Looking beyond PNoy’s hypocrisy: the beauty of keeping your mouth shut

The momentous and much-praised (to the point of being overrated) victory of PNoy’s administration in ousting former Chief Justice Renato Corona from office was marred by the president’s blatant hypocrisy in refusing to fulfil his promise of waiving his bank secrecy rights for the sake of a new era of transparency and accountability. PNoy’s administration then came up with a whole bunch of excuses to justify PNoy’s decision, all of which, of course, were disproved in my previous article.

In the end, however, all it took to blow off the cover was a statement of a senator coming to the president’s defense.

When reminded that it was Aquino himself who promised that he would waive his account’s confidentiality under the country’s banking laws if elected President, Osmeña said: “You know naman [also] political promises are made to be broken, once in a while, not all the time but once in a while. Pagbigyan naman natin si Noynoy [Let’s give Noynoy a chance],” calling the President by his nickname.

(Source: Link)

That’s the long and short of it, folks. PNoy broke his promise. Period.

However, of course, PNoy’s actions are not limited within his casual promise-breaking in front of his expectant supporters. Let us take the time of exploring the other things our president is busying himself with. In the meantime, let us divert our attention away from PNoy’s hypocrisy with the waiver, away from the already demystified 6.4% quarterly growth rate, and scrutinize the president’s other endeavors.

First, there is this issue of hounding the embattled ex-Chief Justice till kingdom come. PNoy recently expressed his contempt over the idea of Renato Corona living a peaceful life post-impeachment.

President Benigno Aquino III doesn’t like the idea of Renato Corona escaping criminal prosecution after being fired as Chief Justice by the Senate impeachment court on Tuesday.

Laws for the common folk should be equally applied to those who wield influence, Mr. Aquino said on Friday.

Sparing Corona the ordeal of prosecution would be veering away from that principle, Mr. Aquino told reporters in Jaro, Iloilo province, Friday.

(Source: Link)

PNoy is very keen on prosecuting Renato Corona even beyond the halls of the Supreme Court, supposedly in the name of accountability and equal application of law. PNoy’s apparent bloodlust was met with dwindling support, even from the ones who are known to be his allies. Do they finally know the true nature of the beast? Who knows?

Lawmakers, including Mr. Aquino’s allies, are divided on the prosecution of Corona after his removal from office. Those who oppose prosecution have urged Mr. Aquino to stand down lest he be seen as “too vindictive.”

Even Senator Angara expressed his doubts on PNoy’s post-impeachment campaign:

But for Sen. Edgardo Angara, the government had already exacted the “highest penalty” from Corona; it should now strive for an “effective and complete closure” of the case.

Angara advised President Aquino against allowing the prosecutorial arms of the government to proceed with a “campaign of vindictiveness” lest he be seen as “too vengeful and vindictive.”

While PNoy did get support from Justice Secretary Leila de Lima which is to be expected, more and more people start to see through PNoy’s crudely vindictive nature. Nice job for overdoing your vanity project, PNoy. While you may win some support from some bloodthirsty Filipinos hungry for more Gladiator-esque persecution, you have given the people a leeway to see for what you really are: a vindictive bully.

What he could’ve done: He could’ve just shut up.

While there is no provision in the Constitution that prohibits a recently impeached officer from being investigated by government agencies and tried under criminal grounds, it would simply be in our intellectually intriguing president’s best interests to just stay quiet, and let the Ombudsman’s office and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) do their respective jobs, without the president meddling like an overly inquisitive spouse. If the Ombudsman receives a credible complaint, then she is free to investigate the matter. The same principle applies to when the BIR obtains a legitimate cause to suspect the ex-Chief Justice of tax evasion and similar offenses. This way, the president will not incur doubts from his allies about his media-enforced benevolence towards the Filipino people.

But then, of course, the president just can’t help but stick his nose on businesses that hardly concern him anymore, even if the impeachment trial is already over. For all we know, the activities of the Ombudsman and the BIR are actually coordinated by PNoy’s administration, and such a scenario is very well likely. Then again, one would wonder what would happen to this statement PNoy issued.

Laws for the common folk should be equally applied to those who wield influence, Mr. Aquino said on Friday.

That’s alright. PNoy is simply espousing equal application of law for all. After all, a private citizen hounded by the president himself for unproven crimes is, like, so common, right?

Meanwhile, there is also the issue of having to choose the new Chief Justice, a responsibility given to the president, now that the position is vacant at the moment after Corona’s fall in the hands of the Yellow brigade. As expected of PNoy, the said issue is overly publicized by his curious ability of not being able to stop himself from talking.

President Benigno Aquino has brought up the names of the two toughest women in his administration in discussions on the next chief justice of the Supreme Court following the removal from the post by impeachment of Renato Corona.

They were discussing possible appointments to the vacant post of chief justice when President Aquino added, “It is said that in my administration, there are two who are feared: Leila De Lima and Kim Henares.”

(Source: Link)

Yes, no one can stop the president from making pa-bida his favourite ladies in the midst of the search for a new chief magistrate. Truly, the president is exerting so much effort in being objective and fair in one of his important responsibilities; choosing the head of one of the three branches of the government. Furthermore, PNoy has recently made a bold declaration regarding this particular job of his:

Aquino on Friday said he’s bound neither by law nor tradition to appoint anybody from among the incumbent justices especially since most of them had perpetuated the system of keeping their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth, which are supposed to be public documents, under lock and key.

That’s not exactly the best way to describe his current situation, considering PNoy is actually bound by law to choose among the incumbent justices, should the Judicial and Bar Council decide as such.

Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution states the following:

Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.

Basically, PNoy choices are restricted to three persons, depending on who the JBC would nominate for a position in the Supreme Court and other courts. Not bound by tradition? PNoy could say that. Not bound by law? Not exactly. In any case, PNoy’s babble about the ones he obviously favors for the position of Chief Justice simply betrays how biased he can be. The JBC isn’t even done with its nomination, you might not even have made up your mind on who to root for, but your president already has some people in mind. Perfect; he just did the work for you. Is that good?

What he could’ve done: He could’ve just shut up. Again.

In the spirit of fairness and objectivity, PNoy could have just shut up and wait until the JBC has actually come up with the three nominees before opening his mouth about his bets and whatnot. Going ahead of the nomination process to blatantly declare who he wants for the job simply confirms his partisanship. Of course, there is no need for a rational mind to have PNoy do this to confirm his undeniable prejudice in favor of the likes of de Lima, but PNoy can at least exert an effort to look mature and respect the discretion of the JBC. Then again, respect is apparently a foreign concept to our good president. For all we know, PNoy is actually goading the JBC into including de Lima and Henares to its list of nominees, which is very well likely, because PNoy is spoiled like that. Furthermore, we have Francisco S. Tatad’s ominous prophecy in the midst of Corona’s conviction.

With Corona’s conviction and removal, PNoy is now virtually in control of the three branches of government. He may not have what it takes to exercise such control, but there will be no shortage of people who will want to do it for him.

Perhaps this can explain PNoy’s talkativeness; he is now virtually in control, his administration impervious to the power of dissenters, given Tatad’s observations. He is, as it turns out, getting confident. But then, no man is exempt from the dangers of simply talking too much, as generously demonstrated by the man himself in this article.

Indeed, such is the power and sheer beauty of silence, something the president is incapable of observing. If we would but recall renowned physicist Einstein’s words:

“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.”

As well as statesman Abraham Lincoln’s:

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Then again, it’s not like we’re concerned with PNoy’s fragile reputation. In fact, this might mean good tidings for those who get real. After all, if the aim is to diminish the dictator’s undue influence, this is one of those many holes that can be exploited.

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About Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

Post Author: Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.