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Saturday, December 15, 2012


                The Needle in this fiction embodies Martial Law. The skull mangled exemplifies the Filipino people specifically  human rights victims from all persuasions – enforced desaparecidos to combatants, students to academicians,  civilians to soldiers, peasants to landlords, laymen to religious, ordinary taxpayers to oligarchs, voters  to politicians, officials to professionals,  – all victims of militarization  offered  as sacrificial lambs in the altar of Dictatorship. The crucifix and holy rosary, guns, bullets   symbolizes the protagonists – heroes and villains -  and the causes and institutions they represent. The red roses,  love affair that blooms and blossoms among the main characters.            
                Timeline was September 21, 1972 covering fourteen long years of dictatorship when Martial Law was declared until February 24, 1986 during the restoration of democracy ushered in by People’s Power at Epifanio de los Santos or EDSA. Post EDSA events from Fidel V. Ramos  to Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III or Pnoy’s presidency are treated in  Epilogue.
                The choice of fiction was deliberate because of its timelessness and  very important lesson drawn from that historic event– the restoration of democracy no less.  Most importantly, its didactic message to all Filipinos specially the  Post Martial Law babies: “Beware and never again to Martial Law!”
                On format, the author uses four of  Irving Wallace criteria in writing fiction from his  “The Writing of One Novel” with some innovation on grounding characters using flashback and other  tools characterizing bestsellers like Dan Brown, Grisham  . . . (not sure how this works though!) to highlight the author’s premium on the relevance of said historical event and its political ramifications surrounding the subject all throughout  the story. First, no loose ends on plot. Subplot should be tied together as much as possible all the way to the end. Second, narrative excitement ringing the bell for readers. Third, the use of research to disabuse and mitigate elements of violence and sex and lastly, the most unlikely ending. Breaking the rules of writing known to man is a challenge here.
                 How these  criteria treated and addressed by the writer specially the first, third and fourth are left to readers and  critics. Editing of the first draft has been  done by the author using relevant creative writing tips I culled from internet the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Jeff Goins, Catherine Reid, Cynthia Jones-Shoeman, Joe Bunting of Nanowrimo, Billy Wilder and Pruelpo, an FB friend and OFW dabbling as free lance writer and guru. Third is an actual editing  from Ricardo S. Maulion Jr., my son, doing too the proofreading. I have yet to accept any copy editors to do the favor for me.

                 Any suggestions and criticism  from right eyes for the better is in order here since this is the first attempt of the author to break into international market hopefully to register a mark there. This gauging from the encouraging comment of  Mr. Tom Wallace of Publisher’s on Demand Global of Asia Writes who send in an online contract after reading and evaluating the First draft of ten chapters of this work in progress approving for global publishing and marketing right away. No thanks for the compliment. Bolero man diay gihapon ning mga kano in the highest order. But thanks anyway whatever he meant. He commented: “You could be one of our future bestseller!” Dorrance and Ex Libris Australia would similarly extend their contract  for this fiction. So far 5,145 pageviews and 1076 visits as of November 2104 after posting the book online on top of more than 100 bookworms all over the globe reserving their copy.
                 Having written too several articles as social documentaries on issues of the day as columnist of Mindanao Gold Star Daily and SunStar Cagayan de Oro City, it is welcome development  exploring far challenging genre like fiction writing given valuable resources we have in the country on as many interesting issues we could share to humanity. Implacable hostility between military and rebels, hostage taking or Sunshine Industry of Abu Sayaff in the South, Folk Christian Belief, politics, graft and corruption – who could not be crazy over this sensitive issues affecting ordinary tax payers!
                 The dictatorship or militarization was undoubtedly the darkest era of the country’s history each Filipino should draw and learn lesson from.  For  it is only in learning what happened in the past we could rectify whatever excesses committed but also refocus our collective energy towards fulfillment and liberation. From there continue  moving on searching for  that elusive dream of pursuing peace, prosperity and development for our country.
                Protagonists are heroes of the novel the plot of the story revolved. Driarco dela Cruz and Taklin dela Rosa once bosom friends the latter morphing into nemesis as plot progresses and thickens in the context of nationalist’s struggle  for survival over two diametrically opposing paradigm, one the preservation of status quo and the other, the nationalist struggle for democracy.
                Specifically, this novel tells the story of friendship among protagonists Driarco and Taklin, bosom friends when they were both sacristans to Fr. Julio Lefuve, an Italian missionary, parish priest of Sta. Rita. Their clique Isagani, Monera, Theodore, Horace, Erly -they developed while at Sta. Rita Agricultural College - served as each other’s support group  sustaining their friendship all the way until the declaration of Martial law  shattering their innocence and dreams into bits and pieces away until they meet again during re-union. Betrayal too was seen in the story from the twist of events facilitated by the Brown Shirts represented by repressive town Mayor Jose Torres in cahoots with Power-Brokers  that be.
                 Crusaders of peace, social dreamers, sometimes revolutionary romantics seem to be an apt description of Driarco and Taklin as soon as they found themselves embarking  similar fate. First up entering religious life starting  their journey  on the road  less travelled at the Seminary searching for meaning and  fulfillment only threading separate ways  later. Taklin shifted to Military Academy after his Philosophy probably emboldened by the accident that happened to his family - his father’s death and later his elder sister featured as casualty in an unintended ambush at Mindoro. 

                Honed with discipline their parents vigorously imbibed, both became masters of their own trade.  Oozing with talents, ideals, zest and faith, each day was lived with meaning by these two gentlemen. Lust for life would have been the better alternative description sans immoralities characterizing bona fide artist like Vincent Van Gogh. Both struggled carving niche in their lives albeit lost in the maze of the system succeeding only to become casualty while still on their prime at the time yet they’re most productive. 
                Taklin became decorated  soldier of the AFP promoted to Major overnight because of his series of exploits.  The rabid nationalist Driarco became a Catholic priest only to lose his vocation just like any ordinary priests falling in love in ‘No exit’ predicament fleeing to the  hills at the height of civil strife joining the underground movement, a decision he never regretted even at the expense of his own life and vocation. Bp. Valdes of the Diocese of Romblon once advised the young priest Driarco not to fall into familiar trap committing any  mistake selling his vocation to Marcos.  “That’s the easiest way of losing one’s vocation,” he remembered the good Bishop admonishing him. But fate probably had in store for him to that quandary as he finds practicing priesthood with rebels instead later. “After all, a priest is forever a priest in the Order of Melchizedek, the archetype of Jesus Christ who gave bread and wine and blessed Abraham upon his return from battle,” he oftentimes rationalized.  “If this theology of liberation in practice Leonard Boff, and Cardenal brother-priests of Nicaragua and other progressive theologians preach and practice, so be it,” he further qualified. “This is rather better alternative than merely concocting theology of liberation in papers only,” he once wrote while in prison later.
                The plot begins with the discovery by Fr. Driarco on the dirty job done to his father. The needle no less planted on his cranium was traced as the root cause of his murder. Same with the rest of protagonists.  Similar incident happened to Taklin’s father but not  known though until both Fr. Driarco and Taklin, erstwhile friends inadvertently met in Esperanza, the hotbed of militarization in Northern Mindanao changing the scene of the story. Major Taklin leads his battalion in conducting military operation with two Toratora, three Sikorsky, five 150 Military gunship and one Huey helicopter providing air cover spearheading an air strikes in the campaign  that ensued. It was the 13th plenary plenum held by the rebels with Fr. Driarco  coordinating.  All is told, hundreds of civilians including children were caught in the crossfire. Many died and the survivors were herded in nearby schoolhouses as internal refugees.  Unfortunately, Fr. Driarco captured the military officer who happened to be Major Taklin de la Rosa. There ensued the twist of events the military officer killed but survived savoring renewed freedom or the story told.  
                Friendship transcends boundaries, creed and ideology so the interrogator priest  renamed Ka Emir surreptitiously released him under cover of darkness. What could he do he was the one calling the shot while  the country was on fire. Yes but not at the expense of bond of friendship  tying together the two gentlemen no ideology could break. There’s the rule of the camp alright but there’s also the rule of the forest.  Each one should bend a bit meeting at the center to find  meaning of that friendship. The plot unveils the dirty reality  but not when it thickens and in silence reveals twist of events.
                Both anyway suffered injustice at the hands of the wolves spread around silencing those in Order of Battle of RSM. The brutal killing of both their fathers by Mayor Torres’s men further aggravated their already partial view reality.  It was clear conspiracy involving not just the Chief Executive  himself but also, the rest of local officials wanting to end their fathers’ political comeback in the local scene.  The murder was delivered clean with no semblance whatsoever nor precedent but not until the young Driarco took a brief vacation from his overseas missionary work from Taiwan and conducted his own inquest and post mortem.  The needle securely inserted into his cranium discovered bares it all how ruthless the Mayor was to his opponent.
          Debraining is how any student of Animal Husbandry would call this barbaric slaughter, good only among helpless  livestock in slaughter houses.  Soon both realized that what they both  actually discovered was merely a tip of an iceberg learning the penchant of the Mayor’s orgy killing those whose faces he doesn’t like to see.
                Coming into the full circle of the story from the  rollercoaster ride of action, hot pursuit and scrimmages protecting his dear life, Driarco has no choice but fled for safety. But to no avail he succumbed to “No Exit” predicament first defending the cause of innocent people until he was inadvertently lured and caught by the underground movement. Where else would innocent man go finding cover and solace than in collective protection and safety  of its people. Must had been luck too God providing cover  His ordained priest in dire need of protection how to  untangled  himself out from the web of conspiracy.  There at Mt. Sungcal both protagonist met and what an end that anyway restored and relived later their friendship during People Power celebration when Lakay Apo and family were out of power from Malacañang.
                This is also a story of love, struggle and quest for lasting peace and better living for every Filipino. As each story unfolds so too of the country caught reeling from the impact of Martial Law and American imperialism.  The transformation of the military into important segment of the country proved a great fiasco however. It did not only arrogate the power of  civilians themselves but also left an indelible mark in the country’s history as unpredictable opportunists.  Suffering Messianic complex thinking they could run better the government than their civilian counterpart, they even staged coup d’ etat later on 1988 and 1989 as if to remake an extension of military dictatorship.
                Whether Martial Law succeeded in reforming the Philippine society or merely a military takeover, a deathblow to democracy creating Constitutional authoritarianism in the process is undoubtedly mere platitude.  Suffice it to say that much damage has been done to many Filipinos.  Various institutions fell one after the other.  Human rights violation documented by Amnesty International, polarization of the masses from the rich, proliferation of graft and corruption in bureaucracy, implacable and systematic accumulation and amassing of wealth by Marcos and his cronies leaving $28 Billion debt on 1986 – all these and many others are enigma upon the Filipinos.  Like cascading waterfalls that swiftly float into the sea, they would surely go down into the pages of history each one would account to his children and grandchildren’s children asking whatever happens and ‘why?’
                 Above all else, this is story of faith. Despite untrammeled problems and tragedy of Taklin  and Driarco, both protagonists were able to share the value of faith they nurtured and  developed: faith  living with others without fear, and faith  going beyond the fear of death.  That  life  is only lived once and the best gift from above is a fact nobody can deny.  But it is even more richer living it rightly for others. That makes it living once more than enough. In a nutshell, this story is also our story. In the words of St. Paul to the Romans 12: “As much as possible as it depends on you, live peaceably with everyone”, a valid  maxim the two principals of this work practice and protect.
                Lest this work would be misconstrued as result of stream of consciousness to borrow the oft-repeated words of William James, it took many years of meticulous and painstaking research, interviews with those who suffer under Martial Law and critical observation of fourteen years military rule to come up with this very special project.  This work admittedly is never peanuts.  For one, atrocities committed by both party against each camp were so glaring that narrating them in this project it seems, would make a bias interpretation let alone, might define the progressive character of the writer.  If this is the case, then be as it may. When would we came out from our shell anyway and reveal the truth? While we are still breathing or blown away to the world of the unknown dead!
After all, who is winning in any civil strife? Or to put bluntly, who suffers most?  There is family of both military and rebel of course as collateral damage.  The country is  also  bleeding to death.  But the worst casualties, according to many observers are civilians themselves caught and affected by civil strife. In war there are no victors only victims, Ninoy Aquino would write later in “Testament from Prison Cell.”
                 Why all this sufferings happened? Aberrations or excesses, you might say. Damn good answer. Unfortunately, ours is a civilized country and democratic yet whose civility is not gauged by the number of excesses.  Truth or consequence but an International Body tasked in monitoring and promoting world peace ranks our country in the lowest later in terms of civility. Not surprising actually as we’ve been similarly featured as one of most corrupt country in the globe as later validated by Transparency International Study.
                 War in general being very prohibitive is always at the expense of civilians.  For instance, it has been claimed that those caught in the crossfire far outweigh the numbers of direct casualties.  Such was the trend in the first two world wars. Just consider the eighty five percent of civilians killed in two World Wars. Galling! There are no better words of remorse for all the damage upon victims in war than when Capt. Lewis, American Pilot dropping bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima seeing all those irreparable damage from the mushrooming smoke uttered in useless remorse: “My God what have we done to Thy people!”

                Philippines is just a portion of our small beautiful world. Let it be forever that way.  We don’t own it unless we could outlive it.  But we are no mortals. “How could you ever own the land that which would outlived us?” narrated by an Igorot peace advocate Macling Dulag before his murder.  Peace, order and happiness in our troubled land– it’s all what everybody else strive and need.  Let there be peace on this planet and let it begins with us, the songs says.  Indeed, why not.  Just stand and be counted.      
                The author recognizes many friends whose invaluable help and participation enabled him to complete this long-delayed project albeit late. Special thanks to Mayet and wife, my five children Nikki for encoding; Mike and Maricar for book cover layout; Ricardo S. Maulion Jr. for editing of content and John Rafael as stand-by Personal Computer trouble shooter when entry in the computer got messed up. To Attys. Tibs Palasan, Macodi Agus and Jojo Ucat for  their legal minds.                                                      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ricardo F. Maulion                                                                                                                                     September 21, 2011                                                                                                 Cagayan de Oro City                                                                                                              Mindanao, Philippines
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               Past President Corazon C. Aquino was simply phenomenal.  All freedom-loving Filipinos  owe their gratitude and should return back the compliment to her she extended to the country specially when it  mattered most. Democracy no less!
                How her name beacons in the limelight of democracy and  in the world of politics is indeed amazing. True she might have not experienced any public administration from the barangay before history catapulted her as President of the Philippines through People Power of 1986. But the accolades and various recognitions and standing ovation she reaped in US Congress the prestigious Time Magazine naming her “Woman of the Century” far validates her niche in world politics as popular opinionated icon. That other countries in the world practiced her People Power – from communist mainland China, Germany, Europe to democratic Asian countries and lately in Middle East and still counting -  are proof of the magic she could weave harnessing the collective energy of the people like EDSA toppling down authoritarian government. With that incredible feat, she is at par with the great Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many other world’s great. It’s no wonder that her name was even  nominated by some quarters after her death into sainthood among Catholics  indicating the miracle her sanctity brought about political changes in the country and beyond.
                What past presidents failed to do, Cory simply did it with finesse and style through her celebrated transparent good governance. No question that no less than  PNOY later would acknowledge  his elevation to presidency to her mother he revealed in one of his visit of China.  So too with the rest of the country who proved to one and all that not all  68 Million  Filipinos back then are that stupid and coward fighting and subsequently ending the fourteen long years of  Marcos’ dictatorship. But  Cory just did it showing  to the world that no way a dictator could stay that long in office squeezing government’s coffers empty clean and dry.
                “Yes, how she won that 1986 snap election might be suspect,” any Juan de la Cruz might gripe. But as then Sen. Rene Saguisag, one of her loyal but brilliant apologist bares it in Dong Puno’s highly rated  talk show Viewpoint. “He who runs away from the fight naturally is a loser.”
                 “Of course, the election was not a derby,” the opposing gentlemen in the show argued against.
                “So what when Juan then was there ready to unleash delivering the coup de grace to the tough dictator.” 
                Thanks that People Power saved the day or conflagration would have eaten innocent Filipinos alive.
                Undoubtedly Marcos’ categorical “No!’ response to then Gen. Ver of bombing  Camp Aguinaldo where  Ramos, Enrile and thousands of supporters holed in  proved to be his last remaining saving grace. That more or less bailed him out  from the infamy and disgrace  of history.
True enough, she did great favor  to Juan by restoring  him back his cherished security and freedom mangled by Marcos. What more  a widow could offer the Filipinos asking for great change?
                She also formed the Presidential Commission on Human rights. Though  devoid of any police power, it helped every Filipino seek redress against any human rights violations. After her declaration of provisional Revolutionary Government, she  proclaimed the creation of Constitutional Commission to formulate draft of Constitution after consultation to Filipino people all throughout the country. That vital document  is now the 1987 Constitution and By Laws governing and securing basic rights of each Filipino. 
The transition from dictatorial to democratic was not at all bed of roses though for President Cory Aquino.  Dwindling economy, $28 Billion IMF debt, sporadic hostilities between the reds and military, bloated bureaucracy, possible resurgence of fascist rule given the power and unpredictability  of Marcos’ loyalist camp, termination of Military Bases Agreement, internecine strife among Muslims separatists in Mindanao above all bread and butter for Juan. These were some of  the challenges facing the new President.  But she faced them nonetheless confronting them one at a time. Upon assumption of office, she did ala Ramon Magsaysay opening  Malacanang to all general viewing public revealing  the  lavish display of wealth of the First Family.
                Surprisingly,  Cory Aquino’s economic woes was a fulfillment of an ominous ad in Philippine Daily Inquirer reserving her government’s program in one whole blank page of paper with the caption: “This page is reserved for Cory Aquino’s program of government.” Groping for form in the dark left in the cold was indeed what happened to Cory’s effort nipped in the bud whatever programs she had for the country. Compounding the hardship of her administration were series of mutinies staged by military adventurists  in 1988 to 1989.
Suffering Messianic complex thinking that they could run better the country than their civilian counterpart, the highly ambitious  military gentlemen suffering an amnesia of People’s Power staged series of mutinies. But no way, not over the dead body of Juan de la Cruz whose  hangover of Martial Law, was still fresh and resolved  that no compromise for resurgence of any semblance of military dictatorship is needed back then. No and never again, were the words in many placards shown every Martial Law anniversary vindicating that Filipinos’ romance with dictatorship was already over.  Definitely not yet ready too of adopting a banana republic.
                True to her promise after EDSA, Cory did not deliberately seek reelection to the consternation of her close friends and advisers thus setting the tone of an exciting presidential derby among ambitious presidential timbers of different breed, discipline and persuasions: Fidel Ramos former Chief of Staff, Eduardo Cojuangco a businessman, Ramon “Monching” Mitra then holding the second powerful position as Senate President foisting to outlive his opponent in the race with his ‘Matirang Matibay’ maxim or so it seems; spitfires Miriam Defensor Santiago who minces no words and have death threats as her breakfast  and last, the veteran and ever grizzled politician Jovito Salonga who is yet to taste debacle in his sterling political career. This was one of the second presidential Derby that happened. The first one of course happened during Marcos second term reelection in 1969 Presidential election among twelve candidates who run for the highest position of the land. And while post EDSA election was relatively peaceful that of Marcos was marked by irregularities from fraud, vote buying and massive violence. It was said that Marcos spent $56 Million from Philippine Treasury to fund his campaign.
                The Filipino people who benefitted People Power might have waived, fall short of the expectation diminishing their  commitment to EDSA but thankfully, they collectively carved a niche as legacy for all people to remember the monster that is dictatorship. Just like  Holocaust where millions of Jews died in the hands of Hitler stories of their past in  graphical sight and sounds in Israel were preserved, reminders of Martial Law  from Sept. 21, 1972 to 1981  roughly nine (9)  years when it was recalled by Ferdinand E. Marcos and thereafter towards February 24, 1986 of People Power EDSA Revolution as rightly enjoined by a letter sender of Philippine Daily Inquirer is in order here. We need to learn the lesson from this more than decade of infamy  to guide our children specially those post Martial babies from that dark history of  our country were many lives were sacrificed and  significantly, paying the price dearly restoring democracy. This is to protect  that “ . . . learning from the past experience and ensuring that things that happen in the past will never happen again,” then Dr. Aurora A. Parong, Executive Dir., Task Force Detainee of the Philippines said and rightly so. 
                “Never again and no more  Martial Law and Militarization!” should then be the battle cry or we have again to summon the much abused principle that is Unarmed Revolution or People Power resting its rightful place in history. What the country needs is to move on as re-united nation  bringing  collective towards attainment of peace, economic prosperity and development in all other facets of life.
                Thus far, Martial Law Museum was already established with files of 6,000 entries among victims on 1999. How much monetary benefits a victim would get depends on the gravity of  his  suffering, it was learned. Imelda Marcos’s antics that “we did not even pinch a human right victim and that God may strike me anytime of thunder with dispatch if we committed abuses” she declared to Veteran international broadcaster Veronica Pedrosa when the latter confronted the issue at Congress as part of her bio video Imelda and Me shown last September 2011 in You Tube,  US Federal jury in Honolulu would soon award $1.2 Billion damages to roughly 9,500 victims of tortures, summary killings and disappearances during Marcos’ regime  from Sept. 21, 1972 towards February 24,1986 with interest, the amount grown to nearly $4 Billion in the maze of lawsuits and legal appeals. Unfortunately all victims have yet to receive  that reward as commitment for the payment has been long overdue  though cleared  victims will stand receiving the payment. By far not a single human right victim received cent as of 2005. (PDI February 7, 2005) until six more years later (2011) when some  finally were given their claims.
To her caution to Switzerland government “not to take the money that does not belong to them,” US Appellate Court  promulgated a decision putting beyond their reach  Marcos assets recovered by Philippine government from Secret Bank accounts in Switzerland.
                Similarly, Congress passed a law  under Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo allowing the victims share of Marcos bounty which had been deposited  in government’s bank.  Account too is  in and not lost. Victory in defeat is how this remuneration works as it is “moral obligation of the State to compensate human rights victims.” (PDI February 7, 2005) DBM would then order and allocate P8 Billion from the proceeds of Marcos’ wealth to the claimants and portion of the proceed budgeted for implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or (CARP).
                Sen. Joker Arroyo made the compensation bill for this  in the Senate  and all was  not lost for Martial Law victims until 2005 as indicated when victims not seen receiving  a single cent promised to be awarded to them.  Until  the anniversary of Martial Law in Sept. 21, 2010 where Human Rights victims  stood receiving US $1,000.00 each as partial compensation. This was confirmed by Atty. Rod Domingo Jr. representing the 7,600 victims of human rights violation in  US class suit. Final hearing was set November 16th that year. This writer wonders if at all money was already distributed last January and February of 2011 as stipulated.  “. . . . This will not compensate their sufferings. But it’s a start. We are hoping more will come soon.  Our victory is after all not symbolic but real,” Domingo clarified (UCA News 2011).  It did. Marie Ilao who delivered one of her child inside a prison, would later show  receipt of $1,000.00 check as her partial remuneration from the government shown from Veronica Pedrosa, international correspondent  of Al Jazeera, latest bio video coverage “Imelda and me”  shown lately (Sept. 25-2011) on mainstream TV and You Tube. Marie Ilao’s younger sister, a student writer back then was not lucky as her’s. She was never seen again after her abduction. Her crime – writing an article against the government in her school’s paper organ.
                All is told, Fidel Valdez Ramos whose“ I’m sorry Manong but your time is up!” pick-up lines against Marcos, actually his relative and master for many years” eked out plurality votes over his closest rival Miriam Defensor Santiago in that hotly contested national election of 1992. Some insiders look at Cory’s support to Ramos as her reward in quelling several coup ‘d etat staged by military rebels notably Gringo Honasan who later snatched  Senate seat in 1994 Senatorial election. Aggravating her economic woes were insecurities, restlessness and what have you gradually building into higher proportion spreading its impending danger all the way from Metro Manila down to the South. The threat came from all fronts – left, right and middle referring to the resurgence of leftists, Marcos loyalists and the military rebels.
                There was also the implacable threat from the century old Muslim separatists camp of MNLF Chief Nur Misuari to dreaded Abu Sayyaf engaging in kidnap-for-ransom employing high tech weapons yet. Worst still, her secretaries have to be replaced one after the other to issues ranging from ineptitude, incompetence, graft and corruption to simple political pressures beyond control. Sad it to say that despite her honest to goodness reconciliation program, her relentless efforts fell on deaf ears either abused or shunned away as an outright attempt of aligning forces with Uncle Sam in what the leftists would tout as her version of staging Total War aimed at renewing the faltered hostility against the commies of the past.
                For the meantime, killings went on unabated. Ceasefire was merely a concoction of liberation in papers only both government panel and rebels reaching a stalemate over terms of reference the latter would stretch the law digressing beyond the  common line stipulated. No meeting of minds in other words  the rebels insisted of shelving out Phil. Constitution of 1997 insisting only on their prepared talking points the government panel could not swallow.
                If ever the ceasefire agreement served its purpose, it merely facilitated the rebels’ visit to their respective families and relatives coming out in open talking in different forum – from public market to universities – the moral of their crusade (arm struggle against the government) and spelled out litanies of ill will why there is a  need of driving out the Americans,  implementing progressive land reform and of fighting the government who has reneged its commitment in delivering basic services to the people. Whatever happened to Lean Alejandro, labor leader Ka Lando Olalia and hapless farmers featured in ruthless Mendiola massacre. The latest case of enforced desaparecidos was Jonas Burgos, the son of Joe Burgos, an erstwhile noted journalist of Malaya.
Another were the Manalo brothers. They were fortunate that they  escaped from the dragnet and have their tales documented and their lives protected. Writ of Amparo was the result of their storied journey to freedom.
                These are incidents that otherwise would have been  addressed and the sign of the times  read by government that would have averted further restlessness. But as this harassment were later included in history, it’s farfetched it seems to blot out the curse that is dictatorship until EDSA revolt happened 1986.
                But as rhetorics died down, one lofty glaring legacy came out: restoration of democracy back to the Filipinos. That nobody would argue against. Not only did she fulfilled her promise not to run but also, put herself on line protecting that recovered democracy with all her might and influence.
“Follow what I’m doing! Don’t tamper the Constitution. Delegate the post to anybody else you perceived as protector of democracy like we did in EDSA in effect warning how far the monster that is  Martial Law capable of making destruction,” Tita Cory advised driving  home her urgent concern to her successor Kuya Eddie.
                But not after her administration was dragged too on several burning issues that marred her legacy of social responsibility and good governance. History  this time was not on her side as her short five years term (1986-1991) was accounted for. Human right violation were as follows: 816 disaparecidos, 135 cases of massacres, 1064 victims of summary executions, 20, 523 illegal arrest and detention, 1,200,000 civilian dislocations. Leaving a mole on her good name were different high profile massacres. One was Mendiola massacre on January 1987 killing 13 farmers  and 39 gunfire injuries fired upon by Cory’s government forces. Second in a row was Lupao massacre  ensued the following month of February killing 15 farmers including 6 children and 2 elders dead. Sword of War was unleashed according progressive groups as Vigilante  groups hired the notorious Alsa Masa and Tadtad cult killing more than 100 in the process.
                There were other serious and acerbic  issues raised against Cory specially coming from her beleaguered Yellow army who even lobbied her against receiving international awards and distinction. Among others, she didn’t help Flor Contemplacion who would have been saved from electrocution in Singapore had she pursued her cause all the way, her detractors contended.
Cory’s endorsement on her Sec. of National Defense Gen. Fidel Ramos was vindicated when he immediately fixed her house from disarray upon his assumption of office in Malacañang.
On a lighter note,  Uncle Sam’s presence in the Philippines was ended in 1992 what with Phil. Congress rejecting new treaty with the country getting back Subic Bay and Clark Airfield from US. Four years later in 1996, guerilla warfare in the South was also terminated with the granting of sovereignty for the establishment of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as stipulated in Tripoli Agreement, a deal the government signed  with Chairman Nur Misuari.
                That at least proved that forging peace is good exercise but if not taken seriously, leads to nowhere. Thus, the need of working peace for  a lifetime or we have to continue waging war as an alternative which does more harm than good. With economy secured in the good hands of President Ramos, the country too had averred his “Philippines 2000” template this as wave of industrialization started from Marcos to Cory’s term had its defining moment. This happened despite series of currency devaluation, an offshoot of financial crisis that gripped Asia in 1997 Steady Eddie’s term just breezed through productively.
                With the agreement however between government and MILF on Bangsamoro Entity, it is hoped that anything for the better would happen to the country especially Mindanao to end the century’s old hostility and to finally put various  investments in place at Mindanao specially Muslim areas. Pera sa Mindanao para sa Mindanao, one ad from bank says it all. But this is easier than done unless what is stipulated in the framework to be approved by Congress and Senate would be put in place. As it has been characterized, feudal system is still existing in Muslim areas. Warlordism, loose firearms considered an extension of their intestines next to cars, a friend said, wholesale graft and corruption by officials – all these are bottlenecks that should be resolved first. Look whatever happen now and as earlier cited in the fiction, mostly of all of Muslim provinces in the Region were in latest (2012) top 10 poor provinces. Where all the government’s money gone? Poor and yet look on the 2012 Statement of Assets and Liability Networth (SALN) of government officials, many top officials in the Region made it to top 2!  And yet Marawi City has even no traffic lights. How is this? Lately the MSU-Main, the biggest University in terms of students population  was not even spared as site of ambush!
                National identification system, ground working for unicameralism from bicameralism in the Senate, securing millions of signatories to amend the Constitution might have been unpopular issues and his  drawback but as his pen name ‘Steady Eddie’ would aver all is not lost for Filipino to change for the better.
                 ERAP’s time came though when he was elected President in1998. He did not finished his term however when public outrage overtook him on charges of corruption. He was unseated when Congress and Senate impeached him as President in  2001. Like a movie, the Man of the Masses would soon reclaim his role albeit his own nemesis. The first ever corruption case in the history transforming his sobriquet Erap para sa mahihirap to an ex giving him what he could bargain for. This anecdote would surely qualify for his sick “Eraption Jokes.”
                “It seems my life is already predestined and consigned to the dustbin of history as an ‘Ex.’ I was an Ex mayor, Ex Senator, Ex Vice President, Ex President and unprecedented Ex-convict,” his double Willie Nepumoceno confessed to an amusement of captive paying audience.
                The economist Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s turn came in 2004. Narrowly defeating Fernando Poe Jr., Ex-President Joseph Estrada’s close friend and buddy, getting roughly 3% differential over her closest rival. Implicated in influencing  2004 election results though revealed in a taped conversation with COMELEC Chairman Garcillano, calls for her resignation roared in Congress.  Fortunately, the issue died down before it could muster desired number thus voting down impeachment charges against her. But the curse seems to be on her as her erstwhile political allies in Mindanao ZaldyAmpatuan, Bedol and other accomplices on that election are turning witnesses against her spilling the beans how the election was manipulated to her favor and the rest of candidates on her slate. This should be in order as the crime committed is far worse than Maguindanao Massacre in that the entire Philippine population votes was taken in a joyride and massacred compare to roughly 57 victims of Maguindanao Massacre involving 32 journalists, according to Conrad de Quiros, columnist of Phil. Daily Inquirer. Thus far, then Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri who was beneficiary of deduct- add  on scheme in Maguindanao thinking aloud of possible repercussion in his political career and of saving his face  nipped the bud by tendering his resignation.  But whether, his case would be vindicated is yet to be seen.
                Aggravating her dark spot of her legacies were ZTE deal, Macapagal anomalous extension road project and all that.  She too held  each Filipino captive and hostage  leaving roughly P50,000.00 debt for each and as lasting gift that on top for having grandstanding that her administration had accomplished more than her previous predecessors combined ever in terms of infrastructure projects, Gross Domestic Product, Billions of Investments, RORO and lately poll automation among others..
Wanting even more not leaving any stones unturned at least before she’ll left her office, she filled up sensitive vacant positions slots in the judiciary through midnight appointment. And to appease the restlessness that sparked the ire among legal profession as immunity from suit would soon mature and waived from her, she have  all lawyers ordered and given equivalent career officer rank in government service. Some people in media sector who secure her good image were also rewarded with juicy position. 
                The list is long. But are you not wondering why  she  practically moved heaven and earth never mind last ditch effort purportedly leaving  such legacy effort drumbeated in full throttle by media  that incoming administration would be benefiting the  most from such bequest? Your guess is as good as mine.  There will be  surge and avalanche of lawsuits dragging her into Court. She would then  have her day full as soon as she steps out from Malacanang. Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis and Garbriela are all set, eager and rarin’ to sue her for countless irregularities accounted to her administration. It’s a sad refrain of course for PGMA. But what could she do. The people whom she might have faithfully served might have also equally good reasons to make it  in the spirit of transparency and accountability  before  bidding her adieu out from the palace.  She did to avail services of  medical experts outside the shores but her plan was nipped in the bud as she was apprehended before he could board her flight outside the country. Soon her mug photo with brace on her neck under house arrest landed as one of the best photo of 2011 adjudged by local TV  station.
Until the first ever automated national elections was introduced and used in 2010 election. Benigno “Noynoy” Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III in short Pnoy won the Presidential election and sworn in at Rizal Park on June 30, 2011 setting new birth of Philippine ‘walang wangwang, no counter flow against and you Filipino ordinary guys are all my bosses’ brand of politics.
                Unfortunately, it’s been more than two decades since EDSA and yet  People Power hardly registered desirable changes among peoples’ lives. First, we should stopped an orgy of creating other EDSA. Let the spirit of that people power rules and governs us.  Such is the continuing challenge for us today. Indiscriminate firing would still fills the air unabated if there would be no sincerity  in working out lasting peace. Ceasefire would just be in paper. Above all else, let us put into practice what Cory Aquino painstakingly restored for us – democracy. How could we ever fail when we have not really practiced it.  Look who controls the economy of the nation if not  mostly Oligarchs who also control Congress and Senate.
                Riding on the crest of people power, Pnoy finally occupied the seat of power in Malacanang. Will he make true his promise of New Philippines with zero corruption, an anathema to development. Would he really  lead us to truth and straight path no detour and taking  short cuts towards development. Hmm, familiar rhetorics. But beware no matter how high words fly high might    bring  us up there, we would  not stay there that long. We’ll still go back to the earth.
                The better really drawing   the battle lines  this early as shown that addressing this problem is easier said than done by the past administration. Doing that would definitely not  allow us to be taken only  in joyride.  Despite having been critical on his term therefore we should all join forces in the spirit of EDSA participating in his program of government. And where all this start than in our respective barangay our true home actually where we are stakeholders of development. Wishing him the best of luck and hopefully his government would fulfill its avowed promise of development  breaking probably   all the records set by  his predecessors not addressing at all instead aggravating the problem earning all failing grades after their terms. This is his moment as in a song to move on and proved they were all wrong. Or we would soon reap whirlwinds from rhetorics and excuses again. But PNoy should work doubly hard. The odds incidentally is against him. He was more of a liability as lawmaker having not really formulated relevant laws of the day. His moral ascendancy is also suspect as their family’s Hacienda Luisita was secured through dubious means with some killing incidents involving farmers there personally instigated by him before he leapfrogged at Malacanang through 2010 election COMELEC officials linked to Conspiracy manipulating said election through rigging PCOS machines reason  some Election Return ended dumped in garbage dumpsites like in Cagayan de Oro City. Professionals too rendered him psychologically imbalance after discovering fits of unpredictability shown by his certified “Ngiting Aso” stance on relevant issues later. Hostage Crisis in Luneta killing Chinese Nationals from Hongkong, erratic love affair and ramming the issue of  having  Judiciary subordinated to the Executive harassing no less than its Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Impeachment Case against Corona  progressed in the House of Senate. The spectacle was dramatic as majority of Senators voted for Corona’s impeachment save for Madam Miriam Defensor Santiago, Joker Arroyo and I think Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos. The result however proved to be undoing of PNoy as wholesale buying their votes for millions was later discovered.
                Today indeed is the start of that crusade hopefully translating that  oft repeated and much abused term into simple economics.  Chance or opportunity is actually another term for economics. It is then behooved that President elect would have that  word in focus as he is starting his crusade for better and effective government. After all,  he himself is  an economist though not in the mold of his predecessor.  But who knows if a student is brighter and better in practice than his mentor.  The momentum is definitely  on him. He has all resources – people and money- at his disposal  in addressing them. Add the mandate of more than fourteen  million putting him in office. The pressure is just too strong. I don’t know how he’ll handle it. He probably  needs unsolicited advice and might have gotten it when he fetched her and took her for a ride to Quirino Grandstand in a limousine as protocol demanded before she too proceeded to second district in Pampanga taking her own oath of office.
                Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino  Sr. was once part of the opposition and human rights group and many are thinking aloud if the unsolved assassination issue would be  closed by his son and namesake PNoy now holding the reign of power. Time is running past and his term near ending. So far, he proved his sincerity of his campaign pledge of eradicating graft and corruption sending Juan Ponce Enrile,Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla in jail. What the nerve the student had facilitating house arrest of once her mentor PGMA in Ateneo.For the first time, the country too registered the highest GNP relegating China in the region. On the contrary he is yet to validate that Certificate of Psychological Imbalance by ADMU was wrong albeit his mishandling of then Luneta Hostage Crisis, PDAP scam and the still implacable Mamasapano incident killing many SAF Officers and members.  The story continues….
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

                Fast forward past EDSA. As an officer  of Knights of Columbus it is normally incumbent upon us to honor our fallen Fourth Degree brothers of  our Assembly giving them decent and colorful necrological service and burial. “Time flies, remember death!” we are reminded. One that really touched this writer  beyond this practice honoring our fallen brothers as practical Catholics happened. But this was ugly experience of the past defying description hitting you real hard beyond human comprehension.
                Across   the chapel where  I spent vigil was another chapel with two military personnel their casket draped by Philippine flag.  Personally, it was the first  time I observed a chapel with two caskets.  Incidentally, there were only three people spending  vigil. Along the road was their service vehicle parked with holes all over, an indication they were peppered with bullets thus, killing instantly four of  them while on their way home after negotiation with the rebels in Veruela, one of the rivertown in Agusan del Sur.
                But what caught my curiosity was the declaration of the woman, a sister of one of the casualty that the incident happened right after the negotiation. Who else could have done it if not those of the other party engaging in double-cross.
 The scene was reminiscent of a woman and a toddler standing on a box in a pier waiting for the boat to carry them back home to Visayas. That wooden  box was  the casket actually of her fallen husband who was a military.
                There were many similar  images playing on mind down the memory lane  from this incident. Vereula of course was my first assignment as Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer. I wrote too and compose many songs  including “Magsasaka” which won to me 3rd price in National CARP Songwriting  contest in 1991 prompting me to add twelve others and packaged them into Himig Mindanao, a CD now on sale  in market.
                That’s more personal and the lighter side of it. For incident-wise, the experience  buried dark spot in my subconscious.  First, Victoria of an earlier anecdote was actually one and the same  Salome a registered nurse and first cousin in Mindoro became  one of  the casualty on an ambush of military jeep carrying military officers on their way home to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro. The rebels asked forgiveness later and even offered financial help to atone for their miscalculation brutally killing my cousin in broad daylight who was and never a party of the military she being a registered nurse except that of taking her ride for home that afternoon which turned out very costly. But again the incident simply overtake faster before  they could even think of.
What could be done when she now became an added statistics to continuing struggle we don’t know how many more innocent lives would be charged as  excesses.  What is there to  remedy when damage was already done and committed? Too many question indeed to ask but answered merely with equally elusive answer or whimper.
                 Then there’s Renerio Cagang, my bosom friend back then in Xavier University in early 80’s whom I have not seen since we parted our ways in 1981. He actually went to the hills and  became top commander in Bukidnon with P500,000.00 reward for his capture. The last time I heard him straight from his men in San Luis, Agusan del Sur was when he too became victim of double-cross, his body looks like Ninoy Aquino’s double  in a casket indicating the damage inflicted when the other party in the negotiating table went back and fired against him and companions with hail of bullets sealing the fate of their negotiation in 1986. What a clincher of a truce here. What a waste of life!
                Another is the incident involving that very promising beautiful, talented and naïve  lady student of MSU-IIT, Iligan City, Mindanao, who earned sobriquet as Maam Nars because the way she took care  afflicted and gullible  farmers in highland Bukidnon. Her fragile body was unfortunately found dead among many casualties in one encounter in Bukidnon. Her dream of helping her fellowmen just ended that fast without even realizing her vision.
                Similar tragedy are seen from many other true-to- life story of good Filipino men and women dragged into the limelight of that wrong war not of their own making their numbers piling the already long list of faceless casualties. Some were not as  lucky like parents eagerly expecting the return of their beloved sons and daughters. There’s a mother who is still waiting to see his beloved son – a student leader – who never went back after his abduction by military men; an elderly mother waiting to see his beloved son comes back after serving a parish and was forced joining the Nationalist struggle for democracy and never went back later. When? This is yet to be seen as rarely they would be reunited unless they surrender back to the fold of government after going up into the hills. Same story, same pattern, same results  among military. Bottom line –death and deprivation of parental care among remaining family. Yes hostility or restlessness is as ugly as war.
                Living in Mindanao with all those implacable hostilities, hostage taking and terrorism happening around us right before our eyes just send us  trembling down in bone and marrow  far more than we imagine.  Add the senseless beheading by Abu Sayyaf, hostage takings of innocent  International Red Cross personnel, clergy, missionaries, teachers and innocent persons –  constitute too that war crimes against the norms and standard set by Geneva Convention in 1948 and Protocol II.  Hostage taking particularly is so pervasive and unpredictable that it has been so  rampant that it has become  sunshine industry among terrorists.  Add those senseless killings of  men in media industry and you get familiar picture of  crime against humanity. No wonder that we have dislodged Iraq as the most dangerous place in the world for any journalist what with the still unsolved Maguindanao Massacre which according to legal experts would last more than 200 years to solve given the number of suspects implicated the killing of more than 50 media personnel. Jhoy Duhay of Mindanao Gold Star Daily at Tacurong City, was actually my buddy in the profession although I have not seen him personally.
                It’s sad that albeit those excesses happening  before our eyes,  ending those countless innocent people as additional statistics of  crimes against humanity, there’s hardly collective resolution of addressing them to avert further escalation  of hostilities. Even those drug related-industry, many suspects ended up freed than prosecuted, complained by officers who apprehended them. But of course, this is already another story.

Notes  from fiction and Epilogue Frequently Ask Questions
1.      How long the country was under Martial Law?
Ans:  Fourteen (14) long years (Declared Sept. 21, 1972 and ended Feb. 24, 1986 at the height of EDSA People Power); Nine (9) Years if January 17, 1981 is reckoned when it was officially lifted by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. This was prompted by Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country.)

2.      Reasons of declaration of Martial Law?
Ans:  Communism threat; Muslim separatists movement growing in the South; hostility and growing  restlessness including 1971 Plaza Miranda Bombing all over specially in Metro Manila. Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was finally the last straw leading and justifying the issuance of PD 1081.

3.      How many were the numbers of rebels back then in 1988?
Ans: 25,000 spread into 42,00 barangays nationwide of which 16,500 NPAs were regulars and 2,500 in metro Manila. This number was  after two years from Marcos fall in 1986.

4.      What happened during Dictatorship?
Ans: Writ of Habeas Corpus was suspended. Tri-Media were closed down. Curfew imposed. Congress was abolished. Activists and political opposition were arrested. Highly politicized military carried away extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances holding thousands in military camps tortured. 1,500 salvagings and 3,200 extrajudicial killings.  National Treasury raided. Birth of Crony capitalism. People were practically ruled by decrees. (Ed Lingao. A Different EDSA Story. Short Memories, Unfinished Businesses. Feb. 24, 2012)

5.      How long did Marcos reign?
Ans: Twenty  (21) long years. Twelve (12) years or three terms as elected President and nine (9) years under Dictatorship to include declaration of Martial Law in Sept. 21, 1972 towards  People Revolution in Feb. 24, 1986 when he created cult personality through Military Dictatorship thereafter. The first President to be elected thrice actually aptly called “Eternal Pres” after winning the third term  he garnered 88% votes against two opponents – Alejo Santos of Nationalista Party and Bartolome Cabangbang of Federal Party!  He was elected in 1965; reelected President in 1969 and third in June of 16,1 981. This must had been the 4th election it seems as Parliamentary Election was conducted in April 7, 1978 his party winning landslide victory not one from Aquino’s Laban Party winning a seat in Congress. Declared Martial Law in Sept. 21, 1972 perpetuating himself in power until People Power in February of 1986 installing Pres. Cory Aquino in power.

6.      Brief Biographical sketch of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. (Born - ; dead- 1988, Honolulu, Hawaii.)
Ans: , , , 1935 – political murder of Nalundasan by 18 years old Ferdinand with a 22 caliber rifle; Nov. 1939 young law student indicted for killing and convicted by district Court. Case appealed to Supreme Court in 1940 where conviction was overturned despite strong evidence of guilt through influence of Mariano Marcos and a Judge. Conscripted as Combat Intelligence of the 21st  Infantry Division, caught but survived the weak-long Bataan Death March. Rumored to have escaped from prison camp though disputed. He was Special Assistant to Manuel Roxas, first President of newly independent Philippines in 1946-47; married Imelda Romualdez in 1954; elected as Congressman in 1949-59. The apex of his political career came in Dec. 30, 1965 when he was elected Philippine President. There ensued the story of promoting his cult personality.

7.      How was the economy back then under President Marcos?
Ans: Philippines was second only to Japan during his term. US dollar exchange rate was P2.00 to $1 US. One centavo can buy one lollipop. Rice was in ganta not kilo. The country reached its sufficiency in rice production and for the first time  exported rice in 1977 through Masagana 99 launched in May 1973. M-99 means producing 99 cavans almost 5 tons of palay to a hectare. Agricultural inputs were in abundance. Through US National Security Study Memorandum or NSSM       200 however  headed by Henry Kissinger, Pres. Richard Nixon’s miracle man,  Philippines  one of his target among 13 countries  to lower population, the country would soon nosedive its economy. US Economic Hit Man Shultz  made this possible doing dirty work for Uncle Sam.  During his 1983 Manila visit for instance made possible the 20% devaluation of  Phil. peso adding further burden in liquidating already increasing problematic foreign debt. (Jules Ragas Troyed the Philippine Green Revolution.  August 16, 2012)

8.      How much money  amassed by Pres. Marcos?
            Ans: There were varied of figure  entries here.$10B reportedly stashed away in secret offshore account in the names of dummy entities like William Saunders, Arellano . . . . $4B or P167.636 were recovered funds by PCGG to the National coffers since 1987 until July 2014 comprising assets and properties connected to Marcos Swiss accounts, his relatives and alleged cronies.  (INFOGRAPHIC: Marcos’ loot by numbers. GMANETWORK.COM)
       posted at 02/12/2014  reporting that 1.3B Marcos’ loot or around US429 hidden wealth held up in litigation in Singapore. The funds might not be used for compensation of human rights victims as enough funds of P10B was already budgeted for them under the Law.

There’s the graphic narrative of ASIAN JOURNAL  detailing  how the First couple systematically plundered the money of government coffer’s leaving it clean and dry starting 1976 towards 1986. The figures would certainly make your mind reeling.  With the remaining Marcos family posing possible comeback  in political field, the clincher ended with very important request – PLEASE PASS THIS IMPORTANT PART OF PHI HISTORY TO YOUR FRIENDS, SO WE WILL NOT FORGET . . .

9.      Cory Aquino’s contribution to Filipino people?
Ans: Restoration of democracy after it was clipped under dictatorship ruled by iron fist; 1987 Constitution drafted after EDSA revolution still officially law of the land.

10.  Numbers of human rights victims under Martial Law?
      Ans: Numbers vary – 10,000 were eligible for claims. But numbers ballooned to 42,564 who filed human rights claims. This didn’t include those who filed in Regional office. Commissioner Etta Rosales of CHR was among those who filed. She was arrested and tortured in 1976. (Julie M. Aurelio. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Nov. 11, 2014)

11.  How much budget allotted for human rights claims?
    Ans. There’s P8 Billion Fund to be awarded to Human Rights victims. Processing has been facilitated through Human Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 signed by Pres. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III in Feb. 2013. Same Legal Act will end on May 10, 2016 prescribed by Law. Initially P50,000.00 were awarded to individual victims some of whom have already received their respective check.

            It is universal and inalienable right declared in 1948 and required duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental  freedom adopted in 1993 Vienna World Conference.  Specifically, the State assumes to respect, protect and fulfill Human Rights obligation.

12.  Were child warriors featured in the hostility?
            Ans: Yes. There is no secret on this violation as truth becomes the first casualty of war. There are five (5) disturbing graphics on this on my file showing fighting kids in the country engaged in hostility representing CCP NPA and Abu Sayyaf. It’s common knowledge too that minors were used by the military per record.

13.  Any saving grace of Marcos during EDSA 1986 Peaceful Revolution?
Ans. His prudence not giving up refusing Gen. Fabian Ver’s advice of firing upon thousands of assembled crowd proved to be his last plausible hurrah that otherwise would have been one of the deadliest conflagration.  Imagine thousands of people as casualties assembled in the 54 kilometer long stretch along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Manila. For this he was even perceived and  considered a hero by post Martial Law Media. It depends on who is speaking about it. But the fact remains People Unarmed Revolution was one of best thing that ever happened to Philippines in Modern History each one can speak freely his mind on different sensitive issues of the day. (Ed Lingao. A Different EDSA Story. Short Memories, Unfinished Businesses. Feb. 24, 2012)

Notes and Bibliography cited from fiction and Epilogue:
(NB; There were too many from readings. Cited here are just too saved from file – RFM)

1.      English translation of Ode to Mt. Sungcal:

What a bright sunlight breaking  early dawn
Bringing hope to still yearning heart ‘tis brand new day.
How appalled  am I captured in  awe and admiration.
True enough how beautiful  its rays towards the endless horizon
  bringing gladness and enchantment.

Gradually .clouds descending as if packaging the mountain.
And how fitting it was done the gift transformed.
Up in the skylines of cloud formation, the light seemingly inviting
 Calling each one  for grand  celebration.

Listen the collective voice of the people
Celebrating in habilitation without knowing the reason
Too many less travelled roads but not one dared  threading on
What a pity wasting all those energy otherwise spent for nation..

Come join as we travel on
He has been there waiting for us longing our participation
Come, let’s walk on together in this journey
He’s the one to save us from all this mess and we should carry on.

2.      Kamtanu Maitra and Gil Billington. True Marcos Legacy

3.      Asian Journal: Chronology of Marcos Plunder

4.      My Idol

5.      Malay, Ed: Ninoy Aquino: Traitor or Hero? Time to Revisit Tag on Ninoy Aquino as National Hero

6.      Cory’s Magic. August 18, 2009. (13 pages writes up on Cory and Ninoy)

7.      Movement for the Advancement of Student Power .com.  Scandals under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from 2001-2009

8.      Ragas, Jules M. Troyed the Philippines Green Revolution. Aug. 16,2012

9.      Aurelio, Julie M. 42,564 File Human Rights Claim. Phil. Daily Inuirer. Nov. 11, 2014
10.  $42 M Marcos Ill-gotten wealth  ordered return to Govt. Manila Bulletin. August 28, 2014.

11.  Lingao, Ed. A Different EDSA Story:Short Memories, Unfinished businesses. Feb. 24, 2012

Important Timeline:

1965 – Ferdinand Marcos elected as President.
1969-   re-elected for 2nd term
Sept. 21, 1972 – Pres. Marcos declared PD 1081 or Martial Law
1974 –
1978 – Plurality Election. Pres. Marcos won over  Bartolome Cabangbang . . . .
January 1981 – Martial Law officially lifted by Pres. Marcos as gift to Pople John Paul II visit to the country.
August 21, 1983- Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino’s assassination.
February 24, 1986 – EDSA People Power Revolution