Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord God Ninoy Aquino in vain

Tit for tat. There was context behind the kiss between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Bea Kim in South Korea, and there was context behind the kiss between Ninoy Aquino and the ladies in the plane he was about to disembark before he was shot dead in 1983. Thing is, both polar ends of Philippine political chatter took those incidents out of context for their political ends. That makes everything fair now, doesn’t it?

This is, after all, is the Philippine political discourse where sound bytes rule and the big picture gets buried. Ninoy Aquino was, as Filipino historians would have it, on his way to meet his glorious destiny. It’s been decided and it’s on record in the school books shoved down the throats of three generations of Filipino kids. In the case of Duterte’s kiss, the jury is still out, but unlike criminal trials, the media have access to the jurors.

If we actually watch the video, a split second peck that followed a few minutes of playful banter between the president and Kim told a multi-layered story of Filipino culture. But what went really viral is not this moving picture story but a still photo of The Kiss frozen in time. Thanks to bad and expensive Internet in the Philippines, most Filipinos will have that frozen kiss burnt into their pointed heads by now and may never be bothered to watch the video. A still of a kiss tells a different story to that of a video showing a split-second peck.

Aquino, being a family-appointed “national hero” enjoys a vast portfolio of similar stills, but ones that capture him in glorious moments — that statue of him in Makati coming down from the plane to meet his maker, that one of him sprawled on the tarmac that the Yellowtards had turned into a logo, and many more. In Philippine society, those images may as well be hung up right next to crucifixes. The name, the face, and the icons are untouchable.

President Duterte and Bea Kim engaged in a ‘kiss’: Full story or snapshot taken out of context?

Suffice to say, it helps that Aquino has a celebrity daughter with a vast following thanks to her mega-stardom. Queen of All Philippine Media Kris Aquino packs a powerful media punch. Her fans, however, are predominantly entertainment fans and not political in nature. But that does not really matter when the game is all about social media mileage. That said, Aquino is an easy sell. He is a fashion statement amongst the fashionable chi-chi crowd of private Catholic school-educated disentes. Duterte is the crass street thug who took Malacanang away from Filipinos’ traditional lords. And that makes him the bad guy.

But Filipinos love the bad guy and the underdog. We see this in Philippine cinema. Guy from da home on da riles woos the fair-skinned collegiala from the gated village. Conyo boyfriend who drives daddy’s car is plotting bad things for the guy. Mom and Dad are fuming as they pace the marble-floored sala of their Forbes Park mansion evaluating their next move. We know that overused plot.

The Opposition, however, don’t seem to get it. Therein that cliché plot lies the narrative they need to beat. In a democracy, it’s not about what is “right” to whatever camp that wins. What is popular is what wins. For as long as the Opposition continue to pontificate from their ivory towers about notions alien to the Filipino mind — like feminism, “human rights”, and personal choice — they will continue to slide into irrelevance. And that is the bigger picture here.

Ninoy once came across as a “victim”. Now he is an untouchable god. That is why he loses today.

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10 Comments on “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord God Ninoy Aquino in vain”

  1. I find it hilarious when Mocha released a video about this, she was attacked by Kris Aquino for “bringing up painful memories” of her as a 12 year old losing her father. And people are siding with Kris calling Mocha for her “lack of respect” for the dead. Ironically, it’s their side who’s always into necropolitics, where Cory used Ninoy’s image to catapult herself into presidency, and NoyNoy used his Cory’s image to do the same.

    I do think she has a point in people using her dead father for this purpose, as it’s her right to mourn for Ninoy as her father. But if they’re taking Duterte’s picture out of context, I say it’s fair game for Ninoy’s picture to share the same treatment. This is politics at play, and Kris is mixing up her own personal baggage into the mix. It may be best for her to not drag herself into the mud further than where she already is politically and just stay in the showbiz affairs where she is “Queen” and people always say yes to her.

    1. And thankfully Pres. Duterte didn’t killed after that controversial kiss to a Pinay OFW unlike Ninoy. How ironic. :\

  2. The kiss of Ninoy Aquino, Jr. and the woman in the plane, seems to be the “Kiss of Death” of the Mafia and Cosa Nostra. If a Mafiosi, betrays the Mafia, or the “Omerta (Code of Silence)”. The Mafia “Big Boss” gives him a “Kiss of Death”. After the “kiss”, he is just been sentenced to death, and is ready for being murdered by the Mafia Enforcer.

    Ninoy Aquino, Jr. betrayed the U.S./C.I.A., by being a part in establishing the New Peoples’ Army in our country; together with Jose Maria Sison and Bernabe “Kumander Dante” Buscayno. He also betrayed his deal with the late Pres. Marcos, Sr., not to return. He was then, a “fair game”, for political opportunists like: Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos. These two people were capable of ordering the murder of Ninoy Aquino, Jr., because they were in charge of the Philippine military.

    So, he got what he wanted; he was murdered on the tarmac by Rolando Galman. Whoever ordered this man, is not yet clear in any investigation done. The Philippine Air Force soldier, who claimed to be Galman’s handler, during that time, was murdered recently by unknown people.

    Who had profited from Ninoy Aquino’s death ? Whoever had profited from it, is the murderer !

    1. “Who had profited from Ninoy Aquino’s death ? Whoever had profited from it, is the murderer !”

      Yet the people have been screaming for a long time that it was the evil tyrant demon Marcos himself who ordered the hit, despite him being the one who will lose almost everything if his political opponent dies. If not him then it was Imelda. I’m one of the guys who believed this narrative for almost the entirety of my student knowledge of history.

      Some say that Marcos knows perfectly well what would happen if Ninoy dies (he’ll be treated as a martyr and shortly after, Marcos regime will fall). As such, he took measures to ensure that Ninoy lives to preserve Marcos regime when he allowed Ninoy to go to the US for medical treatment. There was another hearsay that Marcos warned Ninoy that “he will die if he comes back”, which some take as a threat while others seeing it as a genuine concern.

    2. You hit it right on the nose, Sir. I have always asked this. Who really benefited from Ninoy’s death? Was it Ferdinand Marcos? Imelda Marcos? Fabian Ver? Prospero Olivas? Roberto Benedicto, or any other crony? Ferdinand was deposed and forced into exile. Imelda was humiliated, reviled, and faced a multitude of lawsuits. Ver died in exile. Olivas died in obscurity. Benedicto died in South America without being able to return to his country. On the other hand, who was catapulted into power, enjoyed all the perks and media attention, and promised to be “magnanimous in victory” and proved themselves to be vindictive and petty, while at the same time whose term was dubbed as the “do nothing presidency” and set back the country twenty years? And now they have the gall to call Ninoy a “hero” who died for the country? First look deeper, who really was behind Ninoy’s murder? But lets not expect too much. The Aquinos had the chance, all the resources and power to once and for all resolve this question. But they did not lift a finger. Why? Is it because the answer may be closer to home than we believe? Just asking.

      1. IT WAS THE CIA THAT MURDERED AQUINO, so they could topple the double-crossing Marcos.
        What happened after Ninoy Aquino’s death was scripted by the U.S. Dept of State, most FLIPS are too stupid to realize this and that the Aquino’s are just following order’s and a lot of the time they are not even told about the order’s.

        1. U.S./C.I.A. with the assistance of the Philippine military and the N.P.A. Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos were the heads of the Philippine military.

          It was the left (N.P.A.) , using the right (Philippine military), and vice versa. Cory Aquino, and the Aquino Cojuangco political axis , were in the middle, waiting in the background to grab power.

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