A View to the Most Popular Philippine President

Philippine President Benigno (PNoy) Aquino continues to enjoys a high trust rating (+67 net approval, August 2012) from his constituents as he enters the third year of his administration. At this point, PNoy ranks as the most popular Philippine President. PNoy basks in so much public adulation that his ascent to power only lacked the palm leaves and the hallelujah for the event to resemble the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

So what power does this man posses that endears him to the general population?

PNoy, a moniker the president likes to go by, fits providentially the man who people dream would change an order that kept a larger part of the population chained to poverty. The moniker plays on Pinoy (slang for Filipino), using an amalgam with the letter P standing for 'president' prefixed on Noy (the president's nickname).

The government media bureau reinforces the claim of reform of this presidency with announcements of economic achievements in the last two years. More recently, the government proudly announced the Philippines' rise by ten notches in the business competitive position and landing at the 65th spot of 144. Earlier in the year, another milestone happened when Standard and Poor upgraded the Philippines' credit worthiness a notch away from investment grade. Certainly, these items deserve some note, however, the feats remain work in progress requiring a lot of work before making the A-list.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), PNoy drew a rosy economic picture with the 2012 first quarter growth of the Gross National Product (GDP), posted at 6.4, conveniently leaving out, however, the fact that all throughout 2011 up to July of 2012, the Balance of Payment (BOP) resulted to deficits. We can forgive him for that.

Someone said that PNoy's popularity directly translates into confidence in government and this confidence is the thing that holds the country together amidst threats and weaknesses that plague.

The greater part of the citizenry believes this and hope that the situation, at last, solves the country's lingering economic problem.

Beginnings and the Continuing Saga

The death of his mother, former President Cory Aquino conferred on PNoy the messianic quality the nation had long searched for, just as the death of his father, former Senator Ninoy Aquino did for his mother. His campaign call of "Walang Mahirap, kung walang corrupt" managed to round-up a large margin in the ballot count that left all his presidential opponents eating his dust.

However, both mother and son's lack of preparation, more likely their disinterest for the presidency, showed early on during their transition into power. President Cory, in a rush to dismantle the remnants of the Marcos regime, hurriedly decided to appoint officers-in-charge in place of elected mayors. PNoy, with the same righteous zeal, issued Administrative Order no.1 that effectively fired all sitting heads of government divisions without career executive service officer <CESO> certifications. The result of both actions proved disastrous.

After the initial faux pas, PNoy gained grounds with his first salvo in cultivating a level playing field by issuing the "walang wang-wang" directive. The use of sirens characterized the abusive practice of government officials to have unobstructed passage by ordering the sweep of traffic congested area. People celebrated the return of their streets and gave PNoy the first notch on his governance belt.

His pursuit to impeach the sitting Chief Justice, Renato Corona, also captivated the public that its televised proceedings, of over five months, enjoyed large viewership.

In all, the incumbency of PNoy produced more 'hits' than 'missis', pervading the air with a sense of good governance, smeared sporadically, however, by the usual suspects,cronies and hanger-on.

Marcos-the Ghost of PNoy Future?

Carbon relating PNoy, we see that he inherited both his parents' stubborn streak, unmindful of the pitfalls. That stubborn streak comes with a genetic mindset that is never dazzled with power, totally incorruptible. And so we hope.

Still there were incidents that showed signs of wicked politics at play, Marcosian tactics, if you will. Marcos, in his days, was also thought to be the awaited messiah of the Philippines as PNoy is regarded today. Problem came when Marcos started believing the BS. Today we see PNoy, adapting the same perverse politics in his pursuit of the Arroyo clan and their followers, at all cost, even bending a few rules.

In the events leading to the filing of the impeachment articles, there sprung a number controversies. Stories circulated of members of congress forced to sign without the benefit of reading the article. Still, others told of threats to member of congress should they forego signing the impeachment with the withholding of pork. And more visibly, rumors persist that the current hounding of Congressman Emmanuel Pacquiao by the Bureau of Internal Revenue connects to his indifference to the impeachment.

The squid tactic employed to railroad the impeachment of Corona tend to remind one of the kangaroo court that presided over the trial of the father of PNoy. And in a twisted fashion, the impeachment cast Enrile, the person responsible for the incarceration of PNoy's father, in the role of presiding judge.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Sereno concedes her appointment to God's will (which got people questioning her mental state) however, some see it more as the last nail in PNoy's quest to control the whole bureaucracy.

Another reminder of Marcosian politics are the 'crewnies' who after being embroiled in controversies were defended by PNoy. These 'crewnies' mostly shooting buddies of the president hue close to the likes of Danding Cojuanco, Roberto Benedicto and Jose De Venecia.

Assistant Secretary of the Department of Transportation allegedly caused the resignation of the highly regarded, then Secretary Ping de Jesus over STRADCOM. Ronald Llamas, supposed enforcer of the Corona impeachment, remains in government after being arrested for illegal gun possession and caught on camera buying pirated DVDs. As of this writing, another 'crewny' in the thick of a controversy and heavily defended by PNoy, under-secretary Rico Puno, adds another dent to the image of the president.

For all the reasons people think that Ferdinand Marcos and PNoy are poles apart, there exist some similarities that shaped both men's minds. One, they were both of political clans. As a result, both their fathers were victims of political assassinations. Both were raised in the most trying of circumstances by strong-willed mothers.

While both were part of the legislative bureaucracy, they seem lost in economic policies as they concentrate on the Machiavellian lessons of power building.


Lest PNoy takes the 'trapo' path, his administration needs a strong credible 'fiscalizer'.

With the coming election in 2013, PNoy will try to maintain his control in both congress and senate. However, the success of such might prove disastrous for the country with PNoy showing inclination towards 'Machiavilian' politics.

At the moment, the political scene lacks a credible 'fiscalizer', in the same league as Alan Peter Cayetano to foil the immense popularity of PNoy.

To forward the platform of economic growth based on freedom, the system of check and balance has to be regained.

Marcosian politics, as history shows, stands as the lesson on 'what not to do'.

PNoy has the making of a great president, we certainly hope he succeeds.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar