Just my opinon
By Raïssa Robles
One of them bitterly fought a landmark legislation that would have benefited thousands of poor landless farmers. The other sued a journalist for a story alleging the use of political influence for personal gain.
I am referring to the power couple Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco and her husband Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.
Both played key roles in putting Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacañang Palace through the paper political party Kampi. And both were rewarded for it with government positions.
When they talk of the need to reform government and they demand the resignation of everyone, it is perhaps reasonable to ask them to spell out the reforms they want to pursue, on top of demanding all top government officials’ resignation.
Peping Cojuangco was among the relatives of the late President Corazon Aquino who pressured her to water down the land reform law and exclude the vast Hacienda Luisita and all other sugar plantations from being handed out to poor sugar workers.
Tingting Cojuangco sued journalist Marites Vitug for a story that said:
In a meeting with the President in Malacañang, a group of traders from Zamboanga City complained about her sister-in-law, Tingting Cojuangco and her dominant role in the barter trade. She was referred to, in that meeting, as the “barter trade queen.” Cory Aquino listened and asked for evidence.
A Malacañang aide observes: “She’s faced with a dilemma. She has contradicted herself. “The decision to dismiss Maceda and Mercado on the basis of soft evidence has been overturned by the strong push for proof in the case of her sister-in-law and those of other officials, too.
In the instance of Tingting Cojuangco, claims the aide, the most the President has done — with a lot of pain on her part — has been to keep a distance from her sister-in-law, “almost ostracizing her.” She has not shown up in events important to Tingting, such as the latter’s graduation from the National Defense College, among others. Yet, this has meant little to the public who seeks due process for the accused.
Tingting Cojuangco filed a libel suit against Marites Vitug. She also later filed contempt charges against Rina Jimenez-David of Philippine Daily Inquirer after Rina wrote about the suit.
You can read about the suit below:
I recall asking around some years back why there seemed to be no love lost between Uncle Peping and his nephew in the Palace. I was told that President Benigno Aquino III blamed his uncle for a lot of his mother’s woes when she was the President from 1986 to 1992 . His uncle also had a tendency to treat PNoy like he was still in short pants.
During the 2010 presidential campaign, nephew and uncle were once overheard shouting at each other. So much so that the nephew finally told off his uncle.
And that break has not been repaired to this day, it seems.
It’s interesting that when the so-called advocates of reform talk of the need for reform they do not quite spell out the kind of reform they want. They merely want the top elected leaders to resign.
It’s also interesting to note that the Cojuangco couple and Pastor “Boy” Saycon – who were at the forefront of today’s Edsa rally – share one thing in common: They are all allied with the camp of Vice-President Jejomar Binay.
[By way of full disclosure, I have gone to the Cojuangco mansion in Makati. It was where I once interviewed extensively the former Lieutenant General Edgardo Espinosa following the unseating of President Joseph Estrada. It is the same mansion where the late Time magazine correspondent Nelly Sindayen had conducted interviews with Pastor “Boy” Saycon, after which Nelly found herself harassed endlessly by unidentified men.]