By: Elena Grace Flores
The late former Senate President Jovito Salonga’s long life until 95 years of age was dedicated into preserving human rights eversince the Martial law era of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos but although he campaigned against human violations during Martial law, he was not against Marcos instead, he was tagged as the “number one enemy” of the late President Corazon Aquino.
The Aquino-Salonga clash was the result of the United States military bases voting to stay or go in 1991. Mrs. Aquino’s strong stand at the time was to maintain and extend the US military bases in the country – wheras Salonga, was in the opposite side to finally put an end on the Military Bases Agreement where he garnered support from eleven senators, including then Sen. Joseph Estrada.
Aquino even tried to influence Salonga on her position but Salonga was totally against it. Prior to his death, he wrote a memoire criticizing Corazon Aquino’s leadership style that made the Filipino people suffer more – worst than during the time of Martial Law.