Philippine politics is getting exciting by the minute. An rip-roaring rigodon is going on, barely a year before the next presidential elections. For a change, i feel a glimmer of hope with these new breed of younger politicos, like Mar Roxas giving up his presidential bid yesterday and a few others hinting that they are following suit. It gives us hope that the clamor for reform is stronger than the lure of term extension (read: cha-cha) and traditional politics.
Truth to tell, I still don’t have a candidate to vote for, although a lot of my well-meaning friends are ready to chant “Noynoy!” any minute. I think his greatest appeal is that he was unprepared for this and is not hungry for the power. By delaying his announcement to run to pray for further discernment, Noynoy is following the example of his mother Cory who did the same in 1986.
Unlike his mother who became President, Noynoy is no political newbie, but he didn’t start out with guns a-blazing either. I really don’t remember him sponsoring legislative initiatives that will merit the front page and beyond. The page about him in the Senate website only lists his proposed law “to make the procurement of the petroleum, oil and lubricants requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines transparent by requiring public bidding.” I am sure Senators Mar, Kiko and Chiz fare better than him when it comes to legislative mileage.
But what he has for certain is the family name and the legacy that goes with it. Nonoy will definitely run for the land’s highest office carrying the banner of “democracy.” I know it’s kinda off now, given that we are no longer under a dictator. But there is something about the Aquino name which bespeaks of a greater sense of integrity. Save for his fondness for dating broadcasters, actresses and pretty ladies, this Noynoy also hasn’t been tainted of a scandal of any kind. If ever he gets elected in office, we really don’t expect to see a throng of relatives currying for favors. Certainly not Kris who’s richer than him by a mile 😀
The good thing about Noynoy is that he has the example of his parents to protect. I am actually reminded of the book that my old friends Robert Reid (of Associated Press) and Eileen Guerrero authored. It’s entitled Cory Aquino and the Brushfire Revolution (published by Louisiana State University Press). I got around to re-reading it during Tita Cory’s death even though it critiques the Aquino administration for wasting ” a unique, historic opportunity to correct the injustices of Philippine society.” In the post-Aquino, post-EDSA era, Filipinos were still poor, landless, jobless. The status quo continued to prevail. A vicious cycle, this is.
But one thing you cannot fault Tita Cory on was the moral high ground. I was impressed by this part of the book:
” It was said that she could not control Peping, but this was not the case. When she wanted to, she could stand up to both Peping and even her elder brother, Pedro. In 1991, Peping and Pedro visited Cory at the Palace to ask for favors, which she refused to give. The discussion degenerated into a shouting match. Elder siblings are accorded lifelong respect in Filipino families, but his angry sister accused “Don Pedro” of meddling in her affairs. Pedro stormed out of the office, shouting “I promise you, I’ll never, never come back as long as you are President.” The two reconciled moments later when Cory rushed to her elder brother and apologized. “Kuya (elder brother), I just blew my top.” Nevertheless, she would not budge on their request. “OK, we’ll just forget it,” Peping said meekly.
Let’s just hope Noynoy will set the same moral high ground, when the time comes.