Blame Yourself, Not the country, Chapter 4 by Dr. Julito Tigley

                                  The power of the dead Senator

                                               Chapter 4


In the later part of the 70’s came the awakening, and people started to evaluate gains and losses of Martial Law… Marcos who was the self-ordained dictator became so fierce against any resistance and any activism even how legitimate, they were still considered outlaws. Demonstration on the street would be dealt with military violence, and any casualties were just collateral damage, and no crime committed.


The clergy which was hibernating awakens and brought up topics in their sermons about politics so that the people’s mind will be opened about the forefront of truth. The abuses of the military are almost intolerable, and the threshold of patience is diminishing.  Sometimes there is village which was declared “no man’s land” and people who left there belongings, and small property, yet in their coming back, their chickens, hogs, and other pets were slaughtered. Fruits trees were harvested, coconuts were taken down, fruits and trees and houses were ransacked, almost it looks like it was devastated by a hurricane.


And to those who will complain and then, were entered into the Police blotter, toand mercilessly they were visited at night time, peppered their home with bullets. And anyone that can be seen was shot. Only the Politicians who are with the side of the regime, were capped with powers, and some were acting like spies, and those reported even how dear you are to the people were executed.


The only available radio that can be heard secretly by the people was “radio veritas”. All privately own radio stations that are antagonistic, were closed or seized. Marcos through PDA arrested radio anchormen who are very critical of his regime. Banks were closed, and currency before was changed and the new denomination was already ‘Bagong Lipunan.”. If you have lots of money in the house it will be confiscated. Imelda his first lady, like a butterfly hopped around the country to country, and she had also her own escapades. Secret tabloids exposed her alleged relationship with actors and foreign leaders, and much, much more. The country’s name was synonymous with corruption because money borrowed were only distributed to his cronies, plundered and deposited in a Swiss bank in an assumed name.


In Cebu, Inday Nita and Dr. Alberca, had good team works, and they had their time in one of the radio programs “verboten” and also “kon akoy pangutan-on”.. People from all walks of life forgot a while about their destitute, and they were stuck to the radio to listen to the program. The program started with a drama, and its implication is about Family planning. So, a great number listened.


Teresa and her family always listened to it. And sometimes when the drama is almost like her affair, she would not listen to it, just stopped it.


“Teresa. Don’t ever sleep early; we have to listen to the Advice of Inday Nita. Why are you in hurry? Don’t you know that I’m hot now? With a smile, Genaro joked. But the truth is, he was excited by the program’s story line.


So, Teresa was forced to wait for Genaro. When all the children were all asleep, Genaro and Teresa, tried once, and Genaro plowed Teresa like a Carabao, but one thing was lacking, Teresa was in no mood of having sex with him. She tried it to pretend but it has of no avail, nonetheless, Genaro after finishing said, “It was nice, but as if everything was only for me, what happen to you? You are acting as if you are not a participant”.


Even if the mountain was far from Cebu, People were already in the store waiting at 10 am for the program. Inday Nita became a breakfast talk in Visayas and Mindanao. Later, she had her new program, “ Maayong Buntag Pilipinas”, a program talking about the prevailing issue of the day. Social and political topics were touched, and most of those who needed assistance were entertained and buoyed up.


The two programs were bread and butter for the village folks. Some said that in the neighboring village, many were excited and most of the folks became so knowledgeable about sex. And to practice what they have was a church taboo, but there are still many who made some escapades.


One fine day, they found out that the village was saturated with soldiers, and they were amazed. And the colonel explained to the folks that they were there to have a bivouac. “We are to have war exercise because this place is suited for a military practice. It has some resemblance to our Jolo mission. Please tell all the people that we are here to help and not to harm”. And the people became softened and smiled to every soldier the met on the field.


Mang Jose, one of the village councilors, became so enraged when he heard that his cornfield was used as a field of war, and some of his cornfields were flattened to the ground. And when he went there he found out that a company of soldiers was wallowing, and crawling with no thoughts about the plantations, because in their mind is the imagined enemy, and they are there as a prelude for a mission.


The war in the Muslim region was still very hot and at its peak, and Nur Misuari, the leader of the Muslim warriors, was elusive, and the ceasefire which was signed in Tripoli, doesn’t have any teeth.


But in the prison cell of Camp Aguinaldo, was a Filipino Icon, a political idol, who started his heroism in the fiftieth, in the war on the Korean Peninsula. He was there representing the Press, and it was him who made an account to account, the military struggle of the Filipino Contingent in Korea. He was elected as Governor and at an early age and then, became a senator. He was Senator Binigno Aquino Jr., the most candid critics of the martial law and its regime administrations.  Before the advent of Martial law, he foretold some significant indication, that Marcos was not satiated, and he wanted another more years and that he will strangle the democratic system by declaring Martial law. He had his ready armament to do it, and it was his Defense Secretary, the then Juan Ponce Enrile, who vomited out all the strategies in the later part of the snap election. The then Juan Ponce Enrile was the Defense Chief and he orchestrated an ambushed hoax, and it was used as a document, boosting the claim that some groups were there to create chaos and that the necessity of Martial Laws was so ripe to be declared. Senator Aquino, known to be the successor, or the next President, after his speech in one of the gatherings in a plush hotel in Manila, was whisked right away by a military contingent and was imprisoned. Many who were fingered as a leader, political or activist, journalist, or student leaders, were seized at night time and were detained on an unknown center. Those who refused were shots or salvaged, and nowhere to be found.


Sons of his adversary were jailed with no apparent reasons; the Like of Serge Osmena and Eugene Lopez who were accused of being the plotters.


But in 1980, May 8, the Dictator granted Sen. Aquino, an exit to the United States for Heart Operation in Boston. As the saying goes, in a person whose idealism is so strong, it would be better for him to stop a hurricane, rather than the spitfire of the mouth of the righteous. For some the man is a demigod, his straightforwardness is so strong; no one can bend his logics except his religion. He was a true believer of Jesus, and he found him a great refuge in his time at prisons. He had prayed so hard that to his letter to Soc Rodrigo, he almost lost himself because he almost believed that God had left him behind. On the contrary, when he was in the United States, after his operation, he stayed for three years. He had spoken so many places from one organization to communities, and even all ethnics groups who have the same problem of the Philippines; he was the glibbest talker, whose convincing ability, earned him so many admirers throughout the world.


Time has ended his stay, and he was also persuaded that to save the Philippines from another catastrophe if Marcos dies, he has to return and help rebuild the Philippines. But that was the fate, he met in Manila. On August 21, 1983, a sinister plot designed, maybe not known by the Dictator, shot and killed him at the Manila International Airport.


The grand old man of the village said: “you can stop the body, but the soul which will work independently, will continue on its mission”. Such is the power of the dead Senator.   

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