Probably not. For the essential and even critical problems that have beset the Philippines for decades, there was hardly any change that came out over the last six years under his watch. Why? The answer is quite simple:
President BS Aquino did not try hard enough.
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Consider the manner with which BS Aquino’s fans lauded him when he did what was regarded as an impossibility back in 2012: impeach a currently-seated Supreme Court Chief Justice. The fact that he did the “impossible” in that instance proves that where there is political will, there is a way. Indeed, President BS Aquino moved heaven and earth — including lots of the nation’s “unspent budget” — to get the job done. He made like a bulldozer to flatten Constitutional impediments to this will and put rockets up congressmen’s arses to ensure they voted “favourably” for his pet “impeachment complaint” against then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Using that astounding display of political will as the benchmark for outstanding achievement, it is easy to see now that the stuff where BS Aquino fails lies squarely within the domains where his care factor is zero. He did not have the political will to resolve the murder of his own father. Did not have the political will to fix up the police even after their incompetence cost the lives of nine Hong Kong tourists back in 2010. Did not have the political will to fix the public transport mess. Did not have the political will to sufficiently prepare for deadly typhoons.
What he did have political will for was to sell off a chunk of Mindanao to terrorists and a belligerent ASEAN “ally” even at the needless cost of 44 Special Action Force troopers’ lives. He had the political will to insulate his feudal clan’s family jewels at the Hacienda Luisita from agrarian reform. Had the political will to protect his buddies in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC), and the Chief of the Philippine National Police from accountability for their idiocies. True enough, today, because of his familial and friendly ties with the line of accountability traceable to all the crooked activities going on at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), it is also likely that the bullet-planting scandal that is gripping the nation will go unresolved as well.
President BS Aquino, quite simply, over-promised and under-delivered.
BS Aquino promised Daang Matuwid and, instead, Filipinos got Daang MatuwAd. Thanks to this reversal of slogans, the Philippines did, indeed, get it repeatedly from behind over the last 6 years — from Mother Nature, from Islamic Terrorists, from Kuala Lumpur, and from Beijing among many others queued up for a shot to get so far up da Pinas’s behind, they could see the sunshine coming through the gaping nganga of its no-results president.
Perhaps it is fitting that Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III served the full six-year term of his presidency and was not impeached for his crimes nor driven to resign on account of his personal lack of tolerance for criticism. That way, he will serve as a lesson to generations of Filipinos to come — that when you opt to elect the most incompetent and most reluctant amongst a line-up of highly-qualified candidates, you reap what you sow.
Then again I wouldn’t be too hopeful. Filipinos simply lack an ability to learn. The evidence is all over the Philippines. The country is a vast 7107-island monument to a people who like doing the same things over and over again while praying for different results year in and year out.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.