Is Noynoy’s house of cards about to collapse?

If you’ve ever tried building a house of cards, perhaps even challenging yourself to use the entire deck of fifty-two (52), then you’ve probably realized how frustrating and exasperating it is. Even the slightest movement will cause the entire structure to collapse. You’ve got to have a very steady hand to make sure that the upper layers don’t upset the base. You pray and hope that no wind comes in, and that certainly no big bad wolf huffs and puffs at it in one way or another.

Simply put, a house of cards is a structure that is considered unstable, and is in danger of collapsing or falling. The cards, because of their flat shape, cannot stand on their own. Adding more cards to the structure without strengthening the base makes it more liable to collapse; the cards are not designed to support a very large amount of mass and withstand its corresponding pressure.

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That in a nutshell describes the Philippines and what its society has evolved to today – a house of cards.

President Aquino’s case against former president Gloria Arroyo is flimsy

Let’s start by magnifying our microscope and zooming in to the entity currently at the helm of Philippine society. For lack of better words, President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino (PNoy) is most likely going ape shit ballistic now that former President and “big evil” Gloria Arroyo (GMA) has been released on bail. Apparently, the evidence of electoral sabotage against her was insufficient to keep her in jail. His government has another set of charges though. This time they are charging her with plunder from the PCSO along with nine (9) other heads. As of this writing, the arrest and all other proceedings related to this case are suspended.

PNoy has built his anti-entire corruption upon the tagline “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”. If corruption goes away, poverty will. Thus we get two (2) primary assumptions on why PNoy is obsessed with putting GMA behind bars:

1) Gloria and associates are the biggest practitioners of corruption, and;
2) Corruption and poverty will go away if Gloria and her associates are put away.

The first assumption is by itself hard to prove. The electoral fraud charges didn’t stand up to the scrutiny of Pasay Regional Trial Court Judge Jesus Mupas in the first place because Norie Unas’ testimony couldn’t be corroborated, yet PNoy Aquino insists that the testimony by and of itself is absolutely reliable. It is an educated guess that the electoral fraud charge is the Aquino government’s strongest case against GMA. Nonetheless, since the entire case hinged on Unas’ “overhearing” GMA command a 12-0 in Maguindanao without anyone to corroborate it, then it is valid to say that this case was a house of cards waiting to collapse. Mupas blew the house down like the big bad wolf, and to BS Aquino, that is absolutely unacceptable. Is Mupas perhaps the next judge to be on PNoy’s chopping block?

Why focus on the nine year term of Arroyo as president, when perhaps we can take a step back and actually think, just exactly how big Arroyo’s alleged “corruption” is compared to other government officials of eras past? Is PNoy conveniently forgetting that corruption in government had already existed before Arroyo’s time? Yes, that includes even the tenure of his dead mother Cory. That includes the time of Marcos, Ramos, Erap, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Macapagal, Quezon, Laurel, Osmeña, and Garcia. How many other people have been corrupt, and to what degree? How does it compare with Arroyo’s alleged “corruption”? Exactly how many corruption cases have ever even resulted in a conviction with convincing evidence? And how exactly do you measure corruption in an individual objectively, anyway? One needs to come up with irrefutable proof, not just hearsay. It’s not what you feel or know, it’s what you can prove in court. And no, it’s not guilty until proven innocent; it’s the other way around.

If PNoy’s band of merry men can’t answer even these basic questions, then their first assumption has already been pulled out from under them.

Ever since the jailing of Gloria, did corruption and poverty indeed go away? No, there are still people who bloat project costs, who pocket government funds for their own, and there are still people living in unfavorable conditions not only all over the metro, but in other parts of the country. So much for the second assumption.

You don’t even have to have a highfaluting degree to figure out that even if you take the phrase “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” by itself, you can deduce that the reverse actually makes more sense. “Kung walang mahirap, walang corrupt.” People become corrupt because they are desperate to uplift their status in life by any means necessary. They see the need to do undesirable things, such as steal, embezzle, and extort, because they need the money, and benefits that come with it. Screw the law, screw the government, they haven’t been able to help me. Only then does PNoy’s slogan make more sense, because by then it becomes a vicious cycle of people taking advantage of each other. And boy, are Pinoys ever good at looking for the “one-up” that they can use over their own countrymen. Once again, I emphasize, that PNoy’s “guiding philosophy” of anti-poverty cannot stand on its own. All that time that Gloria was in jail and poverty and corruption still did not go away, and every day that goes by and Arroyo is out of jail: there are gusts of wind that blow Aquino’s anti-corruption and anti-poverty house of cards down.

President Aquino’s government is inherently unstable

When we zoom out a bit from how the Aquino government handled GMA’s case, we zero in on PNoy’s government from the time he became President. We find that we are looking at yet another house of cards. Two years into his term, and his anti-corruption and anti-poverty “platform” has yet to have any real impact. Aquino took credit for any and all work started by his predecessor yet he continued to blame her for “leaving his government nothing to work with.” He gave undeserved praise to his loyal constituents. He trumpeted small accomplishments without painting a bigger, brighter road map of the future for us. He continued to cancel projects simply because they were started by his predecessor. He has been leading us into a possible armed conflict scenario with China, all because he has not shown adequate diplomatic skills.

In other words, he continues to do nationally non-beneficial things, to find every excuse not to do something of his own accord and to parade as his own all successes not attributable to him. It’s all in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2012. As an accompaniment, try reading this excellent dissection of the accompanying technical report, done by Ben Kritz.

Presidents, as representatives of the people, are faced with the enormous task of bringing his/her countrymen, even those who don’t agree with him/her, together towards one single purpose and vision of the future. To make it sound more formal, it’s like building a house with a strong foundation. PNoy would have a much easier time doing this if he had statesman and leadership skills. Has PNoy been doing well? I didn’t see him do that well with GMA or with former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Instead of respecting the Judiciary as a co-equal branch of government he sneers and throws tantrums every time they make a decision he does not agree with. How does he deal with his critics? Does he give them the time of day in answering and allaying their concerns? He pretends he doesn’t even hear them, or worse, he humiliates them in public! Keeping mum about Budget Secretary Butch Abad’s statement of denial of pork barrel to non-allies is not exactly something a leader should be doing, too.

A recent example of how he deals with “unfavorable people” showed him delivering harsh words about Noli de Castro on TV Patrol’s 25th anniversary. Mr. President, giving your critics the finger and generally acting in a manner unbecoming of a statesman will not unite your people. Worse, it serves to shake the foundation of your term, where it must be built on good leadership and a uniting vision for the future. Is that too much to ask?

Recall the words of Abraham Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” BS Aquino is merely accelerating and reinforcing the process which Pinoys are naturals at: being disunited, usually over the smallest and most trivial of things.

Filipino society rests on a shaky foundation

The Philippine economy, despite PNoy’s claims that it is doing well, continues to be dependent on overseas foreign worker (OFW) remittances. What will happen to our economy if the conditions of where they are currently employed change? What will happen if they suddenly get up and one day and are asked to go home? Is our economy ready to support them? Our economy, and society, would crash. There is not enough work for all the citizens based here, much less for the sudden influx of kababayans coming home.

Is Filipino society an inherently unfair one? We expect the minority who are well-off to support the majority who are not. Remember the characteristic of a single playing card: it is thin, and cannot stand on its own. Our society encourages a sense of entitlement in its people. Pinoys like to believe that they deserve all the help that they can get because they are always a victim of circumstances. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has put it best: Malays are prone to take the easy way out. Remember that the native Bumiputra of Malaysia and Filipinos descend from the same people.

Pinoy pride is one of the biggest and flimsiest houses of cards I have ever seen. It is held up by the flimsy premise that something is great just because it is Filipino. Ah basta! We continue to brandish Charice, Manny, Lea, and Jessica, to name a few, as symbols of Pinoy Pride, yet we continuously fail and forget to do anything to apply the secrets behind their success to our own lives. Once Pinoy pride becomes exposed as hollow (and more often than not, it is), the whole structure, and not to mention the face of the Pinoy, has just fallen apart.

Even if we build a house of cards, we as Pinoys are still bound by the limitations of the playing card. If there is too much weight and pressure on the people who support the top layers, then certainly the entire structure would come crashing down!

How do we overcome all this? How do you convince a Filipino that teaching him how to fish is much better than continuously giving him food? How do we make the transition from being a house of cards to a house of bricks that even the big bad wolf will not be able to huff and puff at and blow down?

Real change begins at the bottom of the Filipino society. The inherent cultural character has to evolve, and Filipinos have to learn from the mistakes of the past. Are we ready to undertake the arduous task of rebuilding a nation that has been neck deep in dirt for so long? Are we ready to work together as a nation to build up the cultural substance so that we will no longer be flat and thin like playing cards? Or are we still obsessed with our celebrities and with gambling our live away in card games?

And that is why we as a society have to reemphasize the thinking part in ourselves. Why waste the time to build a house of cards which is flimsy, and is frankly, all for show? Why not instead design a house of a sturdy material, with substance, and then build it up with your own hands? That way we can be truly proud of what we will build.

Noynoy Aquino happens to be the ultimate embodiment of everything wrong with the Pinoy, yet ultimately presidents matter little in the grand scheme of things. He’s not the cure all to our ills in society; we ourselves are. Forget about Noynoy and allow him to fiddle while Rome burns; we should be busy putting the fire out ourselves.

34 Replies to “Is Noynoy’s house of cards about to collapse?”

  1. From Showbiz Government page:

    Somebody must be playing computer warrior games a lot. In those computer games, there is always an enemy (unless he is playing solitaire or puzzle). That addicted-to-computer-games guy still thinks there is an adversary even when he has already ‘unplugged’. If he does not ‘see an enemy’, he will look for one. He has become very negative, very paranoid and lives in his own chaotic world.

  2. You are right. How on earth can corruption cause poverty? Even an idiot can see it is non- sequitor. It does not follow. It is a stupid slogan.Yet so many Pinoys swallowed it whole. Correction. Only the yellows believe in that mantra.

      1. Though, it does seem that, at least in the online commenting scene, the tide is shifting. The comments against BS now outnumbers the yellow-supporters, even at the known yellow-slanted media web sites.

        1. Guys like fishball are slowly dwindling in the online commenting scene. More and more people are starting to see the true colors of this wannabe dictator.

          Soon, we might have another revolution and this time it is to kick out an AQUINO out of office.

          The IRONY is too strong.

    1. Do you know how much of our budget is lost every year due to corruption? It differs from one department to another but studies estimate it to be around 20%. The money lost could have gone toward buying more books and constructing new schoolbuildings, hiring teachers and paying them more, giving scholarships, etc. The money could also go to agriculture – farm to market roads, irrigation, certified seeds, fertilizer, etc. Instead, they went to the pockets of politicians, bureacrats and middlemen. Now tell me, would not the money, properly spent and accounted for, have uplifted the lives of so many people financially?

      The slogan is not stupid. Only the ones who don’t get it are. Especially those who spell it “sequitor”.

      As for the author of this banal article, you will eat your words when second quarter GDP growth comes in at 7% or even better. If there’s a house of cards anywhere, it’s right here in this article.

      1. very nice comment here. but who is against the efforts to clean the government? what is revolting is when bs opens his mouth and blames other people, instead of working harder to solve the problems he is complaining about. why was elected for? to complain about things the people already know? be realistic! we just are not getting what we deserve from this guy. and he is endarging the country by carelessly engaging china in a childish war o words without considering its long term effect.

      2. You missed the point.

        There will always be losses from corruption. What this President of ours insists on, is that Gloria is the biggest and, quite possibly, only corrupt person in the whole Philippines.

        Has it occurred to our “dear leader” that perhaps if he spent going after other “corrupt” officials then perhaps he could have had more results than focusing all his resources on Arroyo? Probably not, and this is why his slogan falls apart. Yes it’s a stupid slogan, and this person we call President did not even outline from the start exactly how he vows to fight corruption as a whole.

        Arroyo is not the only corrupt person out there, and she may not even be the biggest.

      3. @Dalisay: TROLL. 😛

        TBH, corruption is not just the government, but also the people. And hey, corruption can be controlled. And yes, the slogan is stupid. That’s a fact because it’s more like a trivial matter if you ask me.

        But if you’re serious on dealing with corruption, not just the bigger ones but also the smaller ones. No bias whatsoever. Local AND national.

        After Arroyo left, our GDP is more like 8% but when Noynoy became president, it went to a fast decline by 4% in 2 years! Your data is completely wrong. You and the rest of of your fellow sycophants will eat your own words if Noynoy continues to f*ck up. Only f*cked up idiots will appreciate every blunder and childish whining he makes. Him and the rest of sycophants are the stack of cards that the author pictures.

        Of course you won’t listen because that is what I expected from an angry mob mindset like yours. Aa stack of cards, indeed.

      4. No one’s saying corruption is not a problem. Rather, it is not the cause of poverty in the Philippines. It perhaps puts a wrench in the works of anti-poverty and other measures. But as a cause… there are so many other causes that are more likely to be bigger.

  3. It’s so basic that a house built on a poor foundation is more than likely to collapse. And one of the poorest foundations of any house is hate. Or even just mere opposition to the previous administration. You just oppose the old administration because you actually have no plan yourself.

  4. I disagree, I compare the current administration to the rebuilding of the WTC. Once it was destroyed, had justice from the destroyers and start all over again with much more confidence.

    1. Nope, once again you are deluding yourself.

      Face the truth, your president is going DOWN and OUT of malacanang

    2. Rebuilding? Rebuild what? All this president has done and is doing is take everything apart–deconstruction. The country is not moving forward primarily because the president keeps looking at and blaming the past. There is no plan for tomorrow, much less the future of this country.

      Try driving a vehicle while looking only at the side and rear-view mirrors. Never looking out the front windshield. You’ll hit everything in your way and not get anywhere. That’s what your beloved president is doing. That’s what you’re praising. And because you need things spelled out for you, being a passenger in this mis-driven vehicle will only get you to the hospital or the grave.

    3. Noynoy has no vision. He’s not rebuilding anything. He makes it worse. Still chasing and persecuting his political enemies? Is THAT rebuilding?

      That’s childish antics. You’re immature, man. 😛

    4. your president is on the exit, the numbers are falling, people are seeing the light. your house is crumbling! fishball, go look for another !@#$%^ to lick before its too late!

  5. I just read the “No pork for Arroyo allies, says Abad” from Inquirer, and that looks like President-mandated corruption to me. Moreso if the claim by a commenter, Madz, is true. Madz says “Abad’s home district, comprises the Batanes Islands, which have a population of roughly 15,000 (the country’s smallest province) and are represented in Congress by his wife Dina. While most Congressional districts receive between P70 million and P140 million in PDAF funds, BATANES island received P800 million for his wife’s district at the end of 2011.” It would be very interesting if this were corroborated.

  6. The problem with our government nowadays maraming mga kritiko na instead of listening to them baka they have some point! eh pinapatulan at minamaliit yung nakikita ng mga kritiko nila. they just focused on a small picture instead of zooming out to look the bigger picture. poor management! keep it up fallen angel, nice article.

  7. Additional thoughts:

    BS Aquino won merely 40+% of the votes cast last 2010. This means, then that 60% of the population voted for someone else, which automatically refutes any argument that he is/was a majority president. Simple majority is 50%+1, and two-thirds majority is 66.66%.

    Now, how exactly did Aquino try to win over the 60% who didn’t vote for him? I don’t think he did; screw you all, I’m still popular, or so he thought. Now that the number of his critics has increased, and that the hollowness and impending collapse of his presidency’s “accomplishments” have been laid bare, what’s he going to do?

    1. bs is hallucinating. he thinks he is popular just becuase his weather-weather station and false asia survey outfits say so.

    2. That was why our dear dictator FM had only 2 parties during part of his dictatorship reign, just so that when one is elected, it is by the majority. And now this new found “freedom” we see nuisance candidates, to think now, even if your just a nobody, you can run for a government office. Freedom…..yeah right.

  8. What the president said at the TVPatrol anniversary was strange. It’s like going to a person’s birthday party only to shame the celebrant. I agree it wasn’t conduct becoming of a statesman.

    Given that this is a channel 2 show, though, I would have assumed he’d just split the difference–let the negative press go because he gets some of the most unabashed brown-nosing from that network anyway outside the pages of the Inquirer.

    I’m not sure though if this hissy fit changes anything. (Maybe it would for the people who figured, “What the hell, let’s give this guy a chance.”) The yellow extremists have been quick to spin this away though. On social media, they’ve been spouting variations of the same things: (1) we should also focus on good news in the interest of balance, (2) media has a higher responsibility, (3) media practitioners should be able to take criticism, and (4) Noli de Castro should not put his own biases on the news. Drivel! The news outlets have never focused on the truth, they’ve never upheld fairplay, or justice, or any of those lofty ideals. They exist to sell “news” and they’ll air whatever they think will appeal to their viewers, like videos of activists screaming abuse at a skeletal Gloria, flood survivors crying, and dead bodies waiting for their chalk outlines. It so happens that the writers of TV Patrol think de Castro’s content and delivery appeal to his audience. Hasn’t that always been the show’s formula? This is the show that birthed “Hoy Gising!” afterall, where the immediate assumption is always that if something sucks, someone in government was remiss or corrupt or even both.

    1. That party fail is perhaps an attempt to say, “BS Aquino is not really strongly connected with this media station.” Problem is, the moro-moro element of it seems apparent to me.

      1. I guess so. “Moro-moro” is apt. From the snippet I saw on YouTube, it did seem like only Noli de Castro got the tongue-lashing. Nevermind that the guy probably just reads whatever they type up for him.

        Anyway, I managed to see some of their programming while looking for weather news. His senatoriables are hogging airtime–former Sen. Magsaysay, 2010 losing bet Comm. Biazon both had interviews.

  9. BS is not fit to be president. That’s a simple fact unless, of course, you’re a noytard suffering from the yellow plague, but he is the president that Filipinos deserve.
    The simple fact is that the problem in the Philippines is the Filipino. Your culture is morally, ethically, intellectually and spiritually bankrupt.
    You’re a people lazier than Malays, more dishonest than Indians and more likely to sell your wife, daughter, sister or niece into prostitution than a Thai.
    You’re like Americans – the same ones who gave you this thrice-damned political system – who refuse to make the changes they need to make but instead keep holding out for a new president to be the messiah and solve all of the problems.
    If you really want change, stop voting for criminals and stop all your petty crimes. Try obeying basic road rules and treating other people with respect (I don’t mean all that stupid “po” and “kuya” nonsense; I mean treating other people exactly how you would like to be treated).
    Until Filipinos wake up and realise that the problem with the Philippines is the Filipino nothing is going to change.

  10. I agree with some of Matthew Parkes sentiments. We are indeed plagued with corruption … a collaboration of the rich and unemployed poor to screw the working and middle class tax payers. Rich buy the votes from squatters shipped in from far away provinces that will vote for anyone that pays them top dollar and they stupidly wonder after having been bought why their government is so corrupt? Secondly, A lot of PNoy’s newly formed administration where ex-memebers of gloria party so it seems like a stupid non-dominer for these members to investigate gloria adminsistration of which they formed a major part of? just dumb… Lastly no one is looking onto the world bank /IMF debt that is going out of the country… recommend reading John Perkins book Economic Hitman about Philippines

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