bongbong, walden, EDSA

sabi ni bongbong marcos, the people power rovolt was american-inspired.  ibig ba niyang sabihin na kung hindi sa america, hindi nagkaroon ng people power na nagpatalsik sa diktador na si ferdinand nuong pebrero 1986?

Marcos lamented how Philippine history books failed to show how the US “inspired” the bloodless revolt that led to his father’s downfall.

“It was American-inspired,” he said. “Dahil yung pagsimula ay galing sa Amerika eh, galing kay [former US President Jimmy] Carter, kung maaalala niyo. Tapos yung sa IMF, tapos yung lahat ng ginawa ng Amerikano para pahinain yung administrasyon ng aking ama.”

He said the assassination of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in August 1983 was only one of the many factors that triggered the uprising.

“Yung uprising na ganyan, ang Amerika may ginawa. Yun na nga, kagaya ng sabi ko, nag-start dun sa IMF na inipit-ipit ang ating mga pondo… Ako, nasa Palasyo ako nung panay ang message ni Ambassador [Stephen] Bosworth sa father ko na ganito, ganyan dapat gawin. Talagang involved sila. Ang sinasabi ko lang, involved sila.”

“Hindi naman isa lang bagay ang pangyayari. Kaya nangyari ang [1986 EDSA People Power Revolution], palagay ko maraming factors yan, at hindi natin masasabi. So ang sinasabi ko isang bagay diyan yung Amerikano, isang bagay diyan yung pagkapaslang kay Senator Aquino at siguro mga ibang bagay,” Marcos said.

ano daw?  that’s so convoluted and in-credible.  he’s saying that america, from the time of jimmy carter (democrat 1977-1981) to the time of ronald reagan (republican 1981-1989), conspired with the IMF to weaken the economy and bring the marcoses down?  carter was anti-marcos, yes, but it was mostly because of human rights violations.  otherwise, the marcos government had no problem borrowing billions of dollars from foreign banks, for development kuno, until 1983 when the shit hit the fan — not because ninoy was assassinated but because lumobo na ang foreign debt at walang pambayad kahit paiyakan — and the IMF had to step in.

When Marcos assumed presidency in 1966, the foreign debt of the Philippines stood below $1 billion. When he fled Malacañang in February 1986 during the first People Power, the country had a foreign debt of $28 billion…

…it was also Marcos who issued Presidential Decree (PD) 1177 or the Budget Reform Decree of 1977 that automatically appropriates for debt servicing regardless of how much is left of the country’s resources to fund basic social services.

…Between 1973 and 1982, the indebtedness of the Philippines grew by 27 percent per year. From 1976 to 1982, BSP data show that the foreign debt was swelling by an annual average of $2.8 billion. In 1982, due to automatic debt service, payments reached $3.5 billion, almost the same level of total foreign borrowing for that year and larger than the total foreign debt before Martial Law was declared.

The debt level became unmanageable, forcing the Marcos government to declare a moratorium on debt payments in 1983. The Philippines never recovered from its fiscal woes ever since, in spite of painful restructuring under the tutelage of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for the moratorium and additional funding.

bongbong should google “marcos foreign debt” for pages and pages of links to the details of the story.

and really?  america inspired people power?  how?  enrile is right, reagan troubleshooter philip habib was around the week before EDSA and when he left saturday noon he was certain something was about to break but he didn’t know what; neither he nor ambassador bosworth had the mind to imagine the possibility of a military defection being used by people power in cory’s name to oust marcos.  neither had any contact with the people, only with their so-called leaders — cory, enrile, marcos, maybe even cardinal sin, the generals, and the like — who all had no idea either what was coming, and who were certainly not in command, any of them, over the four days.

the people were.  in command.  it was the height of subversion.

after a week of civil disobedience,  boycotting the goods and services of of marcos- and crony-owned companies, from banks to manila bulletin, san miguel corporation and magnolia food products, rustans and the like, these people were in the throes of revolution.  if enrile and RAM had not defected, cory’s boycott movement would have gained steam as it spread to the visayas and mindanao.  eventually the cronies and other ruling oligarchs would have thrown up their hands in surrender.  marcos would have been compelled to resign to save the economy, and cory would have taken over anyway.  writ large as a nuanced sense of revenge that we pinoys exact sometimes, even on ourselves.

this is the same successful economic boycott that no one, but no one, ever speaks of or writes about — not the left, not the right, not civil society.  as though it never happened, as though no one knows about it, no one wants to remember, i guess.  because, really, it was even more subversive than the people gathering physically in large numbers in the same space to insist that marcos resign.  imagine.  we stopped buying san miguel beer and coke, we gave up manila bulletin, we snobbed places that served crony goods, it was exciting, and fun.  nakaka-high pala pag ang nakararami ay nagkakaisa in a common cause.  the power is awesome.  the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

finally, in the slew of opinion pieces and commentaries on the EDSA revolt in the run-up to the 30th anniv, i must say i take exception to walden bello’s campaign speech in los banos where he puts EDSA in such an ugly light .

Formally launching my campaign for the Senate at UP Los Banos, before an assembly of close to 1000 students, Feb 9, 2016. My message: “We are in the midst of a dual crisis: the crisis of the EDSA system of elite democracy and the crisis of the neoliberal economic paradigm that has brought us nothing but increased poverty and inequality and the plunder of the environment.”

“the EDSA system of elite democracy”?  it started with EDSA?  really?  for the first time, bello disappoints me.  alam naman nating pre-martial law pa ang elite democracy na yan, di ba.  it’s so leftist to ignore, if not snort at, the historic high points that were the six-day boycott and the four-day manifestation of people power in the story of marcos’s ouster.

it’s understandable naman.  after all, this is the same left that snootily boycotted the snap elections, thinking there was no way cory would win.  so it’s no surprise hearing/reading the leftists making EDSA maliit, and glorifying instead only the actions and sufferings of the left during the martial law period.  but i expected more from bello the senatorial candidate.


  1. john c. jacinto

    The Left has not been able to move on since 1986 when they squandered that golden chance to have, at least, gained some leverage to share power with the “elite” after Marcos fled Malacañang. Sising-alipin at kagat-siko ang mga hinayupak dahil sa panghihinayang. At ngayon ay nagkakasya na lamang sa pang-aalaska.