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Consider the Aquino Legacy: Should Noynoy Run for President?

Consider the Aquino Legacy: Should Noynoy Run for President?

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Published by jesusa
Sen. Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III is supposedly in Davao or Zamboanga for a spiritual retreat, trying to seek "divine guidance" as to whether he should run for president in 2010. I hope that when he emerges on Monday, he would have already communed with and, thereby, been enlightened by the spirits of his father and mother. It is my ardent hope that by the end of his retreat, he would come to the right decision and continue the path of his mortal but noble parents--allow himself to be driven purely by the vision of a truly democratic Philippines, abandon partisan and elitist politics and announce to the Filipinos that he will unify the opposition by dropping his newfound presidential ambitions. He would then ask his supporters to respect the wisdom of his decision and explain that his running will only further divide the country because the obtaining conditions were unlike those in 1985 and 1986.
Sen. Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III is supposedly in Davao or Zamboanga for a spiritual retreat, trying to seek "divine guidance" as to whether he should run for president in 2010. I hope that when he emerges on Monday, he would have already communed with and, thereby, been enlightened by the spirits of his father and mother. It is my ardent hope that by the end of his retreat, he would come to the right decision and continue the path of his mortal but noble parents--allow himself to be driven purely by the vision of a truly democratic Philippines, abandon partisan and elitist politics and announce to the Filipinos that he will unify the opposition by dropping his newfound presidential ambitions. He would then ask his supporters to respect the wisdom of his decision and explain that his running will only further divide the country because the obtaining conditions were unlike those in 1985 and 1986.

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Published by: jesusa on Sep 17, 2009
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CONSIDER the AQUINO LEGACY: SHOULD NOYNOY RUN for PRESIDENT?SEN. Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III is supposedly in Davao or Zamboanga for aspiritual retreat, trying to seek "divine guidance" as to whether he should runfor president in 2010. I hope that when he emerges on Monday, he would havealready communed with and, thereby, been enlightened by the spirits of his fatherand mother. It is my ardent hope that by the end of his retreat, he would come tothe right decision and continue the path of his mortal but noble parents--allowhimself to be driven purely by the vision of a truly democratic Philippines,abandon partisan and elitist politics and announce to the Filipinos that he willunify the opposition by dropping his newfound presidential ambitions. He wouldthen ask his supporters to respect the wisdom of his decision and explain that hisrunning will only further divide the country because the obtaining conditions wereunlike those in 1985 and 1986.He would perhaps then articulately recall the famous, stirring words of hisfather, the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino: "I am no longer seeking thepresidency of this land, I am not seeking anymore any office in this country... Ishall dedicate the last drop of my blood to the restoration of freedom." Hisretreat, I hope, will make the senator see that his martyr father was able tounite the Filipinos by entirely letting go of his personal ambitions and offeringhimself not as a leader who worked to covet the presidency from strongmanFerdinand Marcos but one who offered his life, or his death, to achieve our unity.1986 Conditions Not FoundIt is true, of course, that Noynoy's mother, former President Corazon "Cory"Cojuangco Aquino, ran for the top elective post in 1986 and in a way, therefore,materialized in her person the old presidential ambitions of Ninoy. However, aspractically everyone recognizes so, Cory was a reluctant presidential bet who onlyagreed to run in the bid to unite the opposition. The unity process went likethis: following President Marcos' call for snap elections "in answer to [theopposition's] request," one million signatures petitioning for Cory's candidacywere presented her; the opposition then slowly united behind Ninoy's widow; whileit took some time, her husband's friend and top presidential contender of themainstream opposition, former Sen. Salvador "Doy" Laurel of the UNIDO party waseventually convinced to slide down as Cory's vice-presidential running mate amidstpublic clamor to ensure an opposition victory.If Noynoy were any bit serious in truly carrying out the patriotic mission of hisparents in ensuring that democracy lives on, he'll see that the present conditionsdo not warrant his bid for the presidency, at least not yet in 2010. For one, theincumbent "President" Gloria Arroyo is constitutionally barred from running forthe presidency. This means that unless charter change efforts by theadministration succeed, there really is no strongman or strongwoman that theopposition will face. Secondly, there appears to be no replication of the 1 Msignatures happening (which today should really be around 1.8 or 2M to compensatefor the country's population increase).Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, there are so many presidential wannabe'sfrom the opposition and they are generally not inclined to give way to him. Justabout those who have signified the intention to shelve their own presidentialambitions for any "unity" bet are his own partymates or ex-partymates: Mar Roxas,who probably has been under pressure from ex. Sen. Jovito Salonga, and Sen.Francis Pangilinan, who is only eyeing the VP slot anyhow. Gov. Panlilio hasreportedly already gave way but all other top opposition contenders based on
 
survey showings are not: Villar, Escudero, Legarda and even ex-President JosephEstrada.Should Noynoy Listen to Lacson and Pangilinan?Noynoy should also question the "moral quality" of the politicians urging him torun if he really wants to be rightly guided in his decision. Sen. Panfilo Lacsonis also throwing his support behind Noynoy and has even urged Estrada to do thesame but the thing is that he's not even a presidential contender. Moreover,Lacson is known not only for abandoning his Jose Pidal expose but worse, also hasthe track record of splitting the opposition back in 2004. Had he agreed to playsecond fiddle to Fernando Poe Jr., Arroyo would have been long out of Malacanangand the governance problems of this country not allowed to balloon to debaclelevels.Pangilinan is another figure Noynoy should not easily heed and, instead, questionfor his political morality. In throwing support for Sen. Aquino, the husband ofmega-actress Sharon Cuneta claimed in an interview that the only reason he wantedto run for VP was because he hoped to introduce an alternative government program.What moral right does Pangilinan have to claim he stands for reform and tell theFilipinos to support Noynoy when he is a suspect insofar as disrespect of theconstitution and the people's vote is concerned. Who could really forget his roleas Sen. "Noted" during the canvassing of votes for the disputed 2004 elections?Being the chairman of the Joint Congressional Canvassing body, he certainly playeda notable role in the failure of Congress to open the contested provincial COCsand provide the Philippines the real victor in the presidential elections, a yearbefore the "Hello Garci" wiretapping expose. Perhaps, his "Noted" role even givesevery genuine believer in the workings of democracy the right to suspect him asone of Arroyo's minions in Congress who were tasked to delay “the senatorialcanvassing until after the voting on the rules“, as revealed by the 11:25, 26 May2004 recording in the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes.Gov. Panlilio, on the other, does speak from a moral high ground and Noynoy canperhaps listen to him. However, it is also a fact that the governor priest isconsidered a minor presidential contender with negligible base of support.If the conditions that paved the way for Cory's presidential bid in 1986 were toform the basis of Sen. Aquino's decision for 2010, the unijo hijo of Ninoy shouldfind no reason to jump into the coming presidential race. The best possible butrather remote scenario that those pushing him to run can hope for are that thethree factors be replicated today in a sort of reversed order--Noynoy announceshis bid, the 1 or 2 million signatures are presented to him, and all thepresidential wannabe's from the opposition support him. If that happens, thatwould be called baiting for it; otherwise, Noynoy will only further split theopposition.Beware What the People Really WantMisreading of what the general public--not just a limited strata of the entirepopulation--wants could only work against the interest and genuine advancement ofthe nation, and could even alienate and trample on the will of the masses. Iremember that following the EDSA 2 disguised coup, I started avoiding broadcastcommemorative features or documentaries of the 1986 EDSA as well as tarmac scenesof Ninoy's assassination. In fact, I even went as far as dismissing those historicscenes as events come to naught due to the EDSA 2's sacrilege of the genuinespirit of "People Power" and the destruction of the very Constitution the original
 
EDSA brought forth. Her own mother seemed to share my cerebral processing of thepretender "People Power,” as proved no less by Cory's December 2008 apology toErap over being "guilty to the 2001 uprising" (Amidst news na nagkasagutan sila,the spokeswoman 'clarified' that the apology was said in "jest" but later stressedthat the former President is "not taking it back.")Unless "Tita Cory" herself, before she died, was able to give even just a hintthat he should seek the presidency in 2010 in order to "unite the opposition" orforge a stronger front against the totally wicked governance of the EDSA 2"President" whose para-constitutional installation they both were themselves wereparty to, then Noynoy better just go the way of his noble parents. In 1992,following her task of restoring the institutions of democracy, Cory did the way ofher hero husband and refused the temptation of taking another shot at thepresidency. She remained vigilant in guarding the newfound democracy, figuring inthe anti-Cha-Cha rallies during Ramos' time. The late former President made the"mistake" of calling for Erap's ouster in 2001, but before her death, managed tomake peace with the masses of EDSA 3. This helped renew what she had long lost,the "Cory magic," to resurface in the show of ardent support and militancy duringher funeral.Ninoy, the patriarch of this seeming family of patriots, showed his great love forthe country by turning his back on elite politics, his Liberal Party, and hispresidential ambitions. If Sen. Noynoy truly wants to offer his life to serve thePhilippines, it would be wise for him to follow the examples of his parents whilebeing his own man: rise above partisan politics and forget that he is an LP,listen less to the civil society's views of what democracy and government shouldbe, and listen more to the politically marginalized masses. If he can do that,he'll know whether to run or not in 2010._____________References:Arroyo, "Hello Garci" and the Anniversary of Her Bogus Presidency. 30 June 2008.http://forthephilippines.blogspot.com/2008/06/arroyo-hello-garci-and-anniversary-of.htmlCorazon Aquino. (2009, September 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.Retrieved 21:26, September 4, 2009, fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Corazon_Aquino&oldid=311903495From Dictatorship to Democracy.' BBC News. February 2006.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/documentary_archive/4713466.stmIyer, Pico. Corazon Aquino. TIME. 5 January 1987.http://www.time.com/time/subscriber/personoftheyear/archive/stories/1986.htmlNATv EXCLUSIVE: Ninoy Aquino's memorable speech in Los Angeles (4 of 9). YouTube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyXUq_H4uNsVideo Collection of the Hello Garci? Tapes from Youtube.http://www.youtube.comwatchv=okgENwzIxZw&feature=PlayList&p=6F58785F3AFB1DA7&index=0&playnext=1_____________Photo Credits:

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