Marcos-Aquino Reconciliation


The death of President Corazon C. Aquino has once again revived suggestions of reconciliation between political families, most notably, the Marcoses and the Aquino’s. The animosity, quarrel, acrimony, loathing even, between these two families began as early as the late sixties during the second term of President Marcos and the election of Ninoy Aquino in 1971as the youngest senator of the Philippines. Marcos was to finish his second and last term as President in 1973 while Ninoy was, for all intents and purposes, preparing to be his successor. The late sixties leading up to 1972 were tumultuous years in as far as political street activism was concerned. This was true not only in the Philippines but in most other countries, the United States in particular due to the growing anti-Vietnam war sentiment among the youth as well as assassinations, in quick succession, of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Violent street demonstrations had become frequent in the capitals of the world from Paris to Tokyo to Manila, New York, London, etc. In the Philippines, grenades were lobbed at the stage of the final political rally of the Liberal party at Plaza Miranda (1971 mid term senatorial and local elections) ensuring the victory of all but two in the Liberal party senatorial slate. Ninoy Aquino topped that race but curiously, was not present when the grenades exploded. He had sent word at the last minute that he would be arriving late so was saved from the harm of the explosion. Many others were hurt, some seriously. Blame was placed on Marcos by his opponents which he vehemently denied suggesting it was the work of the communists. The following year, amidst more street demonstrations, sporadic bombings, and more vilification of the Marcos administration by the local media, the “lame duck” Marcos declared Martial Law and jailed some of his opponents including Ninoy Aquino. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to the wake of Mrs. Aquino: after some indirect communication between the Aquino and Marcos “children,” finally, Bong-Bong and Imee are in the church face to face with the eldest of the Aquino daughters, Balsy, and a couple of the grandsons. Both “sides” behave graciously and appropriately.

Now, everyone has an opinion on the manner in which a reconciliation of both families should proceed, if at all. There are some that remember the words of Mrs. Aquino: “there can be no reconciliation without justice.” Well, as far as we know, besides the soldiers that accompanied Senator Aquino down the tarmac and who have served time in jail for over twenty years, there has been no court that has found anyone else guilty. In other words, the “who masterminded it” remains unresolved. To assume the Marcos children know who masterminded it is being naive. If  (and this is a big IF because in fact, Marcos was heavily medicated and at his death throes around the time of  Ninoy’s flight back to Manila) the assassination of Ninoy was indeed hatched in the palace, we doubt if this was a subject discussed with the children over family dinner. In the same manner that the decision to disallow Marcos and his family to return to Manila (every Filipino’s right) was not an Aquino family decision made during Sunday lunch but a decision of her advisers and herself with the full cooperation of the Americans.  All other aspects of the “feud” (media thrives on feuds) between these two families have really nothing to do with the children on either side. Nobody will sue Chelsea Clinton in the future for her father’s sexual indiscretions of the past and nobody will go after the Bush twins, after their father has gone, for having invaded Iraq,

Again, it was not Bong-Bong or his sisters that declared Martial Law. It was their dad with the help of Senator Enrile, President Ramos, Cory’s cousin Danding Cojuanco, etc. and the Filipino’s allowed it. Subsequently, with Cory at the helm, democracy was restored. Observe that those of us that put democracy “above all” are the same ones that marvel with envy at the economic growth of non-democratic Singapore, China, Malaysia and even Vietnam. The principals involved in the Aquino-Marcos political battle are now gone. Having said that, our question is: what changes can we expect from a reconciliation between the remaining members of both families in as far as reconciling the fact that a handful of families control the wealth of this country while half the population starve? What changes in our corrupt culture will be effected if Bong-Bong and Noynoy decide to shake hands and go out for  a beer? If Imee and Balsy were to decide to put the past behind and celebrate that with an outdoor barbecue, will that end the existence of political dynasties and patronage politics? Perhaps we are again putting too much importance on something that will have very little effect in solving the deeper problems of our nation. Next….

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Marcos-Aquino Reconciliation

  1. Friendly reminders for 2010 voters at
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    Tell your friends! Cheers!

  2. Carlos del Rosario III

    With all honesty to our readers, we had too much of the Arroyos, Estradas, and even Ramoses in the span of 17 long years (1992-present) that brought nothing but pure shame to our Filipino race. These past 3 presidents were obviously perfect pictures of corruption & deceit that put this pitiful country’s national coffers in sheer bankruptcy.

    The call for Sen. Noynoy Aquino to be the standard bearer of LP for 2010 is a perfectly-timed move. But the best & only choice as his running mate is NOT Mar Roxas, or anybody from the currently-split LP. In the name of genuine reconciliation & sincere service to the people, once & for all, is Congressman Ferdinand ‘Bong Bong’ Marcos Jr.

    These 2 powerful families maybe the worst of enemies in the past. Let’s not put any political colors this time for this dream tandem of Yellow & Red, hand-in-hand in touching the lives of the least among the least in the countrysides. The most vital issue right now is how to turn this country’s dire economy in great peril into a respectable Tiger economy of Asia our parents once enjoyed. And not anymore be dependent on the foreign remittances of our OFW’s to keep this economy above water.

    So to all our Kababayans, we better prepare our Ultimo Adios to the shamelessly scandalous & corrupt Arroyo clan; the drunk, womanizer & actor Estrada; and to the best-dressed traitor of all time, Gen. F.V.Ramos.

  3. Efren

    I certainly agree with you! The sins of the parents will never be passed on the children. BUT, the Marcos children bears the responsibilty of denying their parent’s conjugal and brutal dictatorship, its abuses, and ultimately enjoyed the perks of looted money.
    Although, you are right that any Marcos-Aquino reconciliation at this time is already irrelevant and will not help our country at all, still, the late President Aquino’s pronouncement that any ” reconciliation should be based on justice” had a greater impact on the social injustice situation in our country.
    Filipinos had lived their lives amidst political corruption and without social accountability, and the ultimate persecution of Ninoy’s killer and mastermind (whoever he/she is) and all other unresolved political killings, will give the Filipinos fresh air.

  4. Thanks for sharing Edvee. Great article…… will follow next comments. Regards and stay well pare.

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