Over the six-year rule of former Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, we at Get Real Post used to be continuously asked why we are so against Aquino. My personal response to that is that he represents everything that is wrong with the Filipino. This makes sense considering that GetRealPhilippines.com — the mothership of Get Real Post — has, since 2000, focused on articulating the rich variety of facets and nuances of the cultural dysfunction that is at the heart of why the Philippines continues to muddle along in abject mediocrity.
Aquino just happens to be some schmoe who showed up out of nowhere and happened to have the right stuff to become President of the Philippines. By “right stuff” I mean this in the context of Filipino standards and Filipino mindsets — that even in a “democracy”, Filipinos still see leadership in their society as a birthright. We can see this in how Filipinos show banal deference to legacies of their traditional masters: people of European descent, kin of oligarchs and the aristocracy in their midst, men in priestly robes, and people who speak English with an Arrrneeoow twang. All these constitute the right stuff that guarantees acceptance in an elite clique of self-appointed disentes and, on the back of that, the political and financial backing needed to clamber to the top of Philippine society’s socio-economic food chain.
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And now that BS Aquino and his merry band of Yellowtards are no longer in power?
Well, the trouble with that is, in a “democracy”, a well-organised Opposition working off an intelligent and coherent platform of positions on pertinent national issues is important to keep the discourse relevant and, consequently, said “democracy” a healthy one. Because Aquino and his Yellowtards are the biggest losers of the last elections in 2016, they continue to be seen as the default leaders of that Opposition. Being seen as the leaders is, of course, different to actually leading. There is no real evidence that the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) are actually leading the Philippine Opposition save, perhaps, in terms of sheer noise.
See, the LP and the Yellowtards were merely crowned the leaders of the Opposition. But they have not, by any measure, earned that position — not in terms of achievement, nor in terms of thought leadership nor any exhibited aptitude applied to defining a vision for the country and laying out a roadmap towards that vision. To most Filipinos, the Yellowtards are the Opposition because, well, they are the Aquinos and the president is a Duterte (to reboot an old Mar Roxas quotable).
This is what makes the Yellowtards such an annoying bunch. They have failed to earn the right to be, well, annoying. Their incessant whining about how things are not up to their standards of “decency” under the watch of current President Rodrigo Duterte is not matched by an alternative approach to delivering different results to a citizenry who have grown tired of seeing the same things election in and election out, decade after decade.
Indeed, the only thing the Yellowtards are known for is how they perverted a “revolution” into one out of which would emerge the same sorts of crooks and the same endemic social dysfunction. They then proceeded to convince an entire generation of Filipinos that all this has nonetheless been nothing short of “revolutionary” and a cause for celebration every year. When one considers this astounding 30-year political scam, the fact of how ludicrous it is that the Yellowtards want everything to go back to the way things were becomes self-evident.
Granted that, perhaps, there is lots about the way Duterte does things (and conducts himself) to be critical about, the more important missing ingredient in the Opposition’s proposition to the Filipino people is an alternative way forward. You need to come up with a product that is better than your competitor’s and different from your old product — the product that caused you to lose a valued customer to begin with.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.