Statement of the Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO)
19 August 2009
We, former senior government officials, express our solidarity with the Filipino people who condoled with the Aquino family, celebrated President Cory’s life of service to our nation, and affirmed their support for the democracy and good government for which Cory and Ninoy lived and died. We believe the power of Tita Cory’s legacy lies not only on the fact that it has helped us win and defend our democracy before, but also that it remains alive and relevant to our fight against abusive leaders and bad government today and in the future.
The death, wake and funeral of Tita Cory were occasions for new heroism and various events around the first week of August showed our nation and its many heroes at their best. We wish to commend their fine examples and point out what we regard as their lessons for all of us.
We wish to cite the following:
- The Aquino daughters and son, who, by their words and actions and despite their grief, embraced the masses of our people wishing to express their thanks and say goodbye to their mother, who was also our dear President Cory. We thank the Aquino family particularly for deciding on a funeral that was truly from the people, by the people and of the people.
- The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for showing what an institution, tasked by our Constitution to be a true “protector of the people,” does in the people’s funeral for Pres. Aquino. The services rendered and honors bestowed by our uniformed men and women for their former commander-in-chief not only affirmed their adherence to the democracy she stood for but also showed their unity with the Filipino people.
- The Judicial and Bar Council for deciding to follow their own rules and deny GMA’s desire to include other names to the list of nominees already submitted for two vacancies in the Supreme Court. By refusing to follow Malacanang’s bidding, the JBC stops the further erosion of checks and balance established by the Constitution in making appointments to the judiciary.
- The Senate of the Republic for continuing to refuse participation in any attempt by the House of Representatives to tamper with the Constitution before the 2010 elections. We also commend those honorable members of the House who have wisely and courageously opposed, or withdrawn their support for, the House resolution seeking to convene a Constituent Assembly to revise the Constitution.
- Former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz and former Philippine Ambassador to the USA, Albert del Rosario, who have each spoken publicly and authoritatively to expose past attempts by the Arroyo administration to impose emergency rule as a ploy to extend its hold on power. These witnesses have helped alert many more Filipinos to be less complacent and more vigilant in guarding against future attempts.
- The enterprising and courageous members of our media for continuing to bring the truth to our people about the depths and extent of corruption and lavish waste that mark the current GMA administration, in contrast to the example of integrity and simplicity shown by President Cory. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism is commended for its careful, comprehensive and detailed report revealing how GMA’s wealth grew at scandalous rates as she rose higher and stayed longer in power. The foreign media and our internet-based journalists are also commended for bringing to our ordinary people’s attention such casual callousness of GMA as enjoying P1 million-peso dinners abroad while hungry Filipinos mourned the death of Tita Cory at home.
We are gratified that Tita Cory’s funeral was not only a commemoration of a great leader’s life but also a re-commitment to that leader’s higher purposes: democracy, good government, greater good of the nation. As we admired Tita Cory’s faithful service to the nation through pain and sacrifice, we have also grown to admire all others similarly doing faithful service to the nation despite pain and sacrifice. In the words of President Cory, “All I can suggest is to forget about yourself and just think of your people. It’s always the people who make things happen.”