Friday, July 2, 2010

Noynoy as 16th President of the Philippines

A government, in order to be legitimate, must get the approbation of its citizenry, whose voice is Law.

A reader by the name of Lucille commented that I referred to Noynoy as our 16th instead of our 15th President. Well, Lucille, I still maintain the position that our beloved new president is actually our 16th if you consider the government established by Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio as a legitimate one. I had a chance to review my history, especially documents during the 1896-1898 revolt and found that the meeting held by the Katipunan on August 1896, was indeed one that established a purely legitimate government. In fact, even prior to this establishment, there was a fully functioning de facto government among the Filipinos during those times, and this includes even non-Katipuneros. The Katipunan government had a fully functioning de facto government, with its own executive, legislative and judicial branches. Its influence goes down through the barangay level. And the people recognized this government as a counter-government.

There were attempts made by the Katipunan to get international recognition, first from Japan, then the United States. A commission of Filipinos led by Doroteo Cortez and Jose Maria Basa was responsible in establishing diplomatic relations for and on behalf of the Katipunan government in 1896.

Now, regarding the one established by Aguinaldo, Mabini, one of the brilliant minds in that generation, said that it had a fatal flaw--it actually made the Philippines a protectorate of the United States, who, at that time, won the battle against Spain.

So, whose "government" is legitimate, particularly in the eyes of the Filipinos? Was it Bonifacio's whose Katipunan-inspired government was considered legitimate by the Filipinos? Or the one established by Aguinaldo in Malolos who actually followed the provisions of the Treaty of Paris and handed the Philippines over to the Americans as a protectorate? You judge.