The Non-Platform of Noynoy Aquino

Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III is running for President. The current news stream of his “weighing the decision” and “seeking the support of the people” should not fool anyone, nor should the “discussions” within the Liberal Party about his candidacy. Those of us who are experienced in marketing can recognise “buzz generation” when we see it, and as for the conundrum he has presented the Liberal Party, which until recently was fairly well-organised behind a Mar Roxas candidacy, they appear to have two unpalatable choices: Either to roll over and accept a lesser but more-popular candidate, or see one of their senior and most-recognisable members openly compete with their party’s standard-bearer as an independent.  

Aquino’s carefully-calculated ambiguity is necessary because he made a slight tactical error in not announcing his candidacy immediately after his mother’s death. The news cycle and the public attention span are not long enough to maintain the necessary level of enthusiasm to wait for him to observe his family’s period of mourning and settling the matter with the LP to make his announcement, so having not seized the moment, he has to keep everyone interested long enough to get those things out of the way. But at this point, announcing his candidacy is just a formality; for all intents and purposes, he is already running.

That being the case, we can begin to subject the Aquino platform to objective scrutiny. This is published on his website under the tab “platform”. While these particular points were offered as his “platform” for his Senate candidacy, Senators are nationally-elected and so must offer platforms of national relevance; thus pending an update or expansion of his positions (which the Senator is cordially invited to do here), his published Senatorial platform can be considered his Presidential platform.  The following is what Senator Aquino has to offer, in its entirety:

“I am determined to continue the fight started by my father and my mother to see  that democracy takes root and is strengthened in our country. This cannot happen  in a government that serves the interest of the powerful few. We must strengthen the institutions of government so that they truly serve the interests of our people.”

In the light of attempts to weaken our democracy, I therefore stand to;

1. Strengthen the Senate as an independent branch of government;

2. Continue to hold government to account for its excesses and misgovernance;

3. Resist Charter Change if done to serve the selfish interests of the few and if the process circumvents that prescribed by the constitution;

4. Oppose all attempts to impose a repressive government, and more importantly; and

5. Be the voice of the powerless and the oppressed, those who do not have access to our government and are, thus, victims of injustice.

The first point can be ignored since this a presidential election, but none of the others are worth much attention, either. Consider what defines an effective platform:

  • Statement of problems or issues to be addressed.
  • Statement of solutions or objectives to address the problems or issues.
  • Rationale for choosing those solutions or objectives. 

Aquino states that “attempts to weaken our democracy,” “government excesses and misgovernance,” “attempts to impose a repressive government,” and “lack of access of the powerless and the oppressed” are the problems he wishes to address. This is simply grim rhetoric in search of definitions or examples, not a valid statement of the problems or issues. Likewise his plan of action is devoid of, well, action – instead, Aquino vows to “continue to hold government to account,” “oppose attempts to impose a repressive government,” and “be the voice of” a certain vaguely-defined constituency. And why will he pursue these meaningless “objectives?” Who knows? Aquino doesn’t trouble himself or the electorate with a rationale.

Hopefully, Senator Aquino provides the electorate, who, after all, are his prospective employers, with better insights as to why they should consider him for the most important job in the country. But so far, even this guy seems to have a better platform than Noynoy:



About bkritz

I'm a writer, and I do things my own way. That might sound cool to you, unless you're one of the people who actually knows me, in which case you're probably shaking your head in exasperation at the depth of that understatement.
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53 Responses to The Non-Platform of Noynoy Aquino

  1. benign0 says:

    My God. That ‘Platform’ section of his website is a shocker. A five-bulletpoint insult on the intelligence of the Filipino people.

    Be warned. The Matrix has been updated.

  2. BenK says:

    I would hope Senator Aquino would come up with something more than this, but on the other hand, if you look at it from his point of view, why should he? It worked well enough the first time. Thus we must increase our efforts to encourage voters to demand substance from their candidates.

    Given the results of the recent poll which put Manny Villar on top (for whatever a 25% share is actually worth), I wanted to examine his platform instead. Be damned if I can find anything resembling one, though.

  3. GabbyD says:

    he hasnt decided to run yet. it is NOT surprising he doesnt have a fully fleshed out platform yet.

  4. BenK says:

    I think I pretty well covered that “hasn’t decided to run yet” thing. And, since he didn’t have a fully fleshed-out platform for his (successful) Senate bid, as I pointed out in previous comment, what makes you think he’ll make one for his presidential candidacy?

    On the former point, it’s neither here nor there to me if he runs or not. All signs indicate he already is, but if he decides to stop or to continue, that’s his prerogative. On the latter point, I rather hope he does come up with a platform, and as I said, he’s welcome to share it with us here. But at this point, I’m not optimistic about seeing one.

  5. Pinoy Buzz says:

    Ever wonder what he did during all those years that he was a Congressman?

  6. Hyden Toro says:

    We will be again in a RUDE AWAKENING. If we continue to remain in the existing process of
    electing our leaders, like the President.

    Our country has a lot of problems. We need competent and real leaders. Not leaders with
    just GOOD NAMES.

  7. GabbyD says:

    he authored several bills in both the senate and the house.

    • benign0 says:

      Just because he did does not excuse him from not having a published platform. Without one, we wouldn’t know whether he maintains a consistent take on things.

      A platform is a baseline upon which the activities and initiatives undertaken by a politician over his term of office can be evaluated against for consistency and completeness. At the end of his term, therefore, a politician can then be measured against that platform on the basis of:

      (a) how much of it he realised; and,

      (b) how consistent with the framework of thinking embodied in said platform he was.

      • GabbyD says:

        if u wanna do this (check 4 consistency), u can.

        he has “goals” as indicated in his platform — i agree as a platform its wanting.

        then u can check his legislative agenda and u’ll notice his senate bills are in line with his stated goals.

      • BenK says:

        We addressed this same issue with Mar Roxas and his adding of the Pre-Need Code to his platform: an achievement is fine, but it is something that has already been done, not a plan of action to come.

        Besides, in Aquino’s case, his platform points are so completely devoid of definition that most anything reasonable he could have done in the Senate could be made to fit his ‘stated goals’.

      • GabbyD says:


        i was referring to B0’s “consistency” argument.

        we can say that noynoy was consistent.

      • BenK says:

        Consistent with what? Zero times anything is still zero. His ‘platform’ (so to speak) are all meaningless statements of very generic ideals any Senator should adhere to anyway.

        Here’s a good test of any platform: see if you can conceive an opposite to any given plan. If so, the platform offers a clear and debatable choice. For example, Mar Roxas says, “use the mother tongue as the medium of instruction in Grades 1 to 3,” the opposing viewpoint could be “use English as the medium of instruction in Grades 1 to 3”. Do that to Noynoy’s ‘platform’, and see what you get:

        1. Weaken the Senate as an independent branch of government.
        2. Cease holding government to account for excesses and misgovernance.
        3. Support (or not resist) Charter Change under any circumstances.
        4. Support (or not oppose) government repression.
        5. Not serve the interests of the disadvantaged.

        See the problem with that?

      • GabbyD says:

        to come up with his authored bills, go to the legislative lookup app at the senate (help\advanced search)

        ok. lets do it.

        #2. –> hold (not hold) gov to account for excesses
        #1 –> strengthen (weaken) senate

        govt means executive (he was an opposition candidate)

        how does the executive have excesses/misgovern?
        how does the congress (senate) get weaker?

        “BUDGET IMPOUNDMENT CONTROL ACT” is an act controlling the power of the president in the budget process. THIS affects both 1 and 2.

        this is a known issue in the philippine political system about how the executive wrests power from congress. the is the primary (only) way to do so.

        what is the OPPOSITE of this? the status quo.

        granted, it would have been better to have specified this in the website.

        however, who knows whether he in fact told people about his thoughts on the budget process? (i don’t know).

        i agree with you that as a statement of a specific platform of government, it falls short.

        but we can say its consistent with his goals.


    • Pinoy Buzz says:

      Senator Lito Lapid also authored several bills, but does that mean he should run for President too?

      What I am after is not just that Noynoy’s staff actually filed bills, but that he authored one and pursued its enactment — hopefully, it’s a bill that isn’t about renaming a road or school.

      I believe platforms are necessary. Nikki/NIcky Perlas has a platform and so does JC Delos Reyes, but what indication do we have that they can follow through on these platforms?

      Anyway, I think we will not see the election of an ideal candidate or even a candidate approximating something that is even remotely ideal. Given this, shouldn’t we instead look for someone whom we can hold accountable or at least boost our ability as sovereigns of this nation to make our leaders accountable?

      • BenK says:

        I checked the Senate Legislative Information System. Aquino has authored 9 bills, 2 of which passed the Senate and are pending in the House. Make of that what you will.

  8. benign0 says:

    Check it out. Noynoy’s now has an official slogan: “Noypi ako” as reported by Conrado de Quiros.

    And here is the brilliant rationale behind it (again according to de Quiros):

    Why “Noypi ako”?

    Well, first off, Noypi is Pinoy of course, as we, the youth, kaming kabataan, often put it. I say “kami” because being young is truly more a frame of mind than a state of the body. Notwithstanding the plentiful reminders of where I am chronologically—you need colchicine and not just imagination to banish the aching in the bones—I’ve always felt young. Certainly, I don’t wallow in nostalgia and listen only to “oldies.” I’m tempted to say, like Tevye, I don’t remember growing older, but people might say that’s the very proof I have—I’m getting forgetful.

    It’s time for the Noypi, or Pinoy, the young and feeling young, to ponder where he came from, where he is now, where he is going.

    And as you prophesied way back in your “Blanco” blog, Ben, how predictable is this:

    That is so because he represents People Power. And People Power means nothing more or less than just that, the power of the people. The power of the Pinoy or Noypi. The power of you and me. A power unleashed by the dogged pursuit of, or relentless drive toward, the fulfillment of the country’s deepest longings, as articulated, or lived and died for, by the country’s heroes, from Rizal to Cory.,

    You put it quite well then: “Crass appeal to “nationalism”. Even lower is invoking the memory of his hero parents (as if being an offspring of one necessarily makes you one as well).

    Painful. 😀

  9. Pingback: “Noypi ako!” | Filipino Voices

  10. if noynoy suddenly announces plans to marry his girlfriend we can really be sure he will be running for president. : )

    the political party founded by former senator raul roco has reportedly joined calls for an aquino presidential run. why oh why oh why?

  11. The guy seems very mediocre. What has he accomplished with his congressional terms and his 3 years in the Senate? Any solid leadership skills? Any conflict resolution achievements? What happened to justice for the Mendiola Massacre victims?

    Some Pinoys REALLY should not vote:

  12. Pinoy Buzz says:

    And another thing… When Ninoy Aquino was Governor of Tarlac, what did he do for the people in Hacienda Luisita? When Cory Aquino was President, what happened to CARP?

    What really is the AQUINO legacy, excepting the restoration of democracy which — duh?!? — WE DID OURSELVES while CORY WAS PRAYING.

    • ilda says:

      OMG! Please, please let there be more people who think like you and me. I am so sick of Aquino worship. I see so many who are so starstruck with this family – sobra na, tama na! Wala na ba talagang may utak dyan na nag-iisip? Puro slogan na lang.

    • caloy says:

      Did Noynoy just turn the other way when men barely out of their teens were being shot at outside the Hacienda Luisita compound.

      Noynoy’s demeanor as the Cojuanco family spokesman during the Hacienda Luisita standoff should be scrutinized. Blaming the strikers for the violence and not the company union or his family, here’s what he said in the third week of November, 2004: “We condemn the violence that happened but condemnation should be directed to the right pary,” Rep. Noynoy Aquino in response to the deaths of five hacienda workers ages 20-34. Noynoy was condeming everyone else but the Cojuanco family, owners of Hacienda Luisita.

      Blaming others for the standoff, Noynoy futher said the striking workers make up just a fraction of hacienda workers. He said 400 of the 736 strikers had climbed the walls of the mill to report for work in compliance with the labor department’s order suggesting that those who died were mere agitators.

      Noynoy was Hacienda Luisita’s spokesman and the face of the land-owning family during this disturbing period which saw at least 8 farmers dead and many others wounded.

      In the congressional investigation that followed the incident (Noynoy was Deputy Speaker then) someone testified that some of Noynoy’s men fired at the farmers.

      These statements and incidents were reported in November-December 2004. Just scour the internet. They are not new and written just for these elections. They pose serious questions about Noynoy’s landlord-like hacendero character at the time, in addition to the fact that in 9 years in Congress he did nothing by way of substantive legislation to help workers, farmers and the poor.

    • No to Noy says:

      Pinoy Buzz just took the words right out of my mouth.

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  15. boyet says:

    Reading the above commentaries, nakakatuwa talagang tignan at isipin, fact of the matter is, not even one of the “hundred or so” presidential candidates have presented a compelling platform, well not that I know of.

    • BenK says:

      I’d have to agree with you, at least with your description “compelling”. To be fair, some of the candidates – or former candidates, as the case may be now – have bits & pieces of platform. But compelling? Hardly. And most still have none at all.

  16. caloy says:

    No-no to Noynoy
    It’s always nice to come home after a long day at work and write something non-legal in my blog. Something like:

    Conrado de Quiros is Senile.

    And as I write it, there comes not a small amount of glee, that when someone googles for the words “de Quiros” and “senile”, this post will be the first on the list.
    For good measure, I think I’ll do it again.

    Conrado de Quiros is Senile.

    The thing is, I like senile people. They break the monotony of life.
    So it comes as no small surprise that when you part the Philippine Daily Inquirer in its sumptuous middle, you will see Conrado de Quiros, in all his glory, proudly proclaiming to the damn world:

    Noynoy runs and this country’s youth in particular will be galvanized into action, a wondrous sight we have not seen since the days of love and activism. He is the one reason the youth will vote, he is the one reason the aged will vote, he is the one reason the idealistic and pessimistic, the hopeful and cynical, will vote. He is the Cory we’ve been waiting for, he is the Obama we’ve been waiting for. He is the Good that will do battle against Arroyo’s Evil.

    And then you realize, he just made your day.
    Now you have a reason to live. Now you can rush home and write a blog entry you’ve always been dying to write.

    Noynoy for President. Wowowee.
    Making Noynoy run for president is like making Yoko Ono sing for the Beatles.
    Like making Paris Hilton run the family business.
    Like George W. Bush being the presid…Oh..right.

    It’s actually pretty funny when newspaper articles TRY to write an inspiring piece about Noynoy.

    According to these “favorable” news clips, Noynoy has the following achievements:

    1) Retail sales supervisor and youth promotions assistant at Nike.
    2) Protected his mother during the 1986 coup attempts.
    3) Provided security details for his sister.
    4) Worked in the firms of his uncle.

    Youth promotions assistant. What the hell is that?
    Let’s not kid ourselves, please. Noynoy is nothing like his father or mother. Noynoy lives on endorsements. He’s Manny Pacquiao’s boxing shorts – with glasses.
    Noynoy is NOTHING like Obama.
    Obama’s life story was inspiring because he had to start from scratch. To get to where he was, he had to break racial and social barriers. He had to rise from the muck.

    Noynoy, on the other hand, has done absolutely nothing except to gorge himself on the largesse of his parents’ “legacy”. His four terms as congressman of Tarlac? All from the Cojuancgo side of the family (Danding?).
    His stint as senator? Ran solely on the endorsements of Cory and Kris. If you look at his website: you’ll see nothing but endorsements, (heck, he even posts a letter from his dad)
    But not a single achievement is listed.
    In some ways, I even respect senator-actors more than Noynoy. At least they worked hard in the entertainment industry in order to get to where they are now.
    When Noynoy becomes president, he’ll do what he’s always done: absolutely nothing.

    And what is Conrado De Quiros’ answer to our very valid objections?

    The third is that he hasn’t done much as a senator. Well, who has among the “presidentiables”? But while at this, Noynoy hasn’t stolen, other than the heart of a young lass from Bulacan. He hasn’t lied, other than to himself when he sees himself unworthy. And he hasn’t murdered, other than the inclination to abuse that prominence he is heir to. In a time of universal deceit, said George Orwell, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. In a time of widespread wickedness, doing the right thing is a heroic act.

    More than that, I’m looking at Noynoy not for what he was but what he can be. Thrust into the maelstrom of history, some people acquit themselves well. Noynoy did so when his mother died, showing grace and courage worthy of his parents. I repeat what I said the last time: He will be a good president because he has no choice. His legacy weighs on him like the Frown of God, forbidding wrongdoing on pain of hell in this life as much as the next. Who among the other “presidentiables”—Erap, Manny, Chiz, Noli, Mar and Loren—can say that?

    Well, if looking tough and greeting guests were all it took to be president, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

    The thing is, Mr. de Quiros is confusing legacy with history.

    It is true that history chooses the least likely heroes.
    Cory was one such person. Like Noynoy, she had no political accomplishments of her own.
    However, she stood right in the middle of a confluence of historical forces which made it possible for her to transcend the line between ordinary housewife and national hero.
    There is a reason why we can no longer replicate people power, why we merely approximate it through our rallies.
    People power was a unique situational formula which will never be repeated. The loss of a husband. The climaxing human rights abuses. The spiraling economy. A snap election. The despair. The hope.
    An equation which we don’t have the variables for.
    Cory ran with all her heart,with one specific goal in mind: to overthrow Marcos.
    And she succeeded brilliantly.The only one who could have defeated Marcos, rebuilt the Constitution from scratch, and restored democracy in the Philippines.
    When Cory assumed the presidency against all odds, you knew that the Spirit of History had something in mind for us Filipinos.
    Sadly, the same cannot be said of Noynoy. If he decides to run, it will be for all the wrong reasons.

    Cory was chosen by history. And her legacy is NOT Noynoy Aquino.

    It is the 1987 Constitution.
    The 1992 elections.
    People Power.

    And an enlightened newspaper reader, or two.

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  20. Eddie says:

    Sana manalo si NoyNoy sa eleksyon, for me, siya ang the best candidate.

    • BenK says:

      Since you made exactly the same comment verbatim on two different posts on this website, I’ll assume that you are either paid by the Aquino campaign to go around and do that sort of thing, or you are just so personally committed that you are doing it on your own. If your situation is the former case, there’s no point in discussing it with you, but if it is the latter, then you should be able to share with us why you believe NoyNoy “siya ang the best candidate”.

      If that’s your honest belief and you hope to convince others to see the value of it, explain why.

    • Eralyn says:

      Yeah right, Noynoy is the Best Worst Presidential Candidate..

  21. Eralyn says:

    No No Noynoy

  22. Eralyn says:

    Hopefully this coming election, people won’t be persuaded by all these celebrities endorsing NoyNoy. I strongly believe NoyNoy will do NOTHING for the welfare of the Filipino masses. I cannot feel his sincere intentions to uplift the standard of living in the Philippines. If his really pro Pinoy, include Hacienda Luisita in the CARP..

    Please please please…. don’t vote for Noynoy

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  24. pot.. says:

    look noynoy cant fix their own problem about the aquino family before about the acienda luisita then now he wants us to vote for him as president,he cant fix that issue what more if he is our president…THINK…

    • ric says:

      To pot, let me ask you some questions. Do you have family? Do you have brothers or sisters? Do you have aunts and uncle? Do they work? Do they have businesses?

      Now tell me. Can you just order your family to drop what they worked for or drop their business interests just because you want them to?

      Why is it that we have this notion that the underdog must be right… that the have’s are never just?

  25. pot.. says:

    and also when noynoy doesnt do anything about our country when he was a senator..right?..
    so we need to be a wise voter..=)

  26. Raniel says:

    Noynoy’s campaign is laughable. First, one should scrutinize his tag-line: “Walang mahirap kung walang corrupt”. Well, it’s a constant truth that there will always be the “poor” since there will always be the “rich”. Even a socialist country has poor and rich people. It’s an unavoidable situation. If that’s the case then, Noynoy should have been at least realistic, by saying, “Kukunti lang ang mahirap kung walang corrupt” (sorry, I suck at speaking Filipino).

    Again, with his tag-line in mind, we can infer that he is anti-corruption. Well, we should ask him, is he anti-corruption, just NOW? or was he anti-corruption before? If he is anti-corruption just NOW, then that certainly is a downer. He’s just riding this anti-corruption bandwagon just to preserve and improve his oh-so-godlike image to the people. If he was really, anti-corruption, in virtue, he would’ve agreed to play those “Hello Garci” tapes since those were evident proofs of corruption. In conclusion, Noynoy is really inconsistent. All words. He can’t even think for his own, even if his life depended on it.

  27. Gerard says:

    Do you think Nonoy is not righteous man and He is not fit to become a leader of our country? Why we not give them a chance to prove his ability? All the leader of whole world is not coincidence to become a president is not that they vote of the people is also the choices of our God coz He knows everything he is the only one to decide who is the right one and not our self. As bible said in Matthew 7:1-2

  28. Mickey says:

    righteous is not a term to be used for a president of the he righteous to begin with? his image was a hand me down from his always praying mother..which most of the time goes to the streets and rally.. what we need is true leadership..leadership with a vision..a leader who has the passion for CHANGE

    and please spare me from the God thing..did God really want us to have Erap? Marcos? are you hearing yourself here “He knows everything he is the only one to decide who is the right one and not our self. As bible said in Matthew 7:1-2”..did you experience euphoric moments while voting and here a voice “Gerard vote for Noy, he is the savior of your country”..with a statement like that we can just blame it to God then period.

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  31. Marmel says:

    As of my writing this comment, NoyNoy is the incumbent president. Incumbent and incompetent. I didn’t vote for him. In my huge family/clan, my siblings and I didn’t vote for him. If I went with the popularity thing and did vote for him, I’d be pissed off to the nth level right now.

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