Tuesday, December 23, 2008

EDSA 2: A Mistake -- Cory Aquino

As a member of the editorial board of Touchlife Express Balita (a weekly Christian newspaper in Manila), I was privileged to get invited to the launching of the erstwhile Speaker Jose de Venecia's book entitled Global Filipino. Actually, the complete title is unusually long: "Global Filipino: The Authorized Biography of Jose de Venecia Jr., the Visionary Five-Time Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines."

The book launching was held at The Atrium of the Podium Bldg. in posh Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, yesterday afternoon (Dec. 22). After introducing his book, former Speaker de Venecia gave the floor to an enthusiastic ex-President Joseph "Erap" Estrada who gave a much-applauded speech which lasted over 15 minutes.

At one point, Mr. Estrada said that he had read the book from cover to cover but because it was thick (hard cover of over 250 pages, ), it gave him a headache. Then he quipped that those in the MalacaƱang Palace would have a greater headache when they read the contents of the book (which is highly critical of the Arroyo administration.)

After Estrada, it was "People Power" Pres. Corazon "Cory" Aquino's turn to speak. Her speech was very brief, less than 3 minutes, but also applauded by the audience at several points. By now, both pro- and anti-administration groups must be busy dissecting the impact of her apology to Estrada. Her exact words as recorded in my PDA:

"I am one of those who pleads guilty for the 2o01 uprising. Lahat naman tayo nagkakamali. Patawarin mo na lang ako."

[English translation of the italicized words: "After all, we all make mistakes. Just forgive me."]

While Cory was smiling when she articulated the above mea culpa, as a direct eyewitness of the event, I reckon that she spoke with sincerity.

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