Every year in August, Filipinos are unfailingly reminded of the deaths of their “icons of democracy”, former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino, and her husband Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. It is generally accepted that Ninoy’s death paved the way for Cory to be president, and Cory’s death was how the son, Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III got catapulted into Malacañang.
Coincidentally, Filipinos get a holiday not only on Ninoy’s death anniversary on the 21st, but on National Heroes Day on the last Monday of the month. One can be forgiven for thinking that this is to ensure that Ninoy, Cory, and heroes are perpetually used in the same context or sentence.
For those who still venerate the Aquinos, they would like to make it appear that “democracy is dead” under the term of current president Rodrigo Duterte. This is the same “democracy” that Ninoy and Cory supposedly died for.
Unfortunately, however, the more the Yellows open their mouths and gnash their teeth, the more it becomes apparent that for them, democracy is alive, only if they are the dominant voice. Despite their best efforts, it turns out that the democracy they would like to take credit for resulted in Rodrigo Duterte. If somebody put a gun to the voters’ heads and intimidated them to vote for Duterte, the Liberal Party would have made hay of it ever since the last elections. They didn’t.
People are still free to voice their dissent, whether online or in real life. Last we saw, Duterte’s critics have yet to prove that the alleged extrajudicial killings have his blessing, and that he is using the killings to silence his critics.
Twice, however, the LP has used the cadaver of one of its “saints” to propel one of its own into the presidency. They might have recently nearly succeeded in using the dead boy Kian delos Santos to bring down Duterte, had he not extended to the family a simple social grace the LP and Yellowtards have shown incapable of.
The people have made their choice, and it’s neither the Aquinos nor the LP. Whether this choice was actually good or not, is itself a topic for a separate discussion.
The only things that are factually dead so far, are Ninoy and Cory.
We can update with the status of the following related entities:
EDSA is dead.
The mystique of People Power is dead.
The political capital associated with the Aquino name is dead.
The LP is moribund – not yet dead, but anything it touches is bound to turn to crap.
Democracy in the Philippines, on the other hand, is still alive and kicking.
Tough luck for the LP, the next dead body it might have to use to be relevant again, might be its own.
- Things of the past - November 30, 2018
- The difference between Duterte’s words and the Opposition’s - October 31, 2018
- Why are Filipinos reluctant to call wrongdoing out? - September 30, 2018
- Going around in circles - August 31, 2018
- Resurgence, relevance, and regard for the future, all in the SONA - July 31, 2018