The execution was stopped and Mary Jane Veloso is alive today. This is the happy outcome after countless people in the Philippines, in Indonesia, and across the world never gave up and fought up to the last hour. These efforts paid off, with President Joko Widodo making the decision at the 11th hour to spare the life of Mary Jane.

Ordinary people, relatives of OFWs, former OFWs, public interest lawyers, migrant advocates, activists, professionals, students, and Filipinos and friends across the world all contributed to make this movement and campaign a success: It convinced the Indonesian president to do the right thing and helped make sure the Philippine government would act to defend the life of a Filipino citizen. 

President BS Aquino. Photo by KJ Rosales/Manila Bulletin.
President BS Aquino. Photo by KJ Rosales/Manila Bulletin.

Quite interestingly, diehard supporters of President BS Aquino ushered in the commemoration of the 29th anniversary of 1986 People Power uprising by rehashing the discredited “Marcos pa rin!” battlecry into an Internet trending topic #NoynoyPaRin.

For a whole day, they convinced themselves that there’s no one else fit to lead the country at this time, except their idol. We don’t know what they smoked before and as they did it. But if they were aiming to change the topic of public conversations away from President BS Aquino’s command responsibility over the Mamasapano incident, let us tell them: Nice try.

Presidents: BS Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Presidents: BS Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

“The President should resign,” declared a manifesto signed by a growing number of citizens from across the country.

Damage control is in overdrive: But even after addressing the nation on national television, the President still failed to regain the trust of citizens outraged by the incident in Mindanao, among many outstanding issues propelling the protests.

The BS Aquino administration is in many ways botching the single-biggest chance to tell the world that “its more fun in the Philippines.

The last time a pope visited the Philippines was exactly 20 years ago. It didn’t matter that the President was a Protestant. It didn’t matter that we still didn’t have much to show, except for the vibrant and zealous faith of the Filipino. What mattered most was that that the Leader of the Catholic Church and Head of State of Vatican City was coming, and that he was holding the World Youth Day here in the country.

Citizens raise clenched fists at the Sept. 21 Never Porkget rally at the Luneta spearheaded by #AbolishPork Movement. Photo by Arkibong Bayan.

More and more people want to unite and act against the plunder, misuse and abuse of public funds through the controversial pork barrel. Citizens are outraged by the PDAF scandal involving lawmakers, Janet Napoles and fake NGOs. President BS Aquino himself has been put on the defensive for his own pork barrel, its misuse for bribery, and his refusal to abolish the pork barrel system. Here is a [developing] list of reference materials and links on the issue.