Whenever President Ferdinand Marcos was in the mood, he would gather his loyal generals in his study in Malacaang for an hour or so of leisurely discourse on issues that mattered most to him and his martial law administration.
Over coffee and pastries, the Commander in Chief would toss a question or statement for his court to comment on or contemplate in a relaxed, casual atmosphere so different from the formality of their ranks and position.
Indeed, it was an honor to be part of the gathering because it meant one was part of Marcos inner circle.
In one tte-? -tte in late 1980 or early 1981, the conversation drifted to the succession issue. Marcos was already sickly then but this was not known to the public. But the generals knew. They kept the secret to themselves.
What Marcos said that day was totally unexpected of the strongman as the generals knew him.
My best successor, Marcos said in a serious tone, is Ninoy Aquino.