Daang Matuwid. What the hell does it mean? Its literal translation in English is “straight path”. Without any context, it does not make a lot of sense. Straight path to where, exactly? However, its ambiguity helped launch the Presidency of a non-performing lawmaker Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III back in 2010. A lot of people assumed that he was talking about taking the country on a straight path to greatness. Fast-forward six years later, more people now realize he just led the country on a straight path to even greater chaos.The idiotic thing is, BS Aquino’s anointed one, Presidential candidate Mar Roxas is promising to continue Daang Matuwid if he gets elected into office in the next election. It’s as if it was so successful that Roxas can just ride on its wave and allow it to propel him to victory.
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Now I know we all have to be a little bit delusional to survive in this world but some people like Roxas and his supporters seem to be more delusional than the rest of us. He is in denial that the current government’s performance in the last six years was appalling. Likewise, Roxas is assuming that the voting public is too stupid to be fooled by their mantra for the second time. That just proves that he is out of touch with reality.
For the sake of clarity, let us help Roxas and his supporters understand what Daang Matuwid means for us:
1. Daang Matuwid means patronage politics.When BS Aquino was still campaigning, he promised to “level the playing field”. I don’t know if he meant something else because he did exactly the opposite. He appointed a lot of his friends and relatives to sensitive positions in government and refused to fire them or at least sanction them when they failed to perform their duties. The list is long but we can start with an incident on the President’s first few months in office involving his shooting buddy former Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno.
BS Aquino cleared Puno immediately of any wrongdoing even after the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) recommended that administrative and criminal charges be filed against Puno among others for their failure to prevent the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists during the Rolando Mendoza hostage crisis in August 2010. This incident was the first major fiasco of the BS Aquino administration but hardly anyone, especially those allied with him, got sacked or was punished for it.
A more recent display of patronage politics involves another close friend, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima. Even after the Ombudsman suspended Purisima for a separate corruption case, BS Aquino still ordered Purisima to plan and execute Oplan Exodus – an operation that resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers. So far, Purisima is still being handled with kids’ gloves. BS Aquino’s refusal to trust people outside of his circle of friends seems to have compelled him to use his friend Purisima for a covert operation, neglecting the fact that he was breaking the PNP chain of command.As mentioned earlier, the list of BS Aquino’s friends in sensitive posts is long but we still have to give special mention to those who are directly making millions of lives miserable every day. There’s Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio ‘Jun’ Abaya who still enjoys the full support of the President despite the deterioration of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) system and nightmarish traffic condition on Metro Manila roads.
Another person who has charmed BS Aquino is Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman. It’s hard to imagine how in the world she managed to get the President under her spell because the rap sheet against her is already quite thick, but she still manages to garner praises from BS Aquino nonetheless. He’s probably happy with the way she hides the street dwellers out of sight at the last minute before international delegates arrive for high-profile events. Either that or he’s also into rainbow colored hairdos. Soliman’s handling of the distribution of relief goods for typhoon Yolanda victims was disgusting and inhumane. Instead of giving the food donations to survivors, her department allowed P2.8M worth of relief goods for ‘Yolanda’ survivors to rot in warehouses. It’s baffling the way she did not authorize the distribution of these supplies to the poor victims right away.Let’s not forget to mention Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado. Honrado is said to be very close to the Aquino family, a relationship going back to the Cory Aquino days. The “laglag-bala” extortion scheme that remains unresolved at the international airport was still not reason enough for him to get sacked.
2. Daang Matuwid is for ignoring the constitution or rule of law.
With the help of Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, BS Aquino got away with using public funds to buy favors. Granted, this practice of giving pork barrel to members of Congress was done by previous administrators too, but at least they did not pretend to be for Daang Matuwid. Abad was the architect behind the transfer of funds that were not utilized by one government agency to another without approval from the legislative branch of government. He declared it as “savings” and used cryptic jargon to refer to it — “Disbursement Acceleration Program”, also known by its acronym, DAP. The Executive branch used its own discretion in spending it. You can give them brownie points for being honest enough to admit they wanted to accelerate the spending of the funds. They really did it all in haste.While the Supreme Court ruled DAP unconstitutional, their ruling gave BS Aquino and Abad an escape clause. BS Aquino’s good friends in the high court agreed that the concept behind DAP was presumed to have been done in “good faith”. Never mind that DAP funds were allegedly used for bribing senators who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial in 2012. The senators who voted to convict were allegedly given Php50 million after the trial and those who voted otherwise did not get any. It’s hard to find evidence that spending Php144 billion in DAP funds was done in good faith. The country’s infrastructure remained decrepit. It seems ambiguity has been a lifesaver for BS Aquino and his ilk. It works because regular folks cannot comprehend legal and accounting jargon and couldn’t be bothered to understand their implications.
You’d expect the only son of so-called “democracy icons” to respect what some people refer to as the “Cory Constitution” (it was during her term that the current constitution was drafted) but, no. BS Aquino attempted to extend his Presidential term a few times in the past, something the Constitution does not allow. He kept floating the idea of the need to continue the “gains” of his administration. But the idea quickly drew flak from both his critics and some of his own supporters who thought he has become too full of himself.As discussed many times in previous articles, BS Aquino’s number one violation was in denying his political enemies the right to presumption of innocence. He went after former President Gloria Arroyo and former Chief Justice Corona like a hound by attacking them in front of the media every chance he got. He used his influence on the different branches of government and media outlets to demonize his other enemies in the Senate as well. If he can do that to people who held powerful positions in government in the past, ordinary people do not have a chance of getting a fair trial with the kind of environment he created — one that was vindictive.
If he is genuine about wanting reforms, Presidential aspirant Roxas or at least his PR guys would try to understand how the public perceives Daang Matuwid. It has gone past its use-by date. Who knows? Maybe once he realizes what people actually think it means, he will come to his senses and drop the pretense.
The problem with some people is they are too arrogant to admit or recognize when something has failed. Even when the evidence is already staring them in the face, they will still continue doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that someone who does that is either insane or stupid.
In life, things are not always what they seem.
42 Replies to “Daang Matuwid brought the Philippines straight down the highway to hell”
It’s true indeed we really have a Daang Matuwid but not to something good. The whole legacy of PNoy Pride can be summed up in this article I wrote:
The Legacy Of PNoy Pride: Okay, Fine, Whatever, Whenever, Wherever!
Thank you for answering my question Ilda:
PNoy is a Catholic – so he must have gotten the “Daang Matuwid” idea from the Catholic scriptures…
13] Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.  How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!  Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Also “straight and narrow” is an idiom meaning:
The proper, honest, and moral path of behaviour.
The way of proper conduct and moral integrity.
As Ilda’s article shows, the yellow camp’s “Daang Matuwid” is anything but
May I please continue your sentence ” it is anything but insane and stupid is Daan matuwid! ” And for making ” Daan Matuwid ” Mar Roxas’ campaign spiel is moronic of him!
They tried to project an image of being holy and righteous. Unfortunately, it worked with the gullible crowd.
Just like the Cory Aquino promise to be “magnanimous in victory” and proceeded to prove to be the exact opposite, and continued to be “holier than thou” despite the numerous instances of incompetence that made the government and its minions an embarrassment to Filipinos overseas. I know, because I was overseas when EDSA happened. My foreign friends later would ask me, “what happened, how do you allow such people to be in positions of power?”What can I say?
Actually, we wouldn’t mind the “holier than thou” attitude if they, themselves, lived up to the mantra. As it turns out, thieves and hold-uppers are more honest in that they don’t pretend to be any thing else.
nobody can beat pnoy except the distribution of hacienda luisita to farmers as agreed in 1957, ‘cuz that’s what they’re fighting for since the beginning. what’s the possibility of reversing the supreme court’s decision on it? could they reverse it? the Philippines cannot move on till it’s settle down. we must not forget that the farmland is own by farmers being sequestered by the spanish governor from rice farm to tobacco to sugar plantation.
Almost all bloggers and assorted contributors in this blog site are in agreement. We seem to be appalled and outraged by the “daang matuwid”, (among other things), that this administration has been inflicting on the citizenry.. with a few special exceptions. Much as we would like to infect the public at large with our sentiments and misgivings, however well-intended this desire may be; we can’t seem to do so. Limited reach, owing to our special medium which the vast masses out there don’t have, is an obvious reason. Another reason is the difference in levels of discernment and appreciation of the concerns we’ve been ‘carping’ about.. not that we are terribly ahead of the pack, mind you. Yet, another reason might be the fact that the bulk of the public that we’d like to reach are more concerned with the pressing need of ‘just getting through today’; and have no time to think of what causes them to be in the fix they’re in.
There should be a way whereby we might reach our intended audience. The founders and bloggers of this site must have seen this need. They must have.. because.. if we can’t find a way to achieve this, we would just be preaching to one another.. needlessly.. much like in an echo chamber.
In short, we Failipinos cannot see past our narcissism.
In short, we Failipinos cannot see pass our narcissism.
Maybe so, but if that Inception movie is right, simply introducing an idea is already a big thing. And if the increasing number of subscribers on the FB page alone is any indication, the reach of the site is growing. And it’s a safe assumption to wager that out of 100 new subscribers 1 or 2 were former drinkers of the yellow kool-aid.
Can you be a little bit more specific? All these parable comments are confusing. Straight to the point, please.
Was responding to the echochamber comment. Believe GRP is achieving its mission by having new audiences. Of course it will take time but it’s happening.
My apology. I thought you were replying to my comment about about our people’s narcissism that gets in the way of setting our personal interests aside to pursue a common goal.
I agree with you. GRP is achieving its goal of creating a worldwide awareness of all the stupidity that is going in the Failippines and among our people–without any fear of reprisal. I am specificall glad that GRP are not censoring (deleting) comments that may not necessarily agree with their views.
I am very glad that I can speak my mind freely (sometimes with very colorful language) and still feel welcomed.
Things worth doing takes time especially when the majority of the public are resistant to new ideas. The problem is bigger than any individual. Filipinos need to appreciate collective power. They need to be united in defeating tyranny.
We can only do so much since we don’t have mainstream media on our side. We need their help in disseminating our message faster. Without them, it’s going to take ages. Folks who share our articles with their friends also help in spreading get realism. They are brave enough to risk the ire of their loved ones. We appreciate that.
News and entertainment media in the Philippines are owned and run by big businessmen who, themselves, have a big stake in the struggle for the ‘ear of the masses’. They have their own agenda which, more likely than not, run counter to ours. Since their reach to the same people we are trying to tap ourselves, is very much longer than ours, we probably just have to plod, doggedly on, and let attrition take its course. Speaking for myself, I take solace in the thought that the justness and honesty of our cause will, in the end, see us through. I also hold some hope that, for the most part, the masses we address are getting a bit weary of the tired, old and empty platitudes of the politicians who are ‘in the tank’ with ‘big business’.. and are beginning to see the light, and are . beginning to listen.
Well there’s still Chinese New Year for President Nobita and Joseph Pabaya to fulfill their promise.
It is virtually impossible for Failipinos to walk the “Daang Matuwid” (“straight and narrow path) when they all have been schooled to think as individuals–not as a nation–and to look out for no one but themselves by their culture. Given that selfish character trait, all Failipinos and their country are doomed from the start.
I enjoy reading your analysis. It has been my observation too. It’s funny that some Joe America blogger is a big apologist for the Yellows and the oligarchy enslaving your country tells me my facts are wrong when they are gathered from the same boot licking media that tries hard to cheer lead for Aquino.
You can have a good 20/20 eyesight, but , you can be blind.
Aquino looks the other way, when his friends/allies commit corrupt practices. He goes after his political enemies, when they commit mistakes.
Aquino can steal our taxpayers’ money, in “good faith”, according to the Kangaroo Court (Supreme Court) ruling.
Mar Roxas is Aquino’s Clone. “Daan Matuwid” is the straight path, making us going further and further, into being a Basket Case of Asia.
Mar Roxas has no platforms; programs to solve the country’s problems. He cannot even define the country’s problems. He does not know , or refuse to know the country’s problems… All he knows, is he just want to be elected President.
almost a kilometer from our place, a new road was started and we thought it was going to connect to the Kauswagan Highway, but we were disappointed that it ended abruptly after only about 200 meters. why? my wife said that it’s because the road is considered a ‘private road’ so the paved portion was only done for the benefit of the owners whose property adjoined it. the unpaved section connecting to the highway was apparently left for the hoi polloi to complete….
the moral to the story: if you want a straight road built straight to another straight road, make sure it’s a private road that can be paid for with public funds, or a public road paid for with public funds, but not a hybrid one that’s half private and half public, because it’ll cost twice as much, work only half the time, but inconvenience the hell out of everybody just the same, while being sponsored by your friendly local politician…
Walter P. Komarnicki,
Everybody in the Failippines wants to lay claim on everything in this country, even if it means making the acquistion through illegal, immoral, and unethical manner—with little or no regards for the environment or other people’s livelihood.
This selfish way makes life in this God-forsaken country that much harder to live each day, and compels the people not to think about the future of their nation, since there is no longer a future to speak of. Everything has already been, or about to be, taken.
ha! We have a similar situation in our flyblown village. It turns out the road was built for the benefit of a (planned, illegal) commercial operation. Everyone knows. They just do that shrug-and-smile thing. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. Good grief, it’s like living in 16th Century Europe. At least back then the peasants had the decency to hang their oligarchs every couple of decades.
Unfortunately, these types of abuse happen a thousand-fold throughout the country, without much in the way of explanation from bribed national and local officials except plausible denial, accompanied by their stupid and sheepish grin. Everything is “for sale” in the Failippines–including the people’s souls.
Aeta: I’m pretty certain half the population already sold their souls to Satan. Then they sell it again to the politicians.
On that topic, Filipinos don’t seem to understand that once you’ve sold something, it belongs to someone else: I’ve heard endless stories of people selling or ‘pawning’ land or houses to two, three, or more unsuspecting buyers.
But yeah, as you said: tip of the iceberg. These idiotic projects – whose only purpose is to shovel public money into private pockets – are what’s nickel-and-diming the country to death, and the average Pinoy just goes along with it. Shrug and smile, boys, shrug and smile.
I agree. We Failipinos’ short-sightedness (a.k.a., “One Day Millionaire Mentality”) is what keeps us from becoming a nation builder.
We pride ourselves of being industrious, make ourselves shine to ourselves and others, and do not allow anyone–or anything–to slight our egos, than forfeiting those personal qualities for the greater good of our nation.
We profess our love for our country and people, and vow to defend our constitution against all manners of tyranny and oppression; yet, we are the ones who violate these same principles in each and every moment of our lives as Failipinos.
We conveniently blame the government (and rightly so) for the degradation of our society; but, have we ever taken an objective inventory of our own shortcoming to our nation and each other? Probably not.
A 19th English philosopher G.K. Chesterton was once asked by a newspaper, “Dear sir, what is wrong with the world?” He politely replied, “Dear sirs…I am.”
Perhaps a tall order of genuine honesty, humility, and compassion are the missing ingredients that keep the Failippines, and its people, from moving forward. If G.K. Chesterton were alive today, he will probably tell us the same thing.
I was looking for an item no. 3; there wasn’t one, but maybe I can suggest:
3. Daang Matuwid means listening to the same bullshit stories and self-congratulatory praises about the Aquinos over and over again.
Lacierda was criticising Duterte for “engaging in hyperbole and having misplaced sense of justice.” As if PNoy is not doing the same thing. Pathetic!
Again, very good insights Ilda Ilda. I just want to share facts below about “Daang Matuwid” but not related to politics
DAANG MATUWID (Straight Road)
Most dangerous driving conditions encountered is a dry STRAIGHT ROAD. Big danger is we all think that there are no apparent dangers (over confidence). On a winding, wet mountain road all our senses of driver are tuned into staying on the road. But on a dry straight road complacency creeps in, drivers are not scanning the road or is not on full alert (mind is occupied by changing music/radio station) the car might be drifting out its lane.
Drivers will be tempted to overtake then miscalculate speed & distance of an approaching vehicle. As the overtaking driver it is far safer to acknowledge your error by slowing down & returning to your lane, than try and accelerate to make it, this option gives you little alternatives. If you are the driver being overtaken, hold your speed or lift of the throttle allowing the car to slow gradually, plus hold your position.
In ARCHITECTURE & FINE ART
1. Friedensreich Hundertwasser
“The straight line is ungodly”
“The straight line leads to the downfall of humanity.”
“Just carrying a ruler with you in your pocket should be forbidden, at least on a moral basis. The ruler is the symbol of the new illiteracy. The ruler is the symptom of the new disease, disintegration of our civilisation.”
2. Antonio Gaudi
“The straight line belongs to men, the curved ones belong to God”
“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature, therefore buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.”
“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature, therefore buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.”
That’s so true, Dale! I think that is the rational behind why some highways in Germany do not have speed limits. Some say drivers are more focused that way.
Dale, you’re quite right: many road accidents happen in Australia when the road is dead straight for many many kilometres, there’s virtually no other traffic and no other obstructions around, yet the motorist just happens to hit the only tree around.
Why? maybe he just happened to nod off and that’s all it took.
Had PNoy been a bit smarter, he could have installed SMART people in these key government posts (to at least cover-up and balance out much of his incompetence), but instead he placed these fellow losers.
I guess the saying’s true: birds of the same feather flock together.
Well there flew another 6 precious years…
When you choose a president, consider also his/her connections – they will likely be the ones installed in key government posts.
For example, if you choose Poe, her connections will mostly be in the Showbiz arena – so expect lots of showbiz people managing MRT, NAIA, etc. during her reign.
i agree. now it seems that DU30 can be tapped by the yellows so i’m kinda like rooting for miriam now. shit . . what a waste. i thought he’s independently running with own party. oh well. let’s see in the Official Presidential Debate and campaigns.
Any halfway clever devil would decorate the highway to Hell as beautiful as possible.
I wonder that the author never see anything thats good in the government. All is wrong except hos analysis kuno. Cant u be fair to likewise highlight the thing thats good and lament the bad? And ho donu think the author is? U cn see the half filled water as half empty? Sure a lot of failures are there but honestly can u do the same thing if u were in his shoes, in just a little of 5 years given the monstrosity of problems left by the previous administration? Common man be fair enough as a journalist unless ur a paid hockey.
@Junil d. Bailon
Please tell us all the “good” PNoy government has done and be specific.
If I were in his shoes, I would have fired incompetent staff a long time ago. Actually, I wouldn’t have hired my own friends for sensitive posts. Only an idiot would do that because an idiot wouldn’t have had the foresight to see the conflict of interests.
If you’re looking for feelgood sentiments about this failure of an administration, you’re in the wrong site.
Get lost noybita apologist! Maybe you’re smoking too much that you think that you’re in the lala land and not in the real world anymore you failipino!
That’s a good article. It is good that most of you have analyzed what’s wrong with this country. I have been writing my thoughts on this too. My point in summary: The Philippines cannot move forward unless we have a well-defined SOLID national identity. Define who is a Filipino – the true and genuine values we cherish, the lovable customs and traditions that make us proud – and let everyone be aware of such identity that we should hold dear. Let the influence of every media be used to promote the true nationalism. Develop true love for the Philippines. It’s not too late. We just need a great leader and a people willing to sacrifice the mediocre thinking of popular voting (Voting for those who have a perceived chance of winning – this one I truly hate!).
I was overwhelmed with the high exchange of ideas, ideology and those high level of words that might missed by people who could have beenenlighten by this blog.Siguro mas masarap namnamin o katasin ang punto at sustansya nito kung TAGALOG ang ginamit nating medium. Dami sigurong naka-relate. Kaya nga po maraming humihiwalay na indibidwal dahil naghahanap sila ng kapantay na pag-iisip na kung tutuusin ay iisa lang naman ang pinatutunguhan. Ito’y punto ko lamng sa aking mga nabasang punong-puno ng katalinghagaan. Sa katapusan ay ako naman ay sumasangayon sa katotohanan na ang “Daang Matuwid” ay isang baluktot na katotohanan, ginamit lang upang makuha ang simpatya ng masang Piling-pili at Pinong-pino.