If there’s one thing I can credit the Aquinos without malice, and with an air of awe and wide-eyed wonder, it would be their successful brainwashing of the majority of the Philippine population into looking at their clan like the second coming of Christ himself. The kind of adoration from people that, even if they’re caught dead with their hands on the proverbial cookie jar, always get deflected like a well oiled teflon pan and absolved immediately—often by the very people they’re trying to hoodwink. It is, thanks to the well-oiled propaganda machine they have at their disposal and more than thirty years of conditioning on their side, a phenomenon worthy of a National Geographic or Discovery Channel feature.
In the Philippines the typical argument you will find in a political discussion is: If you’re anti-X, therefore you’re pro-Y. Or the other way around. Almost never about being both anti-X & Y. It’s always a perpetual schoolyard brawl where sides should always be taken. Always good vs evil. Always in black and white with no possibility for gray. Scenarios like a well-written thriller that involves two-faced manipulative characters and duplicitous motives and morally ambiguous choices almost always never figure in a discussion with the average Filipino. It’s always in absolutes, and with a heavy baggage of emotion to go with it. Unfortunately, politics has tons of gray, and even more black, than white.
So when you’re critical of the Aquino administration and its vestigial extensions like Mar Roxas and the rest of his political appointees, people would be quick to conclude that a) you’re espousing the “EVIL” regimes of the Marcoses or the Arroyos b) you’re a paid hack and part of a demolition team of another candidate from an opposing party and c) you’re stupid for not seeing the glory of the Aquino clan. Of course those accusations are valid. Just because they came from fanatics (and a few sycophants), does not mean it’s not probable. There really are some dubious characters out there attacking the Aquinos for their own self-serving or ignorant interests.
But what most people miss is that some people attack the Aquinos simply because attacking them is the right thing to do. That maybe, removing the yellow blinds off the eyes of one yellow zombie at a time is a worthy enough cause to undertake. Black propaganda against the Aquinos? Yes, well, as that iconic celluloid British spy said: It’s all a matter of perspective. We can all agree that the quality of politicians we have are utter crap. But in the spirit of fairness, let us all take the blinds off and see them for what they really are: Crap. No exceptions because of that BS yellow color, please.
I was one of the yellows up until a few years ago. I was a child, entering first grade when EDSA 1 happened. Outside the little world of play, sleeping, eating, play, and more play, it was a huge and bewildering sight and story. Here was someone who died (even death was a totally overwhelming concept for me at that age), for freedom and the crusade against tyranny, they said. That Marcos, the president, was a good-for nothing thief and despot who terrorized and stole from the people he has sworn to serve. Add to that narrative the many images in popular print and broadcast media demonizing Marcos and short of canonizing Aquino, and you get the picture of what it does to an impressionable mind.
Marcos bad, Aquino good. Simple. No need for any type of hackneyed legalese to see that glaring dichotomy between the two. That’s the same tactic they employed with former president Gloria Arroyo. The attack dogs of the yellows, especially PDI’s Condrad De Quiros, were relentless in demonizing the former president that even clueless citizens who only had an iota of knowledge about the entire proceedings also latched into it. Who could really blame them? Non-yellow controlled media organizations aren’t as popular, and do not enjoy the type of circulation and influence like their rivals. So as far as getting relevant information is concerned, the average schmuck—already saddled with a shortage in critical thinking brought about by malnutrition and difficult access to quality education—would just have to unknowingly swallow the jaundiced version of things.
For some reason it’s always the Aquino name that comes along to save the day and rid us of these so-called vermins at the right moment. De Quiros’s ‘Noynoy is Aragorn’ was a stroke of genius (now a punchline more than anything) that would have made the likes of Joseph Goebbels proud. Especially since it came at the heels of that ‘Hello Garci’ scandal that got everyone frothing in the mouth—nevermind if no formal charges were given—and that the only trial that actually took place was that of publicity. Where any normal person would sit back and question the dubious legality of the way GMA was detained, people cheered on because, once again, media overrode everything. And in a place like the Philippines where showbiz and emotion takes precedence over everything else proved to be potent enough for people to support BS Aquino’s persecution of his predecessor.
But what’s laughable about these entire charade is that the Aquinos themselves might only be pawns themselves. As Mr. Bobi Tiglao recently wrote:
“First is that EDSA I was such a good template for Cory’s master, the US, to disseminate worldwide to rouse people under communist dictatorships to revolution. The EDSA template would have been swiftly forgotten if there were no EDSA I commemorations yearly, complete with videos of heroic ordinary people, nuns and priests stopping tanks.
The US’ first target was China’s democracy movement, which however, failed. Where do you think that young Chinese got the idea to stand ramrod in front of a tank in that iconic Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989?
Remember also that the 1980s was the height of Reagan’s crusade against the Evil Empire, the Soviet Union. The US had actually first focused on Poland, and it has been indisputably proven that the Central Intelligence Agency funneled, starting in 1980, a total of $1 billion to Lech Walesa’s “Solidarity” trade union that was the vanguard of the Polish revolution. Televised scenes and press photos of EDSA I proved much, much cheaper to rouse the Poles.
Indeed, even the US officials and the Yellow Cult have boasted that EDSA I , the “Yellow Revolution” – inspired the peaceful revolutions, especially the “color revolutions” (e.g., Czechoslovakia’s 1989 Velvet Revolution), that overthrew communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
The inspiration wasn’t just on the level of inspiring morale. Formulating and executing the political tactics for Cory and the People Power movement was the political consultancy group Sawyer Miller, (See James Harding, Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business.) After EDSA, the firm’s prestige shot up, their ‘technology,’ even if pejoratively described as the art of the political spin, was studied, their political-consultancy business model adopted by a host of new Washington-based firms.
I suspect that Sawyer Miller was even directly contracted by the CIA, as that Hardin book read: “When the firm’s principal David Sawyer died in 1999, (US) Sen. Daniel Moynihan stood up on the floor of the US Senate to mourn him, saying, among other things, that Sawyer ‘helped to open up the governments of Eastern Europe and Latin America by introducing mass communication into their electoral processes.”
The US also realized in EDSA I how the media could be so powerful in fomenting revolutions, especially that new media – the 24-hour Cable News Network.”
So there. I would even venture to suggest that maybe he-who-should-not-be-named brother-in-law was not the actual mastermind in the assassination but some Jason Bourne Treadstone type of character who called the shots. But that’s just me and my outlandish imagination. Bottom line is that the closer one looks at things, the less lofty and noble they appear to be.
“The Filipino is worth dying for.”
Sure. Who gets to benefit from that death is an entirely different picture altogether.
[Photo courtesy Christian Science Monitor.]