Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Third Republic: Aquino, Ramos and Estrada



THE THIRD REPUBLIC: AQUINO, RAMOS AND ESTRADA ADMINISTRATION

Introduction:

                The longer President Marcos remained in power the more his government opposed and impoverished the people. Blinded with power and ill-gotten wealth, he merrily deceived our people and deprived them of their rights. Hence, the Filipino people were united when the bloodless EDSA occurred in February 1896. Moreover, the Centennial Proclamation of Philippine Independence in 1998 coincided with the transition of government from Fidel Ramos, a military general to Joseph Estrada, a popular actor-politician, both of them becoming the so-called “Centennial Presidents”. In having another stable and peaceful turnover of government, the Philippines proved yet again that it was the “showcase of democracy” in the Asian region.

I. 1896 EDSA REVOLUTION

*February 7, 1986: Snap Election
                * KBL: Marcos and Assemblyman Arturo M. Tolentino
                *UNIDO and PDP Laban Party: Mrs. Corazon Aquino and Salvador H. Laurel

*February 22, 1986 (6 PM): Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Fidel Ramos gave a press conference to announce their withdrawal of support from President Marcos

*February 23, 1986: Human barricade around Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame

*February 25, 1986: Marcos and his family, and some friends fled Malacannag Palace and were taken by the US Air Force to Guam then to Hawaii

II. Corazon Aquino (Term: February 25, 1986 – June 30, 1992)

Laws and Programs:

1.       Restoration of Democracy
2.       Amendment and Ratification of 1986 Constitution
a.       New Bill of Rights
b.       Creation of a permanent Commission on Human Rights
c.       Establishment of a Presidential system of government
d.       To guard against political dynasties, President’s term limited to 6 years
e.       President’s right to declare martial law or suspend habeas corpus is limited to 60 days
f.        Establishment of a bicameral Congress
g.       Provision is made for laws, constitutional amendments and impeachment cases
h.       Provision is made for the creation of autonomous regions in Cordillera and in Muslim parts of Mindanao
i.         Provision is made for free education, for medical care and for agrarian reform
3.       Constitutional and Political Reforms
a.       Family Code of 1987
b.       Administrative Code of 1987
c.       1991 Local Government Code
4.       Socio-Economic Programs and Policies
a.       Economic Management
b.       Agrarian Reform

Achievements:

1.       Restoration of peace, democracy , freedom and justice
2.       Partial recovery of big sums of money stolen during the Marcos administration
3.       Stability of the government despite of 6 successive military coups
4.       Easier credit terms and better conditions for repayment of the huge foreign debt of the Philippines, amounting to over US $30 billion
5.       Defeat of communist NPA and arrest of many NPA top leaders
6.       Passage of the best agrarian reform law, limiting ownership to 5 hectares of agricultural land or Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657)
7.       Improvement of Philippine image
8.       Mobilization of national and international aid for victims of various natural calamities (1990-1991)

Problems:

1.       Proliferation of rebels
2.       Coup Attempts
3.       Controversies:
a.       Mendiola Massacre (January 22, 1987) fired guns into the farmers marched on Malacanang
b.       Luis Beltran Scandal: column than Aquino had been hiding under the bed during the coup attempt and he was sentenced  of the case libel to 2 years imprisonment and ordering him to pay 2 million
4.       Kamag-anak Inc. : derisive phrase coined by the critics of Aquino to refer to her relatives meddling in the affairs of the government and of using their connections for their own ends
5.       Natural disaster and calamities
a.       1990 Luzon Earthquake
b.       1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption
c.       Typhoon Uring ( November 1991) and Unsang (October 1988)
d.       SupertyphoonSisang (November 1987) and Ruping (November 1990)
e.       MV Dona Paz
f.        El Nino Phenomenon

III. Fidel V. Ramos (Term: June 30, 1992 – June 30, 1998)

Laws and Programs:

1.       Philippines 2000
a.       Holding of peace talks
b.       People empowerment
                                                                           i.      Infrastructure building
                                                                         ii.      Creation of jobs
                                                                       iii.      Public finance to fund infrastructure
                                                                       iv.      Debt management
                                                                         v.      Creation of Department of Energy
                                                                       vi.      Drafting of a monetary program
                                                                     vii.      Improvement on investment policies
                                                                   viii.      Environmental protection
2.       Economic Reforms
a.       Privatization
b.       Deregulation
c.       Trade Liberalization
3.       Rationalization of country’s foreign relations

Achievements:

1.       Democracy in the Philippines
2.       Settlement of the outstanding internal wars with the 30-year old NPA communist insurgency and NurMisuari’s MILF separatist movement in Mindanao
3.       Granting amnesty to the rebel military officers of the RAM (Reform the Armed Forces Movement)
4.       Holding of the 4th APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders’ meeting in 1996
5.       Generating about US $20 billion worth of investments with numerous foreign trips abroad
6.       Dismantling monopolies and putting key industries into private hands
7.       Ended country’s IMF Assistance by March 1998
8.       Intensified operations against organized crimes, private armed groups and terrorists (PACC)
9.       Creation of National Centennial Commission to take charge of the celebration of the Philippine centennial
10.   Passage of the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995” which gave better protection for millions of Filipinos working overseas (FlorContemplacion hanged in Singapore and Sarah Balabagan escaped from death penalty in Abu Dhabi after killing her employer)

Problems:

1.       Controversies: Clark Centennial Expo Scandal
2.       PEA-AmariScandal
3.       Unsound Economic Policies
4.       Wiki Leaks Expose
5.       Charter Change

IV. Joseph E. Estrada (Term: June 30, 1998 – January 21, 2001)
               
Laws and Programs:

1.       ErapparasaMahirap
2.       Anti-Crime Task Force
3.       JEEP (Justice, Economy, Environment and Peace)
a.       ERAP (Education, Research and Assistance Program)
b.       ERAP (Enhanced Retail Access for the Poor): sari-sari stores and LingapsaMahirap stores
4.       All-out War Policy
5.       Pro-Poor Programs
6.       Death Penalty Law (February 9, 1999)

Achievements:

1.       Designated as the Spokesperson of the Third World countries in the 6th APEC meeting
2.       Signing of 2ndUS-RP Visiting Forces Agreement on October 8, 1998
3.       Had successful negotiations regarding the Subic Controversy
4.       Legal assistance of more than 400 cases of illegal recruitment brought to POEA
5.       Created laws intended to create business environment: Retail Trade Liberalization Act, General Banking Law of 2000, Electronic Commerce Act and Securities Regulation Code
6.       Spearheaded low-cost housing project by creation of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
7.       Muslim leaders urged the administration and MILF to resume peace negotiations


Problems:

1.       War in Mindanao
2.       Peso devaluation
3.       1998 Subic Bay LEader
4.       “Midnight Cabinet”
5.       Graft and Corruption (Jueteng Scandal)
6.       German government issued travel ban after the hostage drama in Mindanao where the Abu Sayyaf abducted Filipino and foreign nationals

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