The Arrival and the great change
by Dr. Julito C. Tigley
The opposition became so bold, and the pressure from the world put so much weight, that sanction after sanctions were tried, just to chase the dictator from corner to corner, with the main purpose of giving up to democratic process. His stay in power was known to be very illegitimate, and the killing of the rightful successor, abhorred the democratic world as an abomination. They have tried so very hard in suppressing, the students, farmers, the bourgeois and the poor, from slums to plush village; they came down to demonstrate against the administration. Sometimes, Marcos will show himself in the tube, yet, the rumors is so strong that he is no longer in command, and that Defense chief is now in the chair to command a terrifying orders.
At last, Marcos declared February 7, for snap election, giving only one month to the opposition to prepare and for campaigning. Marcos got Tolentino, and Cory Aquino agreed with Laurel as her running mate. They used the Unido Laban as their party.
Genaro, who had undergone grief, and losses, seems uneager to participate in any exercise, because, the sudden death of his lovely wife, and the memory, that it was only his cousin who cheated him, brought sometimes into his mind a sense of frustration. And his sleepless nights and loss of appetite emaciated him a bit, and seeing people around the vicinity, brought shame and embarrassment. His will to work hard in the farm is no longer there, and it is now his two sons, Mario and Bayani that remained with him in the village filled his gap so that the produce in every quarter shall be maintained the same.
His mind now swung to his native place in Negros, or stay with his sons, whom he always thought of having no fault in this catastrophe. He still received messages of grieving from distant relatives, all condole him about his life. The mayor of his native town knew him so well, and his leadership in politics and social projects, is something you can be proud of, and will always make a blueprint of missing, in leadership. He was offered a job in the municipal government, as long as he will just go back to his native place.
In Manila, the campaign for the Presidential snap election was getting hotter. There was big rally at plaza Miranda by the opposition, and the “meeting de avanci” in the Luneta Park of the administration. But the militant also had their own demonstration in Mendiola and their speakers lambasted the Government, telling the people the election would be another farce, and urging the public not to go to the poll, because their vote would not be counted in accordance to their conscience.
Tales of assassinations, ambushes and early vote buying were very rampant and the people at this time were very adamant because they found out that their life is now being pushed to the wall. Anything that will make wrong would be a mistake forever. Barrios were promised lots of money and aid if they can produce zero marks in the poll. Teachers who have scheduled poll duty, were summoned by the administrations, or visited at night time, bribed them, just to change the results in favor of Marcos. They will always threaten the barrio that if Marcos lost, it means to say that they are saturated with communist and they are subject for annihilations. Oppositions received information of ballots switching, and those who will be sent by the priest monitoring the condition of the campaign were threatened to be shot and would just disappear.
Genaro talked to his two sons that he is going to visit his native place, and just to make a short vacation. Mario, the eldest, approved his father’s request, but asked too to comeback even for his wedding. However, a knock on the door, prompted them to discontinue their discussion. When they opened it, it was the Mailman, giving them a letter from Efren. With keenness, they opened right away, and Mario read the letter aloud to them. “ Papa, even if I am far from you, I have the feeling that I want to be close to you. I want to help you, and just please, don’t lose hope, we are a family and as usual, our love will never fade. I am now a graduate of PNPA, and I will have my first assignment in Baguio, as a Second Lieutenant. When it comes to Politics, don’t ever go into it. I will not tell you the situation here in Manila, because it is very horrifying”. He continues; “don’t worry about ninoy; there is a possibility, that he is alive. Once I will be assigned in Mindanao, I will try to look for him, or try to find out their result of their investigation”.
On the eve of the election, there was hush and silence in all corners and even small stores closes early to listen the result from other provinces. But all were in the Radio or TV, waiting for the results. In Luzon, the report of Namfrel, a neutral groups, composed of academes, professionals, businessmen, and clergy, who monitored the results, showed that Cory Aquino is leading. And in the visayas, there are provinces which withheld their results, because Marcos is losing, But, ironically, the Palace on the government radio already declared that the Election is peaceful and that, the dictator won overwhelmingly.
Soon, in Manila, and some of the bigger provinces like Cebu and Bacolod, it responded by lighting a candle symbolizing again the death of democracy. World leaders who sent observers in the election nauseated, some publicly denounced the declaration as an insult to the Filipino People. .
And there was an automatic silent civil disobedience, many would no longer abide the law, and it made some of the enforcers, lukewarm to implement the law because they also believed that there was grandiose cheating being done by the palace. Rumors are growing that there is an impending coup, or civil war. Cardinal Sin, the most revered Catholic prelate, urged in his homily, that in time of needs everybody should show and fight for a very noble cause. Demonstration all over the country was published in Prints and televisions locally and globally, and they always estimated the number as so very enormous. Palace was in turmoil, and the leadership is bound to crack. The defense minister, and the PC chief were now cornered, and they are under the extreme dislike of the first lady and the Defense Chief. Since at that time Marcos is under a secret medical management of his lupus sickness.
Genaro was already in Negros in his native home. He was alone, but when the mayor knew that he was there, he was called right away. In the office he was ushered; “Genaro, you have already an item in the General services office, and you will work with Engr. Pacaldo. He is the one in Charge, and we want you to take part in updating the task and services of the Department”. The Mayor Stressed. “Thank you so much sir”. He replied.
Engr. Pacaldo is the son of his close friend. At the aisle, a very gallant man approached him, and kisses his hand in respect. “Who are you?” I inquired. “I am Engr. Pacaldo, the son of your Compadre Doring.” He answered politely. So, Dudong, I am now your subordinate, and I will work with you the best of my ability. How is my Compadre.” He queried. “Ah, Papa is okay, but mom is dead already. He died after my graduation. How is my friend Efren.?” Engr. Pacaldo asked. “Efren is in manila, and he will be assigned soon in Baguio, as a Police lieutenant”. He replied.
They were surprised when suddenly, they saw a Military Jeep and an Armor personnel Carrier parked underneath the Acacia tree. Then, an officer alighted, and went inside the chief of Police for a briefing. Later, about an hour, it went out, back to the jeep and went away. The chief went right away to the Mayor’s office. Genaro saw some sign of a national problem some what occurring in the Central Capital Region.
After the Batasan Pambansa Proclaimed that Marcos and Tolentino won, the catholic bishop conference automatically declared that the election was a farce and fraudulent. The US senate, who acted as observer at that time, have also spoken and condemned the election. Corazon Aquino and Doy Laurel did not accept the result too. With the results which was condemned by all sectors, the Defense Minister, and PC chief proclaimed to the whole nation that the result was marred by frauds and that they are retracting their support to the leadership of the Dictator. They were confined in Camp Crame, with their military supporters. Ramos informed Cardinal Sin and asked for support. Throng of people led by the brother of the assassinated senator led more than a thousand marathoners to Camp Crame, and you can see nuns and ordinary in their hands a rosary or a flower, children, support their parents, blockading along EDSA tanks and armor personnel carrier, preventing them to attack the camp. The street was turned into an ocean of people. Birds unmindful about what is happening flew over, bringing twigs, as a symbol of peace and a change. And on the Second day, news that the Air force attack battalion flew over and pledge support to Ramos and Enrile. The marine which was tasked to bombard the camp were stopped by flower bearing beautiful ladies, hugging the soldiers, and even the cannon’s barrel were plugged with men or children giving breads to gunners. Some soldiers could not help but cry, when they received the God’s book the bible.
But Efren, the son of Genaro, informed right away his father that he is in Baguio, and there is no problem so far. His commander is still neutral but their inclination is supporting Enrile and Ramos. And in their town, the mayor who is presumed by many as an opposition supporter, requested the Police that they are going to put a Yellow ribbon in the Acacia Tree. The chief replied affirmatively, and later, they knew that the Philippine Constabulary of the Visayas is already supporting the Ramos camp. But they would not start the irritation. Genaro, was called by the mayor for a talk. “Genaro how is Efren? Which faction is he supporting? “. “ Mayor, Frankly they are with Ramos” he positively said.
And they heard that Marcos and his group had already been hauled to Hawaii. People were noisy, clapping their hands, and they heard the sounds of a jet plane which was applauded by the people. Aquino and Laurel were declared the New President and Vice President Respectively.
There was jubilance in the town, Genaro run towards all street in the town to celebrate the new era. Independence and freedom which was locked up during the dictator’s regime, is as fresh as a newly opened flower. And those cows, goat, and even dogs showed some inviting smile, welcoming the sunshine in the morning after the Four days of February. The change has come and the gloom is over. He decided to stay for good in his native place.