Perhaps the destructive DNA gene is passed through mother’s milk as an infant is weaned. Fast forward into that infant’s unfortunate adulthood and consider that maybe the difficulty to maintain meaningful relationships among those afflicted with developmental disorders degenerates into the lack of empathy on one end, and to fill in the void, from a totally different area in the brain, vengeance rushes in and consumes an un-functioning area on the other end. A qualified neurosurgeon can probably explain it better.
The uncanny coincidence cannot however be denied. Like mother, like son. Vindictiveness, vengeance, an unusual desire to see pain and suffering inflicted against another perceived as an enemy of the family seems to have consumed the mother and son presidencies of Corazon Aquino and son Benigno Aquino III.
In a rejoinder to an editorial a dedicated reader reacted with a litany of executive acts by the first Aquino presidency that not only seemed to be ominous forebodings of the second presidency, but in shared DNA where a deep-seated wrath of a person deeply wounded holds sway over intellect, the unstable commonality made sense. It explains many of the puerile albeit vindictive acts Benigno the Son took against those he conjures and imagines as family enemies.
Allow us a quick review.
First, vindictiveness had so ruled in the first Aquino presidency under a revolutionary Constitution and the grant of undemocratic powers where distortions overpowered popular principles as Aquino wielded both executive and lawmaking powers.
Where then was the transition from dictatorship if the transition agent wielded the basic dictatorial powers she was supposed to transition from? Would that not have kept the abuse valve open? And indeed, was it not abused?
In such a warped milieu the reader noted that the “welfare of the Filipino people” had been “sacrificed to exact vengeance” against former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Honesty demands we recognize Marcos’ reign as one where fear and terror ruled, and state instigated violence was thematic and overwhelming. So was plunder of state coffers and the gross enrichment of the powers that were. But the same honesty demands that we likewise look at powers that benefitted society and the economic arena given global petroleum politics that wreaked havoc at the time.
Marcos’ Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and his Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) were attempts to preempt an impending power crisis and insulate us somewhat from the volatilities and vagaries of an economy dependent on Arab fossils.
On the social welfare end, Marcos had established the Bagong Lipunan Integrated Settlement System and the Kadiwa Centers affording low cost housing and critical necessities meant to assist low income earners.
Rather than tweak and exorcise them of perceived imperfections, in the bat of an eye and the quick scribble of a pen, Aquino, sans requisite caution, abolished these.
The result was an unprecedented power crisis whose immeasurable costs, including Aquino’s onerous contracts to solve a subsequent crisis all her own making, might have well exceeded the amount of corruption she claimed were in the BNPP.
On the OPSF, Aquino replaced it with imperfect liberalization and deregulation characterized by a de facto cartel of oil companies empowered with mystical, unaudited and predatory pricing.
Now note the inheritance by Benigno the Son.
First, the vendetta gene. To exact vengeance on the judiciary for carrying out statutory land reform on his family’s estate Benigno III had the Chief Justice ousted simply to replace him with an incompetent.
Next came corruption. The Son predicated his own presidency on an anti-corruption theme and yet by the end of his term, corruption had so erupted with a vengeance spawned by his Cabinet alter egos who remain scot-free.
From cops on the take recycling narcotics, to drug trafficking masterminded from a Cabinet post, to the transportation scandals and the unwarranted massacres of policemen and the bungling of relief efforts following the “Yolanda” crisis — anomalies under Benigno the Son were so enduring, the Duterte administration to date continues to clean up after.
In Anglican mythology as in Mallory’s’ “Le Morte d’Arthur” Camelot was doomed by the king’s slayer Mordred, sired by the enchantress Morgan Le Fay. See where these reflections of vengeance are entwined in the double helix of Benigno the Son’s maternal DNA.