Top lesson Filipinos have learned after two years of PNoy: Never trust anyone who says ‘trust me’

There is a saying: “Never trust anyone who says ‘trust me’.” Recent events have proven this statement true. On the mere basis of his pedigree and family name, then presidential candidate Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III repeatedly assured the electorate that he could be trusted. And they did. The man is now President of the Philippines.

But so early in his term, these assurances started to ring hollow.

The first people who felt the vacuousness of the presidential word were no less than (at the time) two of his most loyal campaign supporters, Ben Totanes and Betty Abrantes who set up what was to become the immensely successful Facebook page BSA3 at (now deleted) to gather support to push for a rallying behind Noynoy’s candidacy shortly after the death of his mother former President Corazon Aquino in August 2009. After BS Aquino won the elections and ascended to power, Totanes and Abrantes reportedly disagreed with Malacañang over how the page should be managed going forward. Next thing they new, their page had been shut down by Facebook admins under mysterious circumstances.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

It seems this little tale of woe set the scene for what was to become an entire presidential term symbolising an affront to the whole notion of trust.

Consider then the current situation two years into the term of the Second Aquino Presidency of the Philippines. There are currently three pillars upon which the government of President BS Aquino has traditionally built its credibility. If we are to come up with a sort of a report card organised around these three pillars, this is what it might look like:

* * *

A commitment to freedom of expression and flow of information

We all know where the government is with the much-hyped Freedom of Information (FOI) proposal. Nowhere. Worse, the only significant bill relating to the health of the flow of essential information across Philippine society signed into law by BS Aquino is blanketed by unprecedented infamy — Republic Act 10175 or the notorious Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Implementation of that Act now languishes after the Philippine Supreme Court bowed to public protests over its perceived draconian nature and issued a temporary restraining order to restrict its application until further notice. Just the same RA 10175 will go down in history as an abominable symbol of the epic failure of what was once noisily — often hysterically — pitched as the reform government to end all reform governments.

Grade: Fail.

A commitment to the secular state

Despite President BS Aquino being the gun-toting, tobacco-smoking, chick-loving swinging bachelor that is the antithesis of every prayerful staunchly-Catholic prominent Aquino and Cojuangco to come before him, the Second Aquino Malacañang has so far been cowed by the tyranny of what remains the country’s most powerful king-makers: the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The influence of religious clerics and deference of ordinary Filipinos to ancient dogma remains as suffocating as it has ever been in the history of thePhilippine Republic. The only legislative hope to making progress around the cornerstone of efforts to reduce poverty in the Philippines — population control — has been turned into more a religous “debate” than the journey of economic and scientific discovery it could have been thanks to the CBCP and its fanatic mob of religious zealots that infest Philippine society.

More recently, a peace agreement recently entered into by the Aquino administration with rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front reportedly allows Shari’ah Law to be implemented within an “enlarged Bangsamoro” autonomous region in Mindanao. The application of Shari’ah Law in some countries allows for the implementation of restrictions on women’s attire and the stoning to death of adulterers among other practices.

Grade: Fail.

A commitment to walking the straight path

It took a full two years before Filipinos finally saw the stepping down of failed Cabinet minister and presidential barkada Rico Puno who as early as the first few months of President BS Aquino’s rule was already linked to epic failure. Firstly, Puno was widely seen to be on top of a massive failure to contain and manage what was to become a tragic hostage situation that saw the deaths of nine Hong Kong tourists in 2010. Second, he was (by his own admission even) directly linked to the illegal jueteng (numbers game) operations that successive governments have failed to root out. Third and most recent, Puno was found to be allegedly involved in anomalous dealings with arms dealers in the procurement of weapons for the Philippine National Police.

That such a man would manage to stay in office that long despite the vast scale of the improprieties, anomalies, and borderline criminal acts he has been linked to pretty much punctuates the BS in the presidency of President BS Aquino.

Grade: Fail.

* * *

So there you have it folks. In the Philippines the word “trust” is more likely to be known more as a brand of condoms than as a virtue of leadership. President BS Aquino, indeed, is making his mark: adding “trust” to the list of otherwise noble concepts Filipinos have proved to be world-class at perverting

16 Replies to “Top lesson Filipinos have learned after two years of PNoy: Never trust anyone who says ‘trust me’”

  1. Aquino knows his audience. Filipinos continue to prove, again and again, that they have an attention span measured in seconds – much like the anecdote of the goldfish. The noise from the unconstitutional Cybercrime Act makes everyone forget that Puno was the head of major graft operations with interests in, inter alia, guns and jueteng. Everyone has forgotten that it is most likely that Robredo was murdered. And, of course, nobody remembers that the twice-convicted traitor, Trillanes, went to China and committed treason, aided and abetted by the pitiful excuse for a president that is Bull Sh-t Aquino the Turd (not third). There are numerous grounds for this moral, ethical and intellectual vacuum to be impeached but the professional criminals in the lower house allow themselves to be bribed and/or blackmailed by the threat of having their pork barrels taken away from them. After all, without their pork barrels how would they pay for their large houses, second and third wives and various mistresses? Thanks, Filipinos, for voting for kleptocrats.

  2. I think this line from a video game poster applies to Pnoy and his henchmen:

    “The ship of failure floats on a sea of excuses.”

    BRP BS Aquino III, the second in line of the Failboat class.

  3. Its only a matter of time before PNoy’s ship of failure finally sinks with him. Only fools like formula one/fishball/dondon would continue to desperately cling on to PNoy’s sinking ship.

    1. Not sure what universe you are living in where being a moron = serving Filipinos very well. I guess that is today’s daily dictum from the Ministry of Truth?

    2. Man, you Vincenzo/fishball/formula one type trolls just don’t know when to quit, don’t you?

      Of course SWS would say that. Does “owned by Aquino’s relatives” mean anything to you?

  4. Even in the slimy world of Pinoy politics Noynoy sticks out like Wendy O. Williams in a convent. He proclaimed he will get rid of corruption. His mantra is the straight and narrow path yet he tramples over due process. Gets pending cases and declares a verdict even though his every public statement makes headlines. He has a triple standard of justice for people he hates , people he vaguely knows and people closely connected. He makes no bones of hiding it. To paraphrase Chris Boomer Berman this guy is a “rumblin, bumblin stumblin ” fool.

  5. There is a good Russian proverb: “Trust , but verify.” We are all naive to trust, people who says things without thinking what they mean, we accept their words. This is all our weaknesses. so, Rascals and bad politicians are voted in offices. Even semi-literate ones…

  6. As a 5 yr. old,I was given the best advice and use it to this very day:
    TRUST no one.
    NEVER volunteer information.
    NEVER tell anyone where you live.
    Mind your own business,keep your mouth closed,keep your nose clean and NEVER take money directly out of someone’s hand.
    A big thank you to my Uncle.

  7. a political family that steals together stays together – unless you are caught smuggling pork barrel proceeds into the US.

  8. A commitment to freedom of expression and flow of information
    Grade: Fail.

    How can that be when the law has yet to be implemented. You only declare failure when there has been violation of freedom through the laws implementation. The fact that the SC ordered for the restriction of law application is proof that there is effort to safeguard the sanctity of the people’s freedom. And that was made possible because of a democratic means of people taking action through petition.

    The grade of failure is premature.

    A commitment to the secular state
    Grade: Fail.

    Again, another faulty assumption. Was there as issue raised in relation to separation of church and state? Was there a declaration of appointing an official religion for the country?

    The peace agreement with the MILF was a secular act on the part of the gov’t. The RP gov’t., not the CBCP, was the signatory of the peace accord.

    The grade of failure was misguided and misinformed.

    A commitment to walking the straight path
    Grade: Fail.

    Another self-serving assumption contradicting factual reality. Rico Puno is already out of office. His resignation was accepted by the president. The failing grade would only be relevant and true if Puno was still in office.

    Bottom line, poor evaluation due to bias and prejudice against the present dispensation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.