A mistake is an act or judgment that is misguided or wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. While some of our mistakes have little to no consequence, we can make mistakes that have bigger consequences that could actually change the course of our lives or even other people’s lives. We definitely have to live with the consequences of our actions or judgment whether they are good or bad.
There are people who realize early on that they made a mistake and, when they do, they do something to remedy the situation in order to cut their losses. Some people’s ability to foresee and prevent further damage to themselves or others has to do with honesty – being honest about their own abilities and shortfalls.
Most successful people are honest about their own abilities and shortfalls. They avoid entering a transaction or a commitment that they know they cannot handle and consummate. They avoid over-promising on something they can’t deliver. They know that people who keep their promises generally succeed in life.
Rational people do not want to deal with a person who is dishonest. Most successful people also surround themselves with honest people. After all, people are only as good as their word. When news gets around that a person is dishonest, most people would avoid dealing with that person. Only fools deal and keep dealing with a dishonest person.
People who overpromise are like con artists. Con is short for confidence. People who try to gain others’ confidence for something they know they cannot fulfill are con artists. Most politicians in the Philippines are like con artists – they overpromise but never deliver. Only fools deal with them. They keep electing them in office and even put them in the most powerful positions in Philippine government.
Take the case of Philippine President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino. A growing number of people realize now that he over-promised on a lot of things during his presidential campaign. He even promised to get rid of poverty by getting rid of corruption. He fooled a lot of people with that promise. Only a fool would believe that it is possible to get rid of poverty and corruption. Poverty and corruption exists everywhere not just in the Philippines. Even First World countries have incidences of poverty and corruption. The incidence of corruption around the world just varies in degrees depending on how the laws are enforced and observed in each country. So, therefore, BS Aquino conned a lot of Filipinos into believing that he could get rid of poverty by getting rid of corruption especially since the laws in the Philippines are hardly ever enforced.
The first problem with BS Aquino is that, he is not honest with himself about his own abilities and shortfalls. What was he thinking when he promised to get rid of poverty and corruption? Didn’t he realize that he would look stupid when his term ends and poverty and corruption still pervade the country? He probably just went along with the slogan his public relations firm came up with to begin with. He cannot even be credited for winning the election on his own merit. Everyone knows he only won because his beloved mother Cory passed away before the Presidential Election.
Who was BS Aquino kidding when he said he is fighting corruption? He keeps saying he is not corrupt and his supporters believe him because they think he hasn’t pocketed public funds. He may or may not have pocketed funds directly but the point is, corruption comes in many forms not just in stealing funds. Misuse of funds (through the Disbursement Acceleration Program), nepotism and favoritism are all forms of corruption. In that sense, BS Aquino is corrupt.
The second problem with BS Aquino is that, he doesn’t have the ability to foresee and prevent further damage to himself or others. The reason he doesn’t have this ability is because he is unwilling to admit he made a mistake in the first place. His unwillingness to admit error in his action or judgment is due to his arrogance. One cannot learn and apply more wisdom when one thinks he didn’t do anything wrong in the first place. It is almost a guarantee that BS Aquino will continue to make mistakes that will have grave consequences for the Filipino people.
President BS Aquino hasn’t admitted to any mistakes since he started his term even when a lot of his actions and judgment calls resulted in preventable deaths or tragedies in Philippine society. In fact, the first tragedy that occurred in his first year in office resulted in deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists that he refused to apologize for. Evidently, he is not getting wiser. As someone once said, mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. So it’s no wonder that BS Aquino does not want to apologize for authorizing his friend and former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima to take charge of the operation to capture Malaysian bombers in Mamasapano even when he was suspended.
Some say that men in service die in battle or in the course of performing their duty all the time. But the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers are different. Some even consider those circumstances treacherous. Since he was suspended at that time, Purisima had to keep his participation in the operation a secret. The secrecy resulted in the failure to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in time to rescue the SAF troopers caught in the firefight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. BS Aquino was not even apologetic for prioritizing his so-called peace deal with the MILF instead of saving the lives of the SAF troopers. He could have ordered the AFP to rescue them immediately after he got the text message from Purisima about the firefight as early as 5 a.m. when the troopers where still alive. In other words, both Purisima and BS Aquino are liable for the SAF troopers’ deaths.
The third problem with BS Aquino is that, he doesn’t surround himself with honest people. Some of us have already observed, even during the early days or his “honeymoon period”, that his staff, cabinet members and allies in government alike seem overly protective of him. As a former ally exclaimed, BS Aquino’s government is run like a fraternity.
Yes, the people around BS Aquino don’t tell him when he makes a mistake. They seem to be scared of informing him when he is wrong. Maybe it’s because they just forced him to run for the Presidency immediately after his mother died. Or maybe it’s because he acts like a bully and doesn’t listen to suggestions. Or maybe it is a combination of both. They quickly come to his defense every time he commits gaffes and diplomatic faux pas by saying, “He is honest” or “His intention was good”. Senator Grace Poe said the same things about the President immediately after the Senate Mamasapano report came out with the conclusion that as the commander-in-chief, the President was “ultimately responsible” for the Mamasapano clash.
To say that BS Aquino’s intentions are good without elaborating on what his intentions were is really silly. And it is disappointing to see that Senator Grace Poe is foolish enough to fall for the country’s biggest con artist — BS Aquino. If his intentions were good, he wouldn’t feel the need to come up with different lame excuses to save himself and he would have been more transparent about coordinating with Purisima prior to the operation. Likewise, he wouldn’t feel the need to vilify relieved PNP SAF Director Getulio Napeñas in front of the media.
This brings us to the most unfortunate problem in the Philippines. It’s one thing for government officials like BS Aquino to try and con the Filipino people but it’s quite another for Filipinos like Poe to continue trusting him or allowing themselves to get conned even when there is enough evidence to prove that he cannot be trusted.
What will it take for Filipinos like Poe to accept the truth about BS Aquino? They are acting like complete fools by turning a blind eye to the injustices BS Aquino has committed. Sadly, former Aquino ally Walden Bello’s decision to become the President’s critic is too late to save the day. Had Bello spoken up years ago about the shenanigans in the current government, a few disasters could have been prevented from happening in the Philippines. Now Filipinos have to live with the consequences of allowing BS Aquino to commit more mistakes.
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