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NY TIMES HL: 30 YEARS AFTER REVOLUTION, SOME FILIPINOS YEARN FOR 'GOLDEN AGE' OF MARCOS


FEBRUARY 23 -As Filipinos prepare for the 30th anniversary on Thursday of the “People Power” revolution that toppled Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Marcos family legacy is undergoing a political renaissance by those who claim it was a “golden age” of peace and prosperity.
“I think Marcos was our best president,” said Richard Negre, a Manila resident who was born two years after the dictator was overthrown. “That was when the Philippines was the leader of Asia. We were respected.”  Ferdinand Marcos, who died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, ruled the Philippines with an iron fist for two decades, with his wife Imelda, whose lavish lifestyle — and thousands of pairs of shoes — became a global symbol of greed and corruption. Marcos was removed from power in 1986 when millions of Filipinos poured into the streets for days of peaceful protests. But in the decades since Marcos was ousted and fled the country, the outrage has faded for many Filipinos. Despite the accusations of widespread corruption and human rights violations, none of the Marcos family members have been jailed. The family has quietly returned to politics — Mrs. Marcos is a now member of Congress, while her daughter Imee Marcos is a governor. The family’s political resurgence is led by Marcos’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., known as Bongbong, a popular senator who is tied for first place in the vice president’s race for the May 9 national election, according to a recent survey. Mr. Marcos has built a coalition from his father’s remaining supporters and young people who were not alive when martial law was declared in the 1970s. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noynoy Aquino expresses grave fears of a Bongbong Marcos win in #EDSA30 speech!


FEBRUARY 25 -bongbong_vs_noynoy
It is quite telling that Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III would go as far as reminding Filipinos to stop referring to the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos as the Philippines’ “Golden Age”. It means BS Aquino now recognises the immense popularity of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr as a grave threat. This follows a New York Times report asserting that Filipinos yearn for a return to a similar Golden Age marked by a Marcos back in Malacanang… Michelle Pulumbarit, 31, a customer service operator who lives north of Manila, said Mr. Marcos was putting forward a proposal for the future that will bring back the best of the Marcos years. She is not concerned about martial law and human rights violations, she said. “For me, those are things of the past,” she said. “That was a time when our economy was booming. Even Imelda did a lot of good things. She shared our culture with the world. I can forgive her for having so many shoes.” A key concern amongst anti-Marcos campaigners lies in what they regard as an “alarming” position taken by young Filipinos who form a huge proportion of the Philippines’ pool of voters. Most Filipino “millenials” who are equipped primarily with anecdotal evidence of the Martial Law years have expressed a widespread disillusionment with the “democracy” pitched to them under the “EDSA People Power” flag. They only see the absolute wretchedness of life in the Philippines under the current regime and take the position that things need to change — and that the closest model of how things should be in the Philippines was a time when discipline and order ruled… READ MORE...

ALSO: Snubbed at Edsa - PNoy-led revolt rites ignore EDSA keymen Enrile, Honasan and Opposition candidate VP Binay


FEBRUARY 25 -30 years. Confetti rain on Edsa on Thursday during the 30th anniversary celebration of the People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. AFP THE administration marked the 30th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution Thursday but largely ignored the roles played by key figures in the uprising three decades ago. In an “Experimental Museum” set up in Camp Aguinaldo to mark the event, not a word was said about former President Fidel V. Ramos, at the time the vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces; or Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was then defense minister, to document how the two broke away from the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos. Together, the two provided the armed might in the civilian-backed military revolt of 1986 that ignited People Power, but they appeared only in photos at the museum, with no captions to identify them. Ramos did attend the “Salubungan” reenactment at Edsa, however, along with ranking military and police personnel shortly after a mass at the Edsa monument. For ceremonies marking the event, no invitations were sent to Vice President Jejomar Binay, then a human rights lawyer, or Senator Gregorio Honasan, a colonel at the time who joined Ramos and Enrile in the military revolt. The two are running for president and vice president, respectively, under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance banner. “I don’t know why Ramos and Enrile’s role were not given prominence. Instead, the exhibit only capsulized the bad things and memories of the late President Ferdinand Marcos during the dark days of martial law,” said one visitor who asked not to be named. Binay, an opposition candidate running for president, challenged President Benigno Aquino III and the ruling Liberal Party to stop distorting the truth by revising history. Since he resigned from Aquino’s Cabinet two years ago, Binay said, he has not been invited to any of the ceremonies to mark the Edsa Revolution. Honasan added: “We chose to be here in Quezon instead of being with personalities and celebrities who were not even there 30 years ago.” Binay and Honasan said the spirit of Edsa had been distorted, and the poor who were supposed to have benefited from progress brought about by democracy, had been left out. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Tony Lopez -The lie of EDSA last Wednesday
[(This writer was there that week)! Sensing Marcos was very sick (he was, having undergone two kidney transplants), Ninoy Aquino attempted to return in 1983 and grab power from the President. The opposition senator was instead felled by a bullet at the airport tarmac. The Aquino-Cojuangco family has no more right to claim Edsa as theirs than every Filipino, you and I. Their Edsa failed us, the people. On the first day of Edsa I, Feb. 22, 1986, I was lucky to be both in Cebu, for Cory’s civil disobedience afternoon rally, and Manila, for the first night of Enrile’s breakaway coup. Not many people know it but Edsa I was triggered by greed and was won by a lie. The crowds that massed on Edsa on Feb. 24, 1986, Monday, and Feb. 25, Tuesday, were there not to stage a revolt but to hold a picnic. June Keithley had announced on radio at 7 a.m. of Feb. 24 that the Marcoses had left. It was a lie. In their glee and feeling that finally it was all over, people trooped to Edsa to celebrate. The greed arose from a Chinese forex trader who violated the peso-dollar trading band imposed by the then unofficial central bank, the Binondo Central Bank managed and headed by then Trade and Industry Secretary Roberto V. Ongpin.]]


FEBRUARY 26 -About 90 percent of those who were at Epifanio delos Santos Avenue yesterday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Edsa People Power were not at the original revolution. Not President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, not Senator Bam Aquino who was barely 10 when the 1986 coup erupted, and indeed, not many of those who were at the commemoration. They were either too young, abroad or far away from the scene of 30 years ago to have influenced it.
The Cojuangco-Aquino family of BS Aquino III has appropriated Edsa People Power as if it were their brand, their franchise, their business. That’s a lot of BS. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was in Cebu hiding in a convent during the first and most dangerous night of People Power, on Feb. 22, 1986. Her son was too engrossed with many other things to have participated, too. I was at People Power I as a foreign correspondent. The Aquino family has been the biggest beneficiary of People Power. They were awarded two presidencies totaling 12 and a half years, more than enough compensation for what opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. did in his political lifetime, which was to heckle and needle President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr., during 17 of his 20-year presidency. Ninoy died from a military bullet in August 1983. And what did the people get for having two Aquino presidents?  In 1983, Cory had blamed Marcos for her husband’s assassination and launched a destabilization campaign. Upon United States prodding, the strongman was forced to call a snap election to end bring the crisis, in February 1986. Marcos was confident he would win the election. In 1982, the President still had the support of US President Ronald Reagan. The Philippine economy was stable, having weathered what could have been a crippling downturn. Basic services were in place. But Ninoy’s murder turned things upside down. READ MORE...

30 years after EDSA: Workers’ pay hike remains a battle cry


FEBRUARYA 26 -All Workers Unity (AWU) stated that the condition of wages and salary earners remains pitiful in all sectors since EDSA 1 in 1986. Workers sacrificed life and limb on the frontline against Martial Law.
AWU explained that after 1986, instead of improving compensation, policies to press down wages to the floor and to breakdown workers’ demand for a living wage continued since EDSA 1. Instead of improving the Minimum Wage Law, it was abolished thru the Wage Rationalization Act, Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and the Herrera Law of 1989. Worse, the current administration is systematically replacing the minimum wage with the floor wage thru the Two-Tiered Wage System and stagnated govt employees’ salary via SSL-4. During its term, contractualization and outsourcing became widespread to further depress pay and benefits in the private-public sector including professionals like nurses, teachers and bank employees. “30 years after EDSA, workers are dragged to a downtown to hell by “Daang Matuwid”. Just like the internet connection in PH, wages remain poor and intermittent,” said AWU spokesperson, Rea Alegre. Pulse Asia survey last February 19 released that workers’ pay increase remained a top national issue in the 2016 Election that presidential candidates should address in their platform. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

30 Years After Revolution, Some Filipinos Yearn for ‘Golden Age’ of Marcos


Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a senator in the Philippines, campaigned for the vice presidency recently in Ilocos Norte Province. Credit Bernie Sipin Dela Cruz/European Pressphoto Agency

MANILA, FEBRUARY 29, 2016 (NEW YORK TIMES)  By FLOYD WHALEYFEB. 23, 2016— As Filipinos prepare for the 30th anniversary on Thursday of the “People Power” revolution that toppled Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Marcos family legacy is undergoing a political renaissance by those who claim it was a “golden age” of peace and prosperity.

“I think Marcos was our best president,” said Richard Negre, a Manila resident who was born two years after the dictator was overthrown. “That was when the Philippines was the leader of Asia. We were respected.”

Ferdinand Marcos, who died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, ruled the Philippines with an iron fist for two decades, with his wife Imelda, whose lavish lifestyle — and thousands of pairs of shoes — became a global symbol of greed and corruption. Marcos was removed from power in 1986 when millions of Filipinos poured into the streets for days of peaceful protests.

But in the decades since Marcos was ousted and fled the country, the outrage has faded for many Filipinos.

Despite the accusations of widespread corruption and human rights violations, none of the Marcos family members have been jailed. The family has quietly returned to politics — Mrs. Marcos is a now member of Congress, while her daughter Imee Marcos is a governor.


Ferdinand Marcos with wife, Imelda, on Feb. 16, 1986, after his disputed victory in the presidential elections held on Feb. 7. He was ousted later in the month. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The family’s political resurgence is led by Marcos’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., known as Bongbong, a popular senator who is tied for first place in the vice president’s race for the May 9 national election, according to a recent survey.

Mr. Marcos has built a coalition from his father’s remaining supporters and young people who were not alive when martial law was declared in the 1970s.

READ MORE...

He is also backed by the well-funded families who benefited from the Marcos presidency, according to Ramon C. Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform in Manila.

Mr. Marcos has also drawn close to popular politicians. He often appears at rallies with the boxer Manny Pacquiao, a senatorial candidate who is loved by millions of Filipinos. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who is running for president with Mr. Marcos, has a large following among young people on social media.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Marcos usually discusses his plans for the future, but he has also touched on what his father’s supporters consider the “golden age” of the Philippines.

Imelda Orduña, a 70-year-old retired schoolteacher living in the city of Caloocan, north of Manila, who attended one of his recent political rallies, said she remembers well the time of Marcos when there was no traffic, police officers did not extract bribes and criminals were on the run.

“Life was easier under Marcos,” she said. “We had peace and order and corruption was minimal. We have to tell our children and grandchildren about these times.”

Mr. Marcos was campaigning and not available for an interview, his staff said, but during a television interview in August he said he would not apologize for his father’s administration.

“What am I to say sorry about?” he said during the interview, adding that under his father thousands of miles of roads were built, the country had one of the highest literacy rates in Asia, and it was an exporter of rice — the country’s staple food — not an importer, as it is now.

But, he noted during a Feb. 17 news briefing, the issue of martial law and his father’s human rights record does not come up that often on the campaign trail.

THINGS OF THE PAST

“People no longer ask about martial law,” he told reporters. “They are interested in the current problems of the country, such as jobs and traffic.”

Michelle Pulumbarit, 31, a customer service operator who lives north of Manila, said Mr. Marcos was putting forward a proposal for the future that will bring back the best of the Marcos years. She is not concerned about martial law and human rights violations, she said.

“For me, those are things of the past,” she said. “That was a time when our economy was booming. Even Imelda did a lot of good things. She shared our culture with the world. I can forgive her for having so many shoes.”

GOLDEN AGE

For others in the Philippines, the idea of a Marcos “golden age” is not supported by the facts.

In her recent book, “Marcos Martial Law: Never Again,” the journalist Raissa Robles estimated that more than 3,200 people were murdered by the government during the Marcos years, and about 40,000 were tortured.

“It was a ‘golden age’ if you were politically aligned with Marcos,” said Mr. Casiple of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform. “The cronies and the warlords of Marcos lived well and got the best of everything, but not the rest of society. Our school textbooks don’t reflect the agony of what was taking place during that time.”

COUNTRY MORE SUCCESSFUL TODAY

On Tuesday, a spokesman for President Benigno S. Aquino III told reporters that the country is more successful now than it was under Mr. Marcos. “It took us three decades to return our country’s honor,” he said. “We are now known as Asia’s rising star, an investment-grade economy and an example of good governance.”

Lisandro Claudio, a professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, said the Marcos family has changed the political narrative over time, focusing on the glamour and high-profile achievements of the Marcos years.

“They have poured a lot of money into this,” he said. “They have engineered this resurgence for decades and it taps into something genuine: that Filipinos don’t think they are respected in the world anymore. They feel they are globally insignificant.”

UNPROVEN ACCUSTAIONS

Marcos supporters note that most of the accusations against the family have never been proved in court. Ferdinand Marcos was never convicted of a crime, but in a class-action lawsuit after his death the United States District Court in Hawaii found his estate liable for torture, summary executions and disappearances.

The Philippine government estimates that Marcos and his associates spirited away $5 billion of government funds by moving the money to overseas bank accounts, as well as buying lavish works of art and jewelry.

FEARS

Some fear that the election of Mr. Marcos could slow the recovery of that fortune; Mr. Casiple noted that the court system is overwhelmed and in some cases judges are not motivated to rule against associates of the Marcos family.

“Some of the people in the courts were appointed by Marcos during martial law,” he said. “This is a statement of the residual power of the Marcos family. All of the administrations that have followed Marcos have had a very difficult time prosecuting them in the courts.”

Apple Buiza, 26, an employee of a Manila aluminum siding company, said the fate of Imelda Marcos’s jewels was not a priority for her in the next election. Ms. Buiza spends hours each day battling traffic to get to work and is frustrated by the current government. She said she has heard stories of how orderly the country was during the Marcos years.

“During the time of martial law, the Philippines was disciplined,” Ms. Buiza said as she gestured toward a group of jaywalkers dodging vehicles and blocking traffic. “People don’t even know how to cross the street now.”

A version of this article appears in print on February 24, 2016, on page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Some Filipinos Still Yearn for Marcos. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe


GETREAL PHILIPPINES ONLINE

Noynoy Aquino expresses grave fears of a Bongbong Marcos win in #EDSA30 speech! February 25, 2016by benign0


bongbong_vs_noynoy

It is quite telling that Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III would go as far as reminding Filipinos to stop referring to the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos as the Philippines’ “Golden Age”.

It means BS Aquino now recognises the immense popularity of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr as a grave threat.

This follows a New York Times report asserting that Filipinos yearn for a return to a similar Golden Age marked by a Marcos back in Malacanang…

Michelle Pulumbarit, 31, a customer service operator who lives north of Manila, said Mr. Marcos was putting forward a proposal for the future that will bring back the best of the Marcos years. She is not concerned about martial law and human rights violations, she said.

“For me, those are things of the past,” she said. “That was a time when our economy was booming. Even Imelda did a lot of good things. She shared our culture with the world. I can forgive her for having so many shoes.”

A key concern amongst anti-Marcos campaigners lies in what they regard as an “alarming” position taken by young Filipinos who form a huge proportion of the Philippines’ pool of voters. Most Filipino “millenials” who are equipped primarily with anecdotal evidence of the Martial Law years have expressed a widespread disillusionment with the “democracy” pitched to them under the “EDSA People Power” flag.

They only see the absolute wretchedness of life in the Philippines under the current regime and take the position that things need to change — and that the closest model of how things should be in the Philippines was a time when discipline and order ruled…

READ MORE...

Apple Buiza, 26, an employee of a Manila aluminum siding company, said the fate of Imelda Marcos’s jewels was not a priority for her in the next election. Ms. Buiza spends hours each day battling traffic to get to work and is frustrated by the current government. She said she has heard stories of how orderly the country was during the Marcos years.

“During the time of martial law, the Philippines was disciplined,” Ms. Buiza said as she gestured toward a group of jaywalkers dodging vehicles and blocking traffic. “People don’t even know how to cross the street now.”

The trouble with Aquino is that whilst he focused most of his media time on vilifying his predecessor former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, blaming “corruption” supposedly perpetrated by previous administrations, and waxing poetic about his parents’ “heroic” legacies, then Senator Bongbong Marcos sustained a message to the public consistently themed on the future and moving towards it.

Back in early 2015 in the days immediately following the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troops by elements of the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, then Senator Marcos charted a crystal-clear three-point way forward out of the ensuing crisis that gripped the country in its aftermath.

While Malacanang suffered an astounding paralysis and repeatedly stammered out mixed messages to the public as the much-vaunted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) initiative was crushed under the public relations fallout from the massacre, Marcos was in the field cobbling together consensus on how to proceed and assuring a bewildered Filipino public that options were being explored.

Suffice to say, the manner with which Marcos stepped up to the challenge while Aquino and his entire Cabinet descended into an orgy of internal bickering and incompetent statesmanship did not help at all.

As is evident in the NYT report, Filipinos long before then had already developed a healthy cynicism for the brand of “demo-crazy” sold to them by the Aquino-Cojuangco clan. Indeed, even the whole notion that the Aquinos and Cojuangcos are symbols of the “Spirit of EDSA” is now being challenged.

It is now a widely-held theory that the renewed — and surging — interest in the virtues of the Martial Law Years of former President Marcos and its regard as a “Golden Age” by some Filipinos is a direct result of a lack of any progress realised over the last 30 years, more specifically over the last six years of the Second Aquino Administration. It could be said that The Great Democratic Experiment of the Philippines was marked more by a wholesale missing of the real point of freedom of an entire society and a series of governments that ruled since 1986.

Instead of a stronger nation, what emerged after 30 years is a country characterised by a non-existent fighting capability, mainstream media networks that dumb down rather than enlighten their audiences, and a people that lack a clear picture of what their long-term future might look like.

Filipinos today are also a lot more fearful for their safety and, as a result, have turned to latching on to cowboy rhetoric fielded by the likes of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte who promises to clamp down on crime by summarily gunning down suspected criminals.

And, yes, Filipinos now also look to the Martial Law years of the 1970s and early 1980s as a Golden Age.

Who’s fault is that?

Well, you can’t be in power and presume to take credit for the good but not for the bad.

It’s been 30 years and the national narrative (as propagated by the powers-that-be) remains stuck in a bygone past — an age when ordinary people supposedly lacked today’s much-hyped technological capability to more effectively “spring” change from the grassroots. Indeed, a people who lacked mobile technology and social media supposedly instigated a “revolution” over a three-year period since Ninoy Aquino’s assassination in 1983.

Today, 20 years since the Internet became available to ordinary users and roughly 10 years since the dawn of social media, Filipino “activists” have failed to step up to the promise of uplifting the quality of the way their compatriots participate in a democracy that aspires to join the modern world.


benign0

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RELATED FROM WIKIPEDIA

Economic history of the Philippines (1973–1986)

The Philippine economy between 1973 to 1986 suffered from a downturn due to a mixture of domestic and international problems after experiencing years of positive growth.

These were the years that saw the country under Ferdinand Marcos and martial law, the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr., changes to the Philippine energy law,[clarification needed] and the success of the EDSA People Power Revolution.

Declaration of martial law
President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial law in the midst of rising student movements and an increasing number communist and socialist groups lobbying for reforms in their respective sectors.

Leftists held rallies to express their frustrations to the government, this restiveness culminating in the First Quarter Storm, where activists stormed Malacañang Palace only to be turned back by the Philippine Constabulary. This event in particular left four people dead and many injured after heavy exchanges of gunfire.

There was further unrest, and in the middle of the disorder on 21 September 1972, Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1081, effectively installing martial law in the Philippines, a declaration that suspended civil rights and imposed military rule in the country.

Marcos defended his actions stressing the need for extra powers to quell the rising wave of violence allegedly caused by the communists. He further justified the decree citing the provisions from the Philippine Constitution that martial law is in fact a strategic approach to legally defend the Constitution and protect the welfare of the Filipino people from the dangerous threats posed by vigilantes that place national security at risk. The emergency rule, according to Marcos’s plan, was to lead the country into what he calls a “New Society”.



The move was initially supported by most Filipinos and viewed by some critics as a change that would solve the massive corruption in the country. Indeed, it[clarification needed] ended the clash between the executive and legislative branches of the government and a bureaucracy characterized by special interests.

The declaration, however, eventually proved unpopular as excesses, continued corruption, and human rights abuses by the military emerged.

Macroeconomic indicators


1970-1980 Growth Rates of GDP per capita (in%)

The GDP of the Philippines rose during the martial law, rising from P55 million to P193 million in about 8 years.

This growth was spurred by massive lending from commercial banks, accounting for about 62% percent of external debt.

As a developing country, the Philippines during the martial law was one of the heaviest borrowers. These aggressive moves were seen by critics as a means of legitimizing martial law by purportedly enhancing the chances of the country in the global market.

Much of the money was spent on pump-priming to improve infrastructure and promote tourism. However, despite the aggressive borrowing and spending policies, the Philippines lagged behind its Southeast Asia counterparts in GDP growth rate per capita. T

he country, in 1970–1980, only registered an average 3.4 percent growth, while its counterparts like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia garnered a mean growth of 5.4 percent.

Employment

Despite government efforts to pump-prime the economy to increase income and encourage spending, unemployment and underemployment grew. The unemployment rate rose from 5.2 to 5.9 percent from 1978–1983, while underemployment was a problem, the latter tripling, in the same time period, from 10.2 to 29.0 percent. Concurrently, the labor force of the Philippines grew at an average 4.47 percent in 1970-1983.

This can be attributed to an increasing number of women seeking work in the market.

Poverty and income distribution

Income inequality grew during the era of martial law, as the poorest 60 percent of the nation were able to contribute only 22.5 percent of the income at 1980, down from 25.0 percent in 1970.

The richest 10 percent, meanwhile, took a larger share of the income at 41.7 percent at 1980, up from 37.1 percent at 1970. These trends coincided with accusations of cronyism in the Marcos administration, as the administration faced questions of favoring certain companies that were close to the ruling family.

According to the FIES (Family Income and Expenditure Survey) conducted from 1965 to 1985, poverty incidence in the Philippines rose from 41 percent in 1965 to 58.9 percent in 1985.

This can be attributed to lower real agricultural wages and lesser real wages for unskilled and skilled laborers. Real agricultural wages fell about 25 percent from their 1962 level, while real wages for unskilled and skilled laborers decreased by about one-third of their 1962 level. It was observed that higher labor force participation and higher incomes of the rich helped cushion the blow of the mentioned problems.

Main development strategies

In the two decades of Marcos’s rule, Philippine economic development strategy had three central pillars: the Green Revolution, Export Agriculture and forestry, and foreign borrowing.

The green revolution


US President Johnson with President Marcos -Green Revolution: Production of rice was increased through promoting the cultivation of IR-8 hybrid rice. In 1968 the Philippines became self-sufficient in rice, the first time in history since the American period. It also exported rice worth US$7 million.

Rice, the foundation of the Philippine economy, is the country’s single most important crop, and the staple food for much of the population. It is especially important to the country’s poor majority, as both consumers and producers.

A central element of Philippine development strategy since the mid-1960s has been the introduction of new rice technology, popularly known as the “Green Revolution”. The technological key in this strategy is the introduction of ‘high-yielding varieties’, also called as HYVs.

The birthplace of this new technology was in Los Banos, where the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was established. Scientists were recruited from around the world, and the world’s largest collection of rice varieties was assembled to provide the genetic raw material for IRRI’s plant breeders. Their efforts focused on combining the genetic attributes of high fertilizer responsiveness and a short-statured plant type, so as to create a variety which could support heavy ears of grain without toppling under their weight.

The architects of this technology had one overriding objective: increased food production. Proponents of the strategy expected, however, that the new rice technology would also have a positive distributional impact on the poor. Three major benefits were taken to be virtually self-evident:

1. Increased rice output would, ceteris paribus, lower the price of rice.
Since the poor spend a larger fraction of their income on food than the rich do, the idea is that they would benefit excessively.

2. Poor farmers would share in the gains to rice producers.
The new technology was labor intensive. This would be a special advantage to smaller growers who have lower labor costs.

3. Landless agricultural workers would benefit too.
Thanks to the increased demand for labor and the resulting increased employment and higher wages.

New rice technology: Three essential elements:
The following key factors of the new rice technology were interdependent. That is, if one was absent, the productivity of the others was greatly reduced.

1. ‘High-yielding’ or ‘modern’ rice varieties originated at the IRRI
2. Chemical fertilizers, to which these varieties are highly responsive
3. Water control, notably irrigation in the Philippine setting

Among these, water control remains a key constraint in Philippine rice agriculture. Improvements in often “can be most efficiently achieved by the mobilization of community labor”, but this poses problems with respect to public welfare. How will labor commitments and other costs be apportioned? How will irrigation water be fairly allocated? In some places, these problems have been resolved; but elsewhere, conflict and mistrust among individuals have “impeded collective action”.

The green revolution brought temporary relief from this impasse, allowing the country to achieve substantial rice yield increases via the shift to new seed-fertilizer technology. But constraints in irrigation did not permit the new varieties to attain their full potential yields, nor did it permit much increase in multiple cropping.

Green revolution: Overall effect

All in all, the green revolution in the Philippines succeeded in fulfilling its architects’ primary objective: greater food production. In little more than two decades, the country’s rice output doubled. In pursuit of this goal, the planners chose what appeared to be the easiest route―breeding of new varieties for “high fertilizer response”.[citation needed] In fact, the rise in fertilizer prices was sparked by the energy crises of the 1970s, but it did not act as a serious impediment to output growth.,

In addition, economic theory tells us that consumers in general, and poor consumers in particular, will benefit from increased output and the resulting price declines. Despite the positive impact of lower prices on poor consumers, absolute poverty increased. “Cheaper rice mitigated, but did not reverse the trend towards impoverishment.”

Export agriculture and forestry



The year 1962 was a good one for Philippine export agriculture. Devaluation and deregulation of foreign exchange brought windfall profits to agro-exporters, and were widely seen as a “political triumph” for its main traditional exports.

Coconut products were the single largest export of the Philippines in the Marcos era. The Philippines accounts for more than half of world's coconut exports.

Exports of Major Agricultural and Forestry Products, 1962-1985, in US $ million f.o.b value

In fact, the country is sometimes termed as the ‘Saudi Arabia of coconut oil’, which understates its share of the market while overstating its market power (it is severely constrained by the existence of natural and synthetic substitutes).

Copra exports began in the late 19th century in response to European and North American demand for margarine and soap manufacturing. The use of coconut oil in the world economy after the World War II shifted from edible to non-edible industrial products such as soap, detergents, cosmetics, explosives, and pharmaceuticals.

Sugar was the Philippines’ second most important agricultural export during the Marcos years.

Its exports date from the 18th century, but its commanding role in the Philippine political economy began in the latter half of the 19th century as large plantations were established in Negros. Sugarcane acreage doubled from 250,00 hectares in 1962 to more than 500,000 in the mid-1970s.

In the mid-1970s, however, the Philippine sugar industry went into decline, ultimately reaching to the point in 1987 where the country had to import sugar in order to meet domestic needs. According to James K. Boyce,[who?] factors that caused this decline were the (1) softening of world prices, (2) loss of favored access to the US market, and (3) creation of a monopsonistic[clarification needed] sugar trading apparatus under the Marcos regime.

After coconut and sugar, Bananas were the Philippines' number three export crop. Their export began only after Japan lowered its tariff barriers in the 1960s. The Philippines became Asia’s ‘banana king’, attributed as the “only one of the world’s top six banana exporters outside Latin America.” The development of the banana export industry has been accompanied by dramatic yield increases.

Pineapples are the fourth leading ‘non-traditional’ agricultural export of the Philippines. In the mid-1980s, the Philippines ranked as the world’s second largest exporter, after Thailand, of both canned and fresh pineapples. According to the official statistics, pineapple acreage more than doubled.

Philippine forestry products include raw logs, cut lumber, plywood and veneer. These have been “comparable to sugar as a source of Philippine export earnings” since the early 1960s. From less than 10 percent of total exports in the early 1950s, it grew to more than 25 percent in the 1960s. However, export volume began to decline as the country’s forest resources were depleted.

Philippine earnings, nevertheless, did not rise equally owing to worsening terms of trade. The country experienced severely declining terms of trade and great price instability for its agricultural exports from 1962 to 1985.

These price movements were “the result of external political and economic forces over which the Philippines could exercise little control.” Thus relying on export agriculture as an “engine of economic growth” proved unfeasible.

Export agriculture and forestry: Overall effect

The income generated by exports accumulates not to countries, but to “specific individuals within them”.

 In the Philippines, these arrangements typically have led to a highly inequitable result―where the peasants and laborers who produce the crops have received minimal rewards for their efforts, and those who control land and markets, especially the state, have profited greatly.

Yes it is true that the explicit aim of the Marcos regime’s development strategy for export agriculture was “growth in output and export earnings”. Behind the scenes, however, the regime “aggressively pursued another agenda”―the redistribution of income to favored individuals. Marcos even deployed state power to put control of the country’s top agricultural exports securely in the hands of presidential cronies. The result is sad: dramatic redivision of the agro-export income pie having bigger slices for the privileged few and smaller for the rest.

Foreign borrowing: The debt-for-development strategy

Foreign borrowing was a key element in Philippine development strategy during the Marcos era. The primary rationale was “borrowed money would speed the growth of the Philippine economy, improving the well-being of present and future generations of Filipinos”.

Debt-driven growth, 1970-1983

The government financed its spending primarily from foreign debt. From $2.9 billion in 1973, it rose to $6.8 billion in 1976 and $17.3 billion in 1980. The balance of payments also behaved generally well in the earlier years, with surpluses recorded from 1973 to 1974. However, an increasing trend of deficits followed the years afterwards.

From 1974 to 1976, investments were still very high as the government still engaged in massive spending. Spending on infrastructures was primarily the focus of the government, targeting an increase economic growth and tourism. Because of the large influx of investments from the public and private sector and the increase in economic activity, together with high domestic savings which financed part of government spending, the Philippines survived the first oil price shock, the Middle East oil embargo which started in 1973 and caused inflation to rise in the Philippines.

By the years 1977-1980, the Marcoses primarily supported and focused on the expansion of its government-owned corporations, which were able to loan from foreign institutions for investments.[3] According to Joseph Lim of the University of the Philippines, a businessman in 1981 related to Marcos fled the country with $80 million worth of debt in international and local banks. Because of the gravity of the parties involved, the Central Bank, together with national banks like Philippine National Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines, formed a bailout package and rescued the banks and companies implicated, which paved way for “the expansion of the money supply from 1980 to 1983.”

The outflow of capital, termed “capital flight", contributed to the foreign exchange depletion as seen in Table 2 (qtd. in Boyle, 1990). "As the import liberalization program started to be implemented, important sectors … became more and more monopolized by the cronies of Marcos.”

Battle for stabilization, 1983-1986

After the assassination of political rival Benigno Aquino, the Philippines saw itself at the brink of an economic freefall.

Due to the sudden collapse of confidence and credit ratings from international financial institutions, the Philippine government, had difficulty borrowing new capital to cut the increasing budget deficit, much of it payments to interest from debt.

The government was thus forced to declare a debt moratorium[3] and started to impose import controls and implemented foreign exchange rationing, which temporarily halted its import liberalization program. The peso was again devalued in 1984 by almost 100 percent.

The Central Bank was later forced to start a new program, issuing “Central bank bills ... at more than 50 percent interest rate – which most likely contributed to the high inflation in 1984 and 1985.”

This was aimed at attracting inflows of foreign currency due to the higher domestic interest rate and to lower deficit and aggregate demand. This resulted in a reduction the balance of payments and national account deficits but at the same time also started an economic decline of about 7 percent in the years 1984 to 1985. Investments also fell by about 50 percent in 1985 due to lower economic growth.

According to Lim, the government also employed measures to reduce overall government expenditures to reduce deficits. This effort, however, was partially caused by the fall in tax revenues during that time as public speculation about the weaknesses of the government was increasing.

However, because of the large deficit incurred by the Central Bank due to bailouts and assumption of debts from bankrupt firms, this measure had relatively no effect on the overall deficit that the government had by the end of 1986 the Marcos regime has fallen.

External debt: magnitude and composition

Between 1962 and 1986, the external debt of the Philippine grew from $355 million to $28.3 billion. By the end of the Marcos years, the Philippines was the “ninth most indebted nation in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in absolute terms”.

Other development policies

The Marcos regime, during the early to mid-'70s, focused primarily on improving the economy and the country's public image through major increases in government spending particularly on infrastructures.

Its main beneficiaries were the tourism industry, with numerous constructions, such as the Philippine International Convention Center, hotels, and even the hosting of international events like the Miss Universe and IMF forums to be able to improve the international status of the county.

This policy generally continued even through the 1980s, when the world was experiencing stagflation, an international debt crisis, and high increases of interest rates.

The early effects of the increase in government spending were generally positive. Private businesses and firms, seeing this action by the government, felt bullish and also engaged in aggressive investment and spending patterns. Initially, the gross domestic capital formation to GDP rose up to 28% and foreign investments to the country also increased.

The government, in the 1970s, also focused on an “Export-led Industrialization Program” which focused on “non-traditional manufactured exports and foreign investments.” This led to an increase of foreign direct investment in the country particularly to manufacture export-oriented goods. This program also allowed the government to be able to “shift the composition of exports toward a more balanced mix between non-traditional manufactures and primary/agricultural exports.”

With this growth in the export sector, there also accompanied growth in the import sector particularly since imported raw materials (also known as intermediate imports) were sourced for domestically produced goods. This led to the worsening deficit at that time, especially by the end of the decade, accompanied by the second oil price shock.

Assessment of the Marcos regime

Poverty during the Marcos era deepened despite a modest increase in average national income. Even by the narrower objective of economic growth, the Philippine strategy cannot have claimed great success.

Compared to other East and Southeast Asian countries during the same period, economic growth was slow, and by the mid-1980s “it was grinding to a halt.”

The three central elements of the government’s development strategy―the ‘Green Revolution’ in rice agriculture, continued growth in agricultural and forestry exports, and massive external borrowing―received strong intellectual and financial support from international officialdom.

The new rice technology increased output but failed to bring substantial reductions in poverty. Export agriculture and forestry failed to provide an engine for economic growth. Foreign borrowing led to too little investment that was genuinely productive. This three-prong failure of the Philippine development strategy thus was also a failure of the international development establishment.

Moreover, the Marcoses have been notoriously linked to the massive government debt that the Philippines is still facing today.

Marcos's goal of strengthening the Philippines to be internationally competitive may have been well-intentioned, but its execution ultimately led to widespread corruption and mismanagement.

Together with his declaration of martial law and the suppression of civic freedom, the Philippines faced serious threats to the integrity of its social and economic structures.

The initial period of the martial law and Marcos’ economic policies generally stimulated the Philippine macro-economy.

During this period, the Philippines grew “in pace with its ASEAN neighbors… although more lavish and wasteful in its spending.”


THE DOWNFALL OF A DICTATOR: The President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, his initial promise was overshadowed by a totalitarian regime marred by corruption and murder. FROM HISTORY BLOG

However, progresses were only temporary as the government struggled to manage its growing debt that was the direct result of its massive spending. Aggravated by worldwide crisis like the Middle East oil embargo and “high world interest rates and the Brazil-Mexico debt moratoria” the Philippines had difficulty sourcing new funds mainly to pay its interest dues from debt.

This demonstrates how Keynesian ideals work in the short run, but not in the long run.

The Marcos era was clearly an example of how a centralized government can fail because of its insistence on protecting the interests of the few in power.

Filipinos ultimately paid the price in bailing out large companies and literally paying for the debt from which only a handful of people benefited.

The government overspent, even in times of positive economic growth, and failed to improve its local industries primarily geared towards exports on par with its borrowing.

This is similar to the Mexican Crisis in the 1980s with the difference that the government failed to recover as well because of corruption, mismanagement, and also rising political instability that led to a shift in power in the EDSA People Power Revolution.


INQUIRER

‘Carmma’ to hound Bongbong campaign SHARES: 5247 VIEW COMMENTS By: Erika Sauler @erikasauler Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:50 AM February 25th, 2016


FATHER and son in the days of the dictatorship INQUIRER File photo

A movement composed of martial law victims vowed to hound the campaign sorties of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and block his bid for the vice presidency.

Carmma—which stands for the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang—was launched Thursday in Quezon City in a gathering of torture victims and the families of activists who disappeared during the iron rule of Bongbong’s father, Ferdinand Marcos.

Carmma will serve as a conscience for voters, especially the youth for whom history has been distorted through the social media, according to University of the Philippines professor Judy Taguiwalo.

Aside from mass actions and forums, the group will use the social media and use creative means like concerts and poetry readings to raise awareness about the suppression of basic freedoms and the massive corruption under the Marcos dictatorship.

For Bonifacio Ilagan, vice chair of Selda (Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto), the Marcos scion is “not the guiltless son that he presents himself to be.”

In a manifesto, Carmma recounted the “sins” of Bongbong. In 1985, he was appointed board chair of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp. (Philcomsat), receiving a salary of $9,700 to $97,000, the manifesto said.

Philcomsat was later discovered by government auditors as one of the entities used to siphon ill-gotten wealth out of the country, an apparent precursor of the pork barrel scam, Karapatan chair Marie Hilao-Enriquez noted.

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“We suffered during martial law under a Marcos who muzzled us and raped the economy. His successors learned from him, as the pork barrel shows,” Enriquez said. “We fought martial law and we will fight Bongbong Marcos’ vice presidential bid.”

The economy bled to death due to behest loans granted by Marcos Sr. to his cronies, Carmma said. Under his rule, the number of Filipinos living below the poverty line doubled from 18 million in 1965 to 35 million in February 1986.

“The dictator also left behind a staggering foreign debt of $27 billion. This belies the claim of Bongbong that life was better off for Filipinos under Marcoses,” Carmma said.

Taguiwalo flared up when a TV reporter asked if a particular politician was behind the anti-Bongbong campaign. “If you know what we had gone through under martial law, what we have given up and what we have suffered, you wouldn’t even dare ask that question. I really feel insulted that you think there’s a politician prodding us to organize this,” the UP professor said.

“We are not anti-Marcos because we want to be in Malacañang. Our motivation has always been true freedom and democracy,” she said.


PHILSTAR

Noy: Stop Marcos return By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 26, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Benigno Aquino III addresses the crowd during the 30th anniversary celebration of the "People Power Revolution" that toppled the Marcos dictatorship. PHILSTAR FILE

MANILA, Philippines - Forced to flee the country 30 years ago by a popular uprising, the Marcoses are poised to regain power unless the people – especially the youth – shun attempts by the late dictator’s family and supporters to revise history, President Aquino warned yesterday.

The President raised the warning in a speech at yesterday’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the EDSA people power revolution that ousted Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted Corazon Aquino to the presidency.

Marcos’ only son and namesake is running for vice president. The dictator’s widow Imelda is an Ilocos Norte congresswoman, while daughter Imee is provincial governor.

Aquino said supporters of the Marcoses were trying to rewrite history by glossing over the abuses and repression during martial law.

“Is this not happening now? Those who want to revise our history have reached some success, in that they have been able to fool a number of the youth,” the President said.

“You can even see the style of the loyalists in traditional and social media: they continue to dictate a narrative, in order to manipulate the opinions of the people,” he added.

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“I believe that it is not our fate to repeat the grim parts of our past; our fate is the sum of the decisions we make in the present,” Aquino pointed out.

“I believe in the greatness of our people. I believe that, even if we are known for our patience, it has its limits – and if those limits are reached, then no one will be able to stop the wave of solidarity that will follow.”


SALUBUNGAN: Confetti rains on the crowd as former President Fidel Ramos leads military, police and civilian contingents in a re-enactment of the ‘Salubungan’ at the intersection of White Plains Avenue and EDSA during the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the EDSA people power revolution yesterday. Inset shows President Aquino joining Ramos and Bobby Aquino, son of the late senator Agapito ‘Butz’ Aquino in re-enacting the victory jump after the Marcoses fled Malacañang on Feb. 25, 1986. BOY SANTOS

Recent developments, he said, remind him of a famous line in a movie: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

He said it was appalling that some groups were trying to make it appear that the martial law era was a “golden age” for the country.

“To all those who maintain that Mr. Marcos should not be blamed for the things that took place under his regime, I can only say: Is it not true that, if you assume all power in yourself, you should also assume all responsibility?” he said.

Without referring to the younger Marcos by name, Aquino said he couldn’t accept the senator’s pronouncement that he knew nothing to be sorry about during his father’s rule.

The President argued that if the senator was clueless about what his family had done, “how can we be confident that he will not repeat the same?”

“All I can say is, thank you, because you have at least been honest in showing us that you are ready to emulate your father,” Aquino said.

“Do not mistake me: this is not about the Aquinos versus the Marcoses; it is clear to me that this is about right versus wrong,” he added.

Puzzled In some of his trips abroad, Aquino admitted having difficulty answering queries on whether the Marcoses were still in power.

“Every time I leave the country, I tend to get asked: ‘Is it true that the Marcoses are still in power?’ I have to admit, it is very difficult to explain. To this day, it is still painful to think that a Filipino had the gall to inflict such abuse on his countrymen, like what Mr. Marcos did,” the President said.

Citing a report, Aquino said the 1986 Commission on Elections tabulators were fearful and worried that the Marcoses would return to power because they themselves had seen the blatant cheating to favor the dictator during that time.

He said the abuses could have continued had the people not mustered the courage to stand up.

“We were able to unite as one people, and by the grace of God, we toppled the dictatorship without resorting to a bloody civil revolution,” the President said.

He added that if the surveys were to be believed, the son of the dictator was gaining success in winning supporters and sympathizers. This could also mean the people have forgotten “what we once said – enough is enough.”

The President also said it was not surprising that those who benefited during the dictatorship would continue to say that Filipinos did not get anywhere since EDSA.

“They want us to believe that we had a better life under Mr. Marcos – since, anyway, that was the promise forcibly sold by the dictator. But where did his 21 years of leadership take us? Did our country not turn into the ‘Sick Man of Asia?’ Indeed, they are trying to smother all that we have achieved on the straight and righteous path,” Aquino said.

The President said he could only shake his head in disappointment whenever he was told Marcos’ time was the golden age of the Philippines.

“Perhaps they were golden days for him, who – after completing two terms as president, which is equivalent to eight years – created a way to cling to power,” he maintained.

There had also been stories of businessmen not wanting their ventures to grow for fear of getting noticed by the dictator and forced to share earnings with him and his cronies, Aquino said.

‘Golden age’ of turmoil And if it’s any golden age at all, the martial law era was a golden age of rising national debt, brain drain, communist insurgency and violence in Mindanao, he added.

When Marcos began his time in office in 1965, Aquino said the national government owed P2.4 billion and by the end of 1985, national debt had grown to P192.2 billion.

“And because this money did not go where it was supposed to, the payment of this debt burdens us to this day,” he said.

The President said many Filipinos also left for the Middle East during martial law.

The martial law period, he said, also saw the growth of the New People’s Army from only 60 armed members to 25,000 because of the people’s disillusionment with the government.

“It was also the golden age for those who abused our Moro brothers and sisters. Land grabbing became a trend in Mindanao, and the Marcos regime, in stead of siding with those who were abused, seemed to approve of the actions of the abusers,” Aquino said.


A handout photo from the Philippine Air Force shows a fighter plane hovering over EDSA during yesterday’s celebration of the people power revolution.

While the regime could have worked for justice or passed a law to fix the situation, “the solution they pushed for involved the Philippine Constabulary and the Armed Forces,” the President said.

Aquino reminded the people of the achievements of his administration in forging peace with Muslim rebels through the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. He said the only thing missing is a Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“I feel a deep sense of disappointment, because the only law that can bring forth justice and peace is being blocked,” he said, pointing out that Marcos heads the Senate committee where the BBL got stalled. He cited Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile’s long interpellation of the measure in the last session day.

“And is it not true that these two surnames were the ones who pushed for a military solution against the Moros during the dictatorship?” Aquino said.

“To our bosses: Many of us who suffered during martial law can understand the plight of our Moro brothers and sisters. My family likewise confronted the extreme abuses of those in power,” the President said.

Son’s anguish On a personal note, the President said his father was put in solitary confinement for seven years and seven months at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija for being a threat to the dictatorship.

“They took his reading glasses so that everything he saw would be blurry. They took his watch so that he could not measure the passage of time. They took his ring so that he could not have anything to remember his wife and his family by. They painted his cell white, so that he would forget that there was a world outside those walls,” Aquino said.

While his father was a civilian, he was tried in a military tribunal and it was Marcos who appointed the members of the prosecution and the defense as well as the judge.

“The one lawyer who disagreed with what was happening was likewise removed. It was such incidents that popularized the term: ‘Lutong Macoy:’ situations cooked up precisely to suit the dictator’s tastes,” Aquino said.

The President said the dictator did not stop with his father, as the licenses of their drivers were revoked so that they could not work.

“Even our helpers who were not even employed by us anymore – like my nanny and her husband, who was our driver – were apprehended so that they could be forced to testify against my father. The last time my nanny was arrested, she was six months pregnant,” Aquino said.

The President said their gardener was also taken by the authorities and went home with only a few of his teeth remaining and his faced badly bruised.

“In almost every part of our nation, there are stories of those who were taken without warning, tortured and killed, or those who disappeared, whose bodies have not been found to this day,” Aquino said.

“Let me emphasize: All this happened. Is there anyone here who can accept the possibility that we will return to a time in which these things can happen to you, or to your loved ones? A government that was given power by the people, used this very same power to abuse the people,” the President said.


MANILA STANDARD

Snubbed at Edsa - PNoy-led revolt rites ignore Enrile, Honasan, Binay posted February 26, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera, Francisco Tuyay and Sandy Araneta


30 years. Confetti rain on Edsa on Thursday during the 30th anniversary celebration of the People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. AFP

THE administration marked the 30th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution Thursday but largely ignored the roles played by key figures in the uprising three decades ago.

In an “Experimental Museum” set up in Camp Aguinaldo to mark the event, not a word was said about former President Fidel V. Ramos, at the time the vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces; or Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was then defense minister, to document how the two broke away from the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Together, the two provided the armed might in the civilian-backed military revolt of 1986 that ignited People Power, but they appeared only in photos at the museum, with no captions to identify them.

Ramos did attend the “Salubungan” reenactment at Edsa, however, along with ranking military and police personnel shortly after a mass at the Edsa monument.

For ceremonies marking the event, no invitations were sent to Vice President Jejomar Binay, then a human rights lawyer, or Senator Gregorio Honasan, a colonel at the time who joined Ramos and Enrile in the military revolt. The two are running for president and vice president, respectively, under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance banner.

“I don’t know why Ramos and Enrile’s role were not given prominence. Instead, the exhibit only capsulized the bad things and memories of the late President Ferdinand Marcos during the dark days of martial law,” said one visitor who asked not to be named.

Binay, an opposition candidate running for president, challenged President Benigno Aquino III and the ruling Liberal Party to stop distorting the truth by revising history.

Since he resigned from Aquino’s Cabinet two years ago, Binay said, he has not been invited to any of the ceremonies to mark the Edsa Revolution.

Honasan added: “We chose to be here in Quezon instead of being with personalities and celebrities who were not even there 30 years ago.”

Binay and Honasan said the spirit of Edsa had been distorted, and the poor who were supposed to have benefited from progress brought about by democracy, had been left out.

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“VP Binay and I were on Edsa because we wanted change. We wanted our countrymen to be alleviated from poverty. For the past six years, this administration failed to do that,” Honasan said during his speech in Candelaria, Quezon, at a campaign rally attended by some 2,000 supporters.

“It is sad to see that after 30 years, and particularly over the past six years, the poverty problem worsened,” Binay said.

“It is even sadder that the two of us, Gringo [Honasan] and I, who were active participants in the Edsa revolution and risked our lives remain frustrated at how the government has been treating the poor with very poor service. Our people deserve to have better lives,” Binay said.

After 30 years, Honasan said the country has gained more democratic space but the “inclusive growth” being boasted by President Aquino leaves much to be desired.

Thirty years ago, on Feb. 22, Enrile and Ramos, wearing bullet-proof vests and surrounded by men led by Honasan, announced they were breaking away from the Marcos government.

A day after, Enrile escorted by hundreds of heavily-armed men walked towards Camp Crame joining Ramos and waited.

While holed up in Camp Crame, Enrile and Ramos called for the people to support them, a call that was broadcast over Radio Veritas and endorsed by Jaime Cardinal Sin.

None of these events were documented in the Edsa museum, which instead focused on the abuses under the Marcos regime.

Several meters away from the museum, President Aquino during his speech at the People Power Monument, attacked the Marcoses for bringing hardship to Filipinos.

A hall in the museum called Restless Sleep showed videos of Marcos declaring martial law in 1972. The Hall of Hidden Truths showed images of slums and beggars to show that people were poor during the Marcos years.

Exhibits also highlighted the torture conducted by the military with reenactments by stage players.

Other halls recounted what the Aquinos did to bring about the fall of the Marcos regime.

Well-heeled guests arrived at Camp Aguinaldo in tourist buses and were escorted to the museum. No poor visitors could be seen.

Leftists, whose participation during the Edsa Revolution was given special recognition by the symbol of People Power, Cory Aquino, the President’s late mother, were also sidelined in the museum.

But militant youth and student groups led by Anakbayan marched to Edsa to mark the event in protest, saying they would not let the Aquino government “yellow-wash history.”

“The revolt at Edsa was not the story of two families or personalities,” said Anakbayan national chairman Vencer Crisostomo, apparently referring to the Aquinos and Marcoses. “People power is the story of a people who fought against tyranny and for freedom.”

He accused Aquino of hijacking the Edsa People Power Revolution to serve his selfish interests.

President Aquino, he added, had no moral ascendancy to claim the legacy of Edsa because his regime has presided over many of the same crimes allegedly committed by the Marcos administration.

“With the persistent human rights violations, lumad killings, corruption, cronyism, unabated tuition and other fee hikes, and puppetry to foreign powers, we can say there is no real difference between the Marcos dictatorship and the Aquino administration,” Crisostomo said.

Crisostomo said the Filipino youth and people must reclaim Edsa and continue the spirit of People Power by fighting for the democratic right to education, decent wages and jobs, land for the tillers, and civil liberties that continue to be denied the people 30 years after the Edsa uprising.

The youth group also called on the public to reject the candidacy of Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late President Marcos.

At another rally, League of Filipino Students national chairman Charisse Bañez said the Aquino administration has continued the “nightmares of martial rule, with human rights abuses becoming worse under his administration.

“Aquino should be jailed and made accountable for his crimes to the Filipino people,” she said.

In his speech, Aquino lashed out at those who said life was better during the Marcos years, and campaigned against Senator Marcos’ run for the vice presidency.

Speaking in Filipino, he attacked the Marcos family and blamed it for damaging the economy and society during martial law.

“To tell you the truth, even if my family was truly victimized during Martial Law, we were actually quite fortunate—because we were somehow able to visit our father during his imprisonment, and because after his assassination, we had a body to bury, and we now have a grave we can visit. Others were not so lucky. Many of you here today went through even greater suffering—far greater than anything I can share. But what I will speak of this morning is not intended for you, but for the current generation that experiences so many forms of freedom,” Aquino said.

“I wish to emphasize: These are not products of imagination. These are neither theories nor the opinions of a small few. Martial Law actually happened. There was a dictator who, along with his family and his cronies, abused his position, and the price for this was the lives and the freedom of Filipinos,” said Aquino, referring to the late President Marcos.

“I can only shake my head in disappointment whenever I am told that some are saying that Mr. Marcos’s time was the golden age of the Philippines. Perhaps they were golden days for him, who—after completing two terms as President, which is equivalent to eight years—created a way to cling to power. In fact I have wondered: We have both been President—where might our country be today if he had just stayed true to his mandate during his time in office?,” said Aquino.

Aquino said the martial law years were golden days for the Marcos cronies, and for those close to him. “In fact, I heard several stories: During the dictator’s reign, businessmen did not want to grow their businesses, because those in power might notice and decide to steal them,” he said.

Aquino also said it was also the golden age of growing the national debt.

“When Mr. Marcos began his time in office in 1965, the national government owed P2.4 billion. At the end of 1985, two months before he was ousted from the presidency, our debt had grown to P192.2 billion. And because this money did not go where it was supposed to, the payment of this debt burdens us to this day,” Aquino said.

Aquino said it was also the golden age of brain drain—the golden age of workers leaving for jobs in the Middle East.

The President said it was also the golden age for those who abused the Moros. “Landgrabbing became a trend in Mindanao, and the Marcos regime, in spite of siding with those who were abused, seemed to approve of the actions of the abusers. Whereas they could have worked for justice, or passed a law to fix the situation, the solution they pushed for involved the Philippine Constabulary and the Armed Forces,” he said.

Aquino then criticized Senator Marcos, who is running for vice president.

“Every time I leave the country, I tend to get asked: Is it true that the Marcoses are still in power? I have to admit, it is very difficult to explain. To this day, it is still painful to think that a Filipino had the gall to inflict such abuse on his countrymen, like what Mr. Marcos did. Perhaps this is also the right time to tell you what was reported in a broadsheet just yesterday: that the 1986 Comelec tabulators are fearful. They are worried that the Marcoses will return to power, because they themselves saw the blatant cheating to favor the dictator during the 1986 elections,” Aquino said.

“Now, when I think of what we have achieved through our peace process—through which we have a Framework Agreement and a Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and all that remains is the Bangsamoro Basic Law—I feel a deep sense of disappointment, because the only law that can bring forth justice and peace is being blocked. And is it not true that the BBL has hit a road block in the Senate Committee for Local Governance, headed by Senator Marcos?” said Aquino.

Aquino also lambasted Enrile, who was defense minister under Marcos.

“Is it not true that, in the last session day, it was Senator Enrile who continued to interpellate? And is it not true that these two surnames were the ones who pushed for a military solution against the Moros during the dictatorship?” said Aquino.

“Today, if the surveys are right, then the son of the dictator who still cannot see the mistakes of the past has an increasing number of supporters. If that is right, then does it also mean that we have forgotten what we once said, ‘Enough is enough; we have had it?” he said.

He said it is not surprising that there are those who benefited during the dictatorship, together with the remaining Marcos loyalists, continue to say that people have not gotten anywhere since Edsa.

He said they want the people to believe that the Filipinos had a better life under President. Marcos.

“But where did his 21 years of leadership take us? Did our country not turn into the ‘Sick Man of Asia’?” Aquino said.

Aquino also recalled his family’s suffering under martial law, including his father’s trial before a military tribunal.

Aquino said his father was a civilian tried in a military tribunal. It was Marcos who accused him, Marcos who appointed the members of the prosecution and the defense, Marcos who appointed the judge, and Marcos who was the final reviewing authority, he said.

“The playing field was uneven, and it was unlikely—if not impossible—to pursue justice. To my young eyes then, how could I have thought of preparing for a proper future?” he said.

Even the people who worked for the Aquinos were persecuted, he said, including their pilots, drivers and maids.

“In almost every part of our nation, there are stories of those who were taken without warning, tortured, and killed, or those who disappeared, whose bodies have not been found to this day,” Aquino said.

Aquino then said that Senator Marcos might do what his father, President Marcos, did during the past.

“To all those who maintain that Mr. Marcos should not be blamed for the things that took place under his regime, I can only say: Is it not true that, if you assume all power in yourself, you should also assume all responsibility?” he said.

“It is also true that the sins of the father should not be visited on the son?” he added.

He also blamed Senator Marcos for failing to acknowledge the sins of his family.

Quoting Santayana, he said, “Those who cannot rememer the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The Palace kept up the attack, saying Senator Marcos must face up to allegations against his family, including ill-gotten wealth accumulated during the martial law years.

“He must face these allegations and not avoid this reality regarding the liabilities of the Marcos family to the Filipino people,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., in a text message to the Malacanang Press Corps.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government also refuted the claims of Senator Marcos, who said his family abided by the decision of the courts in the corruption cases filed against his family.

It also denied Marcos’ claim that he was not involved in the cases filed by the government against his family.

“In fact, the Marcos family has been active in appealing to the Supreme Court various decisions which were ruled against them,” said Richard Amurao, PCGG chairman. – With Vito Barcelo


MANILA STANDARD

The lie of EDSA posted February 26, 2016 at 12:01 am by Tony Lopez

About 90 percent of those who were at Epifanio delos Santos Avenue yesterday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Edsa People Power were not at the original revolution. Not President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, not Senator Bam Aquino who was barely 10 when the 1986 coup erupted, and indeed, not many of those who were at the commemoration. They were either too young, abroad or far away from the scene of 30 years ago to have influenced it.

The Cojuangco-Aquino family of BS Aquino III has appropriated Edsa People Power as if it were their brand, their franchise, their business. That’s a lot of BS.

Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was in Cebu hiding in a convent during the first and most dangerous night of People Power, on Feb. 22, 1986. Her son was too engrossed with many other things to have participated, too. I was at People Power I as a foreign correspondent.

The Aquino family has been the biggest beneficiary of People Power. They were awarded two presidencies totaling 12 and a half years, more than enough compensation for what opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. did in his political lifetime, which was to heckle and needle President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr., during 17 of his 20-year presidency. Ninoy died from a military bullet in August 1983. And what did the people get for having two Aquino presidents?

In 1983, Cory had blamed Marcos for her husband’s assassination and launched a destabilization campaign. Upon United States prodding, the strongman was forced to call a snap election to end bring the crisis, in February 1986. Marcos was confident he would win the election. In 1982, the President still had the support of US President Ronald Reagan. The Philippine economy was stable, having weathered what could have been a crippling downturn. Basic services were in place. But Ninoy’s murder turned things upside down.

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Sensing Marcos was very sick (he was, having undergone two kidney transplants), Ninoy Aquino attempted to return in 1983 and grab power from the President. The opposition senator was instead felled by a bullet at the airport tarmac.

The Aquino-Cojuangco family has no more right to claim Edsa as theirs than every Filipino, you and I. Their Edsa failed us, the people.

On the first day of Edsa I, Feb. 22, 1986, I was lucky to be both in Cebu, for Cory’s civil disobedience afternoon rally, and Manila, for the first night of Enrile’s breakaway coup. Enrile had no troops, just about two dozen RAM soldiers. His shock troops were us, foreign correspondents, numbering about 40.

Not many people know it but Edsa I was triggered by greed and was won by a lie. The crowds that massed on Edsa on Feb. 24, 1986, Monday, and Feb. 25, Tuesday, were there not to stage a revolt but to hold a picnic. June Keithley had announced on radio at 7 a.m. of Feb. 24 that the Marcoses had left. It was a lie. In their glee and feeling that finally it was all over, people trooped to Edsa to celebrate.

The greed arose from a Chinese forex trader who violated the peso-dollar trading band imposed by the then unofficial central bank, the Binondo Central Bank managed and headed by then Trade and Industry Secretary Roberto V. Ongpin.

Ongpin had the erring trader arrested and loaded into a van. Unfortunately, the forex trader died. Unfortunately again, the trader happened to be a man of then-Armed Forces chief Fabian C. Ver. Angered, the dreaded military chief had 22 of Ongpin’s security men arrested. They were marching in full battle gear and dressed in SWAT uniform at about 4 a.m. inside Fort Bonifacio when arrested on Feb. 22, 1986, a Saturday.

At 11 a.m., at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ongpin went looking for his security men. He called up then-Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile who was with the Club 365 at the Atrium in Makati. Enrile thought the arrest of the 22 Ongpin security men, who turned out to be RAM Boys of Col. Gringo Honasan, was part of the crackdown against the plot to oust Marcos.

The putsch was being planned by Enrile and his RAM Boys. The defense chief had grown disenchanted with Marcos, who was very ill following a botched kidney transplant three years earlier. JPE had become wary of the palace cabal led by Ver and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

Enrile summoned his boys to his house on Morada Street, Dasmariñas Village. There they plotted their next moves. They decided to make a last stand at the armed forces headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

At 2 p.m., Enrile called then Vice Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos. “Are you with us?” JPE asked Eddie. “I am with you all the way,” the latter assured.

It was not until late in the evening that Saturday (Feb. 22) that Ramos actually joined the rebellion at Camp Aguinaldo. He had contacted his loyal PC-INP commanders, like Rene de Villa in Bicol, and Rodrigo Gutang in Cagayan de Oro and found to his dismay no troops could be readily airlifted to Manila to reinforce Enrile’s men, who were undermanned and under-armed.

Cory learned about the brewing rebellion at 4 p.m. the same Saturday in Cebu. She had led a destabilization and boycott rally there, which I covered.

After hearing about rumors of the Enrile defection, I went to the Mactan airport to book a flight to Manila. I landed in Manila shortly after 9 p.m. With Boy del Mundo of then UPI, I took a taxi to Camp Aguinaldo.

I was surprised to find the camp commander welcoming us with open arms. Enrile and Gringo had no troops at that time. Enrile had made a deal with Marcos—No shooting on the first night. Also, foreign correspondents were to be allowed inside Camp Aguinaldo.

Inside the Defense Ministry headquarters, Enrile and Ramos were giving an extended press conference. I asked if Cory Aquino called them up. Enrile said yes. “What can I do for you?” she asked. “Nothing, just pray,” Enrile replied.

After Cory got the presidency, Namfrel made recount of the votes cast in the February snap election. The tally still showed Marcos was the real winner, not by two million votes, as canvassed by the Batasan, but by 800,000 votes as recounted by Namfrel.

In the Comelec-sanctioned official count, the legal and official winner was Marcos, by a margin of 1.7 million votes.

It was thought Marcos had cheated because his Solid North votes were transmitted very late to the tabulation center at the PICC. Two Namfrel volunteers were hanged in Ilocos. The Ilocano votes were enough to overwhelm Cory’s lead in Metro Manila and other places. The canvassers claimed Marcos was cheating and so led by the wife of a RAM major, walked out, as if on cue. The day before the celebrated incident, we, foreign correspondents, had been alerted about the planned walkout and to be there to cover it.

Cory Aquino didn’t have any participation in the four-day People Power revolt of Feb. 22-25, 1986 or Edsa I.

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ALL WORKERS UNITY (AWU)

30 years after EDSA: Workers’ pay hike remains a battle cry

All Workers Unity (AWU) stated that the condition of wages and salary earners remains pitiful in all sectors since EDSA 1 in 1986. Workers sacrificed life and limb on the frontline against Martial Law.

AWU explained that after 1986, instead of improving compensation, policies to press down wages to the floor and to breakdown workers’ demand for a living wage continued since EDSA 1. Instead of improving the Minimum Wage Law, it was abolished thru the Wage Rationalization Act, Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and the Herrera Law of 1989.

Worse, the current administration is systematically replacing the minimum wage with the floor wage thru the Two-Tiered Wage System and stagnated govt employees’ salary via SSL-4. During its term, contractualization and outsourcing became widespread to further depress pay and benefits in the private-public sector including professionals like nurses, teachers and bank employees.

“30 years after EDSA, workers are dragged to a downtown to hell by “Daang Matuwid”. Just like the internet connection in PH, wages remain poor and intermittent,” said AWU spokesperson, Rea Alegre.

Pulse Asia survey last February 19 released that workers’ pay increase remained a top national issue in the 2016 Election that presidential candidates should address in their platform.

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AWU is campaigning for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) that aims to unite all workers in all sectors nationwide to fight for a significant increase of the minimum wage in relation to the abandoned govt computation of the Family Living Wage (FLW). The demand for a National Minimum Wage in the private sector is P750 daily and P16,000 for state workers and employees.

“Since EDSA 1, workers were on a job-hunt for regular work that pays a living wage. But we are either unemployed or mostly underemployed as contractual with insufficient pay to feed our family,” Alegre added.

The broad unity calls on all workers and advocates to challenge all presidential to lower level govt office aspirants to speak in support for the said National Minimum Wage demands.

“All workers deserve more than the #‎NMW750 and ‪#‎NMWP16000, workers need it to survive. Let’s unite and make it a 2016 Election demand and beyond,” concluded Alegre.

REFERENCE: Rea Alegre, All Workers Unity spokesperson, (+632)7425142, (0927)8888542


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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