Saturday, July 4, 2015

Critical thinking can save the Philippines

July 4, 2015
by Ilda
University of the Philippines (UP) Professor Gerry Lanuza recently caused an uproar on social media when he was accused of attacking UP summa cum laude biology graduate Tiffany Uy on his Facebook post as being merely a “puppy of her parents” after she was lauded for achieving the highest weighted grade average obtained in the school’s history since World II with her score 1.004.
UP Professor Gerry Lanuza is upset over Filipinos' obsession with grades.
UP Professor Gerry Lanuza is upset over Filipinos’ obsession with grades.
After receiving his share of bashings from Netizens who thought he was suffering from a bad case of tall poppy syndrome, Lanuza has since clarified in a full article that his short Facebook post was not intended to put down or mock Uy’s achievements but rather, to raise what he thought was a concern – Philippine society’s obsession with grades and credentials.
While the timing of Lanuza’s Facebook post was quite suspect (he didn’t state the “real” intention of his post immediately after Uy’s defenders started posting their outrage) and a hint of arrogance can also be detected in his tone (he was unapologetic for causing useless anxiety – stating “it is not his problem”), we can’t ignore the fact that he has a point about the way some parents are pushing their kids, sometimes over the edge, just to get the perfect score or grade at school. To be fair, it’s not just a phenomenon unique to Filipinos. Asian parents in general have been known to push their kids too hard just to excel at school.
The problem is, it seems despite the number of students who excel with their grades in Philippine schools, we have yet to find a Filipino student who can inspire innovation or defy conventional wisdom in Philippine society. As I have pointed out in my previous articles in the past, despite the many brilliant students produced each year by Philippine universities, the country has yet to produce someone who can inspire “greatness”.
Where can we find the great Filipino inventor? Where is our own Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? Where is the next Jose Rizal who is going to wake the majority of Filipinos from their long stupor? They are not in the Philippines because the society does not encourage individuals to stand out from the crowd and be unique. Everyone has to put their head down lest they get ostracized for being too “different” or in the local vernacular “walang pakisama”.
UP professor Lanuza forgot to mention that Philippine society also discourages individuals from expressing their dissenting opinion. I know this because I get accused of being a “paid hack” for criticizing Filipino politicians. It would be hard to find a teacher or professor who doesn’t limit freedom of expression in the class. As a matter of fact, students are taught to show deference to older people or people who are in authority and that can include the teachers or professors. Young kids are discouraged from questioning authority. This is precisely the reason why timid behavior is especially prevalent in Philippine society. This is also the reason why a lot of Filipinos are too sensitive to criticism and people who have differing opinions.
The Philippines' premiere state university may be failing to produce innovative thinkers.
The Philippines’ premiere state university may be failing to produce innovative thinkers.
Filipinos’ obsession with grades and credentials is an issue that I have encountered as a political blogger so many times while engaging in discussions with people who cannot take my opinion seriously because they are what I call “credentialists” – people who tend to focus more on the person and not what the person is saying.
Lanuza prides himself in how he encourages his students to “protest, dissent and criticize” Philippine society. He wants the students to ask the hard questions. However, as his profile on social media seems to reveal, he has his own set of beliefs that have been known to produce sheep behavior. Lanuza is a proud communist. That’s quite ironic considering he is desperately trying to encourage his students to break out of the mold and to be different. This contradiction was evident in what he wrote, “Why do our schools foster fierce competition? Why define our schools as jungles rather than as crucibles for creating cooperation and collective solidarity?” He should realize that competition is part of the process of producing innovative and unique individuals. Without it, individuals will lack the motivation to strive harder to succeed.
Lanuza’s concern about parents dictating what course their children should take in university is valid, indeed. There must be hundreds of parents who forced their children to take up nursing just because it is in “demand”. At least it used to be. The parents should realize that even if their kids pass the marks or get good grades, if their kids are not passionate about their jobs, they will not be good employees and will not excel in their work. Worse, they will be unhappy with their lives.
My conclusion is, Lanuza and many others like him do not really understand that in the Philippines, students are told what to think and not how to think. He should not be surprised that the use of critical thinking is not so common in the country. Unfortunately, the issue he raised flew over most people’s head because of his approach – it was too authoritative. I do hope he will welcome this criticism.

The Philippines is an idiocracy, not a democracy: Happy Independence Day!

July 3, 2015
by benign0
What?? Good-versus-evil again?? Is this the only way Filipinos will ever regard their elections?
It’s no wonder then that the Philippines never gets anywhere. There is no roadmap forward. It’s always just a “fight” of some sort where the “winner” is seen to be continuing a struggle against an imaginary “tyrant” still lurking in the shadows ready to pounce on the Philippines’ hapless “democracy”. In a sense there are no “winners” in Philippine politics of the sort that Filipinos can look to for a plan on how to tackle the future.
independency day philippines
The Philippines’ political “debate” remains the same tired old lump of noise consisting of the shrill chatter of girly indignation over politicians’ bad behaviour and the same old melodramatic appeal to populist sentimentality. There are no realplatforms that articulate a structured and systematic approach to transforming the Philippines from a society forever chasing its tail to one squarely on a trajectory to enlightenment and progress.

No, not now in particular. Whereas there used to at least be some pretense of looking out prospectively to the horizon in previous elections, today the notion of what happens from 2016 to 2022 under the watch of whoever wins in the coming elections is notably absent from the conversation.
It is a vast failure of imagination on a national scale.
Filipinos seem to have lost the ability to imagine the future. It is easy to blame this sad condition on the quality of the politicians vying for that lucrative seat in Malacanang in 2016. The bar for what it means to be a good Philippine president has been set so low that it is now a contest between an alleged crook and an inept administrator. Any hope of a fine statesman and leader to whom ordinary folk could look up to and feel inspired and motivated has dried up.
But, really, Filipino politicians merely reflect the character of the people that created them. The discussion around the appalling political cast of characters today is so devoid of inspiring ideas about a better Philippines tomorrow that it is easy to compare Philippine politics with the decline of Philippine cinema and television. It is one thing to be fed the same plot year in and year out. But it is another to behold a people who are happy to lap up progressively inferior productions.
Is the answer to curing Philippine politics of its abject retardation a simple matter of getting the nation’s thought leaders to “focus more on platforms than on personalities”? Of course it is. It’s so easy — easy said than done, that is. We tried that back in the 2009 to 2010 campaign. Platform plez. The idea there was that if we took stock of the ideas that each of the presidential candidates stood for and laid these out in such a way that one can easily compare the substanceof each candidate, we’d be armed with a great tool to apply intelligence to deciding who to vote for.
Alas, the lesson coming out of that exercise is quite clear. Filipinos will not change the way they think simply because someone tells them to do so. Indeed, they will not think at all even when they are served ample opportunity and material to do so. Despite the ubiquity of 21st Century social media technology permeating Philippine society today, the quality and substance of the political debate has not improved. It is still the same trash talk, the same focus on irrelevancies and championing of all the wrong arguments.
If only Filipinos can step back from the fray and outside of the tiny square that frames their thinking and appreciate the utter perversion that is today’s “democracy” in their country. Nakakahiya sa mga kano.
Happy Independence Day, the real one: 4th of July 1946.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Binay Debacle: Another Pathetic Attempt at Public Sympathy

July 2, 2015
by Grimwald
“If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you’re going to die. So they’ll talk. They’ll gloat. They’ll watch you squirm. They’ll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.”
~Men at Arms, on Carrot Ironfoundersson
When I was a kid, one of the things I noticed wrong with common Pinoy action flicks was that their plots and dialogue weren’t at all that different from the kind of thing you’d find in a Saturday-morning cartoon aimed at younger audiences. One of the things you’d see in just about all of them was that somewhere during a heated firefight with fully automatic weapons blazing away, the hero and villain would actually stop to talk to one another. As in stop, both at the same time like lovers speaking sweetly to each other. They would then deliver a series of cheesy and cliched lines to one another with the formula usually following the sequence of the hero asking for the villain’s motives, the villain gloating to the hero and, finally, the hero swearing at the villain on how evil the latter is.
jejomar_binay
Philippine politics, as it turns out, isn’t at all that different from Pinoy action flicks, cheesy lines and all. Heck, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla Jr., two of the Philippines’ most renowned action stars, have even made into politics despite not being too big on competence when off-camera. The latest fiasco regarding Jejomar Binay and his army of rowdy goons as well as his brief but appalling dialogue with a distraught but at least professional police officer shows just how utterly low our politicians can get just so they can garner attention and sympathy for themselves.
One can note how Binay’s sudden abandonment of the Aquino administration is similar to how Chavit Singson betrayed Erap when the latter’s impeachment was inevitable. Trust me people, these two did not turn against their masters because their consciences finally won them over. They turned because it was convenient for them at the time and because it would grant them more benefits in the long run. See, even if Binay did step down from being vice president and call out the Aquino administration on its corruption, it’s still apparent that he and the rest of his clan (especially Junjun and Nancy) will continue to live their glamorous lives while everyone else lives in abject poverty and misery just as the deeply corrupt nobles of Medieval Europe or Japan did. Binay’s unprofessional and confrontational attitude towards the police officer who stepped forward to negotiate with him is evidence enough of his grandiose sense of self-entitlement.
Of course, as is often the case with the Pinoy politics, Binay and his lackeys are trying to paint a different picture of what was actually going on. Look, I’m not siding with the PNP either. To be honest, I’m not too impressed with the actions of most police officers in the Philippines with the exception of the Fallen 44’s brave sacrifice. However, I must still commend the officers for their professional attitude during the whole debacle. Jejomar Binay was clearly attempting to impress the media and the countless dumb masses watching the whole fiasco by acting like the typical defiant hero in a cliche-ridden Pinoy action movie, complete with crummy dialogue and a tasteless plot that involved making his goons look like oppressed victims fighting back against a corrupt police force.
Before you side with Binay regarding the whole issue, here are three points in the article that I can elaborate on on why you should rethink that idea very carefully:
Binay Didn’t Abandon Aquino Because Of His Conscience
Of course not. He was already quite happy siphoning his share of public funds while vice president. The only real reason he’s choosing to jump ship is because the Aquino administration is losing favor with the more astute population of the Philippines and that President Aquino is reaching the end of his term. Like a rat abandoning a ship, Jejomar Binay is simply choosing to go to the winning side now that it seems the yellow ship is headed for Davy Jones’ Locker.
Binay Is Merely Playing With People’s Sympathies
From his lines to the almost comical way he spoke to the police is just his attempt in making himself look like some kind of hero in the eyes of the people. If he was really serious about standing up for what was right, where was he when the fighting finally did break out? Why needlessly risk the lives of others when he could’ve ended the whole issue fairly quickly by turning himself in quietly and with a sense of dignity? I mean after all, aren’t the Binays one of the wealthier families in Philippine society? He can easily afford a good lawyer even if he does get incarcerated, allowing him to prevent any violent confrontations with the police and getting his people hurt.
The Binay Clan Will Be The Same Self-Entitled Scoundrels
While Jejomar Binay is busy trying to paint himself as the hero in opposition of the corrupt Aquino government, it’s quite obvious that people like Junjun and Nancy will continue to live their arrogant and self-important lives. Junjun will continue to rule Makati and treat employees who’re just trying to do their jobs like dirt all the while shouting stuff like: “Don’t you know me?” As for Nancy, we all know how much she supports political dynasties in the Philippines even though this kind of system, time and time again, has proven to be one of the root causes of the country’s continued deterioration.
***
As in the quote above, one reason why I think that Western action films will always be more superior to Filipino ones is that the heroes in the former are often much more realistic and efficient. As any soldier or police officer will tell you, real combat has little time for idle banter. If you waste time to talk, you’ll just get a bullet for your troubles. If you stand for what you believe in, then don’t waste time whining or make speeches on how righteous you are. Actions, my friends, will always speak louder than words. And while Binay might claim to be a hero, his actions so far has only proven that he is anything but.
So please, let’s not fall for Jejomar Binay’s drama. It’s obvious who the bad guy was in the whole incident and they’re most certainly NOT the cops who were just trying to do their jobs. Remember, this isn’t an action film or a teleserye, this is real life.
Get real!

Everyone is fighting the Binay versus Aquino war except Binay and Aquino

July 2, 2015
by benign0
Shhh… we shouldn’t criticise Vice President Jejomar Binay because he’s got the goods on us.
Perhaps this is what’s in the minds of the Philippines’ leaders, even as Netizens and ordinary folk alike, many of whom are rabid fans of President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, mount a “full-court press” to slam Binay on social media.
All that noise on social media ironically highlights the deafening silence coming from President BS Aquino himself. To be fair, Aquino had seemingly given the green light to his mouthpieces to release the hounds, so to speak. But as far as the famously blamey horse’s mouth we ask of Aquino: Why the notable silence yet again?
binay_vs_aquino
To be sure, nothing in the damning statements let loose by Binay against President BS Aquino is news to most Filipinos. Aquino suffers from a string of political scandals erupting under his watch. The emergence of vast pork barrel thievery at an unprecedented scale had a money train on tracks that lead squarely back to Malacanang. The jewel of Manila’s public transport system, the MRT, was reduced to a junk heap under the current administration’s management. And a criminally-insane law that seeks carve out a chunk of Mindanao and serve it to a terrorist group was drafted under a Philippine President in cahoots with Kuala Lumpur.
Oh yeah, and then there is that small matter of the Hacienda Luisita and its seeming immunity to subjection to agrarian reform.
There are no good guys or bad guys here — only dynastic interests. Whether one is pro-BSA or pro-Binay, Binay-aran or Noytard-ic by motivation, all these politicians have red underwear to hide under their skirts. A frenzy of skirt-lifting will do the entire oligarchy no good because everyone’s got skeletons in their closets. It’s the reason why, despite the Philippines’ stone-age bank secrecy laws being highlighted as a hindrance to fact-finding during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012, politicians still manage to grossly misdeclare their personal wealth to the public.
For that matter, it is quite funny the way people get so worked up about how an allegedly crooked family like the Binays managed to grab so many offices and stay in power for so long, considering that at the centre of the whole demonisation campaign against the Vice President is “senator” Antonio Trillanes who became a member of Congress despite being a convicted rebel leader who endangered thousands of Filipino lives and destroyed millions of pesos worth of property on account of his little military adventure back in the mid-2000s.
Pinoy nga naman talaga.
As always, the wrong arguments win in this intellectually-bankrupt society. And I’m not talking about arguments for or against any of these bozos. I’m talking about arguments that properly frame, the issue of why Philippine politics is the way it is — an ostentatious national ornament worn to buttress the pretense that is Philippine “democracy” at immense cost to the ordinary Filipino schmoe.
In the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, one will note that the story is spun mainly around the tribulations of the nobility. There is not much about the plight of ordinary peasants that punctuates the GoT world. Too boring. Who gives a flying frig about peasants’ petty lives anyway when bloody feuds between rich folk make better entertainment?
That’s kind of what the Philippines is like today. It’s really a circus of the elites with the concerns of ordinary Filipinos fitting in as nothing more than the inconsequential dust on the grounds upon which gallop the mounts of jousting knights.

Philippine VP Jejomar Binay arguing with the police: What is wrong with this scene?

July 1, 2015
by benign0
There is something fundamentally wrong about an argument between a police officer and the Vice President of the Philippines. It’s bad form. But it is a familiar and normal sight to Filipinos now who have been encouraged since the early 1980s to see policemen as someone to distrust and defy.
So quite funny, indeed, how people are now waxing indignation about the spectacular drama unfolding at the Makati City Hall and the way no less than Vice President Jejomar Binay butts heads with members of the police trying to diffuse the sitution…

It is funny because the precedent for this sort of behaviour was set way back in the old days by the very sorts of people who are now outraged by this scene. Filipino police officers, you see, are members of the Evil Establishment. That was the guidance given to Filipinos by leaders of the parties who are in power today. If you’ve got a grievance against the government, take to the streets!And if police officers get in your way, defy them.
Unfortunately, the lesson stuck fast in Filipinos’ psyches.
And what is now on display reflects the Filipino character shaped by that quaint old “street parliamentarian” thinking embedded in the Filipino mind over the last several decades of Yellow “people power” indoctrination.
It’s time Filipinos grow up.
First of all, the Vice President is a top-ranking government official. He should not be seen arguing with the police who, in the bigger scheme of things, are hiscolleagues in government.
Second, police officers should not be arguing either. They have orders and, if they have the proper warrants or authorisations, should simply carry out their orders to arrest people. The place to argue one’s case is in court. It is not an officer’s place to argue once the imperative to take action is clear.
If Filipinos weren’t all a bunch of Drama Queens, clarity of thinking and conviction in actions would reign supreme in this country — not media circuses like this.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A mature way to regard the inspiring achievement of UP top-notcher Tiffany Grace Uy

June 29, 2015
by benign0
Most of us who’ve gone to college know one or another Tiffany Uy type. They get stratospheric grades in every exam and top the bar or board exams when they graduate. For most of the time they spend finishing their chosen course, they hang out with their like-minded ilk — exchanging intel on sources of the juiciest sample exams and go all abuzz photocopying them for one another. They routinely burn the midnight oil in study groups made up of members of their cliques, rote-drilling themselves on these sample exams and exchanging exam-acing tips. Then after finishing the exams, while the rest of us go off to party or watch a movie, they re-convene to do intensive post-exam evaluations, which involves mainly exchanging the answers they put in and assuring one another they did well.
tiffany_grace_uy
Are they mostly of Chinese-descent? On the basis of my personal observation, yes. We called them the Chinese Mafia. They are driven to succeed, and they measure success with very specific quantifiable performance measures — grades. I’m not saying only Chinese people are like that. I’m saying that when you describe such a character profile, it is more likely for a Chinese person to fit the bill. Just facts and statistics — like the numbers these people live by, right? Tiffany Uy is that case in point. She’s Chinese, and a grades ace. No surprises there, really.
So we’ve established that the average sample exam muncher and grades ace is Chinese and that there’s nothing personal or “racist” in stating those facts. That’s just the way things are. The question then is, why is Tiffany Uy who made history getting a near-perfect 1.004 general weighted average graduating BS Biology in UP so controversial?
Well, just finishing that course in the University of the Philippines, alone, is no easy feat. It is one of the most difficult and competitive subjects one could subject one’s self to in the State University. Furthermore, there is no point in taking that course unless you ace it. Why? Because most students use it as a “pre-med” course — a stepping stone towards a slot in the prestigious UP College of Medicine in Manila. To a UP BS Biology student, there are only two schools of medicine in the Philippines — UP Med and all the rest. UP students do not want to study medicine in the latter.
And so that is why it’s uno or bust when it comes to graduating with a bachelor of science degree in Biology in UP. Any lower than a 1.10 average and your chances of getting into UP Med drops to below 10 percent (and that’s for the lucky batches). When you’re competing with a hundred odd other Chinese students with rockets up their asses for a handful of UP Med slots, you’d stick a Saturn V booster up yours. By all accounts, Tiffany stuck two of those moonshot engines up hers — which is why she’s soaring over the moon today.
And that’s a good thing. Work hard, win hard. When you are a winner, you can then go on to credibly talk about putting in “a life of service” — like Bill Gates did after he spent his younger years raking in his billions and demolishing the competition.
It’s simple, really.
Perhaps those who deride Uy’s achievement by framing it narrowly have a point. A number — such as, say, a grade — by no means singularly defines intelligence, much more a person’s overall value to society. But you need to start somewhere. The health of a fetus while it is in its mother’s womb can only be judged using a handful of parameters — heartbeat, number of limbs, size, etc. Then, as a baby, it will be judged on the basis of how soon she learns how to walk and talk. As humans mature, the number of variables that describe them increase exponentially.
Similarly, people will be judged on the basis of their grades while they are in school. When they come out of school and face the “real world”, they will be judged based on other attributes. As they mature as professionals, more variables will be added to describe their characters. Bill Gates was once known only as the Microsoft founder and the world’s richest man. Today he is also known for his achievements in other fields of endeavour, like philanthropy.
So let’s give Tiffany Grace Uy a break. She made headline news because of her 1.004 general weighted average. It was on the back of that achievement that people started noticing other things about her — her “flawless skin” and “normal” lovelife, for example. People seemed to latch on to those latter aspects about Uy to assure themselves that she is human like the rest of us and not a member of an advanced party sent by an extraterrestrial invading force. What she does after this milestone is hers to explore and, perhaps, for us to continue to observe if she continues to hold our attention going forward.

Jejomar Binay’s move to criticize Noynoy Aquino is part of democratic process

June 28, 2015
by Ilda
Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay is a free man, at least for now. Lately, Binay has been using that freedom to advance his causes. After all, he lives in a so-called “democratic” country that supposedly champions “freedom of speech”. Those who think that Binay should stop criticizing the performance of the current government under President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino do not know the real meaning behind the said concepts called democracy and freedom of speech. Just like everyone else, Binay has the right to air out his grievances against government ineptitude and corruption.
Vice President Jojo Binay: Fighting the fight of his political career
Vice President Jojo Binay: Fighting the fight of his political career
Immediately after resigning from his cabinet posts, the VP has become emboldened to speak out against the President. While the timing of his move is quite suspect – the Presidential Election is in less than a year from now – it is still a welcome move nonetheless. As any frugal man would tell you, in a price war, the consumer will be the biggest winner in the end. In this case, it is the Filipino public who can emerge as the winner in the war of words between Binay and BS Aquino. The public should see this as an ongoing debate laid out before them. This is a great opportunity for both parties to answer all the allegations made so the Filipino people will finally know who is lying or telling the truth. Both parties will also be forced to work harder at impressing the people. Or at least pretend to.
How did this come about anyway? Binay says he was tired of being the administration’s punching bag, a comment made in reference to what he suspects is a concerted effort by BS Aquino’s allies to persecute him and his family during Senate hearings. One can’t help but agree with his claim since for months, a few senators have been relentlessly using senate time and resources to conduct “investigations” on alleged corrupt activities against Binay when he was still a Mayor of the City of Makati. These investigations have resulted in nothing significant however.
The question some people have been asking is, why didn’t people in the know file the complaints against Binay while he was still a Mayor? Senator Antonio Trillanes seems to know a lot of things and have bragged about having the “evidence” to support his allegations against Binay so many times in the past. We have yet to see him walk the talk though. It’s a good thing we didn’t hold our breath waiting. Unfortunately for Trillanes, his lack of conviction has inadvertently exposed him as a mere propagandist and attack dog of someone from the higher up.
After months of being the subject of trial by media, Binay has finally had enough, according to him. His speech revealed nothing surprising for the government’s critics though. Binay simply confirmed what some of us have been saying about BS Aquino for years – that his government is incompetent, corrupt and uses selective justice in favor of his allies.
However, Binay’s revelation has shocked and angered not just BS Aquino himself, but his most rabid supporters, some of them former celebrities who are more popular now for protesting on the streets against BS Aquino’s political enemies than for what they actually did during their heydays in showbiz. I mean, who remembers what Leah Navarro was famous for other than badmouthing politicians not allied against the Liberal Party? Her latest antics include holding rallies against Binay to stop him from becoming the next President of the Philippines. One wonders though if she and her group are rallying to stop Binay from running or to stop the voters from voting for him. Either way, it will be a challenge for them considering Binay is still popular in the surveys. In a society where majority of voters prefer form to substance, popularity is important.
For his part, Jim Paredes has been raving mad and has been accusing members of the media of being under Binay’s payroll because they don’t criticize him the way they criticize BS Aquino. He thinks they are playing favorites by criticizing PNoy all the time. That is simply one of the most bizarre suggestions that have come out of an Aquino fan club member. Paredes does contradict himself occasionally. For someone who is proud to be Filipino, he also insinuates that a lot of Filipinos can easily be bought and therefore, is admitting that Filipinos in general are corrupt.
President BS Aquino: He may have pushed Binay over the edge.
President BS Aquino: He may have pushed Binay over the edge.
Paredes’s logic is simply wrong. Most political pundits in mainstream media focus more on BS Aquino because he is the President. He has the authority to sign bills into law and has the power to either make Filipino lives better or worse off with his policies. So it makes more sense for the media to keep the spotlight on him.
The truth is, it is challenging to write something against Binay because, so far, nothing has been proven in court. Most of the allegations against Binay remain just that – allegations. There is not a lot to work with. I can imagine most media columnists struggling to write something against him too since the news already report on the same things. Those who choose to criticize him end up just attacking his appearance by highlighting his dark complexion and his short stature. For lack of anything to write, they simply repeat what the senators have been saying against Binay even when the information is based on hearsay. Some also insist that Binay has not provided evidence he is innocent. Never mind that it is the accuser who should provide evidence of someone’s guilt.
Yes, so much has been said against Binay and it is not hard for some people to believe them. It doesn’t help Binay’s cause that his children hold powerful positions in government and has been blatantly defending their father instead of inhibiting themselves from the issues against him. The thought of Binay becoming President and his children acting like members of the royal family is probably playing on people’s mind and scaring them. Instead of being scared of the Binays, they should be scared of the voters. It was the voters who put the Binays in power in the first place.
Whatever the reason for this latest drama in Philippine politics, it is only one of the consequences of having a President and Vice President who come from two different political parties. One should also see this as a sort of check and balance. Since the VP does not have to show allegiance to the President’s party, he can openly criticize the President’s policies.
If only Binay criticised BS Aquino from the moment he noticed something was amiss in his administration way back in 2010, people wouldn’t doubt his sincerity. It remains to be seen if attacking BS Aquino now is a good strategy for Binay. It will only work if more of the members of the public become disgruntled with the government. Binay’s criticism might be the thing that will finally push people off the edge and turn against BS Aquino. That is something we should all look forward – the people finally using their power to hold an Aquino accountable for his indiscretions.