Baseball91's Weblog

August 9, 2009

In the Wake of the Aquino Death


Cory Aquino died this week.

There had been a revolution in the Philippines after her husband who was the opposition leader had been killed.

In 1972, Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. No one knew how long it might last. Marcos effectively exiled and deported Benito Aquino, probably the most popular politician in the country. In 1983, following a kidney transplant, with access to the president curtailed by physical health issues, Imelda Marcos and Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver limited access to the president. Imelda Marcos was said to have flown to New York in May 1983 to convey that Benito Aquino would never again set foot on Philippine soil. There was total chaos as no one knew what was happening, and how the Filipinos might regain control of their country.

Benito Aquino swore to return and, in August 1983 he did, amidst the medical and political crisis. Aquino was assassinated on the tarmac of the airport as his plane landed, by one of the aircraft guards. The guard then committed suicide. Though it was widely believed that Imelda Marcos pursued the elimination of the opposition leader, the chief of staff Ver was tried for the assassination and received a not guilty verdict. The day of the verdict, Cory Aquino announced her candidacy for president, as the EDSA ‘People Power’ revolution removed the Marcos dictatorship and restored democracy in the Philippines in 1986.

The majority of the young people in the Philippines today immediately give an adjective of their Congress men and women. Corrupt is the adjective. Filipino history provides the basis for these feelings, for what occurred both before Cory Aqunino’s election and in the history subsequent to her time in office.

The strength of a democracy is judged by the safety extended to journalists pursuing their stories. Th Philippines ranks next to Russia with pursuit of justice when either an opposition leader or a journalist is killed.

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