"President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s CNN interview yesterday showed him to be a supremely articulate person with a wise understanding of the Philippine situation. But the most poignant moment in the interview was when he was asked how he would deal with the Marcoses who have indubitably made a decisive comeback in Philippine politics…“As far as the [Marcos] children are concerned, I think I am in the same boat as they are. We are all victims of the rule of their parents, the only difference is that that I recognize it and they don’t,” said Aquino."
President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s CNN interview yesterday showed him to be a supremely articulate person with a wise understanding of the Philippine situation. The interview, we believe, proves his critics wrong in their insistence that he lacks the qualities of a president.
The CNN interview proves that he speaks English more idiomatically than a lot of other senators and congressmen. In fact his spoken conversational English is as good as, maybe even better than, that of the other presidents before him. He never groped for words. His mind was always clear about what to say immediately in response to every question posed to him by CNN interviewer Ms. Arwa Damon.
He was asked about his feelings and thoughts about being a very young man when his father, the late lamented Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, was jailed during the Marcos martial law regime, and then was assassinated when he came home from exile. We are sure many Filipinos felt a catch in their throats when the President-elect answered these questions matter-of-factly and not squeezing the moment for political points as the many less dignified Filipino politicians would have done.
But the most poignant moment in the interview was when he was asked how he would deal with the Marcoses who have indubitably made a decisive comeback in Philippine politics. Former first lady Imelda Marcos, wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos, has been elected Ilocos Norte representative. Her children, siblings Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Ma. Imelda “Imee” Marcos, were elected senator and Ilocos Norte governor. They ran under the Nacionalista Party of defeated presidential candidate Senator Manuel P. Villar.
President-elect Noynoy said he is ready to cooperate with the Marcoses for as long as their moves are for the betterment of the people, but he would be the first to oppose attempts to bring back the dark years of military rule. “The only interest I have is to make sure that there is no revisionism down the line lest we make the same mistakes,” the President-elect explained. He said he has no grudges against the Marcos siblings. “As far as the [Marcos] children are concerned, I think I am in the same boat as they are. We are all victims of the rule of their parents, the only difference is that that I recognize it and they don’t,” said Aquino.
In the CNN’s own report about the interview with Mr. Aquino, the writer said the network’s “allotted time of 30 minutes stretched to more than an hour.”
“His critics often described him as elitist, weak and inexperienced and questioned his psychological make-up. [But] The Aquino we interviewed turned out to be disarmingly down-to-earth, sharp and engaging. He gave lengthy answers, as he was known for, but showed a keen and detailed understanding of a wide range of issues.”
He will defend the rights of enemies
Another point made by the President-elect that is catching the international media’s attention is his pledge that his administration’s human rights policy is to defend the rights even of enemies.
Mr. Aquino also told CNN that on the subject of prosecuting corrupt officials, his administration will be dictated by law and evidence not by personal grudges.
This response from Mr. Aquino came when he was asked about how he would pursue his campaign vow to go after outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies, whom his opposition camp had unrelentingly assailed for allegedly being corrupt. Questions pertaining to the Marcoses also elicited these remarks.
Mr. Aquino explained that his prosecutors “will not file charges against somebody who’s a political opponent and then try to find evidence afterward. We should afford them the processes that were not utilized in our case. We have to prove that we are different from them.” Prosecution, he added, will only be pursued so long as the evidence warrants it. He added that having this mindset in dealing with alleged wrongdoers is the “true test of democracy.”
These are noble words most credibly spoken by the only son of two of our country’s democracy icons. Manila Times