I hesitated to write this column because most of the people involved, if not all of them, have died. May they rest in peace.
I write this in reaction to the 30th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution when BS Aquino III lambasted Senator Bongbong Marcos, who is running for vice president. Mr. Aquino said he feared the return of the Marcos dictatorship and martial rule. He meant that the sins of the father should be inflicted on his son, Bongbong.
Santa Banana, I cannot believe that BS Aquino does not remember that his grandfather, Benigno Aquino Sr., father of Ninoy, was the head of the Makapili Movement during the almost four-year Japanese occupation of the Philippines.
The Makapilis pointed to and turned over alleged collaborators for the Japanese Kempeitais to arrest, imprison, torture, and then killed. My family was afraid that we, too, would be pinpointed.
Did we, as a people, take against the late Ninoy Aquino that fact that his late father headed the Makapili movement? We did not. In fact, we honor Ninoy as a political martyr when he was assassinated in 1983. And the Aquinos—the late Cory and her son, BS Aquino —became the beneficiaries of Edsa 1.
I still recall when my family saw two well-known Abra personalities beheaded by the Japanese. Members of the dreaded Makapili Movement identified them as collaborators.
I also recall that Ninoy, the late Doy Laurel, and Mama Sinsuat, a Muslim friend of my wife, and others were sent to Japan to further study. When Japan surrendered to the United States, Ninoy, Doy, Mama and many others were sent back to the Philippines. But did we as a nation take it against Ninoy and Doy (whose father Jose P. Laurel was a Japanese Philippine president)? No, we did not! In fact, Jose Laurel Jr. became Speaker of the House of Representatives and Doy became the vice president of the late Cory Aquino.
In lambasting Bongbong and recalling the atrocities during the Marcos martial law regime, BS Aquino III had an attack of amnesia. It was all lies and hypocrisy, hallmarks of the BS Aquino regime for almost six years now.
Speaking of martial law, while admittedly, there were violations of human rights, atrocities and suppression of civil rights, there were also good things that it did for the country. That perhaps compelled the New York Times to call the Marcos regime the “Golden Age” of the Philippines.
First of all, Marcos broke the backbone of the communist movement when the New People’s Army were already knocking at the gates of Metro Manila with their presence in Balara, Quezon City. He outlawed the Communist Party—this was reversed by Cory Aquino when she became President. Then came the Tripoli Agreement with the help of Imelda, which was the beginning of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao that led the breakup of the Moro National Liberation Front of Nur Misuari and his exile to Egypt. Arts and culture also thrived because of Imelda.
With Misuari out of the country, the MNLF separatist movement ended. MNLF commanders enjoyed many perks from Marcos. The Marcos years also saw the construction of NLEX and SLEX and the Maharlika Highway to Leyte and the Marcos Highway to Baguio City.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. The Marcos martial law regime was not totally evil as BS Aquino would want us to believe.
As for the failure of the PCGG to recover the alleged $10 billion stolen by Marcos and Imelda, whose fault was it? If I recall “Operation Big Bird,” a sting operation conceived by investment banker Mike de Guzman, together with then retired General Jose Almonte to recover the Marcos hidden wealth, the operation would have succeeded were it not for then PCGG Chairman Jovito Salonga recalling the late Solicitor General Sedfrey Ordoñez back home. With his presence and confirmation, OBB would have succeeded in recovering a total of $7 billion pinpointed by De Guzman and Almonte.
The late Doy Laurel, who was then vice president of Cory, called the OBB operation Cory’s biggest failure simply because Salonga did not trust De Guzman and Almonte. He thought the two were planning to run away with the recovered Marcos hidden wealth.
But how could they, when the Austrian bank through which the recovered wealth would pass through had no less than Ordoñez and the late Moscow Ambassador Alex Melchor as bank directors?
That’s history as they say. The point I am driving at is that if BS Aquino were only honest to himself and the Filipino people, he could learn well from history. Instead, BS Aquino points at everybody else but himself with the worsening problems the country is confronted with.
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Insiders say that insofar as residency is concerned, the majority of the Supreme Court justices have already decided that Mrs. Mary Grace Natividad Kelly Poe Llamanzares is NOT qualified.
However, insofar as the citizenship issue is concerned, the same court insiders told me that while five of them had already dissented from the draft resolution, some three Aquino appointees have yet to make up their mind. This constitutes the “swing votes,” which another newspaper, not The Standard, had headlined the other day.
I am also told that insofar as the majority decision are concerned, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is still hoping that she can convince them to withdraw their concurrence. That’s what is now reportedly happening at the Supreme Court, the reason why there is no decision yet.
As I said in my column yesterday, it’s a defining moment for the gods of Mount Olympus at Padre Faura. It will show us the kind of people BS Aquino appointed to the Supreme Court.
If there are leaks from the Supreme Court coming out in media, it’s to be expected. Whether or not Mrs. Llamanzares is deemed qualified for the race is of national interest. Can we afford to have an alien leading us?
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Gambling casinos are being used to launder hidden wealth. We have seen enough movies showing how it is being done.
That’s the reason there is a need to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act to include casinos. Some do it openly, while others are more sophisticated.