The usual political literature says the nation is deeply polarized and two factions are the major players: the pro-Duterte group and the so-called “Yellows.” Ever a doubter of easy generalizations, I tried to look for empirical evidence that the so-called “Yellows” – which means the die-hard followers of Ninoy and Cory Aquino who then transferred their loyalty to the son – really exist.
For evidence, I sought answers to this question. Was the loyalty of the original group that supported Cory and Ninoy carried over into the Aquino 11 administration? Did Mr. Aquino nurture the originals, who then quickly shifted loyalty to the son and namesake of Ninoy? I did a quick check at the major appointments of the president who assumed power in 2010 and the background of these top appointees. Here is what I found out.
For the position of “ Little President,” Mr. Aquino in 2010 selected a not-too-familiar name, Paquito Ochoa. He had the option of naming an Arroyo, a Saguisag, a Binay, a Tañada, a Locsin or a Pimentel. Instead, he selected Mr. Ochoa, a partner in the law firm MOST which stands for Marcos, Ochoa etc.
Ochoa is a law partner of the lawyer-wife of BB Marcos.
Were there ever personalities more loyal to the Aquinos than the surnames mentioned above, the human rights lawyers who have been with Ninoy since his time in prison, named to the Aquino 11 cabinet? Not a single appointee with those surnames served in Mr. Aquino’s cabinet.
The next important appointee after the Marcos law partner Ochoa was Mr. Roxas, who was an investment banker in New York during the Cory years and was forced to come home and join Capiz politics after the death of his brother Dingoy. I spent years covering the efforts to oust Marcos and I never heard the name of Mar Roxas crop up.
The next batch of appointees, the group of Mr. Purisima, were original allies of former President Arroyo. Members of the Hyatt 10 were never prominent in the first Aquino government. Mr. Purisima, if memory serves right, was a son of a former Supreme Court associate justice whose career in the judiciary advanced most during the time of Mr. Marcos.
And the appointee of Mr. Aquino who was really, really close to him was Mr. Naguiat of the PAGCOR. I am from Pampanga and I know all of the Kapampangans who were with Ninoy Aquino from his time in prison to August 1983 and beyond, and I never heard of a Naguiat in that group. From his detention cells and the military stockade, Ninoy smuggled letters to Joe Lingad and Eloy Baluyut to tell them to never lose hope and they never did.
I never think Ninoy wrote to a Pampanga family surnamed Naguiat to tell the family members about his hopes and dreams for the country.
The truth is Mr. Aquino disdained most of the personalities who laid their lives for his father, the fighters who never deserted his father during his long years in prison. Joe Lingad was assassinated by Galman-like assassins at a dusty roadside in San Fernando, Pampanga about two years before Ninoy’s own assassination. Cesar Climaco suffered the same fate in Zamboanga City.
Did Mr. Aquino look back at these sad events (the deaths of Lingad and Climaco were directly related to their loyalty to Ninoy) and asked the Lingad and Climaco kids to serve in his government even at sub-cabinet levels?
No and never.
But the snub and the disdain displayed by Mr. Aquino toward those who suffered like his father was nothing compared to what he and his henchmen did to Mr. Binay.
We all know what they did to Mr. Binay, who was crushing everybody in the polling before he was slimed and maligned and “Hacienda Binay” became the cruel meme that eviscerated his popularity and his presidential dream.
To say that the hatchet men in the Binay demolition job never took orders from the Aquino-Roxas duo is a brazen lie. The tragic sidebar of the demolition job was this: Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Saguisag, part of the originals, trying their damn best to rein in the institutions let loose to demolish Mr. Binay.
Now I can ask this question. What kind of “yellows” are you talking about? The truth is the so-called “Yellows” are more fiction that fact.
Read the succeeding sentences for the final proof and you will weep.
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) head during the time of Mr. Aquino was Max Mejia Jr., right. Now, I will tell you about Mejia Sr.
Max Mejia Sr., was one of the constabulary officers most loyal to Mr. Marcos and Fabian Ver. During the EDSA Revolution, he played a central role in the efforts to stop the EDSA Revolt. During the EDSA Revolt, he led the Ver-Marcos loyalists in bombing the communications tower of the radio stations broadcasting anti-Marcos news.
The son, of course, had nothing to do with the acts of his father.
But this thing is also true. While Mr. Aquino disdained the sons of Ninoy’s assassinated followers, he coddled the son of Max Mejia Sr. You probably saw both the farce and tragedy in Mr. Aquino’s actions. Slamming the Marcoses with Mejia Jr., by his side.
What Peping Cojuangco said during the dying days of the 2016 presidential campaign is true . Mr. Aquino betrayed what Ninoy and Cory stood for.