What we learned from PNoy’s 5th State of the Nation Address

I stand corrected. Last night I issued this rather glib tweet: “So what do we at GRP do now? We predicted EXACTLY what #PNoy was gonna say in #SONA2014. #NoChallenge”.

The fact is, Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) he delivered before Congress yesterday, did leave out a few things we predicted he would say in our otherwise prescient pre-SONA articles published last weekend…

(1) He did not blame the previous administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his troubles; and,

(2) He did not make any further attacks on the Philippine Supreme Court in retaliation for their ruling his Disbrusement Acceleration Program unconstitutional;

…at least explicitly.

noynoy_aquinoTrouble is, President BS Aquino continued defending the DAP. And it was an embarrassing sight — like a schoolboy stammering out an excuse for not having done his homework. The SONA, in essence, was like one big dog-ate-my-homework speech — a piece of wordsmithship befitting a mere administrator more than that of a statesman or leader worthy of that lucrative seat in Malacanang. Rather than communicate a vision, President BS Aquino’s SONA enumerated minutiae that would probably interest accountants and other such anal-retentive folk.

Considering his is a Showbiz Government and that a lot of the Aquino-Cojuangco clans’ minions are celebrities who did the hard yakka baking in perceptions of substance into the Yellow brand where there was none, President BS Aquino seems to have forgotten that Filipinos elected him because of his pedigree and shimmering Yellow light, not because of his accounting prowess or ability to come up with a coherent development strategy. Evidently, President BS Aquino has forgotten the fine art of eliciting from the Filipino that familiar wistful look to the yonder of nebulous hope that gets elections won — and bags broad public approval.

That’s the whole trouble with the President’s SONA style this year and those that preceded it — all droll litanies rather than well-structured reports. His reference to the future was more a venting of worry over who might succeed him rather than a confident staring down of the challenges that might face him. In this 5th SONA of the Son of Heroes, one can almost feel how much of a pain-in-the-ass having to deliver these speeches might be to a President who assumed the office only because he had to and not because of any higher personal purpose he had set his feeble mind to.

Filipinos do indeed deserve their government. If people are still willing to take this President seriously after yesterday’s song-and-dance then that is a sign that they will probably also deserve the president they will get after 2016. Funny that, considering Filipinos celebrated the birth of the 100 millionth Filipino yesterday. This has now officially become a country of 100 million that cannot produce even one good president.

So the SONA took all of almost an hour and a half. That’s quite a long time to essentially just say that the DAP is really a nice thing despite what everyone else says. But while the President went to great lengths to enumerate positive aspects of where the country was headed, he failed to make a convincing case that these were all outcomes of what he did and what policies he implemented. Indeed, to that assertion, we can simply defer to Mr Jose Enrique Africa, executive director of the Ibon Foundation for a reality check

One-third of the DAP or Php49.8 billion went to virtually no-impact spending – consisting of equity infusion or payments to financial institutions, landlords and big business, Africa said. He cited the P30-billion DAP fund that went to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as one of the examples of no-impact projects. He said that a check with the BSP annual reports revealed that only P31 million or 0.1 percent of the total amount received by the BSP was given as credit to small and micro entrepreneurs.

A total of P10.17 billion from DAP went to the pockets of landowners and big business, Africa said. Of this, P5.4 billion was used by the Department of Agrarian Reform to pay 4,000 landowners, including the President’s family for Hacienda Luisita land. The P4.1 billion for the Department of Education was used as advanced payment for the two private companies engaged in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) school building program. The remaining P630 million was used by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for payment of right-of-way claims.

Twelve percent of the DAP went to low-impact spending, Africa said. These included the P10.4 billion of DAP used to pay for foreign services, foreign goods and equipment. One of these is the P450-million Jalaur River multipurpose project. Africa said the amount was used as an initial payment to Korean corporations for the pet project of Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Even if this spending did manage to stimulate the Philippine economy to perform, stimulus by and in itself is not development spending in the real sense (in most cases, it really is more of a spending of last resort). Indeed, laying the groundwork for the building of a strong country need not even involve big bucks spending. If President BS Aquino was, as he insisted, worried about whether the “reforms” (albeit the existence of which remains debatable) he’s supposedly implemented could be sustained past the end of his term, he could have stepped up as the country’s premier champion of institutional strength. But he did not do that. He did the opposite. He, instead, turned the Philipine government into a war zone, pitting his office against the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court against Congress. Specifically, his refusal to recognise the unanimous SC ruling on the unconstitutionality of the DAP may go down in history as the biggest legacy of infamy of his regime.

Interestingly, President BS Aquino’s 5th SONA kicked off with an expression of his pathological fixation on defending the DAP and ended with an ironic reference to the very aspiration of the Republic he had undermined because of it, “The future we desire is on the horizon: one where justice reigns supreme, and where no one will be left behind.”

Last I heard, justice reigning supreme, starts by respecting the justices that make up the Supreme Court of the land.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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32 Comments on "What we learned from PNoy’s 5th State of the Nation Address"

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What’s wrong in defending the DAP? Thomas Jefferson was also pilloried for the purchase of the Louisiana Territory for being unconstitutional. The purchase almost doubled the size of the US territory in what is known now as the mainland USA. He fucked the constitution and proceed with the purchase, thus forcing the legal community to recognize that there is such thing as the “implied federal power.”


Pnoy worries about the future president, one who will continue the straight path doctrine, one who will be friendly enough not to prosecute him and his minions and land them all in jail. That will be the main preoccupation of the rest of his term.


It’s a shame that the rest of the world (understandably) doesn’t give a sh!t about Philippine politics, as it’s pretty funny when you’re briefly able to look past the terrible impact it has on regular people.

Knowing that the world is laughing at these pathetic playground politicians could just be the motivation needed for some of the voters to use their brains.

Sadly, it’ll probably take the next natural disaster or hostage crisis to bring the incompetence back to wider attention, and international viewers will soon find it hard to remember which of the various third world screw-up countries that was.

Jim DiGriz

“The future we desire is on the horizon: one where justice reigns supreme, and where no one will be left behind.” The Aquinos have been promising that since Cory came to power. What an empty, idiotic promise. As if things are not bad enough already. No, he has to insult us with this shit.


I learned not to watch any Philippine president’s State of the Nation Address, because the way I live my life is much more important than the “accomplishments” of the government of a near-failed state.


It’s funny how anti-pnoys suddenly cling to the constitution as if it was written by the hand of God. Our constitution is flawed. look at all the loopholes for corruption. And the supreme court? You people act as if this is the only incorruptible institution in the land. Seriously?


What’s worse is that media particularly Aquino’s station aka Abs-cbn is protective of Aquino’s image. They use scripts that will make the average Filipino think that this president is good even though he is bad during airs. They do not bother to broadcast those people who were criticizing him and if they do they only show a few and for a quick moment then they follow and end the broadcast with praises. Manipulations of the media is this country’s best devil.


More fun getting strapped into Old Sparky

Hyden Toro

Aquino as usual is a boring speaker. Even his Speechwriters are boring. An amount of 10.17 Billion went to the pockets of his fellow Oligarch feudalists; including his own pocket. He swindled the Philippine government twice already. First, by owning the Hacienda Luisita. Second, by selling it again to the Philippine government. Aquino’s greed knows no boundary. He is a Thief and a Swindler.

This is why he justifies the DAP. So that he can pay his own self and his cahoots.