PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

MANAOAG NOW PH's NEWEST PAPAL BASILICA


CLOSER TO HER Devotees of theOur Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag gather for the second of the three Masses or Triduum held Feb. 15, two days before the church was formally proclaimed aminor basilica by the Vatican. Built in the 17th century following aMarian apparition to a local farmer, the famous pilgrimage site in Pangasinan province, where many have attributed miraculous healings to the VirginMary, was granted the elevated status through anOct. 11, 2014 proclamation by Pope Francis. WILLIE LOMIBAO/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON Gabriel Cardinoza @inquirerdotnet —Briccio de Vera, 62, traveled for three hours with his family from Baliwag town in Bulacan province on Tuesday to hear Mass at the Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag church here.At least twice a year since the early 1990s, De Vera has been coming to Manaoag to ask the Virgin Mary to bless his family. In the last three years, he has been praying for his own health. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Edsa I in JoAl’s eyes


COL.JOSE ALMONTE - “Joal” is Jose T. Almonte, the soft-spoken, high-minded military man who likes grand ideas and once navigated the corridors of power as an adviser/guru to the powerful and the ambitious. He is sometimes referred to as the “thinking soldier,” a description that fits General Almonte precisely because it implies that such a phenomenon may be as uncommon as it is dangerous. JoAl does have that sinister reputation, and, I suspect, he revels in it. JoAl tells his story to journalist Marites Dañguilan Vitug in “Endless Journey: A Memoir,” a new book that will be launched on Feb. 25, the 29th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Uprising, at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. Many will remember that this is the same place where Cory Aquino took her oath as president of the country a few hours before Ferdinand Marcos and his family fled Malacañang on helicopters supplied by the US Embassy. READ MORE...

ALSO: 28 key Edsa personalities

The Edsa People Power Revolt on Feb. 22 to 25, 1986, had a cast of thousands, many of them political and military figures who remain familiar names in recent headlines. From being Marcos allies, many have shifted loyalties to become rebel forces who, thanks to their burnished image during Edsa, were later elected local officials, senators and even President.

ALSO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: Costly peace plan

Not only precious lives but also government resources are being thrown away in the administration of Noynoy’s folly of surrendering a piece of the country to create a substate called Bangsamoro for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).While the debate rages over the policy direction in the conflict areas of Mindanao in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident in which members of the MILF participated in the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, Budget Secretary and Liberal Party strategist Butch Abad said the government is pouring in almost P10 billion into the troubled Mindanao regions.Abad cited the Aquino administration’s commitment to seek peaceful settlement of armed conflict in the country through “the provision of essential government services in areas affected by conflict.” The major allocation was broken down into the Bangsamoro peace process funds worth P2.69 billion and P7.25 billion for the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana).READ MORE...

ALSO: Constitution only provides for resignation

The scenarios prepared to bail out Noynoy amid the untenable situation he is in, due to the bungling of the mission to take down terrorists Marwan and Usman that resulted in the death of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos should be that which would preserve the processes enshrined in the Constitution which makes resignation his only option.The other two, supposedly drawn up in the Palace, where handing the reins of power to a military junta or a transition council are out of the question since these conflict with the law of the land.A military junta also evokes memories that the public would not sit with the public and may spark a larger problem as street protests would likely be directed against the military holding power even temporarily.There are also no guarantees that once the military is seduced by its political role, it will ever give up its hold on power. READ MORE...

ALSO: 29 interesting facts about the EDSA revolution


In this 1986 photo, protesters express disapproval for the iron regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. File photo
MANILA, Philippines – Did you know that yellow is not really the favorite color of the late President Corazon Aquino? According to her interview in TIME, her favorite color was actually red. It was only when some friends suggested the song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” for Ninoy’s homecoming that she developed a fancy for the color. In line with the 29th anniversary of the historical EDSA revolution, here are 29 EDSA-related facts: CONTINUE READING...


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Manaoag now PH’s newest papal basilica


CLOSER TO HER Devotees of theOur Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag gather for the second of the three Masses or Triduum held Feb. 15, two days before the church was formally proclaimed aminor basilica by the Vatican. Built in the 17th century following aMarian apparition to a local farmer, the famous pilgrimage site in Pangasinan province, where many have attributed miraculous healings to the VirginMary, was granted the elevated status through anOct. 11, 2014 proclamation by Pope Francis. WILLIE LOMIBAO/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

MANAOAG. PANGASINAN, FEBRUARY 22, 2015
(INQUIRER)
Gabriel Cardinoza @inquirerdotnet —Briccio de Vera, 62, traveled for three hours with his family from Baliwag town in Bulacan province on Tuesday to hear Mass at the Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag church here.

At least twice a year since the early 1990s, De Vera has been coming to Manaoag to ask the Virgin Mary to bless his family. In the last three years, he has been praying for his own health.

“I’ve been going through dialysis in the last three years. I’m praying for a longer life that’s why we are here,” he said. “I think we are lucky today because this is the day when this church will be proclaimed as a minor basilica.”

He said that as a minor basilica, the church has become a papal church.

The church was proclaimed the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag during a Mass concelebrated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto, who represented Pope Francis, read the proclamation, which was written in Latin and signed by the Pope on Oct. 11, 2014.

At least 60 bishops and 300 priests witnessed the solemn proclamation.

“This is a historic event because this will be the first and the only minor basilica in Pangasinan,” Fr. Jerry Manlangit, the church prior, said.

“As a minor basilica, we have elevated the level of status of this church … It has reached that level in which we now have a new kind of status, which also means that it is a place of worship for hundreds of thousands of people who come regularly,” he said.

Plenary indulgence

Manlangit said the church now had the privilege of granting plenary indulgence, which is given only by the Vatican.

A plenary indulgence removes all of the temporal punishments for sins, according to the Roman Catholic website www.catholic.org.

“There is still the requirements that you should hear Mass, [go to] confession and receive Communion. If you have done this, anytime you hear Mass here, the plenary indulgence is in effect. [When] God calls us, we go direct to heaven,” Manlangit said.

On Tuesday, the popemobile used by Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines in January was displayed in the church’s front yard.

Marian apparition

A papal seal now adorns the façade of the church. A papal chair was placed in front of the altar and the papal bell and an umbrella were displayed during the procession that preceded the Mass.

Manlangit said the church was unique because it was built after an apparition of the Virgin Mary to a farmer in the 17th century.

“The Virgin told the farmer, ‘Call other people and build me a church here.’ That’s why this place is also called ‘Manaoag,’ from the word tawag, which means to call,” said Manlangit.

The church became a parish church when the Augustinians turned it over to the Dominicans in 1605. But it was only in 1701 that construction of a big church on its present site began.

The new church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1882 and what was left was burned by revolutionaries in 1898.

The church was rebuilt after the Philippine Revolution and was completed in 1912.

At present, it is the only church run by the Dominicans in Pangasinan. The Dominicans have been running the church since 1925, with the approval of the Holy See.

Miracles

Miracles have been attributed to the Virgin of Manaoag.

“Many miracles happened [like] the disappearance of a pest that had been plaguing all of Pangasinan for many days. Then the resurrection of a child from Binmaley [town]. The family walked for five hours and when they reached the image of the Virgin Mary, the child lived. There were many other miracles,” Manlangit said.

He said that with the church becoming a minor basilica, more people will be coming here to pray and ask for the Virgin’s blessing.

Via expressway

On Tuesday morning, the Rosales-Urdaneta section of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) was opened to traffic after it was closed on Jan. 20.

Tony Reyes, TPLEx marketing head, said the company running the expressway opened that section, toll-free, for the event in Manaoag.

From Balintawak in Quezon City to Urdaneta City, travel to Manaoag takes two hours. Motorists take only 30 minutes to reach this town from TPLEx’s Urdaneta exit.


INQUIRER

Edsa I in JoAl’s eyes Randy David @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:51 AM | Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

“Joal” is Jose T. Almonte, the soft-spoken, high-minded military man who likes grand ideas and once navigated the corridors of power as an adviser/guru to the powerful and the ambitious. He is sometimes referred to as the “thinking soldier,” a description that fits General Almonte precisely because it implies that such a phenomenon may be as uncommon as it is dangerous. JoAl does have that sinister reputation, and, I suspect, he revels in it.

JoAl tells his story to journalist Marites Dañguilan Vitug in “Endless Journey: A Memoir,” a new book that will be launched on Feb. 25, the 29th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Uprising, at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. Many will remember that this is the same place where Cory Aquino took her oath as president of the country a few hours before Ferdinand Marcos and his family fled Malacañang on helicopters supplied by the US Embassy.

The book, written in the creative nonfiction style, does read like a fast-paced political thriller focusing on the underside of public events. JoAl narrates crucial moments in our nation’s history with a sharp eye for detail—and a penchant for sweeping gloss—that can leave a reader both awestruck and incredulous. He appears to be situated at the center of events at the right time, initiating and/or observing social action, as it becomes history. Yet, through all this, he remains largely invisible. I can’t recall a photograph of Edsa 1 with JoAl standing beside any of its principal characters. But no one will dispute he was there.

In his recounting of the events leading to Edsa 1, JoAl takes the reader to the basement of the defense department in Camp Aguinaldo, where Lt. Col. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan held office as chief of security of the then defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile. Three members of the core group of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM)—Gringo, Vic Batac and Red Kapunan—often met there. This was where they explained to him their initial plan. “A coup was on their minds, but it was still hazy, because they didn’t know how things would unfold. That was where I came in.”

JoAl persuaded them that instead of sparking chaos in the military as a clumsy prelude to a coup, which was their original plan, they should “aim at Malacañang rather than fiddle with this chaotic situation.” This idea was intensely debated. JoAl’s input to the discussion proved to be the game-changer. “From then on, we planned to attack Malacañang…. We had to go to the details of what to attack and who the persons in charge would be.”

“The plan of Gringo was to kill Marcos and his family. He would lead the attacking force. Red would lead the attack outside the Palace, in the park, against the Presidential Security Group.” While reading this in the nonchalant tone it is narrated, I of course couldn’t help being intrigued if Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Gringo’s colleague at the Senate, had ever heard this story before. But perhaps more than that, I wondered how this plan, if it had materialized, would have altered the entire course of our nation’s history.

But, ever the prophetic voice of reason and compassion, JoAl at once objected to killing the Marcoses. “I insisted that we had no right to take the life of anybody. It is only the Filipino people who can decide to take their lives, not us. ‘Our revolution should preserve life. It is paramount,’ I explained. ‘We are fighting for political ideals and no political, social or economic ideals will justify the taking of life.’…. I said the Marcoses should be kept alive so they could face a people’s court.”

The coup plotters, as expected, hotly debated this particular intervention by RAM’s prophet. In the end, the decision that was taken was to capture the Marcoses rather than eliminate them. This change in the plan entailed a fundamental expansion of the forces needed to take Malacañang. It also raised the risk of exposing the plot and of multiplying the number of potential casualties. JoAl pondered the choices before them in his characteristic philosophical way: “I feared the fickle nature of history whose judgment of historical figures is never final.”

As we all know, the whole plot was discovered even before a single shot could be fired. Eventually, the leaders of this aborted putsch found themselves retreating to Camp Aguinaldo to announce their withdrawal of support from the Marcos regime before the predominantly foreign media, and asking for the Filipino people to support them. Marcos found out what they were up to, and he knew they had nowhere to go. In the beginning, he talked to them like a forgiving father to a bunch of helpless kids who had lost their way. Then he started berating them. This was where people power intervened. An awakened nation boldly stepped up to the plate following a failed coup attempt, and freed itself.

The military might be forgiven for thinking it was they who won. But had they listened to the voices of the people outside the camps, they would have realized it was neither Enrile’s nor Fidel Ramos’ nor Gringo’s whose name the people were shouting but Cory’s. Filipinos had no wish to be ruled by the military. They showed this in all the military-led coup attempts that followed Edsa 1.

In the book, JoAl says he tried to warn the RAM against attempting to unseat Cory. They instead asked him to lead. “I explained to them that in a revolution, the reliance on arms is wrong. Ideals should propel a revolution. And over and above all of this, I said they could not go beyond what the people would tolerate.”

His words fell on deaf ears. “Gringo no longer informed me of their succeeding plans. Seven coup attempts took place during the reign of Mrs. Aquino.”


INQUIRER

28 key Edsa 1 personalities Inquirer Research 4:31 AM | Saturday, February 22nd, 2014


RAM boys Gringo Honasan, Eduardo Kapunan, Rey Rivera and Tito Legaspi PHOTO FROM “Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Four-Day Revolution in the Philippines”

The Edsa People Power Revolt on Feb. 22 to 25, 1986, had a cast of thousands, many of them political and military figures who remain familiar names in recent headlines. From being Marcos allies, many have shifted loyalties to become rebel forces who, thanks to their burnished image during Edsa, were later elected local officials, senators and even President.

Here are some of Edsa’s key personalities, and the role they played in changing Philippine history during those four crucial days.

COL. JOSE ALMONTE. One of the founders of Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), who warned then opposition leader Corazon Aquino, her brother Jose Cojuangco and Jaime Cardinal Sin about an impending event on the third week of February 1986. He also offered to provide security to Aquino.

In RAM’s planned coup d’etat, two groups would attack Malacañang and capture then President Ferdinand Marcos. Almonte’s assignment, along with Lt. Col. Victor Batac, was to man the RAM command post at Nichols Field, where a battalion from Trece Martires City in Cavite would join them. The coup was aborted when Marcos discovered the plot a day before its launching. Subsequent events led to the Edsa revolt.

EUGENIA APOSTOL. Founding chair of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and publisher of the tabloid Mr. & Ms Special Editions, two of the leading papers that openly opposed the Marcos regime.

On the afternoon of Day 1, Feb. 22, Apostol was in the Inquirer office when she got a call from Cristina Enrile, wife of then defense chief Juan Ponce Enrile, informing her about the latter’s arrest. “Will you help us? Will you call the cardinal for us?” she asked Apostol, who then called the Archbishop’s Palace but failed to talk to him. Apostol told colleagues Betty Go Belmonte and Lita Logarta to find a way to get in touch with the cardinal, while she dashed off to the Enriles’ house in Dasmariñas Village. She also told then Inquirer editor in chief, Louie Beltran, about the call, which led to the newspaper being in the midst of the Filipino people’s unfolding big story which was developing so fast that the Inquirer had to publish three Extra editions (on Feb. 23, 24 and 25, 1986) to report the news as soon as it happened.

AGAPITO “BUTZ” AQUINO. A founding member of the August 21 Movement (Atom), which was set up after the 1983 assassination of his brother, Ninoy Aquino. It was Butz who first rallied people to go to Edsa, after declaring Atom’s support for the Enrile-Ramos group. Over the radio, he asked other anti-Marcos groups to convene at Cindy’s fast food on Aurora Boulevard in Cubao. Atom members were among the first to do so.

CORAZON AQUINO. Widow of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the staunchest critic of Marcos, who emerged as the leader of the opposition after he was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983, on his return from exile in the US. When Marcos called for snap presidential elections in late 1985, she was drafted as opposition candidate, with former Sen. Salvador Laurel as her vice president.

Marcos was proclaimed winner in the elections held on Feb. 7, 1986, amidst allegations of widespread fraud and violence. Aquino disputed the results in a Tagumpay ng Bayan (People’s Victory) rally at Rizal Park attended by at least four million supporters, where she vowed to lead a civil disobedience campaign and a boycott of crony-owned businesses to force Marcos to step down.

On Feb. 25, Day 4 of the Edsa uprising, she took her oath as president before Supreme Court Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee at Club Filipino.

JUNE KEITHLEY-CASTRO. Radio broadcaster during the Edsa revolt who gave the Filipinos a blow-by-blow account of the revolution despite prevailing media censorship. After announcing their breakaway from Marcos on Feb. 22, Enrile and Ramos asked Fr. James Reuter to have someone go on air to give guidance to the people. Reuter sent Keithley to the Church-run Radio Veritas, which had broadcast Cardinal Sin’s historic appeal for the people to go to Edsa.

After government forces shut down Radio Veritas, Keithley and her team moved to the dzRJ facilities in Sta. Mesa. To keep their location secret, the group used the Veritas’ frequency of 840 and took the name “Radyo Bandido.”

CRISTINA PONCE ENRILE. Wife of then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile who acted as go-between between Enrile and PDI founding chair Apostol. On Feb.22, she requested Apostol to call Cardinal Sin and alert the foreign press about her husband’s pullout as a Marcos ally. Unable to contact the cardinal and aware that Malacañang saw her as an adversary, Apostol asked Betty Go Belmonte to make the calls while she rushed to keep a frightened Cristina company until the last day of Edsa.

JUAN PONCE ENRILE, Marcos’ defense secretary and central political figure in the coup plot against him with rebel troops from RAM. It was planned at 2 a.m. of Feb. 23, 1986, but was discovered the day before.

Hours after the discovery, Enrile withdrew support from Marcos along with Fidel Ramos, then vice chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They also recognized Aquino as the duly elected President.


THE MARCOSES Ferdinand and Imelda PHOTO FROM “CHRONOLOGY OF A REVOLUTION”

FOREIGN PRESS. The Manila-based foreign correspondents went straight to Camp Aguinaldo on the night of Feb. 22 upon learning about the failed coup plot and stayed with Enrile and his mutineers. Their presence emboldened Enrile to warn Marcos the next day against killing him, lest he “go down in history as butchers of your own officers and men, of the Filipino people, and of foreign mediamen.”

GREGORIO HONASAN, Enrile’s chief security aide cofounded the RAM with four others in 1982 following reports of plans to eliminate Enrile and the “MND (Ministry of National Defense) boys.”

Also one of the masterminds behind the Malacañang assault, together with Col. Eduardo Kapunan and Col. Victor Batac.

On learning that Malacañang had fortified its troops against RAM, Honasan and Kapunan convinced Enrile to fly to Cagayan and hide, but Enrile instead decided to regroup at Camp Aguinaldo.

EDUARDO KAPUNAN. An original member of RAM, Air Force Lt. Col. Eduardo “Red” Kapunan was one of the few AFP officers who openly went against Marcos early on.

According to the RAM plot, Kapunan and Lt. Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo would lead the group who would attack the Presidential Guards on the south bank of the Pasig River. His group would complement Honasan’s smaller assault team who was to capture Marcos at dawn of Feb. 23. When the plot was uncovered, Kapunan and other RAM members took a last stand in Camp Aguinaldo with Enrile.

SALVADOR “DOY” LAUREL. The former senator organized the opposition during the martial law years and gave up his presidential ambitions in favor of Corazon Aquino in the 1986 snap elections that preceded Edsa.

On Feb. 25, Day 4, he was sworn in as vice president and was appointed prime minister in the Cory government.

ALFREDO LIM. Metropolitan Police chief who ignored orders to disperse the crowds at Edsa who were there to protect the rebels holed up at Camp Crame. Malacañang had sent tanks to assault Crame but could not get through the crowds. Lim’s order was to disperse the crowd of less than 1,000 with the 800 policemen he had with him on Day 2, but he refused. On Feb. 25, Lim and his men entered Camp Crame and were welcomed by Ramos.

FERDINAND MARCOS JR. Only son among three children of Ferdinand Sr. and Imelda. Dressed in fatigues, he acted like a security agent to the sickly dictator as they left the Palace on the evening of Feb. 25, 1986.

IMELDA MARCOS was initially reluctant to leave the Palace and seemed in denial about the situation. After Marcos’ oath-taking ceremonies at the Malacañang Ceremonial Hall on Feb. 25, 1986, whose television coverage had been abruptly cut off by rebel allies, the Marcoses took to the balcony and waved to their supporters. An impeccably groomed Imelda led the crowd in singing “Dahil Sa Iyo.” She also handed out payroll envelopes with P10,000 each to the remaining Palace personnel before they left.

IMEE MARCOS-MANOTOC, Marcos’ eldest daughter, was in tears with sister Irene, pleading with their father to leave for the US amid his vow to die in the Palace. Her husband Tommy Manotoc had relayed the offer of US Brig. Gen. Ted Allen for them to use American helicopters or boats to move Marcos out.

NUNS STOPPING TANKS. Heeding Cardinal Sin’s call for them to protect the breakaway groups, members of religious orders trooped to Edsa, among them Religious of the Sacred Heart nuns Maribel Carceller, Digna Dacanay and Edy Talastas, who were among the first to get there. Like other religious groups, they distributed food to the soldiers, led in praying the rosary and as shown in subsequent photos, kneeled in front of tanks to stop forces loyal to Marcos.

PROSPERO OLIVAS. Senior general of the Metropolitan Command who was unable to carry out Marcos’ order to disperse the crowd at Edsa, saying it was beyond his troops’ control. Before Edsa, he was accused of being one of 26 linked to the Aquino assassination.

FIDEL RAMOS. The former chief of the Philippine Constabulary (forerunner of today’s Philippine National Police) and Armed Forces vice chief of staff withdrew support from Marcos and joined Enrile’s planned coup as leader of military and police operations. When he heard the premature news that Marcos had left Malacañang on the third day of Edsa, Ramos jumped with joy, an iconic image he would use in his presidential bid in 1992.

FR. JAMES REUTER, SISTER SARAH MANAPOL, PABLO AND GABE MERCADO. Keithley, Reuter and Manapol ran the clandestine “Radyo Bandido,” which broadcast updates of the events unfolding at Edsa from Feb. 22 to 25, despite threats of arrest from the pro-Marcos military.

Pablo and Gabe Mercado (then 13 and 15 years old, respectively) were the volunteers who helped Keithley at the secret station, while Sister Sarah Manapol provided the information for broadcast.

JAIME CARDINAL SIN. The Archbishop of Manila became a driving force in ousting Marcos when he sounded the clarion call for people to mass at Edsa to defend the rebels led by Enrile and Ramos. Although it was Butz Aquino who made the first call for people power, even he acknowledged that it was Sin who packed them at Edsa. From about 2,000 people midnight on Day 1, the crowd swelled to 100,000 by noon of Day 2, thanks to the cardinal’s call.

ANTONIO SOTELO. This former Air Force chief turned the tide in favor of the rebels when he led the defection of the Air Force’s 15th Strike Wing, ignoring Marcos’ order for them to disable the helicopters in the rebel-held Camp Crame on Feb. 24. Sotelo’s defection came at a decisive moment, just after a Marcos loyalist Marine detachment had infiltrated Camp Aguinaldo and set up artillery and mortars across Edsa, from where the rebel forces were holed up.

ARTEMIO TADIAR. Brigadier general who was part of Marcos’ loyalist troops. On the second day of Edsa, Feb. 23, soldiers under his command trooped to Edsa with armored tanks and carriers. But Tadiar’s forces did not attack the crowd armed with rosaries, flowers and food.

FABIAN VER. Armed Forces chief of staff loyal to Marcos who was accused of rewarding loyalty instead of merit. On

Feb. 22, Day 1 of the revolt, US Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Bosworth and Philip Habib, US President Ronald Reagan’s “trouble-shooter,” told Marcos of the worsening political crisis and the need to remove Ver from office.

A Marcos loyalist to the very end, Ver fortified the Palace on learning of the impending coup by RAM. He also ordered that Radio Veritas be destroyed and that troops loyal to Marcos launch a final “suicide assault” against the rebel forces on the afternoon of Feb. 24. He and his family fled to Hawaii with the Marcoses on the evening of Feb. 25. Compiled by Rafael L. Antonio, Kathleen de Villa and Minerva Generalao, Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives, Chronology of A Revolution by Angela Stuart-Santiago


TRIBUNE EDITORIAL

Costly peace plan Written by Tribune Editorial Monday, 16 February 2015 00:00

Not only precious lives but also government resources are being thrown away in the administration of Noynoy’s folly of surrendering a piece of the country to create a substate called Bangsamoro for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

While the debate rages over the policy direction in the conflict areas of Mindanao in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident in which members of the MILF participated in the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, Budget Secretary and Liberal Party strategist Butch Abad said the government is pouring in almost P10 billion into the troubled Mindanao regions.

Abad cited the Aquino administration’s commitment to seek peaceful settlement of armed conflict in the country through “the provision of essential government services in areas affected by conflict.”

The major allocation was broken down into the Bangsamoro peace process funds worth P2.69 billion and P7.25 billion for the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana).

The funds will go to very obscure projects such as immediate assistance or reinsertion package, auxiliary social services for disabled combatants, sustainable livelihood program, and transformation of MILF Camps.

Also included in it is P228 million funding for Teresita Deles’ Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and another P228 million for the implementation of the Annex on Normalization in Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The Pamana program worth P7.25 billion also involves solar electrification, road construction, community support, study grants, and support to indigenous people.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will get the biggest chunk in the program with P3.11 billion for community infrastructure and support.

The budget allocation is guaranteed even without the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the passage of which in Congress is not expected to happen this year as an offshoot of the Mamasapano massacre.

The poorest regions are found in Mindanao and it is only appropriate for the government to infuse a good part of the annual budget to the regions in Mindanao but tying it up with the Bangsamoro pursuit which puts the use of the funds under a cloud of doubt.

Late last year, the bicameral conference committee removed P8 billion earmarked for the BBL implementation from the “errata” to the 2015 national budget submitted by the Department of Budget and Management.

The bicameral panel stated that the additional funding is not even needed even if the BBL is enacted this year since once the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is created, the new body would take over and use the money of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao, which is worth around P24 billion.

Now it appears the funding has been surreptitiously reinserted likely as a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling that allowed the Palace to augment funds for items in the budget.

The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also described the ‘peace budget’ as pork and a revival of projects funded by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

The allocation of funds for something that is doubtful to be created this year also offers Abad the golden opportunity to generate savings that is now easier to be converted to pork barrel as a result of the SC’s modification of its ruling on the DAP.

The budget allocation which is related to the creation of the Bangsamoro should also be looked into for possible reallocation in the light of what had recently transpired and the totally unclear commitment of the MILF toward the peace agreement.

When the government took over some of the MILF camps during an all-out war against the MILF, declared by former President Joseph Estrada, it was found that supposed irrigation facilities and funding were redirected in the construction of bunkers and trenches which are not at all related to agricultural projects in the area.

The ditch near the cornfield in Mamasapano where the SAF forces were slaughtered appeared to have been a government-funded irrigation system that doubled as a barrier to those trying to enter MILF territory and which proved effective in trapping the 35 commandos of 55th SAF Company.
Being fried in its own fat can’t get more real than that. ..


TRIBUNE

Constitution only provides for resignation Written by Tribune Editorial Saturday, 21 February 2015 00:00

The scenarios prepared to bail out Noynoy amid the untenable situation he is in, due to the bungling of the mission to take down terrorists Marwan and Usman that resulted in the death of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos should be that which would preserve the processes enshrined in the Constitution which makes resignation his only option.

The other two, supposedly drawn up in the Palace, where handing the reins of power to a military junta or a transition council are out of the question since these conflict with the law of the land.
A military junta also evokes memories that the public would not sit with the public and may spark a larger problem as street protests would likely be directed against the military holding power even temporarily.

There are also no guarantees that once the military is seduced by its political role, it will ever give up its hold on power.

The same problem exists with a transition council which will likely be dominated by civil society groups and the yellow crowd that would be orphaned by Noynoy’s vacating of the presidency.

The yellow constituents that are represented by pseudo nationalist groups like Akbayan, may have even been involved in the crafting of the exit plans for Noynoy since it is beneficial for these groups to hold onto political power, including the many government perks enjoyed by its members who now mostly hold juicy posts in different agencies.

The Constitution only provides for a line succession in case the President fails to discharge his functions.

The constitutional rule of succession goes into effect in the event the elected President of the Philippines is removed from office due to death, disability, impeachment or resignation.

The following is the line of succession:
• Vice President — in cases of the death, disability, impeachment or resignation of the President;
• Senate President — in cases of the death, disability, impeachment or resignation of the President and Vice President;
• Speaker of the House of Representatives — in cases of the death, disability or resignation of the President, Vice President, and Senate President

The Constitution doesn’t even include the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) in the President’s line of succession.

The Constitution also provides that the Congress of the Philippines is mandated to enact a law calling for a special election three days after the vacancy in both the Office of the President and the Vice President.

The Constitution requires the special election to be held 40 days after the enactment of the law, but not later than 60 days after the enactment of the law.

The provision had been twisted already, through the machinations of the same yellow and civil society groups now backing Noynoy, in seating then Vice President Gloria Arroyo to the presidency in the so-called Edsa II revolt which was actually a coup d’etat in disguise.

The SC Chief Justice then, Hilario Davide, swore into office Arroyo despite the absence of a clear indication that popularly-elected President Joseph Estrada resigned from office. There was even proof that he had not resigned, on account of the letters he had written to the two leaders of Congress to the effect that he was taking a temporarily leave of absence.

Estrada later denied having resigned from office saying that he only vacated Malacañang to prevent bloodshed.

Now the same dilemma seems to be confronting the circle of opportunistic power around Noynoy.

If Noynoy resigns Vice President Jojo Binay takes over which is what the Constitution requires under the line of succession in Article 7, Section 10 that is something that the group of Noynoy wants to avoid.

Nowhere in the Charter is the military junta or a transition council taking over the reins of power can be found.

To do what they want, however, would again a subversion of the people’s will which is likely the path that they will take if the presidency is vacated.


PHILSTAR

29 interesting facts about the EDSA revolution By Alixandra Caole Vila (philstar.com) | Updated February 21, 2015 - 12:00am


EDSA REVISITED February 22, 2015 12:15 am: Workers scrub statues at the EDSA Monument days before the 29th anniversary of the peaceful People Power revolt that toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Mike De Juan Workers scrub statues at the EDSA Monument days before the 29th anniversary of the peaceful People Power revolt that toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Mike De Juan COURTESY OF MANILA TIMES.


In this 1986 photo, protesters express disapproval for the iron regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Did you know that yellow is not really the favorite color of the late President Corazon Aquino?

According to her interview in TIME, her favorite color was actually red. It was only when some friends suggested the song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” for Ninoy’s homecoming that she developed a fancy for the color.

In line with the 29th anniversary of the historical EDSA revolution, here are 29 EDSA-related facts:

1. “People Power Revolution” is also tagged as the “EDSA Revolution,” “Yellow Revolution,” “Bloodless Revolution” and “1986 Philippine Revolution.”

2. Despite the presence of tank-riding soldiers and big guns, not a single shot was fired. Thus, People Power Revolution was the first nonviolent, bloodless revolution that ever took place.

3. It was not only in 1986 that there had been a mass gathering on EDSA. There was another massive gathering in which media commonly tags as EDSA 2 (EDSA Dos) on January 2001, which ousted then-President Joseph Estrada.

4. Since Ninoy’s assassination, yellow has been the color of the revolution.

5. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” was Ninoy’s comeback song. Because he was assassinated upon walking off the plane, the Filipinos took their cue from the song and since then used color yellow as their symbol of rebellion.

6. Corazon Aquino was hesitant to go against Ferdinand Marcos for the snap elections. To encourage her make the decision, 1 million signatures of Filipinos urging her to plunge into the political arena was presented to her.

7. The official tally of the votes did not come together during the snap elections. To be exact, the official election canvasser, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), declared Marcos the winner with 10,807,197 votes against Aquino's 9,291,761 votes while National Movement for Free Elections’s (NAMFREL) had Aquino winning with 7,835,070 votes against Marcos' 7,053,068 points.

8. Ninoy’s widow Cory Aquino was not in EDSA during the entire revolution. She was in Cebu, conducting her own protests.

9. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile’s move on February 22 to take over the Defense Ministry at Camp Aguinaldo with hundreds of pro-Aquino protesters was seen as the first action of the People Power revolution.

10. Fidel Ramos, after being contacted by Enrile joined him in a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo and announced their resignations and defection to the opposition. They also announced that blatant fraud took place during the elections. “I would like to appeal to the fair and to the dedicated and people-oriented members of the AFP and the INP to join us in this crusade for better government, “ he said during the conference.

11. Cardinal Sin was the one who led the Catholic Church’s participation in the revolution.

12. It was only after Cardinal Sin’s announcement in Radio Veritas that thousands of people, responding to the Cardinal’s appeal, began gathering outside rebel camps, bringing supplies and food for the soldiers.

13. Radio Veritas was the only radio station which covered events that government-owned stations didn't.

14. Armed soldiers destroyed Radio Veritas’ transmission tower, cutting off all news of the rebellion.

15. When General Artemio Tadiar warned the crowd that he would open fire if they don’t disperse, people responded by singing, "Bayan Ko," praying and offering soldiers cigarettes and bread.

16. The L hand symbol (done by extending the thumb and the index finger pointing up) means "laban" (to fight). It was the eminent hand gesture of protesters during the revolution.

17. Aside from wearing yellow clothes and tying yellow ribbons on trees and posts, phone directories (which is color yellow) were ripped apart on demonstrations and were used as confetti.

18. Performers like the APO Hiking Society staged mini-concerts during the revolution.

19. “Bayan Ko” and “Magkaisa” are among the iconic songs during EDSA Revolution. The latter was composed by now senator Vicente Sotto and was sung by Virna Lisa Loberiza. Other than during the EDSA revolution, the song was also sung during the funeral of senator Aquino.

20. There were two inaugurations held on Feb. 25, 1986. Marcos held his in Malacañang while Aquino held hers in Club Filipino.

21. After hearing the news that Marcos had already abandoned the palace, Fidel Ramos was the one who announced to the thick crowd the good news, while jumping with joy. Up to now, the jumping he did is still symbolic in EDSA celebrations.

22. After Marcos and his family left the country, people marched inside the palace. People wandered around and saw the luxury of Marcos. Some reports claim that there have been looting occurrences, too.

23. The whole world rejoiced with the Filipinos. In fact, Bob Simon, an anchorman at CBS said, "We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy. Well, tonight they are teaching the world."

24. On the day Marcos and his family departed the country for exile in Hawaii, Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as the 11th and the first female president of the Philippines.

25. One of Aquino's first and boldest moves was the creation of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was tasked to go after the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

26. "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo" was composed by songwriter Jim Paredes two months after the revolution.

27. Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), where the EDSA revolution took place previous names include North-South Circumferential Road, Avenida 19 de Junio (June 19 Avenue), Highway 54. Contrary to what most people believe, EDSA is not 54 kilometers long, but only 24.

28. EDSA Shrine or the Mary Queen of Peace Shrine was constructed in honor of the Virgin Mary to give thanks for the peaceful EDSA revolution. It was completed three years after the revolution.

29. People Power Monument, which was also built to commemorate the event was then built seven years after the revolution, on 1993. It is located at the corner of EDSA and White Plains Avenue, less than a kilometer away from the EDSA Shrine.

Sources: Philippinehistory.org, Mtholyoke.edu


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