Malacañang is burning


In the last few months, President B. S. Aquino 3rd has managed to ignore completely the call coming from the National Transformation Council, and repeatedly articulated by its moral and spiritual leaders, for him to step down. The Council believes Aquino had “won” the presidency in an “illegitimate and illegal election” conducted by a foreign company (Smartmatic) on behalf of the Commission on Elections, (which has the exclusive mandate to conduct elections), using the precinct count optical scan machine, after it had been divested, in violation of law, of all its safety features and accuracy mechanisms. To them, therefore, he is no more than a de facto president.

In addition, Aquino has casually violated the Constitution, and gravely abused the pork barrel system, which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional, in order to corrupt and control Congress, the Commission on Elections and the other constitutional commissions, and to intimidate the Judicial Branch. He has become impeachable for culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust, and perhaps even treason, but has remained unimpeached simply because of his ‘pork’-fed relationship with the congressmen and senators, who alone have the power to impeach and remove the President.

For so long as Aquino was hearing it from some Catholic bishops, Protestant pastors, Muslim imams and Lumad babaylans only, and not seeing it on protesters’ placards or in screaming headlines, he could pretend there is no demand for his early departure. But last week, former Congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., his mother Cory’s younger brother and the most political of all his uncles, detonated a small bomb by asking PNoy to step down, as demanded by the Council.

Cojuangco is president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, and for that reason a part of the administration. He is not a member of the Council, which was organized in Cebu three years ago, and has not attended any of the five assemblies it has convened since August 27 in Lipa City to Dec. 5 in Davao. But he said he “liked” the Council’s position and was pleased to support it, thus his call. Now, while anyone may support the Council’s position, it is not always necessary to do what Cojuangco has done.

So, what was his reason for asking his own nephew to step down? Do they have a family feud, which has been kept away from the headlines, or was it simply because Cojuangco could no longer suffer Aquino’s plumb incompetence and his record of corruption? Or does Cojuangco agree with the Council that Aquino was, after all, not elected in a legal, legitimate and honest election?

Cojuangco did not say so, but his call set Malacañon fire. It is burning right now. How will Aquino put out this fire? As a very close adviser to Cory during her presidency (1986 -1992), and one of the first to lobby the country’s foreign allies on PNoy’s behalf in 2010, Cojuangco had a vital role to play in making his nephew president. However, this appears to be largely unacknowledged by PNoy, who seems determined to make people believe he had become president on his own steam, in a clean and honest election.

What kind of support Peping has within the Cojuangco clan and the administration, we do not know. Is he capable of creating the same problem, which seven Cabinet members and three agency heads, known collectively as the Hyatt 10, tried to create in 2005 when they tried to compel then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign, before she sacked them en masse? What is Aquino’s own evaluation of the harm that his uncle’s call has done, or could possibly do, to his presidency?

Will he now reach out to his uncle and ask him to reconsider his position? Or will Peping’s call snowball among Aquino’s relatives and friends who now recognize the harm PNoy has done to everyone? No country in Latin America, which once had a President El Loco in Ecuador, or Africa, which once had an Idi Amin in Uganda, has produced anyone like him. How soon before the fire Peping lit turns into a real conflagration and burns the entire house down?

The story did not land in any of the pro-Aquino newspapers. But it ran as the Times’s banner story, and prompted Aquino to call in some of his closest advisers for consultations. They decided not to react officially to the story, but simply to intensify monitoring of the activities of the Council. So the next two assemblies convened by the Council on Dec. 3 at the Grand Lewis Hotel in Angeles City, and on Dec. 5 at the SM complex in Davao drew noticeably increased interest from the intelligence services reporting to Malacañang.

It can be assumed that Malacañang got an accurate intelligence briefing on the presence of the militant Guardians organization and of one former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr) in Angeles, and of several powerful Muslim groups among the 4,000 or so Mindanaoans at SMX in Davao. That, together with the strong declarations issued by the two assemblies, should have prompted Aquino to see the Council, and his uncle’s position, in a clearer light.

The Angeles declaration endorsed all the previous declarations issued in Lipa, Cebu, and Butuan, and called for a stepped-up campaign for regime and systems change. The Davao declaration, on the other hand, declared that no solution to any of the problems being raised before the Council was possible until Aquino was forced out of Malacañang. “The time to compel Aquino to step down is now,” the Declaration said. After Davao, “the Council should now embark upon a nationwide mobilization effort to transform its vision into reality,” the Declaration concluded.

And for the first time since Lipa, the Council heard a specific proposal for “people power.” In his call to action, former Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said “people power” had become inevitable, and that people should be prepared to stay out in the streets the minute they decide to go there.

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa on the other hand said “people power” should remain under the Lord’s guidance and should synonymously mean “prayer power.” He recalled that in Lipa, the assembly fell on August 27, feast-day of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine; in Cebu, Oct. 1, it coincided with the feast-day of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower; in Butuan, Nov. 11, feast-day of St. Martin of Tours, soldier-turned priest and bishop, and famously known for cutting his soldier’s cloak in two in order to clothe a beggar who was freezing in winter; in Angeles, Dec. 3, feast-day of St. Francis Xavier, great Jesuit missionary saint who converted millions in the Orient; and in Davao, Dec. 5, first Friday, feast-day of the Sacred Heart, a day equally sacred to Muslims.

The work of the Council has always counted on the intercession of the saints, and should continue to do so, the Archbishop said. We shall soon see if, indeed, we have reached the point of no return.


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  1. abraham v. olaguera on

    di naiiba si pinoy sa karamihan ng naging pangulo. nalunod ang magandang hangarin sa pansariling agenda ng pinagkatiwalaang advisers. at dahil sa mga katiwalian ng kanyang pamumuno,at takot na di matulad kay GMA at JPE, dapat lang magawaan ng paraan na ang napakalaking discretionary budget ng 2015 ay maipon upang may para matiyak na siya ay di mausig at malaya sa pagbaba sa pagiging pangulo. dahil wala naman siyang anak,wala na siyang iisiping pangangalagaan. paano po naman ang sambayanang pilipino na magmamana ng kanyang iiwanan.

  2. Marshall Laway on

    Peping Cojuangco is the main reason why the agrarian reform program of Tita Cory failed. Now he is again imposing his ill will on Pnoy.

  3. The mob is becoming restless again with an administration they themselves put into power. Who were the last winners of real elections again? Erap who they did not like and quickly discharged off, Ramos was an AMBOY and nothing the mob can do about him, and Cory? hell no, Cory cheated and the mob was mobilized wehn they realized Marcos was winning the snap election. They had to buy off the teachers doing the counting who’s brains has been preconditioned to be anti Marcos by their own yellow media prior to the election. Have you wondered why a convicted plunderer won the Mindanao vote during the last election? What has the name Aquino done for the non Metro Manila resident to recognize it? Think about it, and for you mob, your time will come.

  4. >>> Filipino People of the Philippines….. BEWARE !!! under the Constitution of the Philippines and In the eyes of God ( for those who believed),


  5. pag ito ay mangamoy masyado at bumaligtad ang mga kasalukuyang mga politiko kagaya ni ABAD, DRILON,AT IBA PA, maging walang patutungohan ang kilosang ito

  6. it’s a pity that most of the students now, are not really conscious politically; that’s why the politicians don’t care. The students today, are just pre-occupied with their gadgets, malling.. etc. They don’t know that after graduation, no jobs are awaiting them, because our politicians, are busy enriching themselves, instead of creating jobs. We really need another re-awakening, particularly on this Aquino mis-administration, w/c came into power, because of “pity”, and the magic PCOS of the COMELEC.

    • >>> That is the problem. Why need a mandated people such as legislators or senators or cabinet members etc.? All those people mandated are the grafted, corrupted and corruptors.

      >>> The problem in the Philippines is ….most (if not all) legitimate electorate people are not suppose to be. The election code or law whatever shall be revised or be changed into…

      > that the electorate legitimate age limit shall be from 21 years old to 75 years old only. Identification shall be based only from SSS or GSIS or NBI nothing else.

      > that a person who are incumbent or formerly shall not allow to be a candidate in the same level or lower than his present or last position in the government. This is TO AVOID AND STOP THE “RECYCLED OFFICIAL OR CANDIDATE” in the government, lalo na ang mga swapang at ganid sa pwesto at kapangyarihan.

  7. Unfortunately the NTC members do not have the people’s mandate. They are just imposing themselves. More importantly, it is very unlikely that an incumbent president’s candidate (Gibo) would be cheated given that they had the state’s resources including the Comelec. You gotta be kidding me.

    • >>> That is the problem. Why need a mandated people such as legislators or senators or cabinet members etc.? All those people mandated are the grafted, corrupted and corruptors.

      >>> The problem in the Philippines is ….most (if not all) legitimate electorate people are not suppose to be. The election code or law whatever shall be revised or be changed into…

      > that the electorate legitimate age limit shall be from 21 years old to 75 years old only. Identification shall be based only from SSS or GSIS or NBI nothing else.

      > that a person who are incumbent or formerly shall not allow to be a candidate in the same level or lower than his present or last position in the government. This is TO AVOID AND STOP THE “RECYCLED OFFICIAL OR CANDIDATE” in the government.

  8. I salute mr.tatad!sa lahat ng ginagawa niya para sa ikabubuti ng bansa,buong puso niya itong ipinaglalaban!walang akong sabagay na ito,dahil ito ang totoo!
    Kaya lang minsan kapag ang isang bagay na mabuti at nahahaluan ng may masamang kasamahan!hindi man tuwiran ganito,ngunit may pangsariling interest,nasasayang ang pinaghihirapan!
    Sana wag tayong umasa na kapag nagtuturo ng religion ay totoong laging tama ang magiging pasya!
    Maraming taong mabuti na totoong puweding ipagmalaki at maging kabalikat! Neutral at pantay walang pinapanigan kung hindi ang tama lamang!
    Sana ito ang naging basehan ng pag-buo ng mabuting organization! Hindi dahil sila ay kilala at mataas ang kinalalagyan sa lipunan!

  9. I wish for the NTC to succeed… but… this is not the 1940s where you can just set-up an ideal government from scratch. We must accept the reality that the Philippines is being run by the masters of this planet and there’s nothing we can do to change that. Don’t believe? Try. See how fast they come for you ala South Ossetia style.

  10. Give me a break Mr. Tatad. You really think that Pnoy won the presidency because of cheating. Loose reporting or opinion like yours makes the philippine media less credible. How in the heck the country can prosper with people like you standing in the way. Hay naku kawawa talaga ang Piilipinas.

  11. The NTC is now showing their true color. Of all people, why Peping Cojuanco? Do you think that he is willing to go against his nephew? Will he allow his own blood relative to be jailed once a new government is installed and start prosecuting the sins of the BS AIII? I hope the bishops and the other people with good intentions will not succumb or taken for a ride by these manipulators. If that happened, I can now say that there will never be a hope of redemption for the country.

  12. Vicente Penetrante on

    Respect for elders is one of the Filipino traits. The President should make “mano” to his Uncle Peping and obey him.

  13. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

    Tatad should stop talking and file impeachment against the President if he believes truly on what he is talking about. The Problem with so called smart Pilipinos is they talk too much and no action.

  14. NTC is being ignored by major media because it’s lack of moral ascendency. This is the same group who condoned the illegitimacy of GMA’s presidency. Cojuangco’s beef is he is being marginalized by Pnoy. He just wanted to ask concession from the position of “strength”.

  15. There is a great impact to the international community when one’s own uncle and aunt are presenting evidence against an incumbent “illegitimate” president. Election cheating is something no self respecting person takes lightly. This is most certainly more than just presidential mischief. This is really a contrived presidential malevolence. Tinting Cojuangco has been going around declaring that the Abnoy did not win the election fair and square. And this being the case, the Abnoy better step down from Malacanang pronto.

    Of course, there will always be people who will be saying that the couple and the others with the NTC are just sour graping. Just as Cory went around denigrating the Marcoses before the EDSA Revolution. A tit for tat. Different strokes with different reasons. The thing is – has the demand of the NTC been accepted by the people? Evidence shows the fire has turned to be a conflagration. The fact that organizational rallies have been held in different strategic venues with the attendance of people whose integrity cannot be questioned shows that the NTC is no longer a small matter to be ignored.. In fact, many are waiting for announcements when another rally (like the ones held in Lipa, Davao and Angeles City) will be held so they can show support and attend.

    Those who are trying to throw stones at it are doing so out of fear. They see the fruits coming out and they fear that more people will be drawn to the tree. The Abnoy is living on borrowed time. It will soon be up for him.

  16. Sonny Dela Cruz on

    I have been saying that the NTC should start drafting the new FEDERAL SYSTEM CONSTITUTION for the Philippines. Then publish it, so that the Filipino people will understand what a Federal system of government and how they will benefit from it.I know the Federal system of government is good for the Filipinos because the Philippines was in a tribal system before and it is the same system as the Federal government. Parliamentary system of government is not in the culture of the Filipinos. Politicians will never debate for the good of the country. Pataasan lang ng ihi ang mangyayari, na mas-marunong ako kaysa sa iyo. The Parliamentary later becomes a Dictatorship government like what Marcos did before. Mr. Tatad you are an expert on this because you did work with Mr. Marcos before.

  17. One vital element the NTC lack is the student sector. This sector provided the impetus to indoctrinate the citizenry on the flaming issues during the Marcos era. Their energy is beyond compare vis-a-viz the other elements now participating in the NTC fora. This sector incidentally provide the lines that connect the dots envisioned by the NTC leaders. Once the dots are all connected, the military, being opportunists, will come in to start the societal surgical process.

    • I agree. The student force, better with the academe led by CEAP, will hasten the critical mass that will prod the true reformists in the AFP to complete the equation. That will trigger social transformation that we’ve been hoping for. I think we need more of the caravan or roadshow type of campaign in schools which attracts the young.

      “When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!” (Les Miserables)

  18. Far from setting Malacanang on fire, the emergence of Peping Cojuangco and Norberto Gonzales as prime movers of this anti Aquino movement only gave this administration a reason to breath a sigh of relief. If NTC could not come up with more respected and credible leaders than retired and obscure religious leaders and discredited and washed up influence peddlers, former politicians and backdoor operators, this movement will never get beyond the organizing and talking stage until it is made irrelevant, moot and academic by the 2016 presidential elections.

    • Note that all organizations that mounted a move against an existing administration started obscure and non-descript but because the movements are based on truth and justice, they snowballed until the groundswell was more than enough to topple a government. Aren’t bishops and civil society leaders not credible enough?

      If my memory serves me right, even during the time of Quo Rhee, Ms. Tingting has never been allowed to step inside Malacañang. The animosity started during the martial law years when the other side of the Cojuangco clan suffered financial difficulties blaming such debacle from the politics of their brother in-law so that one member even have to undertake desperate measures just to be able to survive. But that does not mean that Senyor Peping has not transcended the past. Maybe, he really knows the truth but has kept his silence as any comment may be interpreted as “sour graping”. But in the twilight of his career, he may have just felt that there comes a time when the truth can never just be suppressed.

    • agree… some people with questionable integrity is part of this movement and we don’t even know the core group that is financing and running them from the background.. mahirap mabulaga lalo ang nakataya ang buong bansa… I think we have to examine carefully the agenda of this movement, the people behind it .. and how would they transform this country .. and how long they will stay .. still so many questions need to be answered …

  19. Nakakatuwa ang mga nagsasabing kailangan ng baguhin ang systema ng gobyerno!
    Kung ang bawat grupo na kasama sa NTC ay mapasusunod nila ang mga kagrupo nila sa samahan,baka maniwala ang mga tao sa kanila,
    Ang masama baka sila-sila ang magbangaan!pari laban sa pari,pastor laban sa pastor at imam laban sa imam!
    Peping coauangco hindi lang naibigay ang gusto nito!
    Ilang araw na lang 2015 bago pa mangyari ang gusto ng NTC 2016 na! Gustong umupo ng walang hirap!

  20. So far mischievous PNoy or his spokes-persons have not mentioned or commented in this NTC. Does it mean that they are really scared?