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Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Last Saturday’s mass rallies prevented some folks from attending violinist Chino Gutierrez's beautiful soireé at Intramuros. Looking back at the interminable rallies we held 31 years ago to regain our democratic space, I wonder just how many hordes of folks had we inconvenienced as we marched endlessly up and down Ayala Avenue in those years?





The Inquirer headlined last Sunday a “Nation Divided” as it showed two rallies that simultaneously went on in the capital city. One was the remembrance of the EDSA “People Power Revolution” of 31 years ago that brought down the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the other rally, a gigantic one clear across at the Luneta, was Pro-Duterte and an impressive counter to the EDSA rally.
 Over three decades later the nation is still debating in various forums the relevance of the EDSA Revolution and there’s palpable effort to rewrite history---historical revisionism---and burnish the tarnished image of the dictator and his heir. To the simple folk the mass rallies were daunting as they coped with traffic and the inconvenience reminiscent of all the mass movements 31 years ago.
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A good number of people were at that very moment on their way to attend the soireé of Spanish romantic-era music and kundimans, rendered at the Bayleaf, a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of old Intramuros, by young classical violinist Joaquin “Chino” Gutierrez and his renowned accompanist,  Mary Anne Espina. A number of those who had planned to attend the soireé worried about the mass pro-Duterte build-up at the Luneta and they stayed away. 
I left early for the music event, passing through Buendia Avenue where I saw folks in groups marching toward Roxas Boulevard en route to the Luneta, so  I decided to turn right into Taft Avenue which proved relatively free and easy. I guided friends coming from Ayala Avenue to Taft and they made it to the Bay- leaf, but former SBMA Chair Felicito “Tong” Payumo and wife Daisy were not as lucky.  They waded right into Luneta and got stuck there, and all Tong could do was text me of their sad fate.  They missed a beautiful evening of enchanting music indeed.
Thinking about our mass movements 31 years ago as we tirelessly marched up and down Ayala Avenue every Friday afternoon--amid all the confetti shredded from innumerable yellow pages of phone directories raining down from the buildings, in our herculean attempt to bring down the dictator---I realized how the yellow crowd then had inconvenienced so many people and establishments.  Now the shoe is in the other foot.
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In an earlier post in Facebook I recounted how revolutions inevitably devour its children. As a thoughtful reader posited to my FB post, our case mirrors that of many other prior revolutions, most notably the French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions.
Earlier, a  number of  FB readers pointed out that the arrest of  Sen. Leila de Lima is KARMA indeed, after her persecution of President GMA and CJ Renato Corona. To my mind, however, looking at the broader picture, it's not just karma. It's also yet another case of the popular saying that "REVOLUTION DEVOURS ITS CHILDREN." This thought came to me on the eve of our EDSA REVOLUTION which culminated on Feb. 25, 1986.  Our revolution continues to the present---a revolution cycle---and it continues to devour its children from various angles of the political spectrum. The question is, WHEN WILL THE CYCLE END? When will our country settle down and discard this karmic BOOM AND BUST CYCLE?
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Consider: The EDSA Revolution devoured Ferdinand Marcos, but the lead perpetrator of that revolution, Juan Ponce Enrile, was in turn devoured in his own time, ending in prison until he was released for humanitarian reasons.In a way EDSA Heroine Cory Aquino was devoured too, because she lost a lot of her own following due to the gross mistakes of her son Benigno Aquino III. Then the Revolution devoured Joseph "Erap" Estrada over the "second envelop" drama after three years at Malacanang, and Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ascended to power and stayed for nine years. But soon after finishing her second term PGMA was arrested by the vengeful regime of President Aquino III and placed under hospital arrest for the next five years--- though at mid-year of 2016 she was acquitted of the charges against her and is now gloriously resurrected as Deputy Speaker of the House.
PGMA's Chief Justice, Renato Corona, was devoured too, succumbing to the vengeance of Benigno Aquino III on the Hacienda Luisita issue, with Leila de Lima as Aquino's hatchet woman. Now De Lima is herself devoured and there's speculation about Noynoy Aquino reaping the same fate as his Justice Secretary for his illegal use of DAP---to bribe senators during the trial of CJ Corona---and P-Noy's culpability in the Mamasapano tragedy.
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Will the Revolution ultimately devour the man in Malacanang, Rodrigo Duterte, as wild speculation is going about a "destabilization plot?" Or will the political boom and bust cycle end here and now---and we enter a glorious age of peace and stability which we so ardently long for our children and children's children, and which we pray for to the Lord of History?
Indeed we long for peaceful transitions into power, where past officials gracefully yield to the incoming officials sans the sense of vengeance in their heart and WHERE THE RULE OF LAW PREVAILS ABOVE ALL---giving us citizens the enviable sense of pride in our country and leaders that other peoples have in theirs (exempting, of course, what majority of the Americans feel right now toward their new president), and in our maturity as a people. ALL THESE, INSTEAD OF WHAT MANY OF US FEEL IN INTERMITTENT INTERVALS---THE DESIRE TO SATISFY  OUR LUST FOR VENGEANCE.
When oh When, pray tell? Like Mark Anthony at the bier of Caesar, let us weep until we find the answer and our beloved Philippines rises gloriously from the ashes of ruins.
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