In light of the mishandling of the fallout of the Mamasapano incident last January which resulted in 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members dead, calls have been mounting for current Philippine president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino to resign.
One can say it is a mishandling – actually, that is a very mild word to describe it – because from the onset BS Aquino had been doing things considered suspicious. First off, he waited several days before initially addressing the country. Then, instead of taking command responsibility like any decent leader should, he pinned the blame on former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas and on the SAF commandoes themselves. Next, instead of being present at the arrival of the bodies in Villamor, he opted to be at the inauguration of a car plant, never mind that he could always cancel his plans for the more important one (important to his role as “father of the nation”, that is). At the funeral rites, his eulogy focused more on his own loss, his father Ninoy Aquino, than on the bereaved, which people found off-putting. In his second national address, where he was expected to say something different, he didn’t. When he recently visited the families of the dead SAF members, it was reported that he got testy, with lines like “Ano gusto ninyo, kunan naming ng fingerprints lahat ng MILF?” In his most recent of moves that have come under scrutiny, BS Aquino claims that he was fed lies by resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima (easy to pin the blame on someone, especially when they’re out of the picture and unable to defend themselves, no?)
Why do Filipinos continue to trust a man who continues to evade his responsibilities as a leader, and as someone who upholds the truth?
Opinions will vary on whether BS Aquino should resign based on this FUBAR alone. If only Filipinos’ memories weren’t so short, however, they would realize that this is only the latest addition on what is already a considerable list of bungled-up responses to crisis situations.
The main argument BS Aquino apologists use to defend the status quo, i.e., he should not resign, is that Vice President Jejomar Binay will take his place. They insist, to no end, that Binay is corrupt, so letting him take the reins will not make us any better off. In fact, it will supposedly make us worse than with BS Aquino at the helm.
Unfortunately, if BS Aquino stays at the helm, he is STILL capable of doing more damage to Philippine institutions and Philippine society more than he already has. But Filipinos would rather do nothing and “make tiis-tiis” simply because they are afraid of the alternative.
Well, who put the undesirables in their place through the popular vote, anyway?
It’s supposed to be simple, really; a government official who no longer has the trust of his people is also no longer deserving to be in his/her position. Aquino apologists, however like to complicate things by bringing up the undesirable characteristics of the replacement. This to me, betrays a lack of inclination by Filipinos to take charge and hold their leaders accountable. They still exhibit excessive and unnecessary deference to their government officials as if “karma will get them, eventually”.
No, karma will not make them accountable for their misdeeds; only affirmative action by those who are willing to take that step can.
On to my point.
BS Aquino’s government has been trying – although they were eventually exposed – to do its shady deals away from the public eye. If you think about it, it’s like getting it doggy style – you know you’re being screwed, you just can’t see who’s doing it.
In the event, however, that BS Aquino steps down before 2016, and Binay takes over, what are Filipinos going to do differently?
Simple. They are going to assume the missionary position. Because getting screwed that way is more acceptable to their Catholic upbringing than with doggy style.
Either way, they will continue receiving and taking shit passively, and they will still get screwed.
In case you missed the implications of the metaphor above, let me put it in the vernacular for Filipinos to understand:
”Alam niyo na ngang hinihindot kayo ng pamahalaan niyo, patalikod man o harap-harapan, ngunit ayaw niyo pa rin pigilin.”
Filipinos already know that they are being screwed by their government, and yet they still don’t want to do anything about it.
And that’s why the Philippines remains a basketcase. It is not a poverty of resources that cripples Filipino society, it is a poverty of imagination and resolve to improve on past mistakes that keeps it at the bottom of the heap.
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