In the News: Does the nation owe the Aquinos? (Tony Lopez, Manila Times)
The Aquinos owe this nation a lot. It owed the nation when Servillano Aquino sided with Aguinaldo to have Andres Bonifacio assassinated, when Benigno Aquino Sr sent Filipinos to death as a WWII Japanese collaborator, when the Aquinos were able to bring the Cojuangcos on board to work out a deal with Magsaysay and acquire Hacienda Luisita using Filipino taxpayers money under the condition of redistributing the land after 10 years – we know how that went.
In this article posted in the Manila Times, Tony Lopez raises the issue in the form of a question. This becomes more relevant as the Aquinos try to posit themselves as if EDSA I were an Aquino franchise. Sure, Ninoy Aquino died, but there are many more Filipinos who died (for instance, Dr. Bobby de la Paz, Gov Emilio Javier, Mayor Cesar Climaco, or closer to home – Salvador Mapansa, Nanding Torralba, Babette Prudencio- does that make their deaths any less significant because their surnames are not Aquino or Cojuangco?)
Come to think of it, EDSA is franchise of the Filipino nation. For the Aquinos to claim ownership of the EDSA uprising is downright ridiculous.
Read on as Tony Lopez answers the question.
Does the nation owe the Aquinos?
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 00:00
BY TONY LOPEZ
I now believe in luck. Senator Benigno Simeon Cojuangco “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd all his life has led the easy life of a hacen-dera’s son. He wakes up in the morning with one problem, “Ano ang ulam ko?” (“What’s my viand?”). Most kids from a poor family wake up with one problem, “May pagkain ba ako? (“Do I have food to eat?”).
By the way, Hacienda Luisita’s 6,443 hectares is worth potentially, P190 billion—P3,000 per square meter multiplied by 64.43 million square meters. The P3,000 per sqm is usually the price of an idle farm land in provinces immediately north and south of Manila, once a highway or a major development is injected into it.
I drove through Hacienda Luisita yesterday morning entering the Luisita gate of the SCTEX and I saw on both sides of the first-class expressway miles and miles of green fertile land. Noynoy and his sisters own 16.6 percent of the hacienda. Multiply 16.6 percent by P190 billion and you get P31.5 billion.
Noynoy has had a good education. The Jesuits take care of their alumni well. Look at what they did to Manny Pangilinan. MVP was easily let off the hook after plagiarizing his commencement day speech, which was also an acceptance speech for his Ateneo honorary doctorate degree.
Noynoy has had a good barkada. Ateneo has probably the best old-boy network a student can cultivate from his alma mater. (BV – What can I say, best old-boy network it is, unfortunately being used for asinine reasons)
Noynoy has had plenty of girl friends. A girl was killed with him in the middle of a coup during his mother’s presidency.
He has had plenty of gadgets and toys. Guns (at least nine licensed with his name). Noynoy has not had a stable job, except for brief stints as a sales manager for Nike shoes, shorts and shirts, a manager of the family-owned Hacienda Luisita, and the co-owner of a security agency that got sweetheart contracts from the government.
Noynoy has never run a household because he has none. He is single. There are 16 million households in the Philippines.
Noynoy has been member of the Philippine Congress—9 years as congressman and 3 years as senator. During those 12 years, he didn’t produce a single law that carries his name. Senator Lito Lapid, who is supposedly stupid and cannot manage a good English sentence, produced a law. Senator Antonio Trillanes, who is in jail and cannot attend Senate sessions, produced two laws that carry his name.
On May 10, if you believe surveys, Noynoy will be elected president of the Philippines, running away with 38 percent of the vote with at least 15 million votes—six million more votes than either Joseph Estrada or Manny Villar could garner.
Noynoy will be CEO of this country of 95 million people, CEO of the government, and CEO of 16 million households. Now, that’s luck.
In a way, the Cojuangco and Aquino families are one of the luckiest political families on earth. In 1983, Ninoy Aquino died, by assassination. In 1985, widow Cory Aquino, a plain housewife, ran for president.
Doy Laurel had to give up his presidential ambitions and downgraded himself to vice president. She promised to make Doy prime minister. Cory won. She swore in Doy as prime minister at 9 in the morning of February 25, 1986. By noon, Doy lost his job as pm. The government was changed from parliamentary to presidential.
In August 2009, Cory Aquino died, of cancer. Noynoy Aquino decided to run for president. Mar Roxas had to give up his presidential ambitions and downgraded himself to vice president. If Noynoy wins, I hope he gives Mar some useful, meaningful job, in addition to being a spare tire.
How come, when somebody dies in the Cojuangco-Aquino family, someone must ran for president, someone must downgrade to vice president, and an Aquino must win the presidency?
Isn’t one presidency enough? Look at what happened with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—the second Macapagal president. The first and second Macapagal presidents were elected 42 years apart.
Isn’t the fact that we must again elect, after nearly a quarter century, another Aquino for president proof that the first Aquino presidency was a failure?
Does the nation really owe the family that much? How come Filipinos have so much faith in the Aquinos? Isn’t Hacienda Luisita enough reward for their years in politics?