PNoy: being president is about hard work and not about popularity

They say love hurts. Or at least being rejected does. Whether it is a lover or a friend – they say that being jilted is just like getting punched in the gut. Spare a thought for Philippine President Noynoy Aquino. PNoy and his team were left licking their wounds after their most recent approval rating took a dive.

A survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) saw the President’s net satisfaction rating drop to +51 from +64 in the last quarter of 2010. That is a 13-point dip from the last satisfaction rating conducted in November 2010.

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But who cares about these surveys? Well, the Aquino administration does not know whether to care or not to care about the result. They tried their damn hardest not to appear bruised but at the same time could not hide the fact that they were taken aback by the voters’ dissatisfaction. The song by Pink immediately echoed in my ear when I read the contradictory statements made by PNoy and member’s of his team: “Go away. Come back. Go away. Come back – I wish you knew the difference!“.

Secretary Ramon “Ricky” Carandang tried to downplay the drop in his boss’s approval rating by saying that the “downward trend in the Social Weather Stations survey is not that big in terms of absolute numbers noting that Businessworld subtracted the disapproval rating from the approval rating and that showed a huge decline..” Huh?!? The numbers speak for themselves. A downward trend is a downward trend. Nothing complicated about it.

Unfortunately, a big dip in voter dissatisfaction rating is not something that even a survey firm owned and operated by friends and family members of the Aquino family can manipulate.

Even deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said “there might also be a need for a “reorientation” of the way the mass media project the good news, adding that positive developments should be given bigger play. She strongly believes that the solution is to adopt a more aggressive approach in promoting the President. She said that while conveniently forgetting that PNoy was even named “Filipino of the year” for 2010 by a leading publication, the Philippine Daily Inquirer. But even being a media pet could not hide PNoy’s lack of substance.

Sadly, PNoy’s team is just good with publicity stunts. But in the wake of the crisis in the Middle East and the devastation in Japan, a lot of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who had to come home are suddenly faced with the realization there is still nothing better for them back home. Added to this, the rising cost of living is not helping people be more optimistic about the future even with an Aquino — or especially with an Aquino — in Malacanang. Some are reminded of the time former President, Cory Aquino mishandled the economy.

For his part, PNoy kept insisting that the reason for the dip in the polls is because “the government’s accomplishments not reaching the public.” Apparently, he still cannot believe that his Porsche is a big deal. But as Paris Hilton would say: Whateverrr!

At least their statements, even though still deluded, show a slight improvement over the ones they gave when the trust rating slid 9 points (down to 80%) in November 2010. As a reminder, this is what PNoy had to say about it:

The President noted further that the performance and trust ratings indicate the shared optimism among all sectors of society, in contrast to the negativity of those who want to return to the old ways. This confidence, he said, affirms his conviction that the straight and righteous path is the road to success. It also acknowledges the work done so far and serves as an impetus for the administration to sustain its efforts to reform the government and revitalize the economy.

I just wish that PNoy had a team member who knew what to do with opinion polls. They should see the dip in the trust rating as a signal to shape up (or ship out) and not to maintain the status quo.

It is quite ironic that in the lead up to the election, they made shrewd use of opinion polls to their advantage. They knew how to work their way into the gullible minds of the masa. Media outlets supportive of PNoy’s candidacy kept publishing survey results showing that the then Presidential candidate Noynoy was ahead of the rest. This established that he was likely to win and made the voters wish to join the winning side, or by making the lead of one party seem so great that its supporters feel they need not bother to vote.

And that is precisely the reason why a lot of Filipinos won’t buy PNoy’s reasoning that he is unpopular now because he has not been trumpeting his so-called “accomplishments” or because in his living up to his character of “humility” he refrained from being boastful about these. This is what Ms Valte had to say:

“Medyo nahihiya po tayo, baka sabihin nagbubuhat tayo ng sarili nating bangko kaya medyo pagpasensyahan ninyo kami kung kakapalan namin ng konti iyung mukha namin ngayon,” she said.

It sounds like they are getting more desperate as the first anniversary of PNoy’s swearing into office nears. Normally accomplishments speak for themselves and don’t need to be trumpeted.

I have always known that it was inevitable that PNoy’s ratings would eventually drop. Like I said before, what goes up must eventually come down. The problem with PNoy and his team was, they thought that they could keep riding on the popularity of PNoy’s late mom and pop until 2016 even without doing anything significant to uplift the nation.

As Winnie Monsod famously once said in an interview with TIME magazine, unfortunately, Noynoy does not have his father’s charisma. Obviously, this realization is starting to hit a lot of people. Fairy tales always come to an end when the family feels their stomach churning and the romance starts to wane.

Just less than a year after being elected into the highest office in the land, there is definitely some love lost for President Noy. It should hurt.

24 Replies to “PNoy: being president is about hard work and not about popularity”

  1. The people need to see the president deliver. I am all for supporting his policies of reform, only if those of us who had been vigilant can see something to support. I hope to see something of credibility and in accordance to his Pied Piper election mantra of “tungo sa matuwid na daan ng pagbabago” aside from the DSWD dole outs and the oil subsidies to which which I am not in favor for. These policies do nothing but promote mendicancy and disregard for the rule of law.

    1. Well I heard that at the moment, aside from subsidising the MRT/LRT, they also want to include the tricycle/jeepney. That’s really trying to please everybody.

  2. I appreciated reading the column in The Philippine Star by Boo Chanco. He took the Aquino administration task for appointing people with no experience to the vital communications posts. But he added regarding the President: “I still think he epitomizes the good news, as good as we can hope to have in this country.”

    That balanced perspective is what I find a shortage of here in the Philippines, a willingness to criticize specific issues while seeing positives, too. Egos don’t permit balance in most cases, for one’s whole self esteem rides on being right 100% of the time. Thus, onion skins.

    I note that a couple of material tax evasion charges were filed today. So the pursuit of a cleaner nation persists, even if in a flawed format at times. I find that uplifting.

    1. I think PNoy would be better off trying to fix the unemployment problem by encouraging more investors in the country. There will be less corruption when more people have decent jobs. We are missing out on a lot of foreign investors due to the flawed economic provisions in the constitution.

      1. Whoa, wait a moment. You think President Aquino should be one-dimensional (focusing only on the economy) and should not pursue multi-million dollar tax evasions by government officials? You view the tax cases as a BAD thing, because they distract his attention?

        My God, how does the man ever get a commendation from your keyboard, when you twist positive acts into criticism?

      2. I didn’t say the Bureau of internal revenue (BIR) or Congress or the Senate should stop doing their job . They can continue what they need to do to collect taxes, introduce bills and prosecute whomever they need to prosecute.

        I just think PNoy should stop with all the divisive moves like blaming the former administration every time he commits his own gaffe. If he can’t be stopped using the blame-game, he should at least include all the past Presidents like Erap, Ramos and his own mother. It’s not right to just blame GMA especially since his own mother helped oust Erap and put GMA to power.

  3. Yup, words will only be words unless seen in action. No offense to the P-Noy’s supporters but I can’t imagine this guy became popular because of doing nothing. I mean literally nothing.

    All talk, no action. I mean is that it? Maybe I’m being too advanced but let’s see what else will happen.

    I have to agree with Madam Winnie on what she said. He does not have his father’s charisma. My gulay, tatay at nanay niya halos Dios na dito sa Pinas kulang na lang patayuan mo ng simbahan at tirikan ng kandila mga litrato nila. Sana naman may magawa ito si P-Noy kahit isa lang para may change kahit kaunti.

    Ika nga sa sinabi ni Sun Tzu sa Art of War, “A great general leads by example.” I could not have agree more. Hindi naman popularity or intelligence what matters, it’s his example on being a leader.

    When he said he bought a Porsche, what kind of a leader are you? Natural maluho. Masamang example yan sa tao, chances are gagaya sila. Ganun din nung sinabi niya ng nags-smoke siya, what kind of example are you implying? Chances are gagaya din ang mga tao sa kanya. Dami na nga nagsisigarilyo madagdagdagan pa.

    Kaya nga leader means “to influence” and being an example is a way to influence people to change. How can we change if our leader can’t even show us change in the first place?

    Ika nga sa article, may katapusan din ang popularity niya. Ano siya sineswerte, gusto niya siya din idolize natin na walang ginagawa? Over na yan.

    1. In other words, almost everything he does whether as a private or a public citizen sets a bad example to the rest of the Filipino people. His stint in Malacanang is very divisive, indeed.

      1. “Everything he does.” ahaha

        I learned in the 7th grade that anyone who says “every” or “all” is most often a liar.

        Divisive is to be found in your commentary, not in the works of an inexperienced, culture-bound President.

        1. Divisive is an inexperienced and incompetent President who can’t even rally the Filipino people behind him.

          Real leadership is when you can change the public’s mind about their perception of you. As the polling results show: he is losing more support. Nothing too complicated about that fact.

      2. Your view are extreme, reflective of a cemented perspective and an agenda that will not budge. President Obama gets the naive and inexperienced and incompetent charge a lot, and will go down in history as one of the most capable and dignified of US presidents. Ratings fall for many reasons. Over-inflated hype had as much to do as anything with President Aquino’s strong ratings, and he is now just falling to where most working presidents find themselves. They can’t get away from the fact that as much as they want, they cannot satisfy everyone, and generally piss everyone off at one time or another.

        I hold to the notion that President Aquino is good for the Philippines, considering all things. I grant you your opposing view. I hope this cerebral site does not become an another anti-pinoy agenda-based site. I can do without that tiresome routine.

        1. Nah…I don’t think so. My views may have been extreme to some people before the election and a few months after but as the result of the survey shows, it is becoming mainstream.

          Members of Aquino’s team are the ones who are overreacting to surveys in the first place. You should blame them for always landing in the headlines. Here’s a classic example: PNoy shocked by rising poverty.

          BTW PNoy is so not like Obama. The situation is not the same.

  4. Poll rating was used by the former US President Bill Clinton; to manipulate his approval ratings…the ratings did not work in his Monica Lewinski scandal…it made him a laughing stock of America.
    If Noynoy Aquino and his Yellow Horde Propaganda Machine; would like us to believe: we are living in a Noynoy Aquino Wonderland with a tinted Yellow looking glasses, covering our eyes…then, they are just wasting time, on me and everybody else. If they tell me; I am living in prosperity…then, my stomach is gumbling, because it is empty…there is something wrong with their information…

  5. Hi, Ilda!

    It sounds scary that the comm team of PNoy had to mention “reorientation.” I certainly hope PNoy’s team won’t call for an ad boycott of non-friendly news outlets.

    Anyway, I loved the title on this piece: “”


    Is the president detached from reality? Is the Porsche moving too fast?


    1. Hi brianitus,

      I can’t believe the way he reacted to that poll about the rising poverty. Kulang na lang mag-tantrums and shout “That’s not fair!”

      Sadly, his supporters are still pointing to the alleged “corrupt” activities of the past administration for why there is a rise in poverty.

  6. Ilda,

    Having someone to blame sugarcoats the bitter reality na mahirap pa rin ang Pilipinas. It’s a weird coping mechanism. I think constantly doing that blame game is really insulting the intelligence of Filipinos. I don’t want to underestimate the people. Hindi naman siguro lahat ng tao ay lunok lang nang lunok ng sinasabi ng admin.


  7. Ilda: “You are right. PNoy does underestimate the intelligence of the Filipino people.”

    Jeez, if Filipinos are intelligent, Penoy is not our president.

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