Diary of Salvador H. Laurel

June 12, 1985

Today was a whole day affair. More than 25,000 delegates and leaders of UNIDO attended the Nominating Convention at the Araneta Coliseum. They came at their own expense. All we gave them was a hamburger, two hard boiled eggs and a banana for lunch. All political leaders identified with the opposition were present. Even Cory came despite attempts of her “advisers” to dissuade her.* I am told by old-timers that it was the biggest and fightingest political convention on record –and I was unanimously nominated presidential standard bearer of the opposition. I expect Marcos to call a snap election soon –before Christmas.

This will be an all-out fight.

I immediately set the tone of the presidential campaign in my acceptance speech which I entitled “The Final Battle”:

The UNIDO is committed to non-violent change. Bloody revolution is not the only path to freedom: Democracy cannot take root amidst violence. All confrontation must end in reconciliation.

But those who would oppose us know that we will never give up this fight.

We will never give up the fight against repressive rule, against deception, against hypocrisy, against the twisting and shrouding of truth. We will never give up the right to live as human beings in a society where human rights are not denied at the will or whim of one man. Democracy is non-negotiable.

*I am confident we will have only one candidate in the opposition. The only other possible candidate is Cory but she has repeatedly told me she is not interested and that she will never run for the presidency. She has said this privately and publicly. She appears to be sincere. She attended today’s convention and even delivered a speech supporting my candidacy. I was told her advisers (Tañada, Diokno, Arroyo) were trying to stop her and she was in tears because she wanted to –and she did. Her advisers obviously have their own agenda. I hope Cory will not become a tool in their hands.

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