Apologists and fans of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III cannot help but be “disappointed”. Disappointed, because people have supposedly started to lose faith in the promise of a better Philippines that the Second Aquino Administration purportedly heralded.
Indeed, the campaign of President BS Aquino promised a lot. With flying colours — well, flying colour (in the singular) — it promised the eradication of corruption and, by transivitiy, the elimination of poverty under the principle that where there is no corruption, there will be no poverty. The Prayerful One also asserted that his administration will be characterised by a singular adherence to the straight-and-narrow path, the daang matuwid. These promises were made absolute gospel truth by the graces of BS Aquino’s illustrious parents shining their heroic light from the heavens above on their only begotten son and all those who take up his colours and flash the holy hand gesture.
Platform? What is that?
The Reluctant One did not need a platform. So his minions said back in 2009 as the vacuous campaign of then presidential candidate BS Aquino kicked off. As chief Aquino media champion Conrado de Quiros wrote back then, BS Aquino is the Philippines’ Aragorn…
Noynoy holds the key to it. If he discovers it, he will raise, like Aragorn who conscripted the dead kings and their legions in “Lord of the Rings,” an army mightier than any of his enemies can muster.
Where is this “army” today? It’s certainly not out there defending the nation from China’s encroaching navy. It is not not out in the field turning what is supposed to be a windfall of financial resources delivered by that much-vaunted “economic growth” that BS Aquino is laughably claiming credit for into tangible outcomes. No. This “army”, instead, continues to foolishly cling on to the Anointed One’s promises and write about how “disappointed” they are about how BS Aquino’s critics have “missed the point”.
And what is this “point” BS Aquino’s critics are missing? Simple: that the Aquino administration is “a start”. Not a “perfect start” as it is “riddled with problems” but “a start” just the same.
Well, President BS Aquino is now in the third year of what is a mere six-year term. And all he has so far achieved is to preside over what is likely the biggest, the most profound, and the most paralysing corruption scandal in Philippine history. Because the source of the funds that fuels corruption at this unprecedented and astounding scale traces its line of accountability ultimately to the Office of the President, quite simply nothing that President BS Aquino says to justify the continued existence of the pork barrel, whether it be marketed to the gullible Filipino public as the “Priority Development Assistance Fund” (PDAF) or bandied around as the mysteriously alluring “Disbursement Acceleration Program” (DAP) can ever fly. The Philippine president alone has the power to shut this spigot of money liberally used to motivate the country’s lawmakers.
So to the laughable excuse that perhaps some slow steps only need to be taken towards some nebulous “general direction”, I say the solution has never been more obvious; never been as crystal clear. Indeed, this appalling crisis presents a unique opportunity for a Philippine president to demonstrate his unconditional sincerity.
Is President BS Aquino up to the task?
As I said earlier, President BS Aquino just needs to say the word and sign on the dotted line, and the gravy train will stop on its tracks and its beneficiaries’ greed starved of its nourishing sweetness.
Contrary to what people are led to believe, money that would’ve gone to these phantom-like “scholars” and quaint “community development” initiatives will not dry up. It will only be appropriated and disbursed differently. After all, we as a people need to embrace what is different. For only that way can we ever hope to see the day when the Philippines enjoys different results for a change.
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