Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino is setting himself up for failure with his New Year’s resolution for 2014, which is to “ignore his critics”. The fact that he had to make this his New Year’s resolution already means that he is having a hard time ignoring his critics in the first place. Not to mention, a chief executive – a grown up – who tells impressionable high-school students visiting Malacañang that his critics are “hopeless” and simply being paid to make him look bad does make him look weak and defensive to others especially his critics.Well, yes, most of the time he comes across as someone who doesn’t care about what his detractors have to say about him. But who is he kidding? Deep inside, he is someone who is very conscious of his popularity with the people. How does one know this? It’s human nature for people to seek validation particularly from those who don’t like them. Some who have healthy egos can be discrete about finding ways to get validation but some like BS Aquino would bully his way to getting liked.
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BS Aquino’s need for validation is also evident in how he and his minions highlight his favorable popularity rating every chance they get. That is already a good indication that there is nothing more he would want than to charm everyone including his critics. And that is were the problem lies. As Dr Seuss would say about Mr. Grinch, BS Aquino is as charming as an eel and as cuddly as a cactus.
It is an understatement to say that he is the most polarizing leader the Philippines ever had. He has divided the sentiments of the Filipino people, indeed and this could be his intention. This is perhaps to distract the public from his failure to meet his campaign promises. His use of the blame-game easily deflects from his own incompetence.
It became apparent from BS Aquino’s early days on the job that his vindictiveness would further fuel people’s passion to find a scapegoat for their own shortfalls – to blame the previous “corrupt” government for all the ills in the land. Never mind that it was the people who voted the public servants who served under the previous government in the first place. And never mind that a lot of the public servants during former President Gloria Arroyo’s term, the same ones who participated in scams in the past, are still in office pandering to BS Aquino’s whims. There is no need to mention that Senator Franklin Drilon used to be former President Gloria Arroyo’s ally. There’s also no need to mention that Drilon is now an Aquino ally. Some of them, like Drilon, are still enjoying the perks of their jobs and acting as if they are God’s gift to the Filipino people.It was easy for BS Aquino to persecute his enemies before the public particularly during the first few years of his term. First, he used his popularity to rally the people behind him by using black propaganda against his political enemies. Armed with bottomless funds from the taxpayer, he could have easily hired public relations firms to raise his profile by throwing baseless accusations against his enemies at the same time. This could explain the sudden appearance of “small ladies” and “anonymous sources” during Senate hearings and mock trials. It was also convenient to have members of the media who are still beholden to the Aquino name who were willing to publicize the black propaganda against his enemies.
Second, BS Aquino’s use of symbols like the yellow pin on his shirts and yellow-themed attire gives out a subliminal message as if saying, “if you are not with me, then you are against me”. Instead of uniting the people by using the Philippine flag as a symbol of “one people under one nation”, he continues to use the yellow color to make everyone else who do not belong to his party feel like an outsider.
It’s still not clear whether critics of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino underestimated his ability to fool the Filipino people or overestimated the Filipino people’s ability to see through his deceit. Either way, the rest of Philippine society suffers from the majority’s indifference towards his government’s incompetence.
It is really unfortunate to see how the highest officer in the land gets away with violating the Constitution not just once but several times during his term so far. You would think that after four years of mediocre output, the Filipino people would be compelled to go out on the streets and demand for his head or at least ask him to step down from office. But no, there are still plenty of people out there who believe the crap about “Daang matuwid”.
Even after the priority development assistance funds or PDAF was declared unconstitutional, meaning his use of taxpayer’s money was illegal, a lot of Filipinos still think that BS Aquino can be trusted. Even after his government’s disastrous response in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, his trust rating is still high. Even when his cabinet members are short-changing the people, BS Aquino still gets away with keeping them.
BS Aquino is lucky to have an electorate who do not use their critical analysis faculties. Unfortunately, BS Aquino’s lack of foresight will be his undoing. The more he tries to convince everyone that the previous administration should be accountable for all the indiscretions during GMA’s term, the more people will start blaming him for all the indiscretions during his term. As the saying goes, a player will tell you anything to get you, but they won’t do anything to keep you.
In life, things are not always what they seem.