Tag Archives: Imelda Marcos

Emil Guillermo’s quick take: The Aquino victory in the Philippines and what it says about the Filipino people

I’m hearing it said, and it’s true: Noynoy Aquino would not have won this time around had his mother not died last year.

It’s that guilt vote. Catholicism,guilt,  family ties mean something in the RP.  If voting machine and counting snafus could be averted, then it was in the bag. But who had the crystal balls to predict that?

One thing is sure, an Aquino candidacy was unlikely had Cory lived on. Noynoy was too happy as the idealistic gadfly oligarch.

The political wags in Manila are already saying that in a “Non-Noy, No Aquino race,”  the convicted and pardoned former ex-President Joseph Estrada would have won easily over the scandal-tainted Manny Villar, the Meg Whitman-Ross Perot like politician who had lots of money to burn.

Add to that the tremendous victories from the surviving Marcos family, all of them, allowed to run and win in their Ilocos region. What do you get?  A recycling of corruption seems imminent.

Says a lot for the Filipino voters and the future of democracy there, where crooked politicians are cherished and revered.

But why shouldn’t some scalawags and scalawagas be given a fifth or sixth chance? 

It’s the Filipino way.

In America, you get dumped for lying about your Vietnam status. Or you get dinged for having an affair (which is strange. Don’t politicos get into the business to get chicks?)

But that’s politics in America.  All that is just a starting point for political success in the Philippines.

Noynoy Aquino wins, but the big winners in the Philippine elections are the Marcoses; Plus, Manny Pacquiao TKOs blonde ABC reporter on “Nightline”

The big election winner in the Philippines this week?  The Marcos family.

If Betty White can still shuck and jive so can Imelda Marcos.

 The 80-year old won for Congress in Ilocos Norte with nearly 110,000 votes. 

That’s one for each shoe.

And to my knowledge, my dead father from Laoag didn’t even vote once.

The former dictator’s wife, had been a representative of Leyte in the past, but has since discovered the saying “all politics is local.” So from her late husband’s Ilocos base, the Marcos’ rise again, with the speculation that the family is mounting a political defense against efforts to force the family pay for its plunder of the Philippines.  So in Ilocos, daughter Imee won this week for governor.  And there was Bong Bong,  among the winners for the Senate.

Stay tuned for Marcos-Aquino III?


But first a preliminary bout featuring a real boxing champ,  Manny Pacquiao and ABC News, the parent of KGO and KABC.

Perhaps to balance between the severe colonial-English mentality of “Nightline” anchor Martin Bashir, the network sent  Clarissa Ward, a toothsome blonde to cover Pacquiao’s campaign in the Philippines. 

I wondered why ABC wasn’t covering Noynoy’s victory on Tuesday.  But Manny the champ is a better ratings  grabber than Aquino the accidental president. Manny even got better play that night than the British Prime Minister story. (But then, America did revolt against Britain and colonized the Philippines, so maybe that colonial mentality came into play). 

Still, I was hoping ABC would at least mention the gravity of the elections in the RP. But not with Ward, whose report was an embarrassment to the news division. The story was focused on the reporter’s  ineptitude to secure a timely interview. Manny had the young girl in tow all day before finding the time to grant her an interview. Made ABC look silly, especially when introduced by that super solemn Bashir.

When Manny finally did talk, he answered in his short, terse but totally engaging and genuine style.

Nothing about him ever seems fake or self –serving, which one couldn’t say about Ward and her report. Pacquiao’s like Chance the Gardener in “Being There.”

But “Nightline’s treatment shows how little respect the idea of an everyman champ like Pacquiao  gets when he really wants to give back to his community.

I’ve said somewhat tongue –in-cheek that Manny should run not for Congress, but president.  The Philippines is run by a political ruling class of the rich.  Families amass fortunes then use politics to keep the family finances in order. (The Marcos’ come to mind).

Manny is perfect  to unify the country, give hope and show the country that one can rise up from the slums and be a force of good.  

In many ways, a congressional post form Manny is perfect for the archipelago that too many times seems ungovernable. A strong local leader is the start of rebuilding hope in a shaky democracy. That’s what a Pacquiao win stands for.

Unfortunately, most folks just want to know if Pacquiao can beat Mayweather, and not poverty in his country.  His odds are better against Mayweather.


And what does the  Noynoy landslide mean?  That the automated system is harder to cheat than some may have thought.   And that more people voted than were killed in election related violence. That’s a plus.

But once the great victory is confirmed, the guy who never wanted to be leader until his mother died last year, will still need lots of help.

As the new Yellow Hope, Aquino has the least connection to all the graft in the current political environment.  That’s good and bad.  Known for idealistic reform that goes nowhere, to be effective now, Aquino will need to bring together all the oligarchs who rule.  He’ll have to convince his fellow politicians to heed the mandate that the people delivered to him.  People are tired of the same-old privileged class Filipino-style politicians who serve themselves before the public.

If Noynoy gets help, we’ll see a changed country.

 If he doesn’t then he may have been elected the way some people choose among old fish.

You get the one that stinks the least.

Very quickly we should be able to tell if the country just elected a great brand name or the least effective oligarch.