Thursday, August 21, 2008

25 Years

I am not going to begin with “has it been 25 years?” Benigno Aquino was murdered that long ago, his valiant widow Cory has long served her term of office and the Marcos dictatorship has been totally dismantled. Aquino’s only son and namesake is a Senator, 2 of his siblings have served in the Senate. An entire generation of Aquino political allies have controlled the political agenda of the Philippines for the last 20 years.

Yet Senator Benigno Aquino III complains that the country appears to be headed in a reverse course and Cory is exhorting the youth to snap out of their malaise. We still don’t know who shot Ninoy and our economy continues its inexorable descent. The middle class grows smaller every day with Filipinos immigrating to even pretty inhospitable places just to provide a better future for their families.

I don’t want to blame the Aquino family and I will never stop supporting Cory but what are we to do? Proof of the hopelessness is the faith and trust the public reliably bestows upon Joseph Estrada, convicted plunderer and admitted polygamist. We gave Estrada a chance and he royally blew it. He gamed the stock market and didn’t care if it ruined the economy just so he could make money. He accepted bribes that originated from the combined savings of an impoverished people hoping to win any amount in small town lotteries. And yet Estrada was there today, attending the memorial Mass and acting every inch like the Kingmaker that he actually is.

25 years and 1 day ago, could Ninoy have foreseen that his wife who unfailingly entertained his political guests in Boston, his erstwhile jailer, Fidel Ramos who was then the chief of the constabulary and this mayor of a small town in Metro Manila, an ex-actor who was never ashamed of his alliance with Marcos would attain his lifelong dream? And he had to die so that they could each become President?

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