National Security Council meeting a symbol of national unity


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s convening of the National Security Council on July 27, ­­ less than a month in office and with his past four predecessors in attendance, is his best move so far as President, the implications of which would be more than the topic the body discussed.

It presages, I hope, a presidency that values national unity: the spectacle itself of four past Presidents sitting side by side to give their inputs on important issues confronting the country is a powerful symbol that after all the bickering over political differences, we are in the same boat we call the Philippine Republic and that our fates are inextricably woven together.

 The National Security Council meets with four past Presidents: Three statesmen and a quarrelsome one.

The National Security Council meets with four past Presidents: Three statesmen and a quarrelsome one.

The National Security Council is also a recognition of the fact that each past President — after all, there’s only a few living — leaves lessons and insights on the presidency during his or her term that the incumbent can profit from. The US, in fact, emphasizes such “learning” through a smooth turnover of presidential regimes, which involves a three-month rigorous process required and supported by several laws, the latest of which is the Presidential Transition Act of 2000.

Here, the latest transition from the BS Aquino to the Duterte administrations, took only a few days, with the key agency for such transition – the Presidential Management Staff – busy in deleting important files from their computers and shredding paper documents. Aquino refused Arroyo’s offer for a transition process in 2010.

Duterte’s move is a big, big leap for us to finally transcend the shackles of history that had tied us down to divide us as a nation, one of the biggest factors for our economic quagmire.

The Yellow Cult starting 1986, obviously following American leaders’ thinking that the strongman Marcos could only be overthrown if he was painted absolutely evil and Cory as absolutely good­ — their tactic against the Soviet Evil Empire that brought it down — depicted the Martial Law era as the dark ages from which no lessons in governance could be derived.

Deep chasm

The cult dug a deep chasm that divided the country: between those who were against Marcos and those who weren’t, between those who believed the Marcos regime did some good and those who insisted it was all bad. Unfortunately, this meant that the huge Ilocos-speaking North, along with the “Imelda” country, the Eastern Visayas region, was alienated from the national conversation.

Fortunately, Fidel V. Ramos was the protégé of the outgoing Cory Aquino regime, so there was continuity of governance, and national unity was strengthened.

What few people realize is that Joseph Estrada’s ascension to power ignited a new division
in the nation. Estrada suspected – I think validly – that the Yellow Cult from his Day 1 was plotting to overthrow him, and to disarm it, he planned to charge Ramos, who he believed was the Cult’s strategist, with alleged corruption in the “Centennial” and PEA-Amari controversies.

The traditional elite was also aghast, not over Estrada’s corruption, but his swift creation of cronies from the Chinese-Filipino sector. Estrada to this day believes that his overthrow was plotted and undertaken by the Yellow Cult led by Ramos.

Estrada’s ouster created a new serious crack in the body politic, the “masa” crowd versus the “elite.” Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who had no choice but to grab the reins of power since she was the constitutional successor as vice president, had to continuously fend off, from her Day 1, challenges to her regime, whose base was the masses’ outrage, not only over their idol “Erap’s” ouster, but more importantly, over his incarceration.

Closeness to China

Amazingly, despite his conviction over “plunder” charges, Estrada’s popular support did not decline at all during Arroyo’s regime. It fed the latter’s unpopularity so much so that every allegation against her, even if totally baseless, was taken as true. Americans also started to be concerned over Arroyo’s closeness to China, to the extent that she was set to grant its state firm ZTE the contract to build the Philippines’ broadband infrastructure.

The Makati elite and the Yellow Cult followed the American cue, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN Network sensationalized the allegations of corruption to a shrill pitch.

As was the US and elite strategy in 1985-1986 against Marcos, Arroyo was demonized, and the Yellow Cult tried to relive history: Cory’s son was portrayed as the country’s savior against the “evil” Arroyo.

Despite the fact that she wasn’t overthrown, and the 2010 national elections were undertaken peacefully to put BS Aquino to power, he and the Yellow Cult were caught up in their fictitious narrative to think that they won a revolution – and as in all revolutions, a section of the body politic was to be persecuted, and Arroyo was the “Queen” to be guillotined.

New cracks in the Philippine body politic were created, just as those against Marcos and Estrada were beginning to heal. Aquino used the weapon called the Plunder Law — its being non-bailable — to jail Arroyo and her political allies, such as senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who, indeed, were defanged and apparently reduced to timid detainees.

Aquino proved to be as incompetent as he was vindictive, refusing to understand that the country needed to be unified. He has done nothing to do so, and has even caused the divisions to widen.

This deranged individual again demonstrated his utter lack of concern for the nation and its unity by his very uncivil snub of Arroyo and his refusal to shake her hand when they met again in Malacañang for the National Security Council meeting the other day. He contrasted himself with real statesmen like Ramos and Estrada, who shook hands, and Arroyo who appeared ready to greet Aquino. He even emphasized, by wearing the Yellow Ribbon on his chest, that the community he values is not the country, but his clan and its Yellow Cult.

“United we stand, divided we fall.” That may be an overused cliché. But check out the histories of at least the Asian nations, even those in Southeast Asia, their nations’ prosperity all required a strong national unity, in a few cases very unfortunately achieved with the blood of hundreds of thousands of people who dissented.

I don’t think, though, that we need to bloody our hands in this day and age. Just forget the quarrelsome Aquino, and don’t even invite him to the next National Security Council meet, nor to any national event.

Or maybe invite him, but only to demand from him payment for the P6 billion the country may have to spend to cover the damages claimed by the Belgian engineering company in the case it brought to the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in 2011, when Aquino on his own rescinded the Laguna de Bay flood-control dredging project contract previously awarded to the firm. The ICSID’s decision is due very soon and the foreign contractor is seen likely to win the case.


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  1. Bskit kasi any masama nagawa in Marcos ang binabalita dahil itong mga news agency kontrolado ng yellow cult. Dapat ibalita run masama gawa in Cory at Annoy. Kayo rib dapat ka run sabihin o isulat as inyong kolom mga kasamaan gawa ni Cory at Annoy para any ordinaryo pinoy malaman nila ang masama gawa ni Abniy at Cory.

  2. Correct! Do not invite this yellow cult “BS” to any national event let alone the NSC. Better still invite him, no push him into the bilibid for the crime this stand-down commander-in-chief committed against, among others, the Mamasapano44SAF… The blood of Corona is crying in his hand! Also, let’s now correct history – MIA should be named after a true hero not to the Jabidah traitor of this BS clan.

  3. Driggs Matabaran on

    The title and up to the first few lines of this article are very positive statement. Taking the cue of PDU30 to not dwell in the past blaming others and focus more on the task at hand of finding solutions on problems ailing this country will be more helpful especially if media and other people who can influence others will do the same. This country will never achieve its full development potential with national and community leaders in politics, religion, academe, business, entertainment, especially the media and other sectors causing, leading and influencing divisiveness. Hope that collectively we will learn and grow fast in the next six years along this journey for the seek of our children’s and grandchildren’s future…

  4. Just forget the quarrelsome Aquino, and don’t even invite him to the next National Security Council meet, nor to any national event.

  5. Forget the powerful symbolism for a second, dissecting the Nat’l security meeting , does anyone recall that PDu30 vowed during his campaign to ask PNoy to explain why we lost Scarborough Shoal (really the Kalayaan Is. grp.), he certainly got his wish at that meeting.

    As an added bonus, the awkward moments of the ex-presidents must have been a secret source of amusement for PDu30 as it was for the whole nation watching.

  6. Amnata Pundit on

    Just to make things clear, bumaho si GMA dahil sa garci tapes, period. Para hindi sila mahawa sa baho ni GMA, humiwalay ang mga dilaw through the Hyatt 10 at pumorma na galit kunyari dahil dinaya “pala” ni GMA si FPJ, tapos nung presidente na si Boy Sayad, inampon nila yung anak ng inapi ni GMA na si Grace Poe. Pareho lang sila ni Boy Sayad na tuta ng Kano ngunit mas tuta sa dilang tuta si Boy kaya mas ginusto siya ng Kano. The point is unlike Marcos, GMA WAS NOT DEMONIZED. Nobody bombed Plaza Miranda or killed a Ninoy and blamed it on her, she did all to herself with the Garci tapes. Lets not sanitize GMA’s image, the people despised her because she was guilty as hell, not because she was demonized.

  7. Abel Labarda on

    This shows the immaturity of BS Aquino that he covers up with this Yellow cult mantra.. He is guilty as hell in his selective persecution of GMA and CJ Corona that he is afraid to face her in defeat. He is less a man fearful of a tiny woman like she will bite him anytime to get even with him. The SAF 44 widows and mothers feels the same towards him.

  8. Luis Alfonso Martin on

    The best mr. Tiglao! All I can comment, is that the yellows should realize that no distinguished columnist writes about the guy wearing a yellow ribbon on his chest anymore. It’s because there is nothing this “quarrelsome” boy has ever done constructive for the country. All he did was win an election. Period. More power!

  9. Hat’s off to you, Mr. Tiglao, you have placed the past several presidencies and their socio-political events in proper historical perspective. So unlike all the stupid lies taught in textbooks that are just copy/paste from yellow Orwellian cult propaganda to mind control the masses. As the 70’s rock band “the Doors” leader, Jim Morrison used to say, “control the media, control the mind.”

  10. Ang hindi ko talaga maintindihan kung bakit masyadong pinipersonalize ni Aquino ang galit niya kay GMA. The National Council meeting was an opportune time to show how immature he is.

  11. The Filipino people thought that the yellows will be our savior, our manna from heaven who will give us the good life. After all, we defended the yellow family with our lives during the EDSA People Power revolution. But what happened after the EDSA uprising was an anomaly which cannot escape history, a history showing that the yellows after all, fooled the people and made the trust of the people in vain. After the Cojuangco-Aquino’s were for themselves after all. Both Aquinos, have lots of sins towards the Filipino people and should be exposed. As far as PNoy is concerned, we just have to leave him alone because apparently he does not understand what is going on. Leave him wear all the yellow ribbons he would like even pasting them on his head. The man is simply brain=dead to understand.

  12. I lost all respect for BSA3 when refused to be a gentleman and statesman in that historic occasion for our country. Maybe he will change when he experience to be in jail or hospital

    • Hindi kasi tinuruan ng manners anak pa naman ng mayaman kon sabagay kulang kasi sa 7 sobra sa 8

  13. Kahit na hindi na siya ang presidente yong pagkansela niya ng Laguna flood-control dredging project contract ay magiging isang malaking pinsala sa bansa. Isa lang ito, marami pa siyang ginawang pinsala sa bansa na dapat niyang pagbayaran.

    • kung hindi kinansela yung dredging contract ng laguna lake, tapos na sana ito nuong pang mga 2013, if i am not mistaken, at nakabawas ng paglalim ng baha dito sa kamaynilaan at laguna. P6-7BILLION ang itinapon o itatapon natin ng walang pakinabang dahil sa taong ito na si benito boy sisi