HINTS AND HUES OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN THEPHILIPPINES OVER THE LAST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS
History, despite its wrenching pain,Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again
“What’s past is prologue”
This essay focuses on the Philippines’ experience with transition fromauthoritarian rule to constitutional governance and looks into its transitioncontinuum, which spans twenty five years, involves five presidents, twodeclarations of martial law, two Constitutions, and a mother and son who both became Presidents, reluctantly, with the similar mandate to exact accountabilityfrom their respective authoritarian predecessors. It is the “oedipal”
image of mother and son--Corazon “Cory” Aquino and Benigno “NoyNoy” Aquino III--occupying the same office twenty-five years apart and facing almost the sameexpectations but under different circumstances and the effects on the country’stransition from authoritarianism that is the peg of this essay.
Ll.B. (J.D. Equivalent), University of the Philippines (1990); LL.M., Columbia Law School(2012); Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines College of Law; Member, Free LegalAssistance Group (FLAG).
1993, "On The Pulse of Morning, January 20, 1993 (spoken at the President’sInaugural);
http://poetry.eserver.org/angelou.html; last accessed August 10, 2012.
William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, Act 2, Scene 1.
The description is courtesy of Professor Graeme Simpson, adjunct professor at Columbia LawSchool, and is most apt. I thank him for the inspired description and for his invaluable commentson the initial idea for this essay which was originally proposed and submitted in his seminar onTransitional Justice (Fall 2011, Columbia Law School). While the idea for the paper submitted inhis seminar is the same as the idea for this essay, the current essay is a completely revised andoriginal work, with different thrusts, focus and analysis.