My post-debate analysis of the second presidential debate

2nd Presidential Debate

From left to right: Jejomar Binay, Rodrigo Duterte, Grace Poe, and Mar Roxas (courtesy of Rappler)

I have mixed emotions on the entire process of the debate because of prolonged delay of the commencement of the actual debate as Jejomar Binay brought documents to supposedly present his rebuttal against corruption allegations and reportedly, Mar Roxas vehemently opposed it based on COMELEC debate rules where no presidential or vice presidential candidate should bring notes with him/her to use as references of his/her arguments against itsĀ opponents. There was really inconsistencies indeed, as TV5 had contradictory rules from COMELEC and created miscommunication between Binay’s camp and COMELEC and TV5.

Speaking of actual debating performances, I think Grace Poe outwitted everybody else because she remained herself cool despite personal tirades thrown at her by Jejomar Binay regarding her natural-born status.

Mar Roxas had an impressive performance but the problem as when Digong Duterte and Grace Poe both grilled him on his performance as DILG secretary in dealing illegal drugs problem and Mamasapano massacre respectively, he lost his cool and kept throwing tantrums to them to the extent that moderator Luchie Cruz Valdez warned him to rein himself as he ran out of time in answering Poe’s questions.

Digong Duterte had really difficulty articulating issues which didn’t have expertise in particular on climate change issues and he really sounded like a denier nut and really, missed a point on how to eradicate crime problems in our country within short span of time and Roxas actually swept him regarding the issue. Back of climate change issue, he had a point that developed and highly industrialized economies are hypocritical regarding the issue, but it doesn’t mean that our country should invest more on environmentally destructive coal power and instead, we should allow foreign investors to invest in much cheaper but cleaner natural gas or even nuclear fission energies.

Jejomar Binay really doesn’t deserve to attend the next presidential debate anymore because of his primary goal was to embarrass Roxas via slapping him with documents which it was an epic fail and aside to that, he sounded like a twat bigot who cannot accept the fact that Grace Poe is a Filipino citizen and has remained to be such for her entire life though she used to be an American citizen.

More than Friends – Ninoy Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos

Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and Ferdinand Marcos. Circa 1970s

This article written by Nemenzo, Gemma from Filipinas (August 2008) is very timely and INTERESTING.

The title of the article is “A Different Take: An Interview with Rep. Roquito Ablan.” A lot of you may not know him, but during the Marcos Era, he was a “force” back then.

Filipinos are made to believe that Ferdinand E. Marcos and Ninoy Aquino were really arch nemesis, rivals, and even foes. But from this interview, we can see the A DIFFERENT VIEW on what was really happening during those times.

So here it is….

While writing a book about Upsilon Sigma Phi, the fraternity both Ferdinand Marcos and Ninoy Aquino belonged to, Filipinas managing editor, Gemma Nemenzo, did a one-on-one interview with Congressman Roquito Ablan of Ilocos Norte.

Ablan had the unique privilege of being close to both Ninoy, his batchmate in Upsilon (batch 1950), and Marcos, the undisputed lord of Ablan’s province. With such proximity to the two political superstars of that era, the congressman had a ringside view of what was happening behind the scenes of the Marcos-Aquino saga.

Is he credible?

People close to Marcos confirm that Roquito Ablan then had a direct line to the former president. Upsilonians also know that he and Ninoy Aquino remained close friends.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

I first met Ninoy at the University of the Philippines (UP) when we were neophytes in 1950. He was a professional absentee from classes. I was working with LUSTEVECO then so I had an open expense account so I would gas up Ninoy’s car.

The two of us were the most hazed neophytes in our batch. Our initiation lasted one year and one semester. We joined Upsilon because it was “the only frat in UP”; to be an Upsilonian, you must be good.

Ninoy and FM (Ferdinand Marcos) were more than friends. When Ninoy was in detention, he and FM would speak with scrambler telephones. During FM’s state visit to the U.S. in 1982, the two of them talked for an hour about good times.

FM was actually considering Ninoy as his successor. He admired Ninoy for his being a courageous fighter and his vigor. They were on the same wavelength.

In fact, Ninoy’s “Iron Butterfly” speech against Imelda and the Folk Arts Theater was edited by FM. I know because I was the intermediary. From the very beginning, FM gave instructions to the military to be lenient with Ninoy.

I met up with Ninoy in New York on April 22, 1983, which was my birthday. He told me he needed a passport. secretary of Foreign Affairs Collantes had earlier issued a memo stating no renewal for Ninoy’s passport. So I checked with FM on the phone and Joey Ampeso, a consular officer assigned in New Orleans and an Upsilonian, was asked to assist Ninoy, which he did.

During that New York meeting, Ninoy also told me that he went to see his doctor and his medical exam might require him to rest for six months because of some heart complication. In July that year, Ninoy was told by the State Department that FM was sick and that “if I don’t go home, I will not be president.”

In early August, FM and Ninoy talked about the latter returning to the Philippines and FM told him not to come home yet because he (FM) was weak and he couldn’t protect Ninoy.

On August 17, there was an earthquake in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, so I had to be there as acting governor. I sent two planes to meet Ninoy in Taipei but the first plane, which carried a top officer, could not locate him because he was using a passport with a different name. FM’s instructions were to bring Ninoy to Basa Air Base, load him in the presidential helicopter and bring him here to Manila, to protect him.

On August 20, I left Laoag at 10 in the evening so I could be in Manila in time to meet Ninoy at the airport. I didn’t think much of it then, but my plane was grounded (by someone who knew the chain of command) and the second plane was prevented from taking off When I was driving to the international airport, my car was delayed because of a rally of another Upsilonian, Doy Laurel, in front of Baclaran Church. I arrived at the airport 12 minutes after Ninoy was shot. Someone met me and said “wala na si Ninoy (Ninoy is gone).” I cried like a baby when I found out what happened. If I arrived on time I could have escorted Ninoy from the aircraft and he would not have been shot, or I would have been shot along with him on the stairs.

Courtesy of Nemenzo, Gemma from Filipinas.