Victory makers and victory credit-grabbers
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-09-27

In Presidential campaigns you will likely find two types of people – the victory makers and the victory credit-grabbers. In some instances, the victory makers are not even known to media and are not even credited by history.

Credit-grabbing being their favorite game, the vulture types are experts in positioning themselves at the right time and place when media cameras are turned on and thus create the impression that they are the ones that manned the ramparts during the battle. Many credit-grabbers are not even in the inner council of the presidential candidate and yet they manage to get their names mentioned in media as part of the so-called core group.

It is not surprising that when the presidential candidate wins and has entered Malacanang Palace – the credit-grabbers reinvent themselves as your-friendly-neighborhood-influence-peddler. In corrupt administrations, they only add to the cost of doing business because they have to go through the really connected persons who can get the deal done.

Having been a real player in both EDSA I and EDSA II, your Chair Wrecker is very familiar with the political reality of the political victory makers and the victory credit-grabbers. EDSA I and II being People Power events, these became prone to being manipulated by all sorts of people to suit their objectives of aggrandizing their fictional ‘great’ role in history.

Last September 19, as your Chair Wrecker gorged on paksiw na lechon at the birthday dinner of Cory’s younger brother Peping (former Tarlac Congressman and now Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr.), this recollection of the victory maker and the victory credit-grabber occurred to me. The recollection was not induced by the paksiw na lechon but by the presence of many who really contributed to the EDSA I and II victories but were never credited for their valiant efforts.

Foremost of these victory makers was the birthday celebrant (his 75th) himself whom your Chair Wrecker once likened to St. Joan of Arc’s supporting French General, Jacques Dunois. Writer George Bernard Shaw referred to General Jacques Dunois in his work St. Joan as the bastard who found troops for Joan and fed them.

“For the people will run after the Maid (as Joan of Arc was then called) and her miracles and not after the bastard’s hard work of finding troops for her and feeding them,” wrote Shaw. That also aptly describes the unappreciated work that Cory’s younger brother did for Asia’s Joan of Arc in the political events that led to the People Power miracle of 1986.

People Power did not just happen. The People Power victory was the culmination of a series of smaller political victories that were fought by grizzled political warriors when all the tough resistance was there, when there was very little support and when the risk was at its highest. In EDSA I, it was Peping who dutifully accomplished the hard work of finding the troops for Cory, feeding them and fighting the initial small political battles for her.

Behind the People Power there was the so-called realpolitik to be reckoned with and it was Peping Cojuangco who accomplished that for Cory. When Cory was already president, it was Peping who kept the Congress in tow and responsive to the needs of the Chief Executive. Monching Mitra may have been the Speaker of the House of Representatives but if you ask many members of that Congress whom they recognized as the real power in the House – they will tell you that it was Peping.

There would have been no EDSA II if not for Peping Cojuangco. It was Peping to whom Chavit Singson ran when the Ilocos Sur Governor felt that he was about to be killed over the jueteng issue with Joseph Estrada and Atong Ang. It was Peping whom we in COPA (Council on Philippine Affairs) trusted when we agreed to take on Chavit’s cause.

Through the right connection in the US, it was Peping who secured the clearance of then US President Bill Clinton during the last weeks of his presidency that we can undertake another People Power event here. Knowing how the US could influence and shape Philippine political events – we felt that it was best that we secured the nod of Washington and Peping secured that for us.

In EDSA II, the group that had the least contribution managed to steal center stage with the connivance of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). This is the loud but hollow KOMPIL II. Because they were the only group that was willing to support GMA, they were propped up by the GMA regime as the “real movers” behind EDSA II.

Some of them received appointments in the GMA regime and some made money. Some of them left GMA when the Garci scandal broke and they’ve since formed their new noisy groups where they have been generating press releases and sound bytes – puny attempts at engineering reform. Some of them are now positioning to be in the incoming 2010 administration. But worry not – yours truly will be there to wreck their chair and expose them.

Most of those who were really responsible for EDSA II were for a RESIGN ALL modality – a revolutionary government where the Supreme Court Chief Justice would have presided over a transition government. This disturbed GMA a great deal and she arranged a meeting with COPA on January 11, 2001 at the residence of Peping Cojuangco.

Being COPA Chairman, your Chair Wrecker was asked to speak for our group. We rejected GMA’s request to support her presidency. We said that we are in the effort to oust Estrada for plunder but we are not involved in any effort to install her as replacement president.

It was Cory who decided to follow Constitutional succession, to which the late Jaime Cardinal Sin concurred. It was because of Cory and Cardinal Sin that GMA became 2001 president.

We all know how GMA expressed her ‘gratitude’ to Cory when Cory asked her to resign after the Garci scandal was exposed. Cory described the personal attacks of the GMA regime as the most vicious she had ever experienced, even topping the attacks by the Marcos regime and those power-hungry coup plotters during her presidency.

If you read the description of hell by Dante Alighieri, then you’d know who are destined to be assigned to the deepest, hottest pit of hell.

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