IF Peping and Tingting Cojuangco are to be believed in their efforts to shoehorn themselves into the conversation about President Aquino’s departure from the presidency and any subsequent transition, Peping must first give an earnest sincerity and integrity of their motives. And Tingting for her part must show that her feet are firmly on the ground when she makes her often flighty statements.
Peping’s earnestness should come in two forms, both of which can serve practically as a guarantee of seriousness and as a substantive contribution to national life and public welfare.
First, Peping should now relinquish his strranglehold on Philippine sports by (1) resigning irrevocably from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and (2) setting free the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which he controls through individuals whom his nephew BS Aquino had appointed on his behest.
Peping’s dictatorship in national sports has caused widespread disarray and demoralization in the national sports system, as athletes and sports leaders have been rendered unable to perform at their best. He has plunged the country to its shabbiest performances in Asian sports competition (like the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games), so much so that even tiny Singapore now surpasses the Philippines in medal standings and ranking.
Second, Peping should lead the Cojuangco family in doing justice by the farmers in Hacienda Luisita. He should get his family to fully comply with the Supreme Court decision on the plantation, which gave victory to the farmers in their decades-old struggle for their rights. The family has bottled up the decision through legal maneuvers, and agrarian reform officials have abetted them in the belief that this would please President BS Aquno.
Absent this earnest readiness to do what is right and just, the Cojuangco couple’s much-publicized break with President Aquino appears to many and to us as more opportunistic than principled. It is an attempt to wrest an advantage from the unsettled situation, and to win favors from the new government that will inevitably come.
Tingting’s disclosure of a public offer by the couple for Vice President Jejomar Binay to head a transition body if Aquino resigns reeks of self-seeking. The public can see the strings from a mile away.
Who gave the couple the authority to negotiate with Binay? They have nothing to do with the National Transformation Council (NTC) and the bishops have not commissioned them to be their ambassadors. And the NTC wants everyone with BS Aquino to step down.
Even the Cojuangcos, the relatives of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, are divided on calling for the resignation of their nephew a month after the bloody operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
During the protest action staged by various groups at Our Lady of Edsa Shrine on Sunday, presidential uncle and former Tarlac representative Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and aunt former Tarlac governor Margarita “Tingting” de los Reyes Cojuangco conveyed different views on how Aquino should respond to calls for his resignation.
For Tingting, her nephew should resign because of the Mamasapano incident.
“Ideally, yes (Aquino should resign following the Mamasapano incident). Anyone who made him who he is today should likewise resign in the heed of conscience,” she said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.
But she believes that the resignation of Aquino and his cohorts will not happen as “they are the ones who get all the benefits.”
She also hit the President for being the only Aquino afraid of People Power.
Meanwhile, Aquino’s uncle Peping was hesitant for calling for the ouster of the Chief Executive, saying he should be given a chance to explain himself.
“For me, let’s give him a chance. He should appoint a ‘shadow Cabinet’ which is composed of people who have different ideas because he is only listening to those who are surrounding him and who are obviously not doing well,” he said in an interview.
Although admitting that Aquino is responsible for the Mamasapano operation as the Commander-in-Chief, Peping said the public should be open for the possibility that his advisers are the ones at fault.
“I want to give him a chance because his advisers might be the ones at fault. He is always saying the masses are his bosses, it’s time for him to make good on his promise,” he added.
“If he does not comply with the reforms in the elections, I want him to go also,” Peping cautioned.
“Tingting, confirmed reports that Binay had agreed to lead the advisory body in a meeting earlier this month. Binay, however, has denied agreeing to any such set-up.
Vice President Jejomar Binay has agreed to form an advisory council in the event that President Benigno Aquino 3rd is forced to resign by a people power-like movement in the run-up to the 29th anniversary of the first People Power Revolution on Feb. 25.
Tingting on Friday said her husband, was able to convince Binay of the idea. She added Binay gave the commitment in a meeting with her husband last week.
“He [Binay) did agree to an advisory council, like a Sukarno-guided government,” she told members of the Capampangan in Media Inc. in a forum at the Holiday Inn at the Clark Freeport on Friday.
“Why would Binay not welcome it?” she said, noting that in the Constitution, a Vice President succeeds a President who fails to perform his duties or leaves office.