How do GMA and the other wannabes solve a problem like Noynoy?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-09-08

It’s been said that nothing can be more powerful than an idea whose time has come. This is what Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) and the other 2010 presidential wannabes — representing ideas long overdue for extinction — are now facing.

The assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983 opened the eyes of the Filipino nation and spawned a political tempest that eventually led to the 1986 Snap Presidential Election. Unlike previous elections, it became an ideological battle between dictatorship and democracy, as symbolized by Cory C. Aquino. As it turned out, Filipinos were not just willing to vote for the symbol of democracy (who eventually became a world icon of democracy) but they also waged a non-violent People Power Revolution.

Now, 23 years after, Filipinos are deeply disillusioned over the turn of events in their country. After the twin disasters — Joseph “Erap” Estrada and GMA — Filipinos wonder if there is really salvation in democracy. Under GMA, the public cynicism had deepened so badly that many Filipinos even think that another dictatorship could be needed in order to set things right.

Not since 1986 had so many Filipinos looked kindly at rebel officers who dared to oppose the government. The failure of democracy created the seemingly illogical conclusion of many who now think that we must first resort to martial law to be able to reach our Promised Land. That is, of course, hoping that the military faction that will depose the evil regime will faithfully restore real democracy.

It was easy to think that way. There was no rallying point for democracy among the leading candidates for the 2010 presidential elections. Those whom reform minded Filipinos pinned their hopes to become the savior we need — could not even manage to register among the top four in the early presidential polls. For many, the 2010 elections appeared to be another case of choosing the lesser evil. By now, they’ve realized that choosing between a slightly red devil and a very deeply red devil still kept us in hell.

Thank God for changing all that when he decided to recall Cory C. Aquino last August 1. The events of August 1 to 5 shook the political ground and produced a rallying point. An act of God — Cory’s passing — rekindled the Filipino’s faith in himself and his fellow Filipinos. Those who were in EDSA for the People Power Revolution suddenly found themselves experiencing Yellow Fever again. Their children (who never experienced the People Power Revolution) suddenly wanted to experience the Yellow Fever.

The assassination of a national hero in 1983 produced the rallying point for the restoration of democracy — Cory. The recent passing of Cory thrust her only son, Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, as the new rallying point for a nation seeking to attain the fruits of the People Power Revolution.

Noynoy has emerged as the rallying point of all Filipinos seeking meaningful change and reform. Instead of having to select from a roster of perceived lesser evils — there is suddenly an available choice that is admittedly good. From having to settle for whoever is perceived as the least spotty, Filipinos can now vote for one who is simply clean.

Filipinos now have a presidential candidate with the genes of heroes. To live up to the heroic legacy of his parents is his strongest motivation to meet the high expectations of a nation long seeking economic and political emancipation. Filipinos now have a candidate who has served in the legislature for over ten years and, following the public service track record of his heroic parents, not a single scandal has tainted his name.

Like the true son of his mother (Noynoy has more characteristics of Cory while his sister Kris has more characteristics of Ninoy), Noynoy is a very reluctant candidate. Like Cory, Noynoy is self effacing and would prefer to remain in the background. Like Cory, Noynoy arrived at the crossroads and before making his decision — he too prayed and sought Divine guidance.

Now, the political factions with an interest in the spoils of the 2010 presidential elections are desperately seeking ways to contain this new force of history that has manifested in Noynoy Aquino. How will they contain an idea whose time has come again?

The presidential wannabes with real reform on their minds had no problem coping with the Noynoy reality. They simply gave way just as the noble Mar Roxas did. Others with suspicious agendas on their minds cannot simply accept the new reality and are trying to find ways to circumvent the political typhoon that just hit town.

The biggest problem of course belongs to GMA whose touted super party, the unhappily merged Lakas-CMD-Kampi Party, does not even have a top rating candidate. As GMA has developed into the very antithesis of Cory Aquino, she must now face the biggest backlash of the Noynoy reality.

More than just losing the 2010 presidential elections, GMA stands to lose her place in history with the reemergence of the Yellow Fever. After the nation and the rest of the world reaffirmed their regard for Cory as both the icon and saint of democracy — just what kind of a place in history can the antithesis of Cory expect?

  Previous Columns:

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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