It has been said that every search for a hero must begin with something that every hero requires — a villain. In the Philippines, the search for a hero has been very hard. That’s because identifying the villain or villains who keep Filipinos chained to their wretched existence is harder. I believe that if Filipinos only knew who has been keeping them from moving forward, it would be easier for them to wake up from their stupor. After all, Filipinos did fight their oppressors a few times in the past. They were even willing to shed their own blood to break free.
In the last three decades, members of the ruling oligarchy have painted the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, his family, and his former allies as the villains or bad guys in Philippine society. It doesn’t matter that succeeding administrators mismanaged the country after they left; what matters to the media — owned and operated by the members of the oligarchy – is that the so-called “bad guys” need to be demonized repeatedly through reminders of the “horrors” that happened during the Martial Law years. Never mind that a lot of those horrors also occurred after the Marcoses were gone. Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita Massacres, anyone? How about the massacre of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) officers in Mamasapano?
The incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino, the son of former President Cory Aquino, the woman they say “inspired” the People Power revolution that toppled Marcos, had added his predecessor former President Gloria Arroyo to the list of villains. In fact, we all had to bear the brunt of the annoyance of hearing him mention her name over and over in his speeches in the last six years he has been in office. BS Aquino will be remembered as the President who blamed almost every failure in his administration on Arroyo while hardly doing anything to fix them. He may look like a fool to his critics but they have to give him credit for fooling the majority of the public into believing him. He is very good at playing the victim card. He wants people to think that he is the hero who will save Filipinos from the bad guys.
BS Aquino needs to keep demonizing his predecessor to distract the Filipino public from his own shortfalls. With the help of his public relations team, BS Aquino succeeded in demonizing Arroyo and consequently detaining her on what the United Nations now considers to be mere trumped-up charges. Some members of the international community already realized that BS Aquino is using his allies in the justice system to crucify political enemies like Arroyo, but it is too bad that the general public has yielded to mind-control. Since Arroyo has been painted as a villain, the public has very little to no sympathy for her even when most of the charges against her have been dropped and even when she continues to suffer in detention while her health deteriorates.
While Arroyo had her own failures during her time as the country’s administrator, some of the reforms she initiated and the policies that she put in place are still being utilized by BS Aquino today. Former finance secretary Margarito Teves can attest to this:
The economic and fiscal reforms instituted by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continues to benefit the country and help protect it from external challenges, a former finance chief said yesterday.
Teves, who has been cited as “Asia’s Best Finance Minister” during his stint in government, said the Arroyo administration had laid the foundation which resulted in the Philippines’ credit rating upgrades which started during her term and shortly after she stepped down from office.
“Data show that contrary to President Aquino’s reference to the Arroyo administration as a ‘lost decade,’ the Arroyo administration and Department of Finance had initiated several positive reforms that are benefiting the Philippine economy until today,” he pointed out.
Teves noted that Arroyo’s prudent management of the national government debt and the passage of legislation in support of financial market development like the reformed value added tax have contributed to the strong fiscal performance of the country, which resulted in credit outlook upgrades from negative to stable during the Arroyo administration and positive shortly after July 2010.
He said that Fitch’s upgrade in March 2013 noted that it was Arroyo’s “improvements in fiscal management…that made general government debt dynamics more resilient to shocks.”
In other words, BS Aquino is simply taking all the credit for some of the things that his predecessor did. BS Aquino is actually a bad guy for doing that. He should be considered one of the villains in Philippine society, if not The Villain. He doesn’t seem to have a conscience because he is not bothered by the fact that he is enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labor.
Now that we have identified the country’s villain and his cohorts, the hard part is in trying to convince Filipinos that they need step up and become the country’s hero. Filipinos need to overcome years of being brainwashed into thinking that BS Aquino, the son of so-called “heroes”, is the country’s savior. He is the opposite of a savior. He and his allies have begun the process of sinking the country into a deeper hole. They have made a mockery of the justice system, have mismanaged public funds and have not made significant improvements in the country’s infrastructure. A foreign business advisor has warned that Metro Manila could become uninhabitable in four years due to traffic congestion.
The worst part is, BS Aquino still believes he has exceeded the people’s expectations of his performance. Filipinos need to send him a strong message that they are not falling for his delusions of grandeur anymore.
This coming election, Filipinos need to use their power to save the country by voting out members of the oligarchy who have run the country to the ground and say “no” to the Liberal Party. Tama na, sobra na!
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