Ninoy Aquino

Marawi Siege update (from what I’ve heard in the news):

  • 42 teachers that were held hostage have been rescued by government troops.
  • No news yet about the status of the priest and other civilian parishioners (2 of which were students) who were taken from St. Mary Church.
  • A teacher from Mindanao State University has also been held hostage.
  • The spreading news about the 3 beheaded teachers also remained unconfirmed.
  • Marawi residents are now being evacuated from the area.
  • Whole Mindanao is under Martial Law for 60 days.
  • 2 soldiers and 1 police officer were killed and 12 more are wounded from Marawi clash (please pray for them and their families). 
  • Davao is no longer on lockdown but is under “hold-and-secure-situation”. 
  • Metro Manila is now on full alert as well. 
  • Marawi City Jail, St. Mary’s Church, Ninoy Aquino School and Dansalan College were all burned down by the militants
  • 107 inmates were freed from the City Jail.

 Additional note: Marawi was NOT attacked by ISIS but by local terrorist groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf. Maute group is known supporter of ISIS but no confirmed direct link with the ISIS. 

Lastly, to everyone in Marawi City and the whole Mindanao. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Be strong. Be safe.

conradricamora: Yeah. What Ninoy said. We have to be informed and educated about politics now more than ever. Know where you are spending your money and if they support LGBTQ/BLACKLIVESMATTER/UNIVERSALHEALTHCARE/UNIVERSALEDUCATION. So much of what Ninoy stood for - paid public education/healthcare -is at stake. Let’s push back against unchecked capitalism that creates elaborate, difficult to understand tax laws that let the richest people (like the person we just elected president who was the first candidate in 40 fucking years to not release his tax returns) pay no tax. Watch out to see if we are going to be told once again that tax cuts for the rich are going to create more jobs for regular Americans - which we know does not work - it results in more yachts and mansions for very few, not well paying jobs for the middle/lower class. Let’s push to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. Make sure we follow through with de-privatizing the prison system so that people stop making millions$ on the mass incarceration of black men in the US.  WE HAVE TO BE MORE VIGILANT AND MORE INVOLVED AND MORE INFORMED THAN EVER BEFORE.  HERE LIES LOVE is also more important now than ever before. Imelda Marcos blinded and distracted the entire Philippine nation with her excess, drama, and glamour while she and her husband robbed the country of BILLIONS of dollars and violated human rights. I’ll be playing rebel leader Ninoy Aquino again at @seattlerep April 7-May 28th 2017. Come be a part of the people power revolution. #riseup #herelieslove

I believe that the Filipino will respond to the call of greatness, not by coercion but by persuasion, not by intimidation but through the ways of freedom. Peace and order without freedom is nothing more than slavery. Discipline without justice is merely another name for oppression.
—  Statement of the late Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. (1932-1983) before Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos’ military tribunal (Commission No. 2), Fort Bonifacio, August 27, 1973. 
Resorts World Manila attack: 34 found dead after raid on Philippines casino – updates

At least 34 people are dead after a gunman burst into a Manila casino, firing shots and setting gaming tables alight, Philippine media reported on Friday, in what officials said was a botched robbery attempt.

Police said the unidentified gunman had killed himself after firing at armed officers searching the still-smoking Resorts World Manila entertainment complex hours after the drama that began shortly after midnight (1600 GMT).

Many of the dead suffocated in the chaos as guests and staff tried to flee choking smoke at the complex, according to a report by ANC News channel, quoting Bureau of Fire Protection sources.

Resort owner Travellers International Hotel Group Inc said authorities were still seeking details.

“We have been informed of several casualties, the number and identities of whom have yet to be determined,” it said in a statement. Its shares were down 7 percent.

Around dawn, the body of the suspected gunman was found in a hotel room in the complex, which is close to Ninoy Aquino International Airport and an air force base, police said.

“He burned himself inside the hotel room 510,” national police chief Ronald dela Rosa told a media conference. “He lay down on the bed, covered himself in a thick blanket and apparently doused himself in gasoline.”

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For all its imperfections (sometimes its circus-like sessions, the drama, the anger), the Philippine Senate, the upper chamber of the Congress of the Philippines, has always been an institution that safeguarded freedom. I know it is hard to look at it that way, but if one views it from the impartial lens of history, one sees a trend.

Every time the Senate is padlocked, or abolished, the Legislature of the country would be ridden with corruption (easily pressured by the Executive branch), oligarchy, herd mentality, and would be resistant to reform. That’s not to say that the current congress doesn’t have these problems, or that unicameralism (a one chamber legislature, as opposed to bicameralism of two chambers) is bad. For a type of Legislature may work best on a certain country or nation which has its own cultural and historical context, but another type may not.

The Philippines has tried a unicameral legislature (that is, without a senate) several times: under the un-amended 1935 Constitution (from 1935 – 1941), under the 1943 Constitution of a Philippines under Japanese Occupation (from 1943-1945), and under the 1973 Constitution of the Marcos regime (from 1973 to 1986), and in those three instances, the two latter set ups had the people’s voice repressed and/or silenced.

So what gives? The Senate, as compared to the House, is elected nationally, unlike in the House wherein representatives are elected by the regions they represent (thru legislative districts). As such, the Senate has a national view of things. Seeing however its shortcomings by missing the forest for the trees, the House of Representatives balances it. The Senate’s edge is its national outlook, hence, it is the testing ground for those who aspire for the highest government office in the land–the Presidency. The Senate is best seen in the spectrum of the past. Let’s look at it from the very colorful political life we had after World War II. 

The post-war Senate was legendary, in that, as intended by the framers of the 1935 constitution, it became the foremost venue for debate on national policy. In fact, the Senate would attract a large following (media and political analysts) in its sessions. And the senators then were very good with the arguments. These senators were not totally incorruptible, but reading the news articles of that time would give one the sense that these senators had the experience, the bravado, and the training to engage an impressive intelligent public discourse. The debates in the Senate and the exposé made by senators on the senate floor created waves in the media. And the people reacted and interacted.

The Senate has therefore been naturally on the forefront of opposition when the Chief Executive committed excesses. Take for example the bombing of Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971, where in the Liberal Party’s miting de avance, several people were injured, including some senators. President Marcos immediately suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus nationwide. The Senate opposed the move saying it was uncalled for since the bombing was not national in scope. Public opinion at the time said it was President Marcos who planned the bombing. It was Senator Eva Estrada Kalaw who urged the public to wait a little longer for the next presidential election lest the violent demonstrations that resulted be used as an excuse for martial law. In the 1971 midterm elections, the opposition won the majority seats in the Senate, a fitting reflection of public opinion that had swung against Marcos.

Seeing that the only recourse for extension of presidential term was for the Senate (a thorn in Marcos’ side) to be derailed or abolished, President Marcos planned to declare martial law, in the guise of preserving peace and order, on September 21, 1972, the date of the supposed adjournment of both Senate and House of Representatives. It was Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in his famous privilege speech on the Senate Floor days before the 21st that revealed a secret plan of the administration, called “Oplan Sagittarius,” to use the military to take control of the country and impose martial rule. Marcos denied the allegations, not even telling his close associates the plan.

On the last minute, Congress scheduled a special session on September 21, moving the adjournment to September 23, 1972. And thus it was only on the midnight of September 23 that martial law was implemented, beginning with the arrests of key senators: Senators Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., Jose “Pepe” Diokno, Ramon Mitra, and Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo. Senator Salvador “Doy” Laurel was one of those on the list of arrest but was out of the country when it happened.

As the imprisoned senators, with approximately 8,000 individuals (composed of journalists and opposition leaders) clamored for the unconstitutionality of Marcos’ martial law declaration, initially Marcos promised never to supersede the 1935 constitution. But this was only lip service. Before the opening of congress on January 22, 1973 as set by the 1935 constitution, Marcos engineered the process of the creation of a new constitution, the 1973 constitution, which was quickly (minadali) ratified before the said date. The new constitution gave him almost absolute dictatorial powers, and it abolished Congress. Thus, when the legislators arrived on January 22, at the Legislative Building, the Senate and House Session Halls were found padlocked.

Martial law ended that era of that verve of political life for the country. Perhaps there is truth in the thought that the Senate today is but a specter or a shadow of the Pre-Martial Law Senate. But the institution, no matter how imperfect, is still a reflection of public opinion, and of our aspiration as an independent people of democracy.

Thus, on its 99th year since it was established via Jones Law in 1916, let us give a virtual/digital toast to our Senate, wishing that they would live up to the trust we have given them.


Photos above:

(1) Senators Doy Laurel, Eva Estrada Kalaw, Ramon Mitra, Gerry Roxas, and Jovito Salonga in 1973, outside the padlocked Senate Session Hall. (Photo from the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, PCDSPO)

(2) The pre-war interior of the Senate Session Hall in the Legislative Building (now the National Art Gallery of the National Museum of the Philippines). The room was not used during the Martial Law Period. In 1987 the reestablished Senate opened again its session here. The Senate eventually moved to the GSIS Building in Pasay in 1997. (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Philippines)

marcus_ramirez@conradricamora 🤓 as Ninoy Aquino for #HereLiesLove tech rehearsal, disco musical about Philippines’ First Lady Imelda Marcos, dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and the #PeoplePower Revolution. 🇵🇭 Recognizing that this history is a legacy of American imperialism. Also living for and inspired by the incredibly talented, all-Filipino cast. 🔥✊🏽 [📸: @kwanvin]

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[NEWS] Korean superstar Lee Min Ho is back in Manila for his fourth visit to the capital city for a special event.

An immigration officer examines the document of Korean actor Lee Minho upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport NAIA Terminal 1 exactly 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday (February 24, 2015) in Pasay City. The actor will promote in Manila the “Save the Date: Lee Min Ho Fun Meet,” a contest organized by popular fried chicken restaurant KyoChon, which will allow fans to personally meet their idol.

Aviation police escort Korean actor Lee Min Ho upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport NAIA Terminal 1 exactly 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday (February 24, 2015) in Pasay City. The actor will promote in Manila the “Save the Date: Lee Min Ho Fun Meet,” a contest organized by popular fried chicken restaurant KyoChon, which will allow fans to personally meet their idol.

Listen

I Have Fallen In Love (with the Same Woman Three Times)

This poem was written by Senator Benigno Aquino at Fort Bonifacio on October 11, 1973 as a love poem for Cory Aquino for their 19th wedding anniversary.

This was put into song by Jose Mari Chan on 1989 on his album Constant Change.

I am posting this song in lieu of Senator Ninoy Aquino’s 28th death anniversary.

Aside from being a romantic husband to his wife, let us also remember a modern Filipino hero, whose death became a catalyst to restore freedom and democracy in the Land of Juan. I shall also leave this as a challenge that we can also be hero in our own little way.

Bayani si Ninoy. At tayo rin ay puwedeng maging Bayani katulad niya.

Maraming maraming salamat po Senator Ninoy Aquino.