“Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there darkness, light,
And where there is sadness, joy.”
– St. Francis of Assisi
First of two parts
They tell me that history is always written by victors. When victors write history, they are usually biased in their own favor. So history in the view of the victors is always revisionist. They normally don’t tell the whole truth and, in so telling half truths, they end up with lies or perversions of the truth. This is the case with the so-called EDSA “revolution.” The truth has been hijacked by now Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Fidel V. Ramos and the President Cory Aquino family, represented today by President Noynoy Aquino and his sister, Cris Aquino, the ever present television personality who is a lover of sorts.
The events that led to EDSA
THE MISTAKES OF FM: The events that led to EDSA could only be traceable to FM. Without his mistakes, EDSA would never have happened and all those mistakes are obvious errors of judgment which could have never taken place if FM, was in tiptop condition. Lupus caught up with him and without a weakened FM those errors, for certain, could not have happened.
First, his error in allowing the Opposition enough political space to denounce his administration here and abroad. When you are rebuilding a country, you do not allow anybody space, political or otherwise. The opponents of a New Society you are building should be in either two places – in isolated islands, and we have plenty of these in our archipelago, for them to vegetate and reform or six feet under the ground, if they remain obstreperous and unrepentant. I was surprised why FM did not do that. He allowed us to denounce him and for the mosquito press to cover the denunciations of the Opposition – prominent among the mosquito press were Jose Burgos, Sr. and Jr.’ Malaya and Eugenia Apostol’s Mr. and Ms.
Second, his error of calling for snap elections in 1986 when his term would have expired in 1987. Why did he do it? On pressure of the President Reagan administration, he had succumbed to the demand of the Americans. Under normal FM circumstances, he could have easily defied Reagan because the Opposition in the Philippines objected to the calling of snap elections for the simple reason that it was not prepared to participate in it. I was one of those opposed to the stand of the Opposition because it would have been a brilliant opportunity to remove Marcos since it would show that FM was a stooge of America and it would give us the muchawaited time to galvanize the people of the country to depose FM. But the Opposition moguls in Manila led by former President Diosdado Macapagal thought otherwise. As a disciplined soldier I had to abide by the decision of the Opposition leaders and I went to the Supreme watching Opposition lawyers, which included former Vice-President Emmanuel “Maning” Pelaez, argue what I thought was a foolish decision, as the later events proved me right.
Third, allowing international and domestic media to cover and publicize the canvassing of the votes of the snap elections. He should have known better and that to allow media to cover and publicize the canvassing would have very serious consequences on his rule. How did it happen that there was this media coverage? For historical purposes, let me detail it here. Deputy Prime Minister Jose Roño who was also minister of Local Government and majority floor leader of the Parliament, learned of the Opposition decision to boycott the canvassing of the results of the snap elections by not participating in the process. To Roño’s perception, this boycott would discredit the legitimacy of the canvassing and the snap election itself. So on this theory, Roño approached me on my seat at the floor of the Parliament, as I was the de facto Minority Floor Leader, and said, “Pare, how can we bring back the Opposition to actively participate in the canvassing?” I replied, “Simple, just allow domestic and international media untrammeled coverage of the canvassing.” Roño replied, “I cannot make that kind of decision. Only the President can make that decision. I will come back to you in two hours.” Roño came back to me at the appointed time and told me: “Pare, the President says it is okay.” I did not smile at the information lest I would reveal my intentions. I just told myself, how crazy could these people get by allowing untrammeled media coverage and I was proved right. I virtually stood alone on the floor of the Parliament for the Opposition and the country and made the word “asterisk” a byword for incandescent and brilliant Opposition. And the rest is history!
More FM mistakes
Fourth, FM should not have allowed the suspension of the canvassing of the snap election results by the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL). NAMFREL had acquired a reputation for accuracy in canvassing and reporting the results to the public but businessman Jose Concepcion, Jr. (Joecon), the Chairman of NAMFREL was a known Cory Aquino partisan. Here is the story of how the canvassing of NAMFREL was stopped. While we were canvassing the flawed election results in the Parliament, I thought that NAMFREL was canvassing the correct results and would sustain my objections on the floor of the Parliament. It turned out that NAMFREL was canvassing the same results we were canvassing in the Parliament. When I read in the papers and heard on television that Cory’s majority was dwindling to 75,000 votes, I got so disturbed that the canvassing in NAMFREL would arrive at the same results as in Parliament and that would have made a fool of the Opposition, and me in particular.
End of part 1. The conclusion will come out on Saturday.
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On the SC decision in favor of Senator Poe
As I was writing this column I saw on TV that the Supreme Court had decided the Senator Poe disqualification cases in her favor. Congratulations to Senator Poe and the Supreme Court. As I wrote over and over again in this column, Senator Poe, based on the facts and our laws is indisputably a natural-born Filipino citizen. Anyone who gives a contrary interpretation either does not know our Constitution and our laws or the English language, or both. The losers should stop talking about the violation of the rule of law. They do not know what they are talking about. The Supreme Court has spoken; the losers should accept their defeat. They want to take this issue to the people? They should stop making fools of themselves. Enough is enough. What the losers should do is to campaign for their candidates instead of bellyaching in a nuthouse.