“THOSE that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” the British statesman Winston Churchill wrote in his variation of the Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s famous repeating-the-past aphorism. Former president Benigno Aquino 3rd’s death is an occasion for us to learn from history.
What made up for Aquino’s lack of qualifications for the presidency, created the illusion that he was a good president and which covered up for his crimes and hoaxes were four attributes of his presidency. These, however, were seriously detrimental to us as a nation.
First, Aquino had a tight hold on media, whose influence on people’s minds was even stronger than during Marcos’ strongman rule because of its expertise in clothing lies as truths.
This was not because this media believed in Aquino, but because they not only were owned by oligarchs who saw Aquino as their own but were managed by Yellow cultists who saw him as the son of their saint, whom they had the sacred duty to protect.
THAT club of megalomaniacs called 1Sambayan was the town’s laughingstock last week. They used our country’s sacred Independence Day to pontificate on the kind of president and vice president they would like, based on their fictional world.
They named six nominees for the presidency. Four rushed in an hour’s time to decline the nomination; Mary Grace Poe – who placed third in the 2016 elections – just minutes after that pathetic group made their announcement. Nominee Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo didn’t say whether she accepted the nomination or not but in her usual way, blah-blahed inanities about the need for us to unite.
Only the super-megalomaniac of them all, the bungling putschist Antonio Trillanes 4th, accepted the club’s nomination. I bet 1Sambayan convenor, the Aquino regimes’ blundering, foreign secretary Albert del Rosario will be squirming in his seat when his club meets with Trillanes on the nomination.
Trillanes had accused del Rosario of treason in his handling of the Scarborough Shoal fiasco, even telling me in an interview that he should be shot by firing squad. Trillanes claimed that del Rosario had even spread fake news during that crisis to worsen the country’s quarrel with China – such as releasing to the Philippine Daily Inquirer an old 1990s photo of Chinese navy men planting their flag on the shoal, to stoke Filipinos’ anger against China.
1Sambayan doesn’t even deserve to be called an opposition group: Without media, nobody would pay any notice to this group of delusional retired men (and women) and clerics still brainwashed by passé liberation theology rhetoric, none of whom could even win a post as barangay chairman. Worse, with their misdeeds against the country. they don’t have any right at all to open their mouth about where our nation should be going.
But if boxing legend Sen. Manny Pacquiao reads Damage: The Untold Story of Brain Trauma in Boxing, he would be convinced without an ounce of doubt of the stark reality of the career that has brought him fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams.
Damage, written by renowned boxing journalist Tris Dixon and released last month, reveals in vivid detail and through scientific studies professional boxers such as Pacquiao have a very high chance of suffering brain damage not just from his 71 official fights but in his thousands of sparring sessions to prepare for his bouts.
By winning public office, especially the presidency, Pacquiao will be putting his country at risk of having an official unable to undertake his functions because of brain shrinkage and degeneration, the scientific term for which is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), referred to before in boxing reportage through the pejorative term “punch-drunk” and later “dementia pugilista.”
ONCE in a while, truth is suddenly revealed much like a bolt of lightning in an instant reveals a landscape in a dark night.
This is exactly what happened recently when a report in the internet version of the once-oligarch, Lopez-owned ABS-CBN media outfit showed to a sickening extent its reporters’ coddling of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
On June 6, the Philippine National Police issued a press statement that the rising football star Kieth Absalon was killed, together with his cousin, by an NPA anti-personnel land mine in Masbate as they were riding on their bicycles. Most newspapers and the state-run Philippine News Agency ran news stories with roughly the same headline: “FEU booter, cousin killed in NPA mine blast.”
But not the abs-cbn.com. Its headline, based on the same PNP press statement was: “Up-and-coming footballer Kieth Absalon passes away at 21.” It definitely wasn’t merely a case of a writer misusing a term “pass away,” which is mostly used for deaths due to natural causes.
DISREGARDING international conventions and practice, President Benigno Aquino 3rd in 2012, on his own, renamed as the “West Philippine Sea” a segment of the South China Sea. It is a term that would hobble our efforts to settle our sovereignty and maritime-claim disputes with China and Vietnam.
The South China Sea name was given by Europeans starting in the 16th century and recognized over the centuries as such by the world’s nations. It is defined precisely through geographic coordinates by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), governing body for the naming of bodies of water around the world. China calls it internally as the “South Sea” while Vietnam calls it the “East Sea.”
Aquino through Administrative Order 29 of 2012 named as “WPS” or West Philippine Sea, “the western side of the Philippine archipelago the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.”
Aquino ordered the entire government to use the term “West Philippine Sea;” thus, the term has come to be used by everyone, from as high an official as President Duterte to the lowliest public employee.
RATHER than spending in the past few months an alleged P50 million for PR people and political operators to push his bid for the presidency (or the vice presidency), legendary boxing champion Manny Pacquiao should instead have used that money to finance the purchase of vaccines that the nation urgently needs to end this scourge, and become a national hero of our time.
I am not talking about the whole nation. He could just choose where he was born, Bukidnon, or where he grew up, Sarangani, as his “target” for getting as many of its adult population as possible vaccinated. With government finances stretched to its limit after a year and a half of addressing the pandemic, I’m sure the Duterte government can come up with an arrangement for using Pacquiao’s money to buy more vaccines and get these into the arms of Filipinos.
And why am I picking on Pacquiao to do this? Well, firstly, he has portrayed himself as not just a prizefighter, but one who wants to serve the people. He certainly has the capacity to do so, being the world’s richest boxer (after Floyd Mayweather and George Foreman) with a net worth of P10 billion.
And secondly, I was shocked by reports — unverified of course unless Pacquiao himself confirms it — in the past two months, he has spent (wasted I think) P50 million to contract PR and political operators as well as get the purported support of some politicians, to launch his bid for the presidency, or to get Duterte to choose him as a candidate for that post or the vice presidency.
If he had used this P50 million to help the government buy vaccines, he could have demonstrated he is sincere about serving the people, especially at this time of one of the country’s worst crises. He could even use his prestige in America – where he is said to be loved more than the American, the arrogant Mayweather – to get US vaccine makers to sell vaccines to him. He could even package his scheduled fight with Errol Spence Jr. in August, as one whose proceeds he would donate to buy vaccines — Pacquiao’s “jab for jabs.”
IT wasn’t just Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc) that President Aquino 3rd and his minions lost in 2012 because of their bungling in their quarrel with China. Much worse than that: we lost our entire Spratly Island Group. Marcos carved that territory out of the South China Sea through his Presidential Decree 1596 in 1978.
The arbitration suit that the Yellow regime filed in 2013 and claimed to have won ruled that the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) is illegal and without basis under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
The Yellows’ ineptitude would be really hilarious if not for the seriousness of what they lost – Philippine territory – because of their stupidity. The US fooled Aquino and his Foreign Affairs secretary, Albert del Rosario, in 2012 that the Chinese would withdraw from Scarborough. So, they ordered our vessels out of the shoal.
So, Aquino abandoned that Philippine territory, turning it over to the Chinese who were wondering where on earth did the two had gotten the very irrational idea that they entered into an agreement brokered by their arch rival, the US, especially as it’s a doctrine etched in stone in China that all its disputes be resolved bilaterally.
AND I mean both: as a failed revolutionary organization and in terms of its leaders. The party is 52 years old, nearly four decades more than the average 15 years it took successful revolutionary organizations elsewhere to grab state power.
The party’s founder Jose Ma. Sison is 82 – his life obviously extended by the comforts and health services of the Netherlands. Only Sison is left among the original dozen or so central committee members, all of whom but two – Kumander Dante and former party chairman Rodolfo Salas – died violently in their youth or of old age. Its core of idealistic young people, who built it up in 1970, are all now past 70 years old.
Its last known chairman, Julius Giron, who was killed last year, was 69 years old. He had replaced the captured Benito Tiamzon, 68 years. From a party of young idealistic students barely out of their teens, the party is now a party of septuagenarians.
As happened in failed revolutions, there is no capable second generation of leaders that has emerged. Those who would have had the intellect to lead the revolution, have instead chosen to be party-list representatives reveling in public attention and enjoying taxpayers’ money as “congressmen.”
The party has become pathetic, as the baby boomers that led it are apparently unaware, they are in the twilight of their lives, and there is no proletarian heaven where they can be with Lenin and Mao. Many are unable to live with their grown-up children who detest them for having abandoned them to their grandparents, or fear being involved with a fugitive from the law.