de quiros, aquino, edsa

conrado de quiros is sounding like a broken record these days, insisting that “edsa” &  “people power” and “good vs. evil” are the themes to work on if we want to see noynoy aquino again racing ahead of the pack like after his mom died.

and so a guy asked him daw:

“DON’T you think that transforming the choice into a moral one is a little too high for the masa to grasp? Don’t you think the better tack would be to talk about gut issues (malapit sa bituka)?”

the noted columnist’s reply is so last decade:

Not at all.

To begin with, you would not be transforming anything. You would not be raising or reducing or reshaping anything. That was exactly how the masa saw the choice from the very start, when Cory died and Noynoy Aquino announced his intention to run: the choice was a moral one. It was not a gratuitous choice between presidential candidates, between Noynoy and Villar (Villar never even figured in the equation), between what the candidates had to offer. It was a desperate choice between the GMA curse and the Cory legacy, between Noynoy (or what he represented) and Gloria (or what she is), between life and death.

It was a choice between Good and Evil.

The fact that Noynoy got more than 60 percent showed this wasn’t merely a middle-class or elite sentiment…

yes, but that was then, we were in grief, we were emotional and romantic, we wanted more of cory and ninoy (not of gma) and noynoy seemed like the next best thing.   but this is now, we have been through a lot since cory died — killer floods, the ampatuan massacre, the murder of the rh bill, and now the illegal arrest and torture of 43 ngo health workers — and some of us are looking for answers to many questions beyond who-what is good who-what is evil, according to whom?   dams are good in times of reasonable rain, but evil in times of excessive rain.   due process is good, but why is it that the law is more protective of the rights of indicted evil-doers?   and where is due process for the health workers accused of being bomb-makers?   is the military good or evil?    is contraception good or evil?   it’s all too muddled to work as a winnowing concept and yet de quiros thinks the world of this good vs. evil theme.

For a long, long time, GMA was seen as the worst leader this country has ever had after Marcos, or for some even before Marcos. Yet all that it elicited from the public was cynicism and text jokes. It was only after Cory died and Noynoy arose in her wake that the cynicism turned into a revulsion for an intolerable situation and the text jokes turned into an epic desire to change things.

For the Aquino camp, that means it’s not just enough to harp on the hell that the GMA curse is, or the heaven that the Cory legacy can be, it needs to harp on the hell that the GMA curse is and the heaven that the Cory legacy can be, at the same time. For the Aquino camp, that means that it’s not just enough to harp on Villar as the embodiment, continuation or extension of GMA (literally or in a kindred way) or Noynoy as the inheritor, keeper, and perpetuator of the Cory legacy, it needs to harp on the one as the disease and on the other as the cure.

but what is this heavenly change that cory’s legacy will bring about through noynoy?   mababaw ang kaligayahan ni de quiros.

Who cares about Noynoy’s plans for education? Simply removing the monsters whose very existence teaches the young that lying, cheating and stealing are rewarded and whistle-blowing, telling the truth, and being courageous are punished is an entire curriculum unto itself. Who cares about Noynoy’s plans for economic development? Simply stopping a reign of corruption stops poverty completely literally in that there is no mahirap where there is no korap, and completely spiritually in that nothing impoverishes a country more than an utter lack of moralidad. Who cares about Noynoy’s plans for national security? You arrest the usurpers who made the country home to desperation and insecurity, and line them up against the wall, or its legal equivalent since we don’t have the death penalty anymore, though we can always make an exception, and we will have more security than can be guaranteed by the armed forces or the insurance companies.

but we should care about a presidential candidate’s plans for education; the curriculum problem goes beyond / goes deeper, it’s not just ethical and moral but academic and pedagogic and even a problem of language.   and we should care about noynoy’s plans for economic development because de quiros exaggerates, stopping corruption will not stop poverty “completely literally”: it would only mean a little more money for health education and dole-outs for some but not nearly enough to make a sustainable difference in the lives of the many many poor, not while the oligarchy reigns and the debt policy rules.    and we should care about noynoy’s plans for national security because current policies discriminate against pinoys (think vfa) and civil society (pro-poor ngos) and do nothing to secure our environment, and our very lives, from deadly trash and irresponsible land use and destructive mining and rapid reckless deforestation.

in another column, de quiros waxes nostalgic about edsa and people power and the cory magic.

The Cory magic hasn’t lost its magic, it has simply not been used. Or the Cory magic hasn’t lost its magic, it has simply been lost on the people who held it in their hands but never knew what they had. The Cory magic is Edsa. The Cory magic is People Power. The Cory magic is the glimmer of hope piercing through the dark of despair.

I said last year that the Noynoy camp had a tremendous advantage in that the opening of the year presented two Edsas, January being Edsa II and February being Edsa I. Both resonated with good triumphing over evil, a concept GMA has been at pains to make people forget, which is why she has tried to hide the very thing—and people, who were Cory and Jaime Cardinal Sin—that brought her to power. Both stood to unleash the Cory magic in all its glory.

January came and went, and not a single statement on Edsa, or about Edsa, issued from the lips of the Aquino camp. We’re on the second week of February, and not a single statement on Edsa, or about Edsa, has issued from the lips of the Aquino camp. We’re on the fifth month after Noynoy declared his intention to run, and not much, if not not a single statement, has issued from the lips of the Aquino camp about their cries of anguish and anger from the pit of the land, about the glimmer of hope piercing through the dark of despair, about the people and their power.

The Cory magic is not something that works by itself, it works only by being used. The Cory magic is Edsa, the Cory magic is People Power, the Cory magic is people drawing the line, demanding change, commanding change, shouting at the top of their lungs, “tama na, sobra na, palitan na.” You do not invoke these things, you do not conjure these things, you do not say the magic words that unleash these things—there is no Cory magic.

ah, yes, EDSA.   de quiros makes it seem like we are back in 1986 and the choice is simple, black and white, good vs. evil, cory vs. marcos.    indeed “tama na, sobra na, palitan na” were magic words back then, but it was clear kung sino ang dapat palitan at sino ang dapat ipalit, the opposition being united behind one cory (doy did a mar upon the clamor of the people).   eh hindi naman ganyan ang sitwasyon ngayon.   ang daming choice.   maliban kay mar, walang kandidatong kusang nagbibigaydaan kay noynoy, each one thinks himself/herself as the good one vs. the evil one.   and maybe all of them are right, all in their own small ways.

if the object was were to beat gma’s annointed and everything evil she stands for in the may elections, and if the strategy was were to go by, be guided by, the EDSA tradition, then villar erap gordon gibo jamby perlas bro.eddie and jc, should have, one and all, when cory died, humbly nobly happily rallied behind noynoy as the one opposition candidate.   of course it didn’t happen because there was no clamor to that effect.   the real clamor is for CHANGE but noynoy is only promising small change — to stop corruption and streamline the system, the very system that needs changing.

truth to tell, it’s jamby madrigal and nicanor perlas who are running on platforms of CHANGE, and noynoy and the rest should be giving way to them, i.e., if we are to go by EDSA.   but the people aren’t ready, pinagiisipan pa nila, pinagtatalunan pa, kung sino ano ba talaga ang paniniwalaan, ano nga ba yung tama na, alin ba ang sobra na, paano ba papalitan, atano ang ipapalit.   clearly people power continues on “hold” while seeking to level-up beyond good vs. evil.


  1. Die_Hard Noypi

    @I AM POOR:)=I think that the real issue of CHANGE is on the right track if we focus on the theme of the campaign as fight between the good vs-evil. right now the ingredients to enforce drastic changes in the political development of national import are nil,in a bottomless pit except that God has paved the way for invoking the recourse to divine Intervention with the death of Tita cory. we are paralized with an electorate whose level of political maturity in debating the real issues on governance are relegated to personalities because of patronage politics and star syndrome among the candidates. where in the world can you find the presidency being contested by scores of self-proclaimed messiah, economic liberators and religous bigots whose only qualification is their sense of despair and self-righteousness. Noynoy did not come forward to lift us from this lowest ebb of political immorality except by fortuitous event on urging of people whose convergence of rigteous sysmetry are dictated by the people’s power choice and will not be eliminated regardless of commercial surveys and advertising gimmicks. I still believe on divine destiny and calling. Lets all pray for it to pass without regret.

  2. manuelbuencamino


    you have a point. Anybody born 1976 and up didn’t really experience martial law and people power. It’s abstract to them. Conrad is talking over their heads. His audience is much older. Unfortunately, it is also a demographic that does not have the numbers to match the 18 -44 years old voting group

  3. manuelbuencamino

    Also I think that when Cory died the nation was morning the passing of a woman who personified decency, modesty, and selflessness more than it did the loss of the symbol of an older generation’s dreams and aspirations. I think Conrad misinterpreted the outpouring of grief.

  4. UP n grad

    Pinoys-in-Pinas have difficulty evaluating platforms.

    One of the stumbling block is this fixation on the hidden agenda.
    Example — “I can’t figure out if I agree or disagree with your assertion
    that Cory was not a good president unless you first tell me who
    is your choice for Malacanang-2010”.

    If one needs to know the hidden agenda with Noynoy’s “anti-corruption anti-corruption”, then one might as well decide on Kris Aquino’s out-of-wedlock history. If one needs the hidden agenda behind Villar’s expressed position on the Reproductive Health bill, then Dolphy’s endorsement becomes important.

  5. Funny, my parents fought through Martial Law as activists and still think de Quiros’ harpings about people power 1 and cory are bull droppings. Maybe Conrado’s actual target audience are just fellow Noynoy fetishists as well. :)

  6. GabbyD : ” quick question: how does VFA discriminate against pinoys? the US serviceman gets tried in the philippines, and if guilty, will be punished here. right? ”
    Case in point – Corporal Daniel Smith. A.k.a. A soldier convicted of rape who was whisked away from prison by OUR VERY OWN GOVT. and the United States. THROUGH the VFA.