I found out recently that public flavour-of-the-month presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr had upgraded his website. The new website is far glossier than the original one that I trawled for information and cited as reference back in the 30th of August. The URL I used for reference for the rather sparse summary of Aquino’s platform I made back then pointed to what was then the “platform” section of his website:
Unless Aquino considers the following information that appears when you click on the above link (as of this writing) as one that describes his candidacy platform, I’d say the section simply vanished into digital thin air.
I wonder sometimes in which direction we measure progress by. Ben Kritz wrote — also back in the 30th of August — about “The Non-Platform of Noynoy Aquino“. At the time, he was referring to the following information that appeared in what is now a phantom section of Aquino’s website:
I [Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr] 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.
If it weren’t for the rather tragic timing of Aquino’s Web revamp, I’d say with the aim of injecting a bit of humour in this rather interesting situation that:
Aquino had today gone from having a non-platform to having a gone-platform.
But the timing is indeed tragic, made tragic by the disaster recently wreaked by tropical cyclone Ondoy upon Luzon — a tragedy that Aquino’s machinery exploits to the hilt seeing that it’s been made the centrepiece of his now glossy website…
… as if a call to a continuous ode to heroics says anything about how one might perform once their bums start warming that coveted seat in Malacanang. It is that characteristic Filipino inclination to pervert otherwise noble ideas. In this case, the whole concept of Web 2.0’s user-generated content approach: Contribute your stories of Ondoy heroics folks! And read all about it, re-published on my website!
I can’t help but highlight yet another irony that escapes the collective mind of the Philippine political establishement and its cadre of “expert” analysts.
Aquino’s glossing up of his website and the disappearance of the only section in it that would have housed the only semblance of substance underpinning his candidacy is symbollic of our society. In the same way that the flurry of property “development” that characterised the last several decades of Metro Manila’s history added a veneer of gloss over the metropolis that masked a hideous infrastructural rot, Aquino’s website “improvements” reflect our society’s march to progress:
Paatras ang asenso
(Progress in reverse)
Indeed, Noynoy Aquino does after all represent the collective aspirations of the Filipino people.
(1) The premier metropolis of the land sits on a decrepit waste disposal system and its residents continue to stuff it with their refuse; and,
(2) Aquino’s candidacy rests upon a decrepit national mindset that is further being polluted by his misguided handlers and the cadre of promoters that surround him.
Hindsight, however informative, is quite useless though. Although we now have the benefit of the Ondoy disaster’s revealing Metro Manila’s rot at its core, we will most likely have to wait for Aquino’s six-year term post 2010 to unfold before the vacuousness of his candidacy is revealed.