Mr. Aquino incubated the resurrection of the Marcoses

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Marlen V. Ronquillo

Marlen V. Ronquillo

After Mr. Aquino was overwhelmingly elected president in 2010, there was this sense that he would usher in a real springtime for liberal democracy. And in that springtime, a central feature would be the strengthening of the country’s democratic institutions and the full blossoming of the nation’s civic virtues.

How would not he? He was regarded as a political progressive with a technocratic bent toward promoting growth, without forsaking the fundamental function of leadership. Which is to prop up the limited social safety nets and create a viable middle class. A middle class that is formidable enough to thwart any anti-democratic challenge from anti-democratic forces. That is what progressive liberal democrats do first and foremost — build the institutions of democracy to neutralize any attempt to undermine such institutions.

In short, Mr. Aquino would serve as the steady steward, the incubator-in-chief, for all the progressive values and ambitions of liberal democracy.

And that was not even hard to do.


All he had to do, theoretically, was to allow those with capital to do business with the minimum of corruption and without the unnecessary regulations. Minus the heavy hand of government and with official corruption at a tolerable level, business would flourish. After all, business just had to complement the two strong areas that bring around $50 billion a year and millions in employment with barely any lift, any investment, from government. These are the two famous acronyms: OFWs and the BPOs.

Any and all radical initiatives to carry out pre-distribution and redistribution policies, this is a fact, are easier to carry out under a booming economy with an expanded revenue base.

The external factors were encouraging. A dovish Federal Reserve kept interest rates low. Oil prices were past their $100 per barrel peak and were softening. With rival India mainly focused on the hard-core segments of the BPO, the Philippines was left to absorb all the voice segments of the BPO sector – it was the manpower side that the PH had to take care of.

While Islamic jihadists sowed terror in Brussels, France and elsewhere, they were less a problem in the Philippines despite a possible mass base that was ripe for indoctrination and recruitment.

Of course, we had major calamities. But the dent dealt on the growth momentum by the calamities – if we speak of the numbers and not of the emotional and human side – was negligible.

Internally, Mr. Aquino governed with a pliant Congress. Though It was not unusual for a Philippine president to have a pliant, submissive Congress. The political opposition was in shambles. Only the Left was left as the de facto opposition and its representatives in Congress were not enough to vote against the initiatives of the Aquino government. As usual, the Left took to the streets but with barely any effect on the capability of Mr. Aquino to push through with its initiatives.

No president in our contemporary history had that amount of governing leeway, brought about by internal and external factors, to do good. How did Mr. Aquino perform with all these sets of favorable ?

Mr. Aquino just took care of one class, the Top 1 percent, and left the others to fend for themselves. He was especially cruel to one economic subset, the really poor and the really vulnerable. He was, for all intents and purposes, the President of the Top 1 percent.

The legislative measures passed to uplift those on the “laylayan” were many, from a great charter for the poor to a pension increase from the SSS. But the budget-balancing obsession of Mr. Aquino led him to veto these measures.

Mr. Aquino designed his major economic policies with two goals, GDP growth and credit upgrades. The GDP growth was realized in full six years – mostly at the expense of the neglected underclass. The credit upgrades were achieved by a string of budget –balancing measures, also at the expense of the meager social safety net upgrades passed by Congress but vetoed by Mr. Aquino. Even the upgrade of the MRT 3, that ferries around 500,000 tired and weary metropolitan passengers a day, was rejected by the GDP-obsessed Mr. Aquino.

No such thing as tender mercies for those below the 1 percent.

Mr. Aquino was also very cavalier about his Supreme Court appointments. Was there a conscious effort to name one with the legal mind set of CJ Sereno? None and that was a great fail on the part of Mr. Aquino.

As he was cavalier with all things beyond his favored paper chases.

Mr. Aquino left office in the middle of the year a lonely forgotten man. He left a nation deeply alienated by his “For the 1 percent, By the 1 percent and Of the 1 percent rule.”

His candidate for president was shellacked in the polls, a plus 6 million vote lead tallied by Mr. Duterte. He lost his moral voice and his moral suasion.

You reap what you sow. The SC vote that allows the Libingan ng mga Bayani burial of Mr. Marcos was what the nation harvested from Mr. Aquino’s epic failures and grand omissions. He incubated the second life of the Marcoses.

History has rendered a verdict on Mr. Aquino and it is a cruel, unfavorable one. It came in form of a SC ruling to bury Mr. Marcos at a sacred ground for heroes and martyrs.

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16 Comments

  1. “For the 1 percent, By the 1 percent and Of the 1 percent” by Aquino. “All for the Armed Forces” by Duterte. Next?

    • Absolutely wrong. Duterte’s all out support to the Armed Forces is for a 100% protection and safety of innocent civilians by wiping out criminals in the streets through legal police and military operations. Beware, he comes from a poor family of simple and humble background.Thus he is pro poor and hates the oligarchs who exploits them and the country’s natural resources to expand their wealth and monopolize the country’s political and economic affairs.Duterte is 100% for the people, by the people and of the people not mere theory but by actual practice, making him the greatest president ever in this country.

    • Bias to whom? Check who appointed the SC Justices before you make your judgment of them SCJs being biased!

  2. Historical forces, not Boy Sayad , is what is at work here. Marcos is being resurrected because of his unjust crucifixion by his enemies. God is Great !

  3. Aquino administration and his yellow allies Liberal Party is most incomptenent and worst administration the Philippines ever had… that is the most significant and legacy of Aquino Family…

  4. It is not a sacred ground for heroes and martyrs. It is just a cemetery for military personnel and people who were involved in the department of defense.

  5. The Aquino clan may have nice people but they have no government skills and they are certainly are not leaders. Cory simply followed what her “advisors” told her. Noy listened to everything he was told to do. He even mastered the art of bribing Congress. Now Bam is a Senator and he shows the same traits of no government skills and no leadership. So now there is nothing left to do but bury Marcos. In the future make sure no one named Aquino is elected to anything, except maybe “dog catcher, level 1”.

  6. The more we pay attention to these two clans, the more we are stuck in the past. We have to move on. Move forward. Forget these clans.

  7. Now that Trump is the president-elect of the US and were closer to China more than ever, I think President Duterte should include the so called martial law victims under life-style check. I’ve heard that several former government officials under the former administration who were self-proclaimed martial law victims are now included in that one percent.

    • thats no new….the reason why these 1% of our society and their YELLOWISH cohorts hate Macoy is coz they were not able to loot our resources any further…

  8. Leodegardo Pruna on

    There was nothing to expect from NoyNoy right from the beginning. His showing in Congress and Senate was totally nil. His only plus was his being the son of Cory, who herself, failed to reconcile opposing forces and instead encouraged the abuses of the elite- the Lopez, the Ayalas, the Kamaganak Inc.The present administration is doing its best to change. It will be slow and painstaking but the sincerity and commitment of the administration would certainly bring the country to where it should be. God bless the Philippines.

  9. Are the Marcoses and the Aquinos the real issues here or the lives of 100 million? Bayad na po ang sila pareho the first have elected a senator, their mother as congressman either from Leyte or Olivia Norte which ever she chooses or Imee of infamous Kabataang Barangay is now the Governor in her own turf! The Aquinos have their own share electing 2 presidents, 3 senators, Governor,Congresman at marami pang iba. They won not because of credentials but having their respective family name!

    The real issues are us the evil results of the the conjugal dictatorship.HIndi po ang mga Filipino ang kawawa dito? Tayo po nag bayad ng mga utang ng mga cronies ni Marcoses Kaya PNB ,PAL, DBP, LAND BANK even the Phil Central Bank went bankrupt .
    Are the human rights violations rampant during the Marcos time?
    Just asking Ms Imee Marcos is your conscience not bother by Trajano case where your name appears on his untimely death?
    To me We the Filipinos are the victims here and now that the SC rules that FM can have the LIbingan ng mga Bayani as his final resting place absuelto na sya to the crime he committed to the Filipinos and at si Digong naman ay bayad na rin sa financial support sa kanya ng mga Marcoses.