized political parties and unremitting rallies under the most difficult life-threatening circumstances throughout the country were relegated into the background. They had to give way to those who ran to the United States of America (America for short) with their tails between their legs while leaving the fight in the home front to personalities like Doy Laurel of the Nacionalista Party (NP), lawyer Caesar Climaco of the Concerned Citizens Aggrupation (CCA), lawyer Badong Princesa of the Bicol Saro, lawyer Billy Legaspi of the Pusyon Bisaya, former Congressman Tito Dupaya of Timek Ti Umile, Abul Khayr Alonto of the Muslim Federal Party and this writer of the Mindanao Alliance (MA). These men later organized the United Democratic Opposition (UNIDO) headed by Doy Laurel.
I was not surprised why many of the stalwarts of the UNIDO who joined the Cory crowd though they were treated like second class citizens but because of the streak of cowardice in their system and the opportunistic desire to have parts of the spoils, they took the insult in stride.
This writer refused to join the crowd of pretenders and cowards. We organized the first effective challenge to the Cory crowd by opposing the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in thirteen provinces and nine cities in Mindanao, including Palawan. In the plebiscite, with the whole force of the government seeking the approval of the ARMM, we – Juan Ponce Enrile, Doy Laurel and this writer – resoundingly defeated the Cory machine in nine cities and eleven provinces resulting to a weird situation of region with only two provinces and no cities. So the pretense of national support for the Cory regime was blasted into smithereens by a band of warriors together with the people.
Beginning of real courage: Finally, out of desperation, a band of courageous men in the military and civilian sectors developed the courage to challenge the Cory administration not just through the electoral process but through the force of arms in the many coup d’etat mounted against the regime, the most daring and well-planed was the coup of 1989.
Were it not for the betrayal of one of the leaders of the coup, the coup would have handily succeeded.
Were it not for the indecision of this writer in Hong Kong to declare a revolutionary government while the coup was in still in progress, (it may be immodest for me to claim) the history of this country could have changed for the better. Maybe! But the history of many countries, like ours, is dotted with stories of what might have been.
Part 2 of this article will be in my column next Thursday. Comments of any kind are welcome and may be sent to adazalawoffice@ yahoo. com or communicated to 9905096 or 09062661133.