Within these few days before September 21, forty years ago, the Filipino nation was rocked by massive protest actions in all parts of the archipelago against the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. It was a regime intensely detested by the people for its madness and organic failure. The organs of political power was a veritable crocodiles’ lair where bureaucratic corruption was a normal state of affairs. Thievery in public office was as rampant as it was conducted in scandalous proportions . Along with Marcos’ political allies and economic cronies, the state apparatus was in the service of his family and friends and relations.

And so the Filipino people rose up in various forms of revolt. Urban citizenry in all walks of life dauntlessly came down to the streets and joined in the open peaceful marches, and their footfalls roused the dust as their screaming voices stirred the stench from the esteros and government offices. In the countryside, , a new people’s guerrilla was in constant foot patrol in mountain trails and forest footways. Their engagements against the government troops was a much awaited topic of gossips—nay, a welcome conversation piece in small gatherings, even in classrooms and campuses, and in most every household in the country.

Truly , the winds were blowing Changeward.

But in order to remain at the helm of power Marcos imposed Martial rule which was an expected eventuality resorted to by any ruler who could no longer rule in the usual normal way. Historical facts would reveal the depths to which the nation’s economy had sunk, the disarray that its political apparatus had floundered, the rottenness with which its culture had become. And of course, most remembered for its competence in unequaled trampling down of the people’s human rights was the Marcos-pampered military forces gone berserk..

And of course, the EDSA Revolt happened as an inevitable culmination of the people’s struggles in the cities and countryside. It was a vindication of the people’s anger and unrelenting fight against the hated Marcos Dictatorship which was driven out of Malacanang and consigned to shame and infamy. In fairness, his flight to Hawaii was also in canine obedience to his master in the White House who ordered him to quit, “cleanly”. No thanks to the US Imperialist Puppeteer!

Was it destiny or fate? Mrs. Corazon Aquino ascended to power as Lady President amidst a people whose revolutionary fervor was at its highest. The same populace was also at its highest expectation for radical changes in the social order, even as she broadcasted her pledges, namely: to bring down the price of the poor man’s “galunggong” and “ to distribute Hacienda Luisita to the farmers”!

The price of galunggong has never gone down a single centavo and has since flown up to unreachable height to this day. Hacienda Luisita, on the other hand, was never handed over to the tenants, albeit we hoped and expected that at least a small portion of its vast hectarage could have been sliced off as a graveyard for all the farmers massacred at Mendiola during her incumbency.

In fairness, President Cory reopened Congress, designated OICs in the State’s political organs throughout the country. And soon appointed my former employer College of Law Dean Marcelo B Fernan to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And she had caused the crafting of a Freedom Constitution as the main prop of her Revolutionary Government, so called. This document is where the People’s Initiative provision is enshrined as an alternative right of the people to enact a law in extraordinary circumstances.

These are what can be remembered of her until her son Noynoy seized the Presidency in the current government.  But her greatest achievement was to drag Philippine society back to the pre-martial law set-up. By this, there is nothing that resembles a revolutionary act. On the contrary, it is to all intents and purposes a “turning back of the wheels of history”.

It was a reactionary move. What President Cory did was to cater to the demands of the ruling economic elite in Philippine society. This sector would wield all its awesome power and influence to continue dominating the economic, political and cultural life of our country. And the ideal way was to revert to the system where the ruling elite would maintain their ownership and control of the country’s economic wealth and resources. And a perfect political vehicle for this economic order would be the age-old system of “patronage politics”.

And so we have the old society, which is a refurbished version of the pre-martial society patterned after the US model. From Cory down to her son Noynoy, we have had a Congress filled up with new faces who are either scions of old political dynasties or are upstarts in the political arena . But these upstarts do represent the financiers of their candidacies who are either landlords or big comprador capitalists. They are only accountable to their political patrons to whose agenda they must toe the line and to whose whims and caprices they must kowtow. Bootlicking, as it was in the “masasayang araw” of pre-martial days, is the name of the game.

And so, Congress is still the same exclusive crocodiles’ lair where political crooks and thieves commune to make a mockery of the people’s trust and hopes. It is no wonder that we are back to the same nightmares as we had during the tyrannical rule of Marcos. Philippine crisis, as it was before martial law, is with us again with its attendant features of deepening poverty and worsening underdevelopment.

The crying demand on the eve of Marcos martial law is the same crying demand now under the growing fascistic rule of President Noynoy Aquino. But if Marcos had his ‘smiling’ martial law, Noynoy’s virtual martial law has taken on a brand and style all its own.  His penchant for tyranny manifests in his Oplan Bayanihan program whereby his military pursues a reign of terror in the countryside, trampling down in very brutal ways the people’s human rights, especially the Lumads (IPs) in whose ancestral lands foreign mining corporations are carting away our gold ores and mineral resources.

President Noynoy ‘s acts of treachery and puppetry are far worse than any other previous Presidents in our history. He has already entrusted the management of our economy to the American .imperialists, he still aims to grant them 100 % percent ownership of our national patrimony by his subtle dictation to Congress to effect a Charter Change (Chacha) toward this end.

But all these signs and symptoms of a sick society in crisis is due to the puppetry to US Imperialism of his mother President Cory who did not have a vision for a future Philippine society but only had the interests of the ruling elite at heart. We are now reaping the fruits of her “political blindness” and her refusal to push society forward to revolutionary alternatives after the EDSA event,. Instead, she pulled back society to its previous state of stark economic disparity and inequality, and reverted it to the age-old system of patronage politics,

Woe to the Filipino nation who installed her. We will long remember her for her greatest legacy – a splendid act of reverting Philippine society to its previous state of foreign bondage, poverty, backwardness and underdevelopment, bureaucratic corruption, and cultural obscurantism.

comments powered by Disqus