Some Filipinos probably thought that the family members of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. were speaking metaphorically when they complained about the infestation of “rats and roaches” in Revilla’s detention cell in the Philippine National Police Custodial Center. But they were being literal, and were not referring to other politicians, Revilla being the first pol to be detained there.
They were also said to have complained about “the heat,” to which Joseph Estrada, who was himself convicted of plunder, but was pardoned by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and who’s now mayor of Manila, proposed the obvious solution: he’ll have his son Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s cell, and probably Revilla’s too, air-conditioned.
Then US President George W. Bush. His Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. His Vice President, Richard Chaney. His Chief Political Adviser, Karl Rove.
These were some of the lords of destruction who engineered the invasion of Iraq in 2003. But they were not the brains behind it but merely the executors. For a look at the theoreticians and ideologues of unabashed imperialism, one has to go to a document called Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which was prepared by the neo-conservatives of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
Then President Diosdado Macapagal declared June 12 Philippine independence day in 1962, 16 years after it had been celebrated every July 4th, when, in 1946, the US “granted” the country independence. Few objected at the time, in apparent agreement with Macapagal that the June 12th, 1898 declaration of independence in Kawit, Cavite, which led to the establishment of the First Republic in 1899, was the appropriate date rather than July 4th.
The day after the opening of the country’s schools, it’s customary for the media to regale the country with human interest stories and photos on how, in those communities far from Manila or any other urban center, children of school age walk kilometers, brave rain and raging rivers, take leaky overloaded boats, etc. just to get to school.