Friday, August 7, 2009

MANILA - Death has a way of softening old hurt and lingering pain.
The Aquinos and the Marcoses—at least the children---appeared to have finally have buried the political hatchet following the visit of Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his wife Liza, and Imee Marcos at the wake of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino at the Manila Cathedral on Tuesday.
“We went there to express our sympathies,” Imee told “We have no official statement.”
The Marcos siblings were welcomed by Cory’s eldest daughter, Maria Elena “Balsy” Aquino-Cruz. The Marcoses stayed for around 15 minutes.
The Aquino family had earlier said the Marcoses are welcome to attend the wake, but should not expect an instant reconciliation. Cory’s youngest daughter, Kris Bernadette, had thanked Mrs. Marcos and her family for praying for her mother. Aquino died Saturday, losing her battle against colon cancer.
Asked if the Marcoses and the Aquinos have kissed and made up, Imee replied: “We are already together in the opposition.”
Imee said they sought the help of Bongbong’s wife, Louise Cacho Araneta-Marcos, who is related to the wife of Cory’s brother, Pedro Cojuangco. Mr. Cojuangco is married to a Cacho. From this channel, they “secured” the “clearance” to attend the wake.
Imee said not many people know that she and Balsy were childhood friends. She recalled that she would go to the Aquinos' home in Times Street in Quezon City and spend some time there.
“Mrs. Aquino would cook for us,” Imee said. “We were all children of LP (Liberal Party) leaders,” she added, explaining how she and Balsy became friends.
The late President Marcos was an LP member, but bolted to join the Nacionalista Party as its standard bearer in the 1965 presidential elections. Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr. was then a rising stalwart of the party.
For decades, the Aquinos and the Marcoses were bitter political families, highlighted by the murder of Ninoy Aquino, following his return to the Philippines in 1983 after years of exile.
The Aquino family believes President Marcos masterminded the killing. While in power, President Aquino had rejected the Marcos family’s request for the dictator’s body to be brought back to the country. His remains were allowed to be brought back in 1993 by then President Fidel Ramos.
The Marcoses fled to Hawaii following the EDSA 1 people power revolution that installed Mrs. Aquino to the presidency.
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