When Ninoy Aquino returned to the Philippines from three years of exile in the United States in 1983, he did so in part on the advice of then-senator Soc Rodrigo, who told him he was needed back in the country to lead “the democratic center.”
This anecdote is striking and will make one wonder: Where is the democratic center in Philippine politics today? Does it still matter? In the context of a definite rightward shift under Rodrigo Duterte and the ongoing rehabilitation of the Marcos name, what is the role of the democratic center – whatever and wherever it is?
In this episode of “In The Public Square,” veteran journalist and Rappler columnist John Nery talks to historian, columnist, and explainer-in-chief Manuel L. Quezon III, who has written insightful pieces about the democratic center in Philippine politics. Quezon served past administrations in different capacities, including as undersecretary and later officer-in-charge of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office under the Benigno Aquino III administration.
Watch the episode on Wednesday, September 20, at 8 pm. – Rappler.com