Monday, October 12, 2009

No ‘Bliss’ under the Yellows

A political generation has been brought up under the Yellows. This generation, unaware of the “Bliss” that the country experienced during the time of Marcos, has been largely uninformed about those housing developments for the poor, set up in places like Carmona and Sapang Palay, where development costs have shot up since the Yellows took over.

This same generation also doesn’t know that President Joseph Estrada, during his time as mayor, similarly had a novel approach to the squatter problem, when he moved San Juan ’s many squatter communities to a resettlement site in Taytay that still stands today. It seems that they just can’t comprehend how this, as well as, his many other feats could account for his great popularity among the landless urban poor and how, surprisingly, his housing projects even had cabanas and swimming pools, just like in Erap City.

The Marcoses (through President Ferdinand Marcos’ development program and Imelda’s human settlement vision) offered “Bliss” as the beginning of an organized tenement housing campaign. At that time, Bliss was well within the reach of the middle class. Teachers, journalists (like Dick Pascual, the late Julius Fortuna, current GMA ambassador Bobi Tiglao), and government employees were able to obtain comfortable urban housing that rose four stories-high in mainly flood-free areas.

But as soon as the Yellow Plague enveloped the Philippines , soon-to-be-completed Bliss projects were put to a halt, with already existing units deliberately left derelict, apparently to rot and be displayed as failures of the Marcos era--one of many examples of what the “good” Cory Aquino threw out with the bath water.

Comparisons between the 21 years under the Yellows and the same during the Marcos era will then naturally provide a contrast between Marcos’ achievements and Cory and her Yellow ilk’s failures, extending to both the FVR and GMA regimes.

While Marcos built the Pan Philippine Highway and the Samar-Leyte Bridge , which span thousands of miles of roads, the only infrastructure achievement of Cory has been the Edsa-Ortigas flyover, which FVR even had to repair right after its inauguration. (Notice the rounded, steel-jacketed pillars that were mounted after serious flaws were found?)

And, as Marcos was responsible for the North and South Expressways, the former being 80 kilometers long, when Cory took over, she eventually handed them to the oligarchs, who added only six kilometers or so to Sta. Inez but raised the toll by up to 2000 percent!

Meanwhile, the Marcos national budgets from 1965 to 1985 totaled P486 billion, including his infrastructure projects, whereas Cory, in seven years, had a total national budget of P1.6 trillion, with domestic borrowings of over P400 billion (at the exchange rate then of around P21 to the dollar). That’s $19 billion to Marcos’ $27 billion over 21 years!

When we lambast Gloria Arroyo for raising the national debt sky high, we must remember that there was a precedent--Cory Aquino--who borrowed even more heavily but masked it under the cover of “domestic debt,” with no real infrastructure legacy at all. FVR, who followed Aquino, built nothing and only sold off power plants, Fort Bonifacio , reclaimed Manila Bay lands, ad nausea.

Yet, in all this time, the Yellows have never raised these issues about Cory and FVR nor have they taken responsibility for installing GMA.

Comparing unemployment rates, Ka Popo Villanueva sent us these stats:

YEAR/UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983* 1984 1985

Marcos 4.1% 4.0% 5.0% 5.3% 6.0% 5.4% 6.2% 7.1%

*destabilization of Marcos began

1987 1988 1989 1990 1991

Aquino 9.1% 8.3% 8.4% 8.1% 9.0%

No wonder that even today, 23 years after Edsa I, whenever I interview young people such as our 21 year-old GNN production assistant, they would often relate their parents’ lament that times were much better under Marcos.

Well, that’s because the oligarchs back then were kept under a leash. The Lopezes’ abuse became a thing of the past when they lost in the 1970 peso devaluation, forcing them to sell-off Meralco to government, just as they suffered in the 1997 Asian Financial Crash and 2008 Subprime Collapse, but recouped their losses through political machinations.

Thus, whenever I see SUVs and cars with yellow ribbons, I can only surmise that these belong to two kinds of people: (a) one who has no understanding of the historical facts, in other words, a historical idiot; or (b) one who is partaking of the plunder of the Yellow ruling class in Big Business, government or in illegal gambling operations.

If the vehicle is old, beat up, and run-down, it must be of the first kind, the idiot who has suffered from high power, water, toll, and tax rates but doesn’t know it’s the Yellows who did him in. But if it’s spanking and gleaming, it would be owned by the latter, who’s probably an executive of one of the Big business groups, like Meralco or Manila Water, or one of the bevy of entertainers of ABS-CBN, a Couples for Christ leader, or another typical elitista.

Lastly, it was in Marcos’ time that the likes of UNDP scholar, Arch. Jun Palafox got commissioned to lay out the flood control master plan for Metro Manila and flood-prone areas of Luzon . Real estate developer giants (like the Ayalas) were barred from land-grabbing and covering up esteros to expand their property bounds. Nevertheless, all these programs were deliberately delayed, undercut, sabotaged and buried in the 21 years of the Yellow Plague.

So, next time you see a vehicle with the yellow ribbon fluttering inanely in the wind or pass by the Centers of Mammon with all the yellow ribbons tied to lamp posts, remember the bliss that we could have had all these years had the economic and infrastructure development plans of a generation ago not been allowed by the Yellow Reign to be sabotaged by the oligarchs.

16 comments:

Ian said...

Both Marcos and Aquino loyalists are suffering from historical amnæsia.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Unfortunately, the force of the argument is compromised by calling people idiots. Not very civil.

Ian said...

For me, both Dictator Marcos and President Aquino had weak points.

Ian said...

The Lópezes abused yes, and so did Dictator Marcos' anointed front men (e.g., Benedicto) and cronies.

Anonymous said...

The "curse" of our people - choosing the lesser evil every election....

Though we have read a lot about the "evils" of Marcos, we also need an objective historical lessons on the "good" things he achieved for his admittedly distorted sense of greatness.

Exactly why I still find my "yellowed by time" copy of the late Renato Constantino's "Demystifying Aquino" a very good read to put a lot of things in a heathy perspective.

Ian said...

To Anonymous: Thanks indeed for the information. Where can I find a copy of that book?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous: Thanks indeed for the information. Where can I find a copy of that book? - Ian

I found my copy in a little corner shelf in National Bookstore, more than 10 years ago. The fact that the price tag indicated P50 when I bought this brand new tells you how long ago that was.

Try the "politics" section. They usually have books on objective analysis of what is good and bad about our system, the kind of "bad" things the mainstream media and academe would prefer to be forgotten. Wala kasing kinikita na thousand, much less millions, ang author kapag objective with critical analysis :-)

Ian said...

Mrs. Aquino's unchristian Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program “devoured” what Marcos’ Presidential Decree 27 left of the land owned by landowners.

Cool said...

As always your article is spot on.

Can you write about Benjamin Fulford? I think the people at large should be told about what this guy is busy with. And you are more qualified than anybody else on this subject.

Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

HTL, I don't have your e-mail. I hope this will go.

THE VERBOTEN BOOK (Excerpts)

TODAY’S REVOLUTION: DEMOCRACY
By Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines
150 pages, Copyright 1971 “All rights reserved”
Printed in Malacanang Palace, Manila

Soon 24 years after his ouster from office and 21 years after his announced but doubtful death in Hawaii, his communist successors in office have not been able to produce even an inch of a paper that would back up that above statement. The infamous Presidential Commission on Good Government (the ill-fated PCGG) is at a total loss, it appears, at finding even one case of criminal nature, all cases against Marcos having been found to be nuisance cases without substance or evidence, most of them filed in a hurry in 1986 by then PCGG Chairman and Marcos-hater Jovito Salonga. He was accused of being the mastermind behind the killing of communist leader Ninoy Aquino in 1983. 27 years later the Filipino people do not know, keep guessing, and read newspapers. That truth will never come out, it seems.

They, the communist successors in office to Marcos, have been very busy, though, and, sadly, very successful in destroying anything and everything that would remind the Filipino people of the low prices, the good times, and the good deeds of, arguably, the best President the country has ever had. To prove this provocative line of thinking, we are holding in our hands a rare sample of a booklet, if not the last surviving, that would reveal the true character of that best President, his deep thinking, and his best intentions for the benefit of his people. Well informed sources confirm that Cory’s people confiscated all books, went after them in all places, and had them burnt.

The rest is history, they say. It would be a shame for the under-privileged people of the Philippines today and that constitutes the great majority of untutored, mis-educated, non-educated, or half-educated people who live below or near the poverty line, millions of them in daily hunger, not knowing where to find the next meal, to let go and say never mind. We could say it the other way around. It appears that the future of the Filipino people ended with the ouster of Marcos. The new regime after Marcos replaced all elected officers by Cory’s chosen OIC’s (Officer-in-Charge), the most famous among them Jejomar Binay of Makati and Ampatuan Sr. of Maguindanao.

They, the new officers-in-charge (of what?), then “elected” into office as Senators or Honorable Congressmen, under much fanfare, signed a law that forbids (until today) political dynasties, but political dynasties do rule this country with an iron fist. True democracy is a greeting from the past. Nobody in this country would write a book today about the right to have true revolution for the benefit of the people. Today we have lip-service from those clowns who stole the revolution that they will serve the people, especially the poor. Sadly, the poor will run after the small money and do anything and everything, including murder, for a little money.

That is how far we have sunk from the heights of once being the Number Two nation in Asia behind only Japan. Maybe we have nobody else to blame but our lazy and proud selves. But even that we cannot. We can only lament, pray and ask for mercy ten times a day or more, and engage, anew, in that crazy thing called “Election”. And that has nothing to do with democracy or the rule of the majority, the sovereign people of the Philippines.

The majority is always wrong someone said; it’s the few wise guys who make the rules. That is certainly true in the Philippines. And the sovereign people of the Philippines are split up into millions of know-it-all, thousands of I-can-do-better, and 99 who signed up to be elected President of this benighted Banana Republic. 8 of the 99 were able to put up and pay the P5M per head of the COMELEC officials, the most corrupt of all corrupt government agencies. And they ask you to pray the Rosary. Halleluyah!

enrique said...

I like all your articles as contained in your website. I always read your articles in The Daily Tribune, the only national news paper i subscribe.

Tin A Pie said...

wow sir. i know this is a late comment but, i would just like to say two things: 1.) now i know that my parents aren't the only people in the world who believes that it was better in Marcos's era, the projects that they have done, amongst others 2.) that I was right with what I've thought that due to Cory's death most of my age who wasn't even born nor is aware of what was happening back then suddenly became nationalistas putting her in too much glory than she really deserves. whenever I think of her time when I was a kid I could only remember the brownouts sir. ^_^ (fyi, i was born dec 1986 so i don't really know what happened back then)

lahingbughaw said...

Feel sorry for Filipinos for being fed with basura information. Someday, I hope the new generation of Filipinos will have more intelligence to try to dispel the lies and deceits perpetrated by the yellows which actually made the Philippines be what it is now, a country where the presidents are conceived as robbers and thieves.

Thanks for the attempt to correct the black propaganda that Marcos was the cause of all the evils that permeated the Philippine society since 1986. I can't see how Mrs Aquino can be a heroine for helping Gloria Dorobo grab power and try to stay at the Malacanang Palace forever.

Lexi said...

Very well written and all very true. In what the U.S. will call "indoctrination", is pretty much what the Philippines consider as accurate history during Post-Marcos time. But I am very fortunate to be surrounded by people who lived during Marcos time (most were former Cory supporters during 1985-86). Now all of them can say - Philippines was far better and Marcos was the best President we ever had.

Ian said...

Let's be vigilant now that the Kamag-Anak Inc. will be returning to power under the second Aquino regime.

maorag44 said...

Just take into account how the Philippines suffered under, & how long Marcos was in power to put into perspective the so-called glory of its reign! I am old enough to remember how it was before he took over when our country was one of the most progressive in SEAsia, & how miserable it was when he was driven out!