Tag Archives: People Power

Column: Why Marcos IS the dividing line

Published on December 6, 2016.

In recent weeks, I had a chance to meet with student leaders involved in organizing the mass actions to protest the Marcos burial, and I came away deeply impressed. One group, in particular, stood out for how they embraced the complexity of the issue (it wasn’t simply the Marcoses trying to deceive the Filipino people again, although there was that); they understood that President Duterte was pivotal (none of the other post-Edsa presidents had green-lighted the burial), but intuited that Gloria Arroyo was also possibly another, crucial factor.

They were clear about the help they needed, especially in processing the terabytes of information they were receiving, both online and off. But one of the students shared an organizing principle that helped guide their decision-making process on Nov. 18, the day the Marcos family carried out the burial. “At what scale,” he said they had found themselves asking, “will we make an impact?”

We didn’t ask penetrating questions like these when it was our turn to take to the streets a generation ago; I believe this generation is in very good hands. Continue reading


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Filed under Newsstand: Column, Readings in History, Readings in Politics

Blast from the past: “Reformist bloc agonizes over GMA ‘dilemma'”

Last month, I stumbled on a copy of this nearly-seven-year-old front-page feature story I wrote for the newspaper. Those were the days.

Published on August 22, 2002

CIVIL society representatives working with the Macapagal administration are now questioning their basis for supporting President Macapagal-Arroyo.

At least three major meetings have already been held in the last several weeks beginning with the controversy over the resignation of Vice President Teofisto Guingona as foreign secretary and the appointment of pro-Estrada oppositionist Sen. Blas Ople as his replacement.

The meetings attempt to list the group’s “bottom lines” — issues which may push the group to withdraw its support from the President.

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Column: Is there a future for Edsa?

Published on February 24, 2009

I thought the use of former acting award winners to pay personal tribute to the acting nominees at Monday’s Oscar awards — to substitute the tribute for the usual name-and-video-clip nomination routine — was a deft touch. It delivered on what first-time host Hugh Jackman had promised, a depression-era awards rite with more show and less biz. It dramatically welcomed the nominees into an elite fraternity of talent (Anthony Hopkins’ lauding of Brad Pitt’s “magnificent” quality as a “character actor” left Angelina Jolie beaming; Shirley Maclaine’s praise for Anne Hathaway amounted to a benediction). Not least, it reminded a global audience that the movies have a long, storied tradition. And that that tradition must be welcomed, assimilated, transcended, lived — in sum, reckoned with—in every movie worth the name.

* * *

Malacañang’s calculated snub of the Edsa I anniversary is offensive on many levels, but it is on the level of tradition that the offense cuts deepest. EDSA I as a political event defined the democracy that was restored, however haphazardly, in 1986; to slight it, or to leave it out of the narrative altogether, is nothing less than an attempt to redefine the tradition behind our democratic project.
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