Former Interior Sec. Rafael Alunan III did not like PNoy’s speech before Pope Francis

pnoy_pope_francisThe following is a copy of a post published on Facebook by Rafael Alunan III who served as Tourism Secretary under former President Corazon Aquino from 1987-1989 then as Interior and Local Government Secretary under former President Fidel Ramos from 1992-1996. Alunan refers to the speech delivered by President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III before Pope Francis during his holiness’s courtesy call to Malacanang on the 15th January 2015.

I would have wanted to hear these opening remarks before Pope Francis:

“A happy good morning everyone. Your Holiness, in behalf of the Filipino people,we welcome you with open hearts to Malacanan, the people’s palace. It is truly a blessed palace, having hosted two of your holy predecessors – Blessed Paul VI (once) and St. John Paul II (twice) – when they visited our shores in 1970, 1981 and 1995. It is our fervent prayer that this will not be the first and last time you will bless us with your charismatic presence Your Holiness.”

That would have upheld the well-known tradition of Filipino hospitality – warm, courteous and welcoming.
And the speech could have proceeded to touch on the beautiful legacy of the Christian faith to the Philippines; the boundless need for moral and spiritual guidance to address the obstacles to nation-building, especially corruption; and gratitude for his visit to shine the light of Jesus Christ on the Filipino people.

He could also have provided a brief history of Malacanan Palace, and if he wanted to talk about himself, he could have touched on that dangerous period in the life of the Repubic wobbly from 21years of malgovernance where he almost lost his life. And he could have publicly thanked the Pope for the ancient maps and cite its significance to our current geopolitical realities (pahapyaw lang).

And he could have ended on a high note about moral recovery and social transformation, with the buzzwords – integrity, social justice and inclusivity – to signal alignment with the Pope’s advocacies. Plus a gracious gesture of placing the State’s resources at his disposal to ensure a pleasant, safe and secure visit.

That would have been appropriate for the occasion. Takes the high road and comes across as presidential that would make the Filipino proud of the representation. And common sense that personal matters are best delivered in private, not before the world stage that diminished the nation.

Sorry, but as a citizen I did not like what I saw and heard, totally unlike what I personally experienced up close during the time of Presidents Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos.

Aside from Alunan, many Filipinos have expressed similar dismay over the un-presidential manner with which BS Aquino failed to step up to a level of statesmanship that honours his esteemed guest. Renato Reyes, secretary general of activist group Bayan said that Aquino “turned the event into a gripe session” and mounted “a conscious effort to regulate what the Pope can see,” presumably over the course of his visit.

Opposition Senator JV Ejercito reportedly described the speech as “uncalled for” and lamented how Aquino “could have acted more statesman-like.”

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Malacanang, not surprisingly, defended the speech. According to Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr, “It is a personal testimony of someone who experienced the events he was talking about. It was a truthful statement and there was no other purpose for that speech except to tell the truth.”

[Photo courtesy Noynoy Aquino Facebook Page.]

8 Replies to “Former Interior Sec. Rafael Alunan III did not like PNoy’s speech before Pope Francis”

  1. What can you expect from a spoiled rotten, mentally retarded and mentally depressed person.
    “Nagkalat siya , sa harap ng world media”…

  2. I wish this writer would stop appending the initial ‘BS’ on President Aquino’s name. He certainly is trying to put the indecent word on the initial and not the its real meaning. I cannot respect a person with this kind of attitude.

  3. And I don’t understand why there are still people trying to defend his speech. Yes, we should not expect statemanship from a non-performer who had the gall to run for that office. But, that does not mean we should keep quite precisely because there are still people defending him when it is obvious that he still think the presidency is about him. His speeches: me, me, and nobody but me. 2016 is just around the corner, and the more we should not be quiet about him.

    1. Take two:

      I think we’re just becoming onion-skinned either by reason of politics, hypocrisy or just plain ignorance.

      Why will telling the truth be offensive or embarrassing? Why is telling the truth to the person who represent it best be wrong? Why make it an issue when the Pope himself is sometimes criticize for speaking on controversial issues?

      I see nothing revolting or offensive in the speech that is worthy to carp about. Also, isn’t that a good example of showing what separation of church and state means?

      Alunan’s suggestion is a boring one. Plastic. Tupperware. What he opined there, if followed, the Pope’s visit would look like the Dingdong-Mariane wedding. Everything looks fine and dandy as if there is no problem. Everybody will talk about onky the good abd beautiful things, ala-Imelda. You think the Pope will like it?

      He missed the Cory and Ramos days which he like up close. Sure. Incidentally, both presidents, like the present one, also happen to have corruption issues sticking out under his watch. The only difference was the present one chose to be very vocal about the negatives on his time rather than talk about the saintly and the heavenly.

      Like what this blog say, let’s Get Real people. 🙂

  4. The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman think about the next generation.

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