Thursday, April 01, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Being the son of a hero and martyr is a big deal in every respect. Being the son of a disgraced man and a thief is just unfortunate and equally a disgrace.

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the Liberal Party presidential candidate for the coming May elections in the Philippines, is the son of the martyred Filipino senator Ninoy Aquino who died in quest of freedom and democracy in the late 80s and the most admired former President Cory Aquino. These credentials definitely deserve greater weight among other factors in considering who would be the best candidate to take over the reins of the Philippine government for the next six years.

Former American president George W. Bush, Jr. is the son of former president George H.W. Bush. He defeated his political opponents twice largely owing to his father’s good record as president credited to have led the liberation of Kuwait from the invading forces forces of Saddam Hussein.

On the other hand, Kim Chong-il, the abusive ruler of Communist North Korea is the son of Kim II-Sung who imposed absolute power over the North Koreans. Both father and son came from the same mold of ruthless dictators. Iraq is just fortunate that the insane sons of Saddam Hussein were taken out to join their father to hell.

There is indeed a close connection between father and son or between mother and son. As the psychologist would say it, it’s in the genes. Or as we Tagalogs would say it, “Kung ano ang puno, iyan ang bunga.” Translated into English, it means whatever is the fruit, it’s from the tree.

So what’s wrong to use the Aquino honorable and heroic legacy in the presidential campaign for Noynoy, Aquino’s only son, in this year’s election.

The whole world regards Ninoy Aquino as a hero for democracy and Cory Aquino as the mother for the restoration of Philippine democracy.

Even former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch believed in Ninoy’s heroism when he signed the Benigno Aquino Triangle naming a park in Queens after the fallen hero. As the Mayor’s adviser on Filipino affairs, I, together with the late Ambassador to the United Nations Salvador P. Lopez, however, had to convince the Committee on Parks and Recreation to recommend the signing of the legislation initiated by former Queens Councilman Sheldon Leffler.

When Marcos fell and Ninoy’s widow, Cory, took power, Mayor Koch was just too willing and proud at the suggestion to open New York City to Cory after her magnanimous speech before the joint session of the U.S. Congress during the late 80s. A festive celebration followed afterwards along the officially closed 46th Street in Manhattan. Thereafter, the yearly Philippine Independence Day Parade event along Madison Avenue became a tradition among Filipinos in the tri-state area.

What is scary to watch is the possibility of a dictator’s son to rise to power or a corrupt official’s son to wield power. Remember the Ampatuan tribe in Maguindanao and what crimes they have been charged.

Being the son of good parents is something to be proud of in this coming presidential elections in the Philippines. Noynoy Aquino should take note of this and ignore the desperate critics.



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