By Alex P. Vidal
“Each new generation is reared by its predecessor; the latter must therefore improve in order to improve its successor. The movement is circular.”—Emile Durkheim
THERE are signs that the astronomical ascension of Vice President Leni Robredo in Philippine politics from an unknown wife of a not-so-famous cabinet secretary who died in a plane crash during the previous administration, can be compared to that of the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.
When the late strongman former President Ferdinand Marcos was the dominant figure in Philippine politics from 1965 to 1986, no one saw the demise of his political power—until the unknown housewife of a charismatic opposition icon murdered in the tarmac three years earlier, came from nowhere to trounce him in a pre-EDSA uprising snap election.
All the surveys dismally showed “Tita Cory” in the rock bottom even if it was unanimously predicted Marcos would anyway retain his power “by whatever means”. The rest is now history.
Let’s forget the survey. Fidel V. Ramos never topped any of the many surveys dominated by Ramon Mitra, Danding Cojuangco and Miriam Defensor-Santiago during the 1992 presidential election.
Robredo never topped or has not ruled some of the recent reputed surveys except those done in the universities, media institutions and in foreign lands with large Filipino communities.
But what we are witnessing these past months is no longer an ordinary campaign. What has been unfolding is a movement. I don’t need to elaborate on something that is so obvious and palpable.
These were the same “handwritings on the wall” many of us saw when Mrs. Aquino launched her presidential bid in 1985, a year before the February snap election that pitted her against one of Asia’s most powerful dictators.
I will stop from here. I leave the rest of reckoning or calculation to the intelligent readers and let history take its course once again.
IN the past two years, news in the Philippines has been dominated only by two major stories: Covid-19 and illegal drugs bust.
The other news was about politics—the preparations for the May 9, 2022 election—followed by crime stories or about the peace and order.
The rest was about entertainment, sports, economy, animals and climate change.
Covid-19, how the government has been fighting it and how the people have been responding to the vaccination and the travel restrictions and other pandemic-induced protocols; and illegal drugs, how the police have been busting and arresting traffickers, completely were in the prime time news and front pages of major dailies for the last 24 months.
It seems we might soon see the decline of news about Covid-19 once Omicron, the No. 1 producer of a flurry of pandemic stories, will start to move away (it can’t stay in our lives forever, for heaven’s sake) but news about illegal drugs has no ending in sight.
It appears illegal drug trafficking is here to stay and stories about major busts and shooting to death of “armed” traffickers will have a permanent space in the daily news.
With 2022 as the election year in the Philippines, coming second to Covid-19 in as far as major news is concerned, is now politics. Once the official campaign period unwraps, political news will give the pandemic news a run for its money.
That’s the width of an asteroid expected to fly by Earth next week is 3,451 feet.
On January 18, the kilometer-wide asteroid known as 7482 (1994PC1) will pass within 1.2 million miles of our planet, moving at a speed of more than 47,000 miles per hour. Scientists are confident the asteroid will not hit Earth, but it’s the closest it will come for the next two centuries.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)