One week since we arrived and everytime I think that Noynoy Aquino is now president and that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a congresswoman, all weepy feelings vanish. Like I posted as my Facebook status last week, I can’t help but feel a bit happy to be out of the country as the Aquino presidency begins. Call me a sore loser, but it would have made me throw up to see Aquino’s more self-righteous supporters gloat (and don’t even get me started on the presidential sister Kris).
I know that Bayan Muna et al have expressed their congratulations to Aquino, but I can’t reconcile myself to the idea that the Filipino people voted into office a do and know-nothing; but hey, let’s all just wait and see, right? Already Aquino’s sister has talked with the CIA and White House representatives and it doesn’t take a 200 IQ to guess what they all agreed upon; three possibilities? 1) the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the continuing presence of US military troops in the Philippines; 2) amendments to the economic provisions of the Philippine Constitution that will allow 100% foreign ownership of Philippine companies (and land ownership as well) among others; and 3) shooting down chances of there being peace negotiations between the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
And is Aquino going to go down hard on Macapagal-Arroyo or not? I don’t see that happening any time soon.
The plane ride was a hellish 13 hours and a half. Hellish because the entire time I was worried that the plane would fall from the sky and I didn’t know if there were any parachutes on board. Seriously, though, have you ever taken a loooong plane ride with a two-year old? It’s NOT a happy adventure, even if said two-year old is as well-behaved as mine.
The weather is chilly and I regret bringing my thicker sweaters. I was previously told that it was summer here, but stupid me, it didn’t cross my mind at all that summer here and summer in the Philippines are two very completely different phenomenon.
It’s football season and everywhere there are orange streamers and banners and pictures of a prancing orange lion. Orange is apparently the official Dutch color, and the lion the official animal. Manny Villar would feel right at home. I wish I could get interested in the sport, but I can’t muster enough enthusiasm for it; personally, I prefer watching swimming competitions, gymnastics and water sports. Maybe I’m squeamish about sweat and the possibility of there being head wounds from violent collisions between bodies and balls, and bodies and bodies. Shrug shrug.
If Noynoy Aquino was a man with compassionate humanity and a genuine sense of justice, he would immediately denounce all human rights violations in the country, and in particular speak against the attacks against the members of progressive people’s organizations. But coming from the family that owns Hacienda Luisita, I suppose it’s way too much to expect that from him.
Another activist has been included in the already long list of martyrs and victims of extrajudicial political killings. According to reports, a member of the September 21 Movement, Bayan Muna and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) was killed yesterday afternoon.
Benjamin Bayles 44 years old and a member of the local Karapatan chapter waiting for a ride when when his killers drove up in a motorcycle and shot him. Initial findings show that the killers are active members of 61st IB Philippines Army.