Diliman, Quezon City
(Images of Democracy under Corazon Aquino’s Administration)
Ralph Cedie P. Fabon
What are the Images of Democracy seen or manifested in the Corazon Aquino Administration? “Dictatorship is like a big proud ship-steaming away across the ocean with a great hulk and powerful engines driving it. It’s going fast and strong and looks like nothing could stop it. What happens? Your fine ship strikes something-under the surface. Maybe it’s a mine or a reef, maybe it’s a torpedo or an iceberg. And your wonderful ship sinks! Now take Democracy. It’s like riding on a raft, a rickety raft that was put together in a hurry. We get tossed about on the waves, it’s bad going, and our feet are always wet. But the raft doesn’t sink…It’s the raft that will get to the shore at last.” This is how democracy is viewed by the businessman. Indeed, democracy is a word that unites and pleases all the people. It also brings hope and peace to a nation. But what does democracy really means? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Democracy means “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” Another meaning of democracy is “a political form of government in which governing power is derived from the people, either by direct referendum (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy). The term comes from the Greek: δημοκρατία – (dēmokratía) "rule of the people", which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (Kratos) "power", in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC. Democracy played a vital role in the Philippines. The Americans introduced this kind of government to us when they got our country from the Spaniards 112 years ago. The Philippine Presidents taking oath after the rule of American regime implemented the same form of government until a dictator emerged in the personality of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. President Marcos declared Martial Law on September 23, 1972 by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081. Marcos, ruling by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, closed down Congress and media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists, including his staunchest critics, senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga and Jose Diokno. The declaration of martial law stripped the whole Filipino nation their rights and freedom. After being exiled in the U.S for three years, the Filipino opposition activist Benigno Aquino was assassinated on the tarmac of Manila airport on 21 August 1983, moments after his return to the country to challenge the rule of long-term president, Ferdinand Marcos. That was also the day Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino stopped being, in her words, "just a housewife". Before we go further, let’s know more about “Ninoy’s Wife” first. Corazon Cojuangco was born the sixth of eight children in Tarlac, a member of one of the richest Chinese-mestizo families in the Philippines. She was born to Jose Cojuangco of Tarlac and Demetria Sumulong of Antipolo, Rizal. Her ancestry was one-eighth Tagalog in maternal side, one-eighth Kapampangan and one-fourth Spanish in her paternal side, and half-Chinese in both maternal and paternal sides.
She was sent to St. Scholastica's College Manila and finished grade school as class valedictorian in 1943. In 1946, she studied high school for one year in Assumption Convent Manila. Later she was sent overseas to study in Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia, the Notre Dame Convent School in New York, and the College of Mount Saint Vincent, also in New York. She worked...