Even as his days in Malacanang are about to end in a matter of weeks, Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino remains utterly clueless as to why the voters are now rejecting his Daang Matuwid mantra, which his bet and former cabinet member Mar Roxas has promised to continue if elected as the next President.
In a speech during a campaign sortie in Iloilo, he said “it pains him to see the growing support for a presidential candidate who acts like a dictator”. He was referring to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of course, whose popularity rating in surveys have shot up to number one:
“Ang masakit ho sa akin, 30th year ng anniversary natin ng EDSA e. Kung kailan tayo lumaya, ngayon ang parang lumalamang ‘yung mga nag-aastang didikta. Parang may mali yata dito. Ano ba ang nangyari?”
The problem with BS Aquino according to my colleague is that, the President’s reality is on a different plane of existence from all of us. He seems to be living in a make believe world – a world where everything is peachy. This could explain why he just spends the remainder of his days in office travelling around the country campaigning for Liberal Party candidates for the upcoming elections instead of doing his job as the country’s chief administrator. It’s simply outrageous that he can get away with doing that. It is sad that the Filipino people are helpless against this kind of behavior from their public servants.
Yes, to BS Aquino, his achievements will be hard to match and all the people complaining are the ones who are blind. In the same event, he enumerated his so-called “accomplishments” starting with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the budget increase for the Department of Health, construction of classrooms, and employment, among others. They are basic things that people would simply shrug off as something that is expected from him, because after all, part of his job is to look out for the public’s needs including providing services and fixing infrastructure. Besides, it’s not like giving dole outs is hard. He’s just redistributing public funds anyway.
In fact, if you ask the average Filipino, what he has done in the last six years isn’t good enough. Basic services and upgrading of public facilities have failed to meet the public’s expectations. The government has even failed to provide motor vehicle plates and registration stickers for years now. What’s worse is that motorists have to pay for said plates and registration stickers even when they are not available. Some people said that in some cases, the renewal of vehicle registration has come and gone but the sticker never came. Meaning, motorists paid for something that didn’t exist. It could be another scam for government employees to make money. Scams have mushroomed under BS Aquino’s term indeed.
BS Aquino is getting desperate for his bet to win the election. There is talk that officials of the religious organization Iglesia ni Cristo rejected Mar Roxas even after the President himself visited the church headquarters. There is nothing more pathetic than a head of state stooping so low as to beg a religious organization for their bloc votes. But as some people are saying, we can’t blame BS Aquino for trying because he is trying to avoid landing in jail after his immunity from criminal cases is gone.
It’s so ironic that he calls Duterte a dictator when he acted like one during his term. He used public funds indiscriminately to bribe Congress, dangling pork barrel funds to “motivate” them to approve his agendas, which included the impeachment and removal of the late former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. He also uses government resources like helicopters and vehicles for campaigning. That is considered corruption. But BS Aquino doesn’t see it that way. He acts like he owns the country.
A lot of Filipinos cannot wait for BS Aquino to step down. It took 30 years for the people to realize that the Aquinos have caused so much damaged to Philippine society. This time, the people are sick and tired of the President and his incompetence. Too bad for Mar Roxas.
If BS Aquino thinks Duterte is a monster, then he has only himself to blame for that. The people are now clamoring for the return of a strongman who they think has the political will to deliver what the country truly needs – real progress through discipline.
[Photo courtesy PhilStar.]