Cory Aquino has secured her place in history as a fighter of tyranny. If Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not learn from the life and struggles of Cory Aquino, she will be relegated to the dustbins of history.
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At the wake of former president Corazon Aquino, Filipinos mourn the demise of a “uniting force.” They also warn Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to do good and redeem herself.
Even as they did not always see eye to eye with her politically, several progressive groups and party-list representatives have paid tribute to former President Corazon Aquino. They recognize her role in the people’s struggles against tyranny, corruption, and greed for power.
The failures of her presidency notwithstanding, Cory Aquino will be remembered for helping restore democracy in the Philippines and dismantle the vestiges of the Marcos dictatorship. When the Arroyo regime increasingly became corrupt and autocratic, she again rose to the challenge. Cory fought tyranny to the very end.
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When Raymond Manalo suddenly stood up and shouted invectives at former general and now congressman Jovito Palparan during a hearing yesterday at the Commission on Human Rights, he was only venting his frustration that the man he had accused of abducting him and torturing him for 18 long months has not been punished.
Days before the Sona, thousands of farmers, workers, students and activists braved the heat and the rain as they marched from the provinces of Southern Tagalog to Commonwealth Avenue. The march, called Lakbayan, is their way of fighting the regime’s abuses and asserting their basic rights.
In her ninth State of the Nation Address, President Arroyo painted a rosy picture of the Philippines – a world so much different from the one most Filipinos live in, her critics say.
Ordinary Filipinos – the perennially jobless, out-of-school teenagers, recently retrenched factory workers, vegetable vendors, proud homosexuals, among others – braved the heavy rain on the day of the Sona to let it be known that they have had enough of Gloria.
The regime would not veer away from the economic policies that Arroyo has implemented in the past. These are the very same policies that made the Filipino people vulnerable to the world economic crisis and to price manipulations and speculative attacks by corporations wanting to pass on the burden of the crisis to the people.
When Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivers what is supposed to be her last State of the Nation Address this Monday, she will probably claim that she has accomplished what she said she had set out to do in 2001 and 2004. To her critics, however, the past nine years have been “the reign of Gollum.”