The world ended for many Filipinos in 2012

noynoy_aquino_cigaretteAfter taking a short break during the Christmas season, Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino is reportedly back feeling “recharged”. It’s been a busy 2012 for the President and his allies, indeed. He has been sick quite a few times during the year and it was a sign that his health was not a hundred percent up to scratch. His stress levels could have been higher than normal as a result of all the wheeling and dealing he was engaging in. All this had likely put pressure on his immune system and, together with his cigarette smoking, couldn’t have been good for his active lifestyle. We all know that the Filipino people could use a break too from the incessant vindictiveness they copped every time the President opened his mouth.

It’s not hard to imagine how President BS Aquino could be so stressed out. The Chief Executive has been relentlessly pursuing his agendas by allegedly strong-arming members of Congress into falling in line with what he wants.

Impeached on trumped-up charges using flawed evidence

Impeached on trumped-up charges using flawed evidence

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Just to recall, he spent almost half of 2012 lobbying for the removal from office of former Chief Justice Renato Corona with unimpeachable charges that the President and his minions had completely overblown. Try to ask a regular person what exactly Corona did to deserve getting kicked out of office and I doubt if he or she would be able to tell you the details without quoting Senator Lito Lapid. Filipinos forget that some Senators who found Corona guilty committed worse crimes than what he was accused of. Some won’t forget that the push for Corona’s removal had a lot to do with the Supreme Court’s decision in 2011 to finally grant the vast sugar plantation owned by the family of President BS Aquino to farmer-beneficiaries.

After removing Corona, the President and his allies spent a few weeks trying to distract the people with news of who is favored to be the new Chief Justice and the televised “interviews for the job”. Yet all the while his plan was afoot to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court with his college buddy, Lourdes Sereno anyway regardless of whether or not there were more qualified people on the list of nominees from the Judicial Bar Council.

As mentioned in the past, unfortunately, all is not well in the Supreme Court under Sereno’s watch. While Corona brought unity in the SC during his stint, Sereno has brought in division among the members of the SC particularly with some associate justices alleging that she issued a fake resolution without their knowledge. Despite this shocking revelation, President BS Aquino and his allies particularly in the mainstream media remained conspicuously quiet about this.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer would normally place news on allegations of corruption on their front page for days when it involves President BS Aquino’s political enemies but they hardly paid attention to Chief Justice Sereno’s alleged fraudulent activity. They chose to play dumb and pretend everything is going well in the Supreme Court. At least Senator Kiko Pangilinan acknowledged that there was something amiss in the judiciary. He blamed it on other justices who he said are just resentful for missing out on the Chief Justice position though.

Accidental hero

Accidental hero

After installing a friend in a lucrative post in the Judiciary, President BS Aquino reluctantly had to let go of another close friend, former Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary Rico Puno, when the latter got embroiled in a controversy involving the late Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash last August. The timing of Puno’s resignation was quite suspect. It was three days before a Senate committee started its investigation on the allegations of impropriety. Conspiracy theories abound as to whether Puno had something to do with Robredo’s plane crash. But the President quickly quashed this theory by declaring the crash an “accident”. Nevertheless, they perhaps decided that Puno had to go to stop people from speculating further.

Some sectors have been calling for Puno’s resignation since 2010 when he bungled the Mendoza hostage crisis and over allegations of his involvement in the illegal numbers game jueteng. Yet when he finally handed in his resignation, he used the excuse of giving his friend, President BS Aquino “a free hand to the incoming Secretary in forming a new team.”

Puno’s “graceful” exit was not a problem because the President has a steady pool of friends ready and willing to take up any vacant government posts. Never mind if they are not even qualified. Of course the vacated post in the DILG went to his other long time friend Mar Roxas who had been floating around since losing his Vice Presidential bid to Jejomar Binay.

While things seemingly remain “under control” for the President locally, this is not the case for the way he handles some issues involving the international community particularly the diplomatic row with China over the disputed Spratly group of islands and the Scarborough Shoal. At some point tensions between China and the Philippines had escalated into something that could have led to a full-on war with China sending 40 warships to Panatag Shoal.

China is trembling on the inside...

China is trembling on the inside…

Enter Senator Antonio Trillanes. The convicted mutineer surprised everyone especially Senator Juan Ponce Enrile this year when he admitted to his role as a secret envoy to China with the blessing of President BS Aquino. Trillanes’ special relationship with the President seemed to have come to a quick end though after the Senator could not stop himself from boasting about his “secret” role. Confusing statements from both parties turned the public’s interest away as usual. On one hand, a news report said that it wasn’t President BS Aquino’s but Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa’s idea to use Trillanes as peace negotiator for China. Owning an idea seems to depend on its success. As in most cases, when an idea doesn’t work, no one wants to own it. In any case, Trillanes’ penchant for claiming ownership for something that didn’t work seemed to have made him an outcast in the Senate.

Another issue that had taken the Filipino people by complete surprise this year was the quiet passing of the Cybercrime Prevention Act or the Cybercrime Law. Like the Grim Reaper that quietly visits in the night to suck the life out of those who are unfortunate enough to cross his path, the cybercrime law will tend to suck out what’s left of the Filipino people’s enthusiasm for criticizing their government into shape. As the protests against the law became louder, it emerged that some lawmakers who signed the law didn’t actually read it. They used the excuse “it was a personal oversight” or that the libel clause was included without their knowledge.

cybercrimeIn a series of developments that quickly turned into a major comedy of errors, those who rushed to pass Cybercrime Law were quickly issuing promises to amend it. The public uproar made some lawmakers distance themselves from the ill-thought-out provision criminalizing any statement made online that can be construed as libelous. It was also reported that it was Sen. Vicente Sotto III who proposed the inclusion of the libel clause in the Senate’s version of the bill during the period of amendments last January 24. But ultimately, it was President BS Aquino who signed it into law. The act is being called the end of freedom of speech and a signal that a new dictatorship is in place.

Presidential bail-out

Presidential bail-out

Then there is the infamous Padaca scandal. This may or may not have contributed to President BS Aquino’s stress but he took 70,000 pesos of his own pocket money and gave it to former Governor of Isabela, Grace Padaca for her to post bail. It may not be much for a haciendero like the President but it is a lot of money for normal folks. He obviously didn’t worry about what people had to say about using his own funds to save a party-mate.

Padaca who is (still) facing the graft and malversation cases was also awarded with the post Commissioner of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for simply being a loyal Liberal Party member. Never mind that she doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a competent commissioner and never mind that she will likely have to repay the President for his “generosity” one-way or the other. It remains to be seen how “independent” she can work with all the money and kindness she owes the Liberal Party.

President BS Aquino likewise came up with a worry-free solution this year to the Mindanao conflict involving Moro separatists: give them what they want. The “historic” Framework Agreement is basically a license for the Muslim rebels to claim parts of Mindanao and eventually pave the way for secession. Christians who reside in parts of Mindanao can forget about being part of the blueprint with the implementation of Sharia Law.

Holed up for a cause

Holed up for a cause

Speaking of secession, Cebu and the rest of the Visayas may as well call for independence from the Capital since Malacañang has no qualms about wreaking havoc in the region by sticking their nose into other people’s jurisdiction. Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia is crying foul over her suspension by the DILG for allegations of grave abuse of authority. She and her powerful army of supporters, which includes no less than the Vice-President, calls her suspension illegal and even “outrageous” because it violates the Local Government Code, providing that the Office of the President must decide within 30 days after an investigation of the case. It’s a showdown that will certainly keep the Filipino people entertained as we enter 2013 for as long as Garcia can keep herself holed up in her office.

The higher you are the harder you fall. The saying is true for the 7.1% economic growth rate that President BS Aquino and his team were boasting about. The more they emphasize the growth rate, the more it is becoming obvious that such a rate of economic growth is not enough to lift the economy from its Third World status. Only job creation or providing livelihood to the unemployed can make a difference to the rest of Filipinos living below the poverty line. The growing number of people who cannot afford to eat will just offset any economic growth.

Like I said before, it is such a shame that President BS Aquino and his minions continue to credit only his administration for the latest glowing economic growth statistics or for whatever projects that were finalized or something that he is just continuing but obviously was initiated by the previous administration. His public relations team is hell-bent on painting him as the architect of the country’s perceived good performance compared to its ASEAN neighbors. They even brand it “Aquinomics”. They think the people are gullible enough not to know that the economic policy he is using is actually based on classic Keyenesian Economics of spending, which former President Gloria Arroyo used during her term.

Speaking of GMA, President BS Aquino considers her hospital arrest an “achievement”. Never mind that the charges against her are based on a body of flimsy evidence and never mind that the same charges have not been proven in court. This speaks volumes about this current administration’s double-standard. The President can easily proclaim someone innocent of charges if that person happens to be an ally as in the case of Grace Padaca but at the same time, he can proclaim someone guilty if that person happens to be his political enemy as in the case of GMA, Corona and Garcia.

Depending on where you stand, the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill can spell success or doom for the country. The RH bill that was signed into law before the New Year has certainly divided the nation. It remains to be seen whether Filipinos can actually implement what some say is another flawed legislation. Considering our track record for ignoring the law, one cannot blame those who doubt the intended result of the law. Will it result in a more stable and healthier population or will it result in a more promiscuous population? One thing is for sure; promiscuity already existed even before the passing of the reproductive health law. How else would you explain the booming population?

The RH Law promises changes in attitudes towards sex

The RH Law promises changes in attitudes towards sex

No matter where you stand, the official statement from Malacañang spokesman Edwin Lacierda was “2012 best year in a long time”. It doesn’t matter that two years after having won the election, much of the country still experiences Ondoy-like floods that bring many industries — including the vital financial services industry — to their knees just like what happened in August. It doesn’t matter that the damage caused by Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao has risen to P36.949 billion. It doesn’t matter that the death toll has risen to 1,067, with 2,666 injured and 834 still missing. It doesn’t matter that 13,940 people are still staying in 87 evacuation centers.

Yes, for Lacierda, 2012 is the best year in a long time especially with the President’s sister, Kris Aquino’s movie Sisterakas coming out a box office success. Let’s just hope President BS Aquino did get some rest during his break because he has to engage in more wheeling and dealing ahead in the coming year specially in the lead-up to the senatorial elections.

64 Replies to “The world ended for many Filipinos in 2012”

  1. There are a few out there that despise what GRP stands for even if they are regular readers. They are probably the type to take that best year conclusion by Lacierda at face value. Great year round summary Ilda. It puts this case study of mismanagement into perspective.

    1. Ilda & Gogs,

      The thing about people like Jonas is that in 2016, when we begin to have an accounting of all of BS Aquino’s failures, they will be clamoring at how critics of the administration like those on GRP CAUSED those failures because they weren’t supportive of Aquino’s policies. Be lucky if they don’t push for a constitutional amendment to extend the president’s term or, worse, remove the one term limit.

  2. This is a fitting summation of the year that was, Ilda. My only problem with reading your piece is that it puts me into ever deeper depression. Never in the history of the country has so much harm done by so few to so many. And we expect more of the same for the coming years. Can not you find even a wee bit of good that has happened to this country? I am sorry, but I know that will take such herculean effort.

    1. @RF Garcia

      Sorry you feel more depressed. Unfortunately, it is very hard to feel optimistic about the situation in the country particularly after seeing Kris Aquino wearing that green gown. She could be the President one day. 🙁

        1. You’d think that her dubious wardrobe choices and the seemingly uncontrollable urge to draw attention to the lurid details of her life — like the whole clap infection interview — would make Filipinos think twice about voting her into public office.

        2. I can only imagine what goes through the minds of foreign analysts when they prepare the intelligence briefings on Philippine politics for their bosses. Apart from the fact that BS Aquino fell into a situation that did the world a favor by emphasizing China’s belligerence in Southeast Asia our political personalities are probably the subject of quite a few snickers in other countries, if not outright contempt.

        3. @Johnny Saint

          It’s a shame Julian Assange cannot release information about what the diplomats really think of BS Aquino’s child-like tactics on China. I’m sure they find him quite “interesting”.

  3. “Never mind that the charges against her are based on a body of flimsy evidence and never mind that the same charges have not been proven in court.”

    so are you saying Gloria Arroyo is innocent?

    1. She says what is in sentence.

      Evidence is flimsy. It is hard to prove in court.

      In order to prove in court they will subvert the whole Justice System just to prove the validity of the evidence.

        1. @benson

          Thank you for validating your black propaganda (i.e. lies)and kangaroo court mentality. You and your “people” are part of the mob rule that has tagged GMA as guilty without due process and in the absence of a fair court trial. I challenge you to take a MENSA test.

        2. The court of public opinion is not a valid court, fishball you birdbrain.

          Thomas, the only test benson will pass is the MENSAyad one :p

        3. What a pathetic troll you are. You still think we would believe crap from a yellow troll like you? Get real you lousy bum! Only idiots like you would believe BS like that oh wait you are an idiot. I rest my case.

        4. In the eyes of the stupid yellow trolls, They believe that their great president is soo clean that they don’t even realize that they have been gyped ever since 1986. Eventually, everything that they believe aquino to be will turn out to be a big fat LIE.

        5. That’s a sign of MOB MENTALITY, not 100% truth.

          Stop your delusions and YOU deserve jail time because of your FRAUDULENT claims.

          I’m sorry, but that is the TRUTH. 🙂

        6. Popular consensus or the “eyes of the people” is actually not the basis by which justice establishes or determines whether a person accused is either guilty or not–evidence beyond reasonable doubt is. Only people unable to think for themselves rely too much on popular opinion to determine truth from facts.

          Besides, B.S. Aquino voted against playing the “Hello Garci” tapes when he and GMA used to be chums. The Aquino-Cojuangcos started hating GMA when she looked into the Hacienda-Luisits case, as simple as that. Lopez-run media helped demonize GMA.

    2. @benson

      The burden of proof is ALWAYS on the accuser NOT on the accused. When will you put that fact into your pea sized brain???

    3. And if your parents mercilessly killed an innocent little child, will you still gonna call them innocent? Ikaw talaga vincensus ignoramus walang utak. O baka naman kasi nakalubog sa ebak iyang utak mo.

    4. It’s not whether or not GMA is innocent. The point of contention here is that the author describes the evidence as flimsy. I cannot help but think the she has her biases as well, ironic considering how this blog rags on the Inquirer for being too “yellow”.

  4. And are you saying Benson that GMA is guilty? Very clearly, you are ignorant of the very basic tenet in law that an accused is innocent unless proven guilty. Ilda did not say nor even imply that GMA is innocent. She only said the charges have not been proven.May I suggest you leaf through some elementary law books?

      1. @benson

        You do know what hearsay and weak evidence is… don’t you? Yellow trolls always amuse me with their subservient, dependent and static minds. You should show more imagination and intellect in your propaganda. Carandang does not like ineffective propagandists.

        1. Don’t you know that there was no rule of law during the GMA administration? Do you mean to say you don’t know how Gutierez and Corona and similar others got into their posts during that unlamented era of our history?

        2. @Dionix: Lies. If you based it on hearsay evidence and stuff, then there is no such thing. And AFAIK, Corona was appointed in 2010 so you’re just making an assumption.

          That what I expect from someone who had angry mob mindset. I thought you could do better than that.

      2. Nakalimutan mo ata benson na ung pangulo mo ay bumoto noon na wag pakingan ang garci tape. Kawawa ka naman gunggong.

  5. Kudos Ilda, a good article reviewing events of 2012. What is pathetic is the continuing adoration and sycophancy extended to BS Aquino by the fanatic yellow crowd that cannot think for itself. Yes, it is sad that they do not have free and independent minds. They blindly follow the “great leader” at all costs like lemmings into the sea of tragedy. The year is closing and again we will have no prosperous or peaceful new year. Our annual year-end war zone is about to begin. The things I hate most are: the bomb-like boom of dangerous firecrackers, the bullets that come in from above at an angle or dead on, The fires and highly polluted smoke of powder residue like the fog of war and the annual injuries and deaths that the bomb happy war zone brings. BS Aquino does not seem to have the political will to even stop this war zone madness that happens every new year’s eve. The statistics over the years are horrible. BS Aquino, apparently cannot do a direct act of leadership command and control to stop the annual madness. Who then is in command and control?

    1. @Thomas

      Thanks for the compliment. I know what you mean about the firecrackers this coming New Year’s Eve. Expect more casualties. What’s sad is the thought of innocent bystanders getting hurt by stray bullets. We can’t expect BS Aquino to end this madness because he is a gun enthusiast. He wouldn’t want to come across as a hypocrite on gun control even if he does come across as one on other issues.

  6. Hi Ilda,

    Great summary of the year that was for 2012. To put it simply, activity does not necessarily equal accomplishment. Many Filipinos are unable to distinguish between the two, and certainly BS Aquino and his gang can’t either.

  7. thank you for a great article. it’s really depressing with all that propaganda out there that our dear leader bs and his minions are using to deceive the populace.

    please keep it up and perhaps we can take it upon ourselves to enlighten people on the real score, even if it is just one soul at a time.

    have a great year ahead! 🙂

    1. @ici

      Thanks for the compliment. The article is meant to highlight some issues that Malacanang tends to ignore or gloss over in their official yearender. When you read their statements, it’s like the tragedies that occurred in 2012 did not happen at all.

      Happy New Year!

  8. What a great summaries of depression for our country. job well done Ilda. maybe we can expect goodness for 2013, who know’s right?

  9. Ilda,

    Just wanted to add a bit of a postscript to the bit about the diplomatic row with China.

    As of 28 December 2012 China National Offshore Oil Co. Ltd. announced that two of its oil fields in the Western Philippine Sea have started production.

    China also announced the deployment of Haixun 21, to conduct maritime patrols in the same area in what it says is intended as an effort to protect its sovereignty and to build “harmonious oceans” with its neighbors.

    President BS Aquino maintains that he hopes to achieve a peaceful solution to what is tantamount to an act of war by China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

    It appears his attempts at provoking China were designed to galvanize the Philippines’ Southeast Asian neighbors and push the United States into intervening. As Washington has been silent on the matter, and with the Americans’ own economic crisis looming, it is unlikely that we can expect diplomatic assistance from that quarter. Furthermore, considering that a US company — Conoco Inc., through its subsidiary, Burlington Resources — owns 24.5% of the oil field, it is unlikely we will be seeing the 7th Fleet sailing in to halt production on behalf of the Philippines in spite of the estimations of a couple of commentators here on GRP.

    1. Hi Johnny Saint

      Thanks for the information! There is no doubt that China is already digging in the disputed islands while BS Aquino is whining. His only solution is to appear like a victim and ask for help from our neighbours and so-called allies. He doesn’t seem to take into consideration that others like the US have bigger problems to deal with in their own shores. Besides, what’s in it for them if they help us? There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

      1. Yah. There is no reason to believe the United States will be conducting military operations on behalf of the Philippines against its own business interests. Especially now when the main concern in Washington is how to generate new sources of revenue.

      2. So what do you recommend he do? People would gain much from constructive criticisms rather than fault finding all the time.

  10. This is for all the affected GRP people. We should not be depressed about the failures, shortcomings, abuses and boo boos of the BS Aquino administration in 2012. These are his failures not ours. We have met our darkest hours in past history and survived. It has been said that the people of the Republic of the Philippines are like the bamboo. Flexible and resilient in bending through every storm. New shoots grow after the storm has passed. Hope springs eternal in the indomitable human spirit. This is what makes us unique as members of the family called the human race. Fight the good fight! March on for a righteous cause! Never say die! A happy, peaceful and prosperous new year to all!

  11. Great recap of a year fraught with danger. I see 2012 as the lynchpin of the social cataclysm of 2013. Let’s hope for the best.

  12. “While Corona brought unity in the SC during his stint, Sereno has brought in division among the members of the SC particularly with some associate justices alleging that she issued a fake resolution without their knowledge. ”

    You make it sound as if Sereno was in fact, a turncloak on BS Aquino and his lackeys. Is she?

  13. This is beside the issue but I must congratulate GRP for the very fitting photos you put up in every article. For instance, that photo above is a very fine example of BS Aquino to serve as a role model for the smoking populace to give up smoking. You can see that although he is grinning(he always is in nearly all his photos)he looks haggard and short of breath. That is the beginning of emphysema or deterioration of lung capacity. The photo is also a good promo for sin tax bill. But the high tax on cigarettes won’t affect him because the haciendero can afford it.

    1. @RF Garcia

      I must say that I actually enjoy coming up with captions on the photos. You’re right about BS Aquino’s awkward stance. I don’t really know about the women see in him. It must be his car 😉


  14. Great article Ilda!!

    Great job GRP folks. I still remember you only have 5k plus likes 12 months ago. Now it’s almost double.

    Let’s work hard and hope that more people will be enlightened this 2013!!!

  15. 2013 predictions
    FoI bill delayed!
    Cybercrime TRO lapses!
    Hacienda Luisita compensation set at 10 billion ( after election)

    Transparency and accountability replaced with hypocricy and duplicity

  16. Admittedly P-Noy had his shares of mistakes and goofs and misbehaviors but considering that he is also human and has a gargantuan task of undoing the tremendous incompetency and corruption of the previous administrations, you guys should give him some credit, too, for doing much to give many of us (as different from you) hope for a better morrow.

    1. Blunders, blame games, pointing fingers on the past administration, credit grabbing, etc. You name it.

      Also, he’s totally WRONG about corruption. There is no progress with INCOMPETENCE, mind you. And by the looks of it, you’re more like a Yellow Zombie everytime you comment.

    2. Why should we give credit to someone who is clearly incompetent? Besides, your precious president keeps grabbing credit from the previous administration anyway without doing anything worthwhile for the country except for his KKK. You really think your president is clean? Well, you better think again moron.


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