The edification of Noynoy Aquino continues. “Soul-searching” is often mentioned. Few of his faults are highlighted in death. It’s his achievements which are being bruited about along with the anecdotes about how “good” a person he was. I bought into all these in 1983 after his father former Senator Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. No Internet at that time. There was no Inquirer or Star yet. But there was Malaya later on and the other publications of the so-called Mosquito Press. Being a news hog, I lapped up everything.
In all-too-familiar form, Inquirer columnist Joel Ruiz Butuyan asks the question, “Will his death trigger a national soul-searching?”, and then goes on to answer it thus…
When Ninoy Aquino died, it triggered a massive soul-searching for our people, and it resulted in a huge political upheaval. When Cory Aquino passed on, her death generated a second round of soul-searching that swayed the political course of our country. Will Noynoy’s death spark a third round of soul-searching for our country? I sure hope so, because we desperately need another one.
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The premise of then President Noynoy’s Daang Matuwid (“straight path”) mantra was none other than former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA). Daang matuwid was supposed to be everything the Arroyo administration was not even if she was part of the same political alliance that installed her as President after Erap was ousted by Noynoy’s people. Arroyo was a convenient punching bag for the Aquino administration each time something went wrong. Awarded infrastructure projects were cancelled without basis resulting in great expense to Filipino taxpayers in terms of damages awarded in arbitration. Recall the same scenario when the Arroyo administration found fault in the contract for NAIA-3 with Fraport. But no credit was given to GMA for her fiscal reforms which laid the basis for the economic growth brought about by low interest rates as a result of the global financial crisis of 2008.
Infrastructure was also neglected despite the announcement that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was the flagship program of the Aquino administration. The MRT-3 became symbol of commuter suffering in the National Capital Region (NCR) after Sumitomo was relieved as its maintenance provider by the then Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC). There was the botched handling of the Luneta Hostage crisis, the Zamboanga siege and Mamasapano which reflected badly the on the abilities of Aquino when it came to crisis leadership. Drugs were easily available. A PDEA and UN report stated that majority of barangays in the country had a serious drug problem. There was a shabu tiangge operating in Pasig. Theft of spare tires, car batteries and side mirrors of vehicles parked on the street were rampant.
There were also the corruption scandals in rice, garlic and onion imports, and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in the Impeachment Trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Corona impeachment itself was suspect given that it did not pass through the plenary but, instead, was transmitted to the Senate based solely on the signatures of majority of the Congressmen loyal to the administration. There was also the corruption scandal at the Bureau of Corrections where drugs were openly sold and drug lords enjoyed privileges, even running their operations from renovated quarters complete with creature comforts. One even had a live sound and recording studio constructed.
Who can forget travellers entering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with their luggage bubble-wrapped because of tanim-bala? There was the Atimonan shootout in Quezon involving the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Army where the P200 million in cash being transported was never recovered. Finally, there was Janet Lim-Napoles and the arrest of the opposition Senators who were expected to run for higher office in 2016. Despite photos showing Napoles and the immediate members of her family with the President and other high-ranking elected and appointed officials of the administration, no investigation was launched against them by then Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. In fact, Napoles was even brought to the Palace after she surfaced and was even escorted to Camp Crame by no less than then Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas!
Were these all figments of our imagination? Didn’t these events actually take place? Could it be that we actually caused grave injustice to one of the best President’s this country ever had? Were we and 16 million other Filipinos deranged and delusional when we voted for Rodrigo Duterte as President in May 2016? Could it be possible that Duterte himself engaged the services of the infamous barangs of Siquijor to cast a spell on Filipinos to vote for him? Do these barangs continue to hold sway over us that a collective exorcism by Archbishop Socrates Villegas is necessary in order to break the spell they have cast? Are we actually living in a tyrannical and authoritarian dictatorship without us ever realizing we are in one? Could Rodrigo Duterte be the devil incarnate written about in the bible? Is the pandemic a conspiracy between Xi Jing Pin and Duterte for control of the South China Sea? Or could it really be that we finally realized the gaslighting which held sway over us from 1986 to 2016 which is why we are now in the reality of our existence?
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Gaslighting is a psychological term commonly used in the assessment of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists are gaslighters because they exist in their own fantasy world where everything is according to their plan. Narcissists constantly need validation. They have an inflated sense of entitlement and will never admit to being wrong about anything. The victims of narcissists are often emotional and psychological wrecks because they are natural empaths. A narcissist is incapable of showing empathy. To them it is all about their needs and wants which need to be satisfied. It is ever about others around them. The victims of narcissists who do not see through all of their faults are called co-dependents. Co-dependents are generally weak-willed individuals who are led by the nose by the narcissist. The narcissist is in constant need of supply. Supply comes in the form of admiration, validation and generally doing and believing in everything the narcissist says. The co-dependent is always trying to reach the higher bar set by the narcissist in order to avoid being discarded. Gaslighting is very effective when used on co-dependents as a control mechanism. It literally can drive a person mad because of the distorted reality to the point that the victim does not possess the ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. The constant passing the buck for the consequences of the narcissist’s actions often leads the victim to start believing that HE IS the narcissist in the relationship because of the mirroring the narcissist engages in as part of gaslighting.
Filipinos have been the victim of the Yellowidiots’ gaslighting for far too long. It’s time they put their collective foot down.
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