Past Presidents & Today's Politics

Manila Bulletin, August 13, 2005 | Go to article overview

Past Presidents & Today's Politics


AS might be expected a president upon retirement, well, retires, and concludes his or her political life in the thought that he or she has made valuable contributions that helped shape the course of the countrys history.

Presidents Quirino, Garcia, and Macapagal did just that although they made themselves available for political consultations and advice on important national concerns.

None of them was known to have indulged directly in matters of governance, at least not to the point of publicly interfering in their predecessors administrations.

They knew from experience that past presidents had no business creating dilemmas for the incumbent.

Former President Corazon Aquino must have been well aware of this injunction that she willfully distanced herself from politics after her term of office and instead pursued active civic leadership.

Nowhere in the course of President Fidel Ramos incumbency did Mrs. Aquino figure in any public discussion about public policy or any issue suggesting her own preference or option.

And to think that Ramos rode on the crest of Cory Aquinos popularity and support, on the way to the presidency.

She was that restrained; prudent, you might say.

It is for this that President Aquino stunned the nation when, without any prior notice or hint, she suddenly turned her back on President Gloria Arroyo and on national television demanded her resignation even as she asked for the Presidents self-sacrifice.

With Cory Aquinos prestige and popularity and Gloria Arroyos staggering acceptance ratings at the time, it would have been enough to arouse public tumult on the streets in support of her demand. …

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