Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III has long maintained that the Philippines is impoverished because of corruption. He also maintains that said corruption was what described the last ten years stretching from 2001 up to 2010 — the period within which ruled former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA). We can then infer on the back of the logic of President BS Aquino that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the cause of Philippine poverty, having been the ruling President over that period. This dubious conclusion ties in squarely with President BS Aquino’s campaign slogan back in 2009 — Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap (“If there is no corruption there will be no poverty”). Taking it to its ultimate conclusion, President BS Aquino will have us believe that if GMA is put away, Philippine poverty will be solved.
[Photo courtesy Australia Network News.]
Indeed, as AFP reports…
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The granting of bail appeared a major setback for her successor, Benigno Aquino, who has said that bringing Arroyo to justice for crimes she allegedly committed while in power is crucial to his high-profile anti-graft campaign.
Aquino won the 2010 presidential elections in a landslide after campaigning to wipe out corruption that he said crippled Philippine society during the nearly 10 years Arroyo was in power.
Arroyo was arrested on charges of “electoral sabotage” following a travel ban imposed by Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling allowing GMA to seek medical treatment abroad.
Wednesday, the 25th July 2012, eight months after her arrest and detention, GMA was released on bail…
Court spokeswoman Felda Domingo said Arroyo was released after posting bail of 1 million pesos ($23,250). She said Arroyo, who won a seat in Congress in 2010 after stepping down from the presidency, cannot leave the country and needs court permission to visit her district in the northern province of Pampanga.
Judge Jesus Mupas ruled that the evidence presented by prosecutors was not strong enough to deny bail. Election sabotage is normally a non-bailable offense, but bail can be granted if defendants show that the evidence against them is weak.
Looks like President BS Aquino’s plan to fulfill his campaign promises have been put in jeopardy. In the mind of the President, GMA is the singular cause of pretty much everything that ails the Philippines and, as such, he sees her continued incarceration as the good luck charm from which emanates his power to slay the country’s demons. This thinking is consistent with what has so far been the standout priority activities that has so far marked the Second Aquino Administration from Day One — to mount a purge of anything, anyone, everything, and everyone associated with the government of GMA.
But is an entire program of reform pivoted upon one person’s existence evidence of an intelligent agenda? I illustrated the flaw in this kind of thinking a while back in the form of the question Who cares if Gloria is president after 2010? the intricacies of which I featured in a previous article. The full-length form of this question is spelt out as follows, forged at the height of the ocho-ocho political circuses that were erupting back in 2008; thus,
Is there some kind of evidence or at least some kind of logical construct that convincingly describes some kind of causal relationship between (A) the character or even identity of the President of the Philippines and (B) the prospects of the Philippines achieving some semblance of sustainable prosperity?
Back then the political activist’s tagline of choice was simple enough for morons to internalise (as with most successful slogans)…
A Gloria Arroyo presidency beyond 2010 will spell disaster for the Philippines.
… and therefore …
Patalsikin na, NOW na! (“Oust her right now!”)
But, see, the premise of the above “call to action” of the politically passionate folks of 2008 would ideally have been underpinned by thinking around the following conceptual framework that is an expansion of the question I posed above:
Can we, infer from a value of A [who the President is], what the probability distribution for a set of values of B [how the economy performs] might be?
For example, what many people claim to be a certainty can be expressed like this (using the conventions I loosely spelled out above):
IF A = GMA and Year > 2010,
THEN B = Disaster for the Philippines
or, for that matter;
IF A is NOT equal to GMA and Year > 2010,
THEN B = Prosperity for the Philippines
My question is this: Is there an A=>B relationship?
Despite the above question remaining unanswered, many Filipinos ate up the “activist” tagline hook line and sinker. And so here we are now under the leadership of the Second Aquino Administration — well past the Year 2010, the Patalsikin Na Now Na crowd victorious.
Yet the question of whether or not we have a better economy much less a better Philippines today remains debatable. And the debate will rage on, perhaps coming out of the Year 2016 (the end of Aquino’s term as President) utterly unresolved. In fact, as I pointed out above, it is unresolvable. In short, “debate” on this matter is a waste of time.
Suffice to say, not too many people were really impressed by the State of the Nation Address delivered last Monday (the 23rd July 2012) by President BS Aquino to joint sessions of Congress. In fact, much of the economic “achievements” the President grandstanded about trace their roots to initiatives hatched during the supposedly eeevvviillll watch of GMA.
GMA is out on bail now. If we are to subscribe to the logic of President BS Aquino, a dark cloud has once again descended upon our wretched nation. As such, perhaps then, the President may as well give up.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.