“Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man — yesterday in embryo, tomorrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hairsbreadth of time assigned to thee, live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.” — Marcus Aurelius
“When I pass, speak freely of my shortcomings and my flaws. Learn from them, for I’ll have no ego to injure.” — Aaron McGruder, Boondocks
This phrase is what Corazon Aquino put on view when she expressed her contrition to President Joseph Estrada in December 2008, in front of a huge audience and the national and international media. She apologized for her role in the 2001 ouster of the legitimately-elected President and showed her capacity for discerning the historic truth objectively. And her intellectual honesty on this score earned her the ire of the deceitful, resentful and hypocritical among the “civil society.” That apology was really not only to Joseph Estrada but to an entire nation symbolized by the Edsa III masses of the poor and not-so-poor who stood for the truth but were beaten down to the ground by a rule of force that followed Gloria Arroyo’s power grab, backed by the “corporatocracy” and the fascist elements of the military, police, and Catholic Church hierarchy.
Other disharmonious matters should be left to later times, but one is urged to speak in response to praises for the life of the Edsa I icon that are infused with self-serving interests. Corazon Aquino delighted the US Congress in her speech before it on Dec. 18, 1986 where she announced she would pay even unjust debts incurred over the decades from the exploitative US international bankers, which we’ve been paying ever since. Paeans from local Big Business, particularly the bankers, are understandable as this sector benefited immensely when Edsa I financial mis-managers incurred P400 billion in domestic debt in seven years, amounting to 80 percent of Marcos’ 21-year debt! Foreign and local Big Business further raked it in from Edsa I’s deregulation, liberalization and privatization, thereby impoverishing the State and its people.
As satirist Aaron McGruder advices, let us learn. As Corazon Aquino learned and apologized for her shortcomings and flaws, she found out about herself eight years after her role in Edsa II. She saw the disaster that period brought upon the nation and shared in the guilt of helping install the most corrupt and evil regime this country has ever seen to date — a regime that we are not going to see the last of even after the 2010 electoral exercise, it seems. US President Barack Obama is giving Gloria Arroyo (the foremost example of “...those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent” and who are “...on the wrong side of history”) a seat at the side of the
But Obama adopted Arroyo to be bosom buddy for a more atrocious deed, a bit of which she showed to the horror of those who can see what lies beneath. Just before Arroyo left
There is some consolation in reading that the late Corazon Aquino’s son has expressed his lack of enthusiasm for a Gloria Arroyo visit to the wake of his mother. That’s a visit nobody needs. Everyone believes that nothing Gloria does is ever without devious self-serving motives. It’s better that the public not be pushed into such speculation, for it would cloud the somber mood. Thus, the “ban” on Gloria’s visit seems a fitting measure of retribution for the heaps of insults she has directed toward the Aquino family and the nation. I imagine the public enjoying that little punishment Gloria is being meted. She may have gotten Obama but she has lost the entire nation. (Anyway, Obama is already negative 12 in the latest Rasmussen poll survey of Americans; just a little better than the negative 25 of Arroyo here.)
Corazon Aquino finally embraced Edsa III when she showed her humility and apologized in front of the people for the error of Edsa II. President Estrada has returned the kindness with an effusive love for the late President; and to show this, he held a mass for her with the masa at the Payatas community with Fr. Larry Faraon. Estrada wanted to show the sympathy and admiration that comes specifically from the poor people of this nation, and that Corazon Aquino is no longer just the icon of Edsa I and the “elite” but also of Edsa III and the teeming poor of this country. I was told that Corazon Aquino, at her hospital bed, tacked up at her headboard a newspaper snapshot of herself with Joseph Estrada in the background. Was it just coincidence or did it have any meaning in the deepest recesses of the Edsa I icon’s subconscious? But what is clear is that a historical link between Edsa I and Edsa III could now be formed to advance the revolution that every Filipino yearns for — the emancipation of this nation.
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