MOSTLY old, mostly male, mostly born and bred in imperious Luzon and all schooled in imperial Manila. Two in every three were jurists and bureaucrats in their previous lives, and thus, also mostly creatures of habit and routine. In the last 20 years, while 15 of the 80 nominees were female, only three women were eventually appointed.
This seemingly impregnable enclave of the elite is actually the Philippine Supreme Court, the most majestic of all the country’s courts, the final arbiter of constitutional questions, and “the last bulwark of democracy” in the land.
BENIGNO SIMEON ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III has become the third member of his immediate family to be thrust into the vortex of what a sociologist calls periodic episodes of “romanticism” in Philippine politics and history.
But the real burden of the senator and now presidential aspirant is not just proving his sincerity and integrity. He also has to declare what he stands for, and on his own merits and in his words, convince a public awash in goodwill for the Aquinos that he is a worthy son to his parents, and a worthy candidate to the highest post in the country.
BEFORE the August 5, 2009 funeral of his mother, there was no public clamor for Senator Noynoy Aquino to run for president in 2010. Neither was there any reason for his youngest sister, popular television personality Kris Aquino, to discuss his love life on national television after its details leaked out in different broadsheets and gossip rags.
Interviews compiled by Tita C. Valderama
THE DEATH of Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. 25 years ago jolted not just the Philippines but the rest of the world as well. But does the present generation of Filipinos, especially those born after 1983, understand why?
Do they know Ninoy beyond being the father of his celebrity daughter Kris, or the man on the 500-peso bill?
Ninoy’s only son and namesake, Sen. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, recalls his father as a friend and “barkada… the leader of the pack.” Ninoy was generous toward his children but could be stern when he needed to, Noynoy says.
WE DIDN’T even hear the shots. Someone had to tell us about the gunshots outside, and then I saw Doña Aurora Aquino stand up and start praying. Roberto Coloma of Agence France Presse, meanwhile, quickly grabbed the nearest phone and began breaking the news to the world.
A few minutes later, foreign TV correspondent Ken Kashiwahara managed to slip into the airport VIP lounge, which was by then packed with people. As he slumped into a couch, he cried, ”Ninoy was shot! Ninoy was shot!”
IF THIS country were a family, it is unhealthy, lacking in education and employment opportunities, is deep in debt and spends its limited budget on the wrong things.
This is despite the fact that the head of this household called the Philippines is someone whose expertise is economics.
PLL…WHAT? Medy who? It had always been an obscure office, at least as far as the public was concerned. But now that the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) seems to have suddenly emerged from the shadows and pushed under a very glaring — and very public — spotlight, few are liking what they think they [...]
BENJAMIN DE Leon, who once headed the Commission on Population (Popcom) in the 1970s and is now president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development, points to the irony of the country’s population policy going haywire during the term of two female presidents: Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.