December 1985
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Month December 1985

December 11, 1985

Cory and I met at the house of my son, David in our Mandaluyong compound. She announced that she had changed her mind. She was now willing to run under UNIDO! She reiterated her previous offer that I would be her Prime Minister, that she would step down in two years, that I would name 30 percent of the Cabinet, that she would appoint the remaining 70 percent after close consultations with me. I said I would have to think it over and decide before the deadline that night.

At eight o’clock that evening I made up my mind. I called Cory to meet me at the house of Maur Aquino-Lichauco. My two brothers, former Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr. and former Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, came with me. I wanted them and Doña Aurora to witness what I would tell Cory. At about ten o’clock, I told her I was giving way to her. She was overwhelmed. When I extended my hand to congratulate her, she held it in both her hands and said, “Thank you, Doy. I’ll never forget this.”

Cory turned to my two brothers and said “I-formalize na ninyo ang ating pinagkasunduan.” But Kuya Pito said, “Hindi na kailangan I-formalize pa iyan. Lalong masakit lamang kung hindi tinupad.”

“Let’s go,” I said, “We have to beat the COMELEC deadline!”

December 8, 1985

I called a press conference to announce the filing of my candidacy as official UNIDO candidate for the presidency.

In my statement I said: “I can sacrifice myself. I can sacrifice the presidency. But I cannot sacrifice my party and principles. I cannot sacrifice my party and principles. I cannot sacrifice the people who have suffered so much and worked so hard all these years, risking life, liberty and even honor, to put up the political machine that is now capable of toppling the Marcos dictatorship.”

That same afternoon I filed my certificate of candidacy with COMELEC.

Telegrams and long distance calls from all over the country poured in expressing support for my candidacy.

December 7, 1985

Early the next morning, I had made up my mind. I went back to Manila and met Cory at my house. I told her I had decided to give way to her. My only condition was that she should run under UNIDO after all, it was the largest and most organized party in the country at that time. It was accredited as the dominant opposition party. Its capacity to wage and win a nationwide campaign had been convincingly demonstrated in the 1984 elections when we won one third of the seats at stake.

But Cory could not see the point. She would not run under UNIDO.