One of the biggest urban legends of recent times in the Philippines, is the story that the Cory Administration was supposedly the “cleanest” among the Administrations in the last three decades. Thanks to Nostalgia, and the fact that her Administration was at the dawn of the internet age, much of the negativities of that Administration has been largely forgotten, and people tend to remember only the “good” things about that Administration.
Well, thanks to Noynoy Aquino’s “holier-than-thou” campaign strategy, much of the “unpleasantries” during Cory’s time are being brought back to the surface slowly, but surely. Here are some that I have managed to dig out:
‘Philippine Air Lines Stocks to Nephews’
Cory approved in January 1992 the sale of 67% of the stocks of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) to an investment group headed by her relatives, composed of one of her Tanjuatco nephews and three of her Cojuangco nephews. The sale resulted in a loss of USD 300-million plus for the Filipino people. The Philippine government, through the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), owned the shares. And worse, her nephews did not even have the money to pay for the airline stocks. They borrowed the money that they used to pay the GSIS from three Philippine government-owned banks, even using the PAL stocks as collateral.
‘Philippine Air Lines Building Scandal’
“The PAL Scandal,” where Cory authorized in 1992 the sale of the PAL Building in San Francisco, California. It resulted, according to the column of the late journalist Louie Beltran, into a USD 6-million loss to the national airline. Cory did not charge Mr. Beltran with libel on this issue about the PAL Building. She, however, did file a libel case against Mr. Beltran and his publisher, Maximo V. Soliven on a separate issue, when Beltran wrote that Mrs. Aquino “hid under her bed during a coup d’etat attempt at the presidential palace in Manila.”
‘Bargain Sale of Companies to Lopa’
The assets of the Marcoses, the Romualdezes and their cronies were supposed to have been sequestered by the new Aquino administration, but Kokoy Romualdez’s (Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s brother in law) 38 companies, which were worth billions of pesos, were not turned over to the Presidential Commission on Good Government. Cory instead during her first months in office, permitted the transfer of these 38 companies to her own brother-in-law, Ricardo “Baby” Lopa. What’s worst, was the fact that all 38 companies were bought back by Lopa during the transfer for the price of only USD 227,000.
‘Philippine Long Distance Company to Nephews’
The same case happened with the ownership of the Philippine Long Distance Company. Instead of sequestering the company for the Philippine government (as it was then controlled by the Marcos cronies), she returned the billion-dollar company to her Cojuangco nephews. She claimed that her nephews were illegally eased out by Mr. Marcos. The truth was that the Marcos cronies, whether their money were ill-gotten or not, paid the Cojuangcos the prevailing market-stock prices during the sale of equity that happened between them at the time when Marcos was still president.
‘Re-negotiation of Marcos’ Japanese Loans’
Cory approved the re-negotiation of the loans that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. obtained from Japan. The administration of Mrs. Aquino agreed that the loans would be paid in Japanese yen, rather than in U.S. currency that former Marcos negotiated. This simple change in currency resulted in a USD 5-billion increase in the loan principal.
‘Refusal to Give Hacienda Luisita to Farmers’
Cory publicly promised in 1986 that Hacienda Luisita will be distributed to the farmers. However, in 1987, she issued Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order No. 229 just days before her legislative powers were going to revert back to Congress, to include a provision in the Land Reform program for a “Stock Distribution Option”, which allows landowners to comply with the Land Reform Law without actually giving land to the farmers. Hacienda Luisita of course took this new option, and thus was not redistributed to the farmers.
‘Double Cross of Doy Laurel’
Cory had promised to Doy Laurel that she would let him run the government as Prime Minister after Marcos was ousted, as Cory had no experience in politics. However, in March 1986 she issued Presidential Proclamation No. 3 declaring a revolutionary government, and dissolving the 1973 Constitution. This nullified Laurel’s position as Prime Minister as the Parliament was abolished. This prompted Laurel to break ties with the Aquino regime later.
‘Protecting Hacienda Luisita’s Interests’
Cory continued to protect Hacienda Luisita, even firing Miriam Defensor Santiago from her post at the Department of Agrarian Reform after she told the press her opinion that Cory should inhibit herself as chair of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), which was tasked to make the final decision on Hacienda Luisita’s application for the “Stock Distribution Option” (see section on ‘Refusal to Give Hacienda Luisita to Farmers’ above).
‘Garchitorena Land Scam’
In 1988, a foreclosed property of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) was sold to Sharp International Marketing for P3.8 million. Before the sale was closed, Sharp tried to sell the same property to the government for P56 million. The sale was eventually approved by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), but only after the price was inflated further to P65 million. The financier of the scam was Romeo Santos, an associate of Cory’s brother, Peping Cojuangco. He was also Cory’s campaign manager in Bicol.
Cory Aquino’s Five Legacies to the Philippines
The yellow mythology presents Cory Aquino as saving the Filipinos from the tyranny of the Marcos dictatorship. That’s only half the story. The other half of the story is that the EDSA faux revolution is a case of Filipinos jumping from the frying pan and into the fire.
For short, Cory Aquino “freed” the Filipinos from the tyranny of Marcos and delivered the Filipinos to the tyranny of the oligarchy. That is not liberation – that’s simply a transfer of the reins of power from one-man dictatorship to collective dictatorship.
Yes, Cory herself was not the dictator. However, she was the spokesperson, the figurehead, who executed the decisions of the vested interests who benefited from government regulations issued during Cory’s time.
Yes, Cory is gone, but the regime – the set of rules, cultural or social norms, etc. that regulate the operation of government and its interactions with society – persist. The outcomes of the Cory regime are its legacy. Legacy is further defined as “something that is passed on to you”.
So what has Cory passed on to Filipinos? Here are the things that she passed on to Filipinos – these are Cory Aquino’s legacies:
Cory Aquino’s Legacy #1 – Serfdom
The economy is propped up by the remittances of aliping saguigilids (serfs) deployed overseas.
In pre-colonial times, the people in the bottom barrel were scornfully known as, alipin sa gigilid. Thegilid was the spot behind and below the house where the toilet is situated.
These alipins were single men and women who worked in and tended the gilid of their master’s homes. They were completely dependent on their master for food and shelter, but if they could make some money on the side, they were allowed to keep some of it.
Isn’t this quite a familiar site among OFWs – whether in the Middle East, in Japan or Hong Kong, in Europe, and even in the US Of A? How many Filipinos with 4 year college degrees end up being serfs in foreign households?
Joblessness pervades the Philippines. The unemployment rate remains high – and the 7% joblessness rate has not budged since Cory’s anointed son, Kim Jon Un, este Noynoy Aquino took over. The Aquino regime can claim that there are jobs around – but the wages are so low that Filipinos in war-torn countries like Syria and Libya would rather take their chances there than return to the predictable low wages of the Philippines.
Too add insult to injury, the Aquino regime boast of the remittances provided by the aliping sagigilids.
Cory Aquino’s Legacy #2 – Poverty
Cory’s second legacy is Poverty. The recent SWS surveys have shown that poverty has even increased during the watch of Cory’s anointed son – Kim Jong Un.. argggh.. Noynoy Aquino. The country’s standard of living remains low while those of its ASEAN peers have grown substantially.
A ranking of the GDP per capita among different agencies consistently show the Philippines among the countries in the bottom barrel:
1. In the World Bank 2012 list, the Philippines is ranked 121 out of 180 countries.
2. In the IMF 2012 list, the Philippines is ranked 128 out of 185 countries.
3. In the CIA 2012 list, the Philippines is ranked 134 out of 195 countries.
All that jobless GDP Growth being bandied about by Kim Jong Un este Noynoy Aquino is worthless. And that’s not even counting the statistical discrepancy called out by the World Bank. When the WB Economic Update stated that
Growth in the third quarter must be tempered by the fact that statistical discrepancy explains 1.4 ppt of the 7.1 percent growth. This suggests that either third quarter growth will be revised downwards or fourth quarter growth will be lower by around two percentage points as statistical discrepancy is zeroed out in the full year growth statistic.”
The WB meant that the 7.1% GDP growth should be taken with a grain of salt.
Cory Aquino’s Legacy #3 – Tyranny
Tyranny is defined as:
1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
2. oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
3. undue severity or harshness.
The 1972 Marcos Constitution was full of restrictive economic policies. In fact the Philippine constitution is unique in having equity restrictions on foreign businesses. Normally, such restrictions are passed via legislation – the Philippines instead embedded it in the constitution.
With Marcos removal, you would think that Cory Aquino’s regime would remove these impediments to economic development. Oh boy, you are so wrong! Cory did not remove the restrictions, the restrictions were retained – and even expanded. And she even out-Marcos-ed Apo Ferdie with welfare programs embedded in the Constitution – yup Pinoy Big Brother isn’t just a noontime show.
In terms of the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, the Philippines is ranked 97 out of 161 countries – categorized as “Mostly Unfree”
Cory Aquino’s Legacy #4 – Corruption
Plunder goes unabated. Plunder was centralized under Marcos. The plunder did not go away in Cory’s time – it was “decentralized” – for short more plunderers came into existence.
The Corruption Perceptions Index of 2012 ranked the Philippines 105 out of 174 countries.
In terms of Ease of Doing Business, the Philippines ranked 138 out of 185 countries.
Just look at how pathetic the Philippine Senators are as they squabble about the taxes they plundered from Filipino taxpayers.
Or how Aquino dangled the pork barrel among Philippine congressmen in order to sign the articles of impeachment of a chief justice even if the congressmen have not read the articles.
And more recently, look at how Aquino dangled the pork barrel again – in order to railroad the passing of an unnecessary RH bill.
Then, there’s the CCT subsidy which is so full of fraud – and yet the three pigs Dinky, Franky, and Butchi keep on supporting it on the basis that it alleviates poverty. The results however show that poverty in the Philippine has increased even as the CCT subsidy funding increased.
In 2013, as the 2013 Mid-term elections come to fruition, the P317B billion COA audit-exempt pork barrel allocated for Kim Jong Un.. este Noynoy Aquino will again be put to good use.
Cory Aquino’s Legacy #5 – Noynoy Aquino
Lastly, it will be a disservice not to mention Cory’s other legacy – Kim Jong Un.. este Noynoy Aquino who has continued the moronic policies of his equally inept and vacuous mother.
It’s also interesting how the election of Cory and Noynoy have parallels in that the conduct of both electoral exercises were surrounded by dubious circumstances. Where Cory had manual dagdag bawas, Noynoy had an electronic dagdag bawas.
And just like Cory, Noynoy continues to be a willing mouthpiece of the collective dictatorship of the Filipino oligarchy – and keeps Filipinos chained to serfdom, poverty, tyranny, and corruption.