Saturday, December 19, 2009


A new church-backed "people's movement" is urging morality and scruples in government. Incidentally though, many leaders of this new group are identified with the regime of the late former President Corazon Aquino, and are now hovering around heir-apparent Noynoy Aquino and runningmate Mar Roxas.

Several of them are said not to be qualified to talk about morality because they themselves are open to attacks for hidden skeletons in their closets. Political motives have also been ascribed to the group. It was said the leaders are working for a return to power by appointive positions once Noynoy makes president. As it is, these people salivate and drool over their imaginations each time their man tops any given survey there is.

I had coffee recently with a relative of subject presidentiable and inevitably, our small talk drifted to the thorny issue of these relatives' supposed involvement in numerous cases of graft and corruption in government. And for the other side of the question, I got a brutal explanation.

He said they had suffered for 20 years under the Marcos regime. They had been persecuted and hounded and had their businesses and properties grabbed away from them by Marcos' henchmen. When President Cory took over, it was time for them to recover what had been stolen from them and rehabilitated themselves. And what was wrong with our trying to make a living under Cory? Are we going to be denied this just because we are her relatives?

And then it was time for some straight-shooting and honesty. He told me in a whisper that they knew Cory wouldn't be around long enough and that they had to feather their nests and prepare for the inevitable post-Cory era when they might again be subjected to persecution, and that is where money, lots of it, will come in handy to protect themselves. Look at some of the moneyed Marcos cronies, he said, many of them have escaped prosecution and even managed to worm their way into the inner circles of succeeding administrations because they knew how to buy off the right people in government and among close relatives.

I walked away from that coffee session in a daze, but properly given the low-down on the case of presidential relatives and their headaches.

And so, it does fall into place. They could be staging a comeback once Noynoy Aquino makes it to Malacanang. I guess some things never change. And among those that will always remain in the Filipino way of life is the "utang na loob" system and the meddling of relatives and cronies with the one who succeeds his way most to a high position. In this case the presidency. Brace yourselves, for the "holier than thou" para-clergy are back with a vengeance. This time more vicious and with a bigger appetite for power, backed by a younger generation of the Kamaganak II Inc.

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