Ninoy, Cory and PNoy

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ON August 21, 1983 Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. I called his assassination gun powder poetry or simply the ballet of bullets. There were heavy doses of melodrama at the Manila International Airport when a fusillade of gunfire was heard. Before that, there was a festive mood. When the yellow ribbon fans knew of Ninoy’s death, blood soaked brutality transformed joy into seductive dance of death.

A wide speculation that Marcos masterminded the assassination plot emerged. Some alleged that it was Imelda, or Ver, or even the relatives of Ninoy. There was ghost hunting . . . and a Silaynon general risked his star for that. Sorry! In every ghost hunting, a no-ghost always becomes a sacrificial goat. Ninoy’s death created a tremor that reached the door steps of President Marcos at the Palace.

On October 1985, Marcos announced that he would hold a snap presidential election to prove that he is still popular. The Filipinos persuaded Cory Aquino (Ninoy’s widow) to run against Marcos. There was signature campaign for Cory to tell Marcos that the widow has all the glitz to become president. On Feb. 7, 1986, a snap presidential election was held.


In that presidential election, there was fantastic fiery climax with the obligatory dose of cheesy humor and wisecracks. In the Comelec count, Cory lost in the whimsical fairy tale-style of canvassing. The Batasang Pambansa proclaimed Ferdinand Marcos and Arturo Tolentino president and vice president, respectively.

The aroma of political combat between Marcos and Cory left brutally intense residue that paved the way for a group of segregationists. On Feb. 22, 1986, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and AFP Vice Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos declared their withdrawal of support from Marcos.

Millions of Filipinos left their homes for the streets to respond to the appeal of Cardinal Jaime Sin that they have to form human shields to protect the rebel soldiers who might be butchered by the soldiers of the chief. The scene at Edsa was an absolute classic of its kind. The nerve-racking human emotion resulted to the amalgamation that remitted to the wages of fear.

Probably, God was amused on what the Filipinos can do. He provided enough pokes of domesticity and a good helping of gags to keep things lighthearted, despite the obvious wrong doings of some characters in this unhinged and excessive violence. The journalists who were there covered the ominous, dark mood underlying conundrums.

On Feb. 25, 1986, Marcos and Aquino were simultaneously sworn into office as President of the Philippines by their respective supporters. Combining excessive gore and mile-a-minute suspense, the sequence of events flows with a vibrant kinetic energy. Utilizing a cool, calm, and stoic stance, the Marcoses made a pitch perfect performance with the favorite song, “Dahil Sa ‘Yo” led by first lady Imelda Marcos.

The last full show of the Marcoses at the balcony of the Palace was considered by the pro-Cory fans as silly, shallow, and jingoistic. (The people around the world watching television who were waiting for impending disaster raised eyebrows.) The Marcos followers, on the other hand, considered the last farewell very impressive looking authentic, and were tied together with simple, effective storytelling.

Later in the day, Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii. Millions of Filipinos thought that the exit of Marcos would end government overspending, unpredicted graft and corruption, nepotism and cronyism, crony capitalism, human rights violations, widespread poverty, social ingenuity, rural stagnation, rising activism, revived communist insurgency, recessions movement, rapidly rising birth rate, slow growth of local industries, and other shames.

The absence of Marcos simply closes one chapter of Philippine history. The next chapter has clashes that are titanic. It is more magnificent with sonorous menace. It has more villains than heroes. It has huge hype and expectations. It is a blockbuster.*To be continued

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 20, 2014.


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