Let me get this straight. Some people in mainstream media think that the idea of asking President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino to resign is “crazy”. They think it’s crazy despite knowing how unfit he is to lead the Philippines because the next person in line to replace him is Vice President Jejomar Binay – someone they don’t like.One particular individual who thinks those who are calling for BS Aquino’s resignation are “out of their minds” is Solita “Mareng Winnie” Collas-Monson. Now I have always thought that this woman can be irrational at times especially since she is an Aquino supporter, but I never thought she would stoop down to the level of using her status to mount a trial-by-media against someone who hasn’t been convicted of any crime. Monsod is shamelessly using her position in the media to engage in black propaganda just to help boost the image of the embattled President. It is about time Filipinos put Monsod’s backward views in the dust bin if they want Philippine society to move forward.
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Monsod is using the usual trick of putting the opposition in a bad light so the incumbent can end up looking good in comparison. The Liberal Party and their supporters have been doing this even before BS Aquino won the Presidency. This tactic usually backfires because the more they try to show how bad their opponents are, the more they end up looking like a bunch of hypocrites. This is because they appear to be doing the same things they accuse their opponents of doing – engaging in patronage politics and acting with impunity.
We all know that Binay is being “investigated” by his political opponents in the Senate – Senators Antonio Trillanes and Allan Cayetano. Their “inquiry” into his alleged corrupt activities involving what they claim was the overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall building has been going on for months since 2014 but hasn’t resulted in anything significant. The public has been waiting for them to use what they say are damning “evidence” and finally file formal charges against Binay but it hasn’t happened. The senators might even forego doing it if survey firms show that Binay is doing badly in Presidential polls.
What Monsod doesn’t realize is that some of her statements actually reflect badly on BS Aquino as well. According to her, once Binay takes over the “driver’s seat”, he will “ensure his election in 2016 and everything that it implies.” Does that mean she thinks Binay will bribe members of Congress using taxpayer’s money the same way BS Aquino did/could still be doing during his term? Will Binay try to protect his allies even when they get involved in controversies the way BS Aquino did/is still doing during his term? The answer to that is most likely, but only if we let BS Aquino get away with doing the same things.
What Monsod is saying is not too far-fetched. Yes, Binay could himself take up the tradition of bribing members of Congress with pork barrel and its various incarnations to get what he wants but that’s only because people like Monsod are helping the incumbent President BS Aquino get away with having done the same thing. So what I am trying to say is: whoever replaces the current President will likely try and get away with patronage politics too.My point is, if the Filipino people do not hold BS Aquino accountable for the transgressions during his term like his government’s illegal use of public funds through invented mechanisms such as the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Filipino people will definitely lose the opportunity to show the next President or any public servant that they have the power to remove anyone who has betrayed the people’s trust.
The word impunity means “exemption from punishment or immunity from detrimental effects, as of an action”. So far, BS Aquino has been exempted from punishment or has been immune from the detrimental effects of his actions because, one, a lot of people are beholden to his name and, two, he has a lot of allies in Congress who benefit from him being in power.
Unfortunately for BS Aquino, the two reasons mentioned now seem to offer diminishing returns as his term reaches its twilight years. More and more people are snapping out of their love affair with the Aquino name. As a matter of fact, some people think that the Aquino name is now no more than the common denominator of two disastrous Presidencies – Cory’s and Noynoy’s. One celebrity even called BS Aquino the dumbest President the Philippines ever had.
A lot of people are now very vocal about their regret in voting for him. They admit that they have made a mistake in believing in the so-called “Aquino legacy” and wish they could turn back the hands of time knowing what they know now about the arrogance and self-righteousness of the Aquinos. Some say they would not have voted for BS Aquino had they known how insensitive he is, how he always takes credit for something the previous administration has initiated and how he never gets tired of blaming others for his own shortfalls.
Yes, the lack of progress in the Philippines and deteriorating law and order is something that BS Aquino supporters cannot gloss over. They cannot keep saying that “he does things in good faith” or “his intentions are good” or “he has a bullet inside his neck” as if that is supposed to keep the Filipinos feeling sympathetic and keep letting him get away with his government’s incompetence — one that sometimes results in fatalities. Who can forget the time when a disgruntled former police officer took Chinese tourists in a bus in Luneta eventually killing eight when the rescue operation was botched?It was bad enough that BS Aquino’s friends and allies who were found to have been neglectful in their duties during the tragic event got off the hook; the President also damaged diplomatic relations with Hong Kong for refusing to apologise for the tragedy. It happened in the first few months of his term and it sure was a sign of more tragedies to come under his watch. Fast forward to today; BS Aquino has done it again – letting his buddy former PNP Chief Alan Purisima off the hook for his involvement in the tragic Mamasapano operation that ended in the massacre of 44 Special Action Forces from the Philippine National Police. Something’s gotta give.
Like what I have said before, the truth is, BS Aquino set a precedent in creating an environment of impunity in government. Binay will just continue where BS Aquino left off. To discourage Binay or whoever ends up replacing BS Aquino from repeating the same mistakes, the Filipino people have to teach public servants a lesson and there is no better time to do it than now with BS Aquino. They have to make an example out of him to send a strong signal that even when your last name is “Aquino”, you will not get away with your crimes.
Filipinos will have to keep going through the exercise of asking their public servants to resign when the trust has been broken. It’s not unusual for a leader to resign when the people have lost confidence in him or her. In fact, in some countries like Japan, Prime Ministers sometimes only last for two years. It’s all part of the democratic process. So it’s not the end of the world if Filipinos have to ask Binay to resign again if he turns out as bad as or worse than BS Aquino.
If BS Aquino’s intentions are good and if he is doing things in good faith, then he should realise that he needs to resign so the nation can heal. His departure is the only way people’s morale can be lifted. Once he is out, Filipinos can start rebuilding the nation again.
In life, things are not always what they seem.