Aquino hit, defended for ‘sorry’ remark

By Maila Ager, Thea Alberto
First Posted 13:56:00 12/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) A day after saying “sorry” to former president Joseph Estrada, ex-president Corazon “Cory” Aquino has been getting the flak from some supporters and militants although her spokesperson insists that the former leader made the remark “in jest.”

“To tell you frankly, maraming tumatawag sa aking mga kaibigan ko [a lot of my friends have been calling me]. They were so disappointed with Cory. Ang tawag sa kanya ngayon ay [they now call her] sorry Aquino,” Senator Richard Gordon told a press conference Tuesday.

Gordon admitted that he was equally disappointed and saddened by Aquino’s apology.

“I don’t agree with the fact that she [Cory] had to say to say sorry to him. Mr. Estrada has committed wrong in our country, he has already been forgiven. But I’m part of that [group] that removed him and I have no regrets about that,” he said.

While he was also disappointed by the present administration, Gordon said he would never use that as an excuse to condone what had happened in the past.

“I should not say but I really feel for Cory because she’s sick right now. But I think she overstated the point. Maybe what she really meant is I forgive you but to say you’re sorry for having removed him, we can’t do that. You have to stand by just as [what Trillanes] did, he stood by it,” he further said.

Gordon was referring to Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, who has been detained for mounting two failed coup attempts against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Being a leader, the senator said, Aquino should have stood by her decision to participate in the ouster of Estrada.

“I have nothing against the former president [Aquino]. I have something against the fact that when we are leaders, we must be called upon to teach our people. Leaders teach. Leaders must form a face for our country, what we stand for,” he said.

“We must be upright and we must be able not to be afraid to say in front of other people what we think of them if they had done wrong. I don’t want to confuse the public where we must stand. Malilito ang tao, malilito ang bata [The people will get confused, so with the children]. We must stand for the right thing,” he further said.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna and Gabriela partylist Representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza said they were standing by EDSA 2 and that the problem was Arroyo and not the event itself.

On Monday, Aquino said during the book launching of former Speaker Jose De Venecia: “I am one of those who plead guilty for the 2001 [uprising]. Lahat naman tayo nagkakamali. Patawarin mo na lang ako [All of us make mistakes. Forgive me].”

Aquino’s apology was regarded by Estrada as his “best Christmas gift.”

But Deedee Sytangco, Aquino spokesperson told in a phone interview that the former president said it “in jest in the context of Estrada joking.”

She described Monday’s event as a “lighthearted affair… where even Estrada was being very lighthearted.”

In a text message, Aquino’s son and Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III also clarified the former leader’s statement.

“I asked my mom about it and her reply is that her comment should be taken in the context of and in the same vein as President Estrada’s humorous quip directed at Speaker JDV,” said the younger Aquino.

But Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. doubts the comment had been meant as a joke.

“No, I don’t think so. Cory naman [of course] will not do that. The subject matter is not one for joking,” Pimentel said over the phone.

“Knowing Cory, she will not say a thing without meaning it,” he further said.


My Take:

These “sorry” events manifest clearly our sorry situation.

Tsk!  Sorry my ass.

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