A victory day in 1986

By Herbert Vego

THE date February 26, 1986 – 38 years ago — was probably the most euphoric day for us who retain memories of what had unfolded in the climactic four days of the “EDSA People Power Revolution” that ended the 20-year reign of dictator President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

It was the day when we woke up telling ourselves, “Ah, freedom at last!”

I had hardly slept overnight in a small room at the Eros Pension House, around 10 meters away from radio station DYRP-Iloilo where my broadcaster friends were monitoring and relaying the “escape to Hawaii” of President Marcos. I was then the editor of Panay News.

The night of Feb. 25, 1986 saw him and his entire family flown to Hawaii by a U.S. Air Force plane, apparently to escape the angry mob storming Malacañang.

For a little bit of history, the sudden change of leadership under the revolutionary government of President Corazon “Cory” Aquino was expected to bring back democracy to Philippine governance, starting with the implementation of the New 1987Constitution.

While we wish it has been accomplished, it has not. The irony of it all is that Malacañang’s occupant today is the “junior” of the man whom we booted out of the country.

Of course, there have been rallies here and there commemorating the EDSA spirit, but we really are in no position to predict what lies ahead. But as far as former Senator Leila de Lima is concerned, the administration of Marcos Jr. provides a “breathing room” from the authoritarian regime of his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte.

As we now know, it was Duterte who had De Lima jailed for almost seven years for trying to pin him down over extra-judicial killings during his years as mayor of Davao City.

“Under BBM, we are given the opportunity to make use of a democratic space in transition from the authoritarian regime that was Duterte’s,” De Lima told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) in a speech at the Manila Hotel.

There are no signs, however, that the “rebirth” of Marcos in the Palace would usher back that democratic space via divine intervention.

Still, to quote “An Essay on Man” written by English poet Alexander Pope in 1733, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”



WHY can’t China just let go of its invalid “sovereignty” at the West Philippine Sea (WPS)? Why does it refuse to abide by the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Netherlands that the claimed 381,000 square kilometers of maritime water is within our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)?

If truth be told, China has explored the area using ships with submarine detectors. This simply means that it has detected substantial natural resources there.

According to former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, such resources could fuel the Chinese economy for 130 years.

We have no way of knowing how he arrived at that estimate.  But our oil experts believe that the WPS hides under its bowels trillions of cubic meters of oil and natural gas which could turn Juan dela Cruz from rags to riches.

Imagine for a moment we already have them in the bag.  Then no Filipino would need to sell his votes to “trapos”.



THE current year is a leap year – the second “leap” in the four-year existence of MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) as the sole distribution utility for Iloilo City. Another more and it would have accomplished its five-year modernization goal. No doubt, it has proven itself capable of upgrading and replacing old and obsolete power lines at a budget of P1.9 billion.

“We have accomplished 110 percent,” said President/CEO Roel Z. Castro.  In other words, they have already surpassed more than the targeted upgrade for the first four years. It’s a cinch they would be completing its modernization program within schedule.

It was on February 29, 2020 (a leap year) when the company switched on, taking over the previous DU, Panay Electric Co. (PECO).

A year earlier on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2019) then President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law (Republic Act No. 11212) awarding MORE Power the new congressional franchise to energize the city for the next 25 years.

The company thus expropriated the facilities of PECO, whose franchise had expired on January 18, 2019.

But MORE Power could not immediately take over, pending final decision on a court case filed by PECO questioning the expropriation provisions of the new franchise law (RA 11212).

PECO had actually applied for renewal of its franchise in 2017 yet, but the House of Representatives shelved it due to mounting customers’ complaints over poor service, giving way to the new company as the successful applicant/bidder.

More power to MORE Power!