Cory Aquino, since that fateful days of February 1986, is secure in the hearts of all Filipinos desirous of freedom from tyranny, aspire to a democratic order, and willing to fight for these ideals. She, in her life since then, ceaselessly tried to protect and nurture the newfound democracy that she helped build.
Yet, this Cory democracy is fragile, and continues to be fragile. Those who were charged to lead after her increasingly wavered and drifted away from the ideals of the 1986 EDSA. Today, we are again faced with the specter of the 1972 Marcos grab for power. When, despite the evidence of the people’s will, dark and ambitious forces still haunt us with the siren song of charter change–and the subliminal threat of martial rule–in order to prolong themselves in power.
The strength of Philippine democracy lies in the credibility of its core process–regular, free and fair elections. The peaceful transfer of power–which Cory exemplified in 1992 when she passed on the reins of presidency to her successor–is the fruit of this core process.
Yet, the credibility of the 2010 elections hangs in balance. There is even doubt that it will be held as is and as scheduled. All because there is no categorical word from the one sitting in the seat vacated by Cory Aquino that she will stop all these machinations by her allies to undertake charter change and conjure the artificial basis for emergency powers, that she herself will step down from power, and that she will leave the choice of the next President to the will of the voting citizenry.
Corazon Aquino, in her death, reopened the opportunity for the people to block all attempts to undermine the democratic legacy she leaves behind to future generations of Filipinos. In her, we see the rallying point to check the powers-that-be who wish to violate the democratic covenant forged in the 1986 EDSA.
Cory lives. We pledge.