Filipinos are a people who found nothing wrong with subverting due process to extraconstitutionally remove former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada from office back in 2000 and even deferring to a Supreme Court Justice to “swear” in a new “president” who happened to be none other than now former President and House Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Ironic, isn’t it? Another one of those ironies that simply fly over the vacuous mind of the Filipino — a people who populate a society renowned for its “droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant” National “Debate”.
Arroyo had for six years following an alleged cheating scandal survived various lame attempts to impeach her and an equal number of ocho-ocho “revolutions” that followed in the ensuing frustration over “failures of due process” drummed up by the Media. Let’s also not forget to mention a couple of quaint “rebellions” staged by a bunch of petty bandits who are now lionised as heroes by a people renowned for their penchant for shopping for cheap imitations in America’s factory outlets.
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Here, today, we have a sitting President and an army of Yellow staffers who fail epically at simple administrative chores that would otherwise have paved the way to getting things done (at least things that they in their infinite small-mindedness consider to be “imporant” and “relevant”): getting an amnesty proclamation drafted properly, and getting a “Truth Commission” convened. While the earlier amnesty that forgives and forgets the banditry of “Senator” Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim seems to be gaining traction and is being cheered on by a people on a drip-feed diet of emo politics, the latter had fallen through; blocked by the mighty Philippine Supreme Court.
The post Arroyo Supreme Court has long been recognised by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his Cheering Squad as a key risk to the success of his “reform programs” (though evidence of any semblance of vision or planning surrounding these is yet to be seen). Indeed, even way back during the “campaign”, the issue of the Supreme Court being infested by “midnight appointments” has already been a source of monumental temper tantrums and tililing rampages mounted by the Yellow Horde. So, in hindsight, one could wonder now why, despite a long drawn out recognition that the Supreme Court will be a show-stopper for Aquino’s administration, did Malacanang not prepare a top-notch (or at least competent enough) legal and policy-making team to step up to this Goliath.
Indeed, I recall this fearless forecast Yours Truly made back during the campaign:
Noynoy Aquino will, as President, be facing a bureaucracy and a complex of institutions that he will most likely be unable to get on top of over the course of his six-year term. He will be likely to be constantly playing The Victim Card to mask his failure to show everyone whoâ€™s boss. Funny enough that senators do it, but I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if we will one day find President Noynoy Aquino on Manilaâ€™s streets protesting his own government! Considering that even now he attempts to muzzle the press and avoid public debate, thatâ€™s not a very farfetched scenario.
See, the thing with being right all the time is that it gets boring. In fact, I kid you not, I write this piece today in between yawns.
The mother of all victim mentalities (and certainly the mother of this victim-stroking going on today in the wake of the failure to get the “Truth Commission” ball rolling) is embodied in something that the venerable blogger-turned-bureaucrat Manuel L Quezon III wrote back in the heady days of ocho-ocho “revolution” fixation:
The Philippines – Filipinos – tried to do everything by the book, they tried to do everything exactly as specified by the Constitution, they even rallied within parameters defined by that Constitution as far as the right to free speech and assembly are concerned.
Not surprisingly, this is the sort of sentiment that pervades the oxygen-starved landscape of Filipino thinking today as Malacanang yet again licks its wounds after running away whimpering with its tail between its legs. It’s the same sort of sentiment that frames what otherwise would have been simple and straightforward issues such as, for example, that other fodder for moronic Pinoy populist mentality: kuligligs.
Central to the conceptual framework that the Filipino Mind so routinely fails to grasp is this principle I applied to the issue of kuligligs:
After being allowed to proliferate, true to the usual moronic form of Philippine administrative mediocrity, there is now a proposal to “ban” them from Manila’s streets. Of course the whole nonsense of “banning” something that is illegal to begin with simply escapes the typical vacuous mind of the Filipino.
Indeed, the Second Aquino Government simply reflects the character of the people it presumes to lord over (to the tune of 79%, as a matter of “fact”). Hopelessly inept at navigating an institutional framework, it exhibits monumental incompetence as it fumbles in its use of the right institutional tools to get the job done. In the process, it quite amusingly exhibits — and validates — the fundamental nature of Da Pinoy: a nature propped up by three key cultural pillars: (1) pwede-na-yan, (2) bahala na, and (3) Impunity. Filipinos do indeed deserve each other.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.