The false platform of Noynoy Aquino

Regular commentator on and, Mr Joe America, makes a very astute observation that I am sure echoes the sentiments of many who frown upon the flack being lobbed at the kilig-ng-Starbucks Masa candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III:

I sense some good minds here at AP are doing the old waffle-about soft-shoe, choosing not to choose a preferred candidate. It’s the old “avoid the platform” trick; if you don’t have a platform that provides tangible specifics, no one can attack your positions. If you don’t choose a candidate, you are forever free to take potshots at those who do . . . You can forever lord it over others, with no real risk . . . you can forever tear down without having to expend the energy to build . . .

There is precious little building going on at AP, and one hell of a lot of tearing down . . .

Safe . . . empowered . . .

Rather like Noynoy in some respects . . .

Joe America highlights a point that I assume comes across as quite important to the Starbucks Masa — Which candidate does the “anti-Noynoy” blogger endorse?.

I’ll clear up the above point first so we can move on to more interesting things:

Whoever I, benign0, endorses is none of anyone’s business. I make my critical views on Noynoy public, but what I choose to keep private is my prerogative. Just because a person chooses to slam one candidate does not necessarily oblige that person to reveal his choice publicly. That, I might remind everyone, is why The Ballot is secret. So to debunk your false analogy, Mr America, one cannot compare the obligations of a voter to the obligations of a presidential candidate. A voter’s agenda is, by default, private. A politician’s agenda, on the other hand, is public — or at least it is private initially but is fair target for intelligent enquiry (the kind that is able to tease out substance, or highlight a lack of it). But let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I am to respond to the criticism that I (can’t speak for the rest of am guilty of “the old ‘avoid the platform’ trick”. I will beg to differ. My (and in most cases our) platform here, in the sense of what we contribute to the National Debate, is to put forth a clearly-articulated set of standards as to what I believe a platform of a quality befitting one who aspires to lead the Filipino people ought to look like. As such you can find our “platform” as far as my (and for the most part our) participation in the national debate during the election mania of these times goes, right here.

For those who are under some kind moronic illusion that Noynoy Aquino already has produced a platform, consider how such a big deal is being made about Noynoy’s speech before the Makati Business Club, et al last Thursday, 21st January 2010. It’s been re-posted, forwarded, and twitted like mad for the last couple of days. Recently it is “the full video” that is now making the rounds.

Filipinos are like a bunch of wretched pigeons flocking around breadcrumbs thrown at them by bemused bums whiling the day away on a park bench. Indeed, any information about what Noynoy is all about (beyond his being a pale shadow of his parents) is so scarce that the esteemed pundits of Pinoy bloggery will latch on to a speech to trumpet the existence of some substance behind the campaign of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Some have even called this speech a “platform”!

It is just a speech. Yet it is being bandied around like The Holy Bible or even, que horror!, a campaign platform!

Goes to show that there is still a need for Pinoys to get up to scratch as far as standards are concerned. And as this mania around Noynoy’s “speech” demonstrates, the standards Filipinos apply to evaluating the substance of their presidential candidate remains true to form.

Let us not forget what a real platform looks like. You can find the gold standard of a true platform right here. And as a matter of fact, there aren’t any real ones out there that fit that standard.

A speech, much less, is not a platform.

Anyone who makes you believe it is so simply highlights the truth about why Pinoys deserve their politicians.

* * *

Hopefully I’ve made myself clear on that one yet again. So let’s get on to the more debatable aspect of this article, shall we?

Mr Joe America, Noynoy Aquino stands out as the target of choice because:

(1) He is an easy target.

His style, approach, and demeanour simply screams “sock it to me”. He lacks a platform, is running on the path paved by the pedigree of his folks, and cowers behind his handlers in the face of direct challenges to defend his position (that is, if he has any of consequence) in a public forum consisting possibly of hostile journalists and bloggers.

(2) He is a safe target.

Because he lacks any clear stand on anything and has yet to articulate a strong position on any issue of consequence, You can keep shooting and not expect any kind of return fire — that is, unless you count the laughably vacuous responses from his handlers and fan-bloggers as the kind of return fire that makes those good minds you observe dashing for cover.

(3) He is popular.

Indeed he is. Post anything with the key words “Noynoy”, “Aquino”, “Abnoy”, “Luisita”, or any other term that describes any cultural artefact even remotely associated with this bozo and you will get the hits, you will get the re-posts, you will get the re-tweets, and you will get the applause (at least from those intelligent enough to get the sort of high-brow humour that usually laces these articles). Noynoy Aquino’s popularity attracts fans and groupies. Why should he not attract detractors and critics as well? You can’t take one without the other, much the same way as one cannot run on his illustrious parents’ pedigree without at least addressing the baggage that comes with it (the heritage of feudal atrocity that stains most oligarchic clans’ white linen).

Put all of the above three together, Joe, and you get a good return-on-investment for the trouble it takes to knock out a decent blog post or feature article. By hitting Noynoy Aquino you not only get to slag the Erap Estrada of the 21st Century, you also, with the same stone, get to touch upon everything about Philippine-style democracy that is wrong. And that, sir, is what makes the effort to “tear down” in this instance so worthwhile.

There are other issues that are worthwhile writing about. But how often do we have elections, anyway? And with a few months more to go, well, it’s time to empty the clip.


About benign0

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16 Responses to The false platform of Noynoy Aquino

  1. BenK says:

    Well put. For me personally, it’s the WTF? factor of Noynoy’s candidacy that causes me to want to get out their and brain some fools. I have not seen any major political candidate anywhere who is such a zero in terms of personal, professional, or political achievement actually gain more than a passing chance at winning office, and I continue to be astonished that anyone actually takes him seriously. You are quite correct that he represents an epic fail on the part of Philippine society. He deserves all the harsh anyone with half a brain wants to throw his way, because he chose, after all, to make himself the lightning rod.

    The biggest irony of Noynoy Aquino is that the brand position he’s sought to establish is spot-on: “I am the son of Philippine heroes, and represent the spirit and legacy they bequeathed to the country.” Yes you do, Noynoy. Most certainly.

    • benign0 says:

      Yes indeedy, lest we forget, there was a not-so-bad lineup of politicians that one could at least imagine sitting in Malacanang in a presidential manner. Then this bozo Noynoy decides to run, and the real outrage here lies in how easily such a numbnuts candidate sidelined all the rest and how quickly a mass of startstruck ignoramuses rallied behind hm (literally!).

  2. Joe America says:

    I’m honored to be so thoroughly and thoughtfully debunked.

    Are blog-writers indeed private? Seems to be like snipers, ya know. Okay to shoot, but keep the head down, eh?

    But whack away, sticks, stones, slagwork . . . its all grits for the swill . . .


  3. Joe America says:

    On further reflection . . .

    it seems to me that bloggers claim special rights, then. Rights without responsibility. They are permitted to slight, slander or verbally slaughter at will, with no need themselves to explain any bias, untoward motive, or reason. They can claim both the privilege of privacy and the right to rail on regardless of outcome, hidden behind veils of false names or operating as paid hacks and protected from any inquiry whatsoever as to motive.

    Investment advisors ethically must identify their positions on stocks before suggesting to others how they invest. But bloggers can advise anybody on anything and not be held to account for any outcomes. Manny Villar can get on line as jethernandez and slander Noynoy Aquino to his heart’s content. Anyone who probes for understanding or motive is dutifully labeled an asshole.

    Cool . . . a medium of impeccable irresponsibility masking as the great font of wisdom and truth. No accountability; unrestrained lip; the grand defense of “privacy”. Gotta love that kind of freedom . . . and zero-based ethics . . . what a medium . . . wait until people get really good with the distortions and deceits . . . truth and lies will merge in a surreal world of words without any meaning whatsoever . . .

    Oh, God, I see it all so clearly now. Cervantes wrote Don Quixote five centuries early. The fictional novel wasn’t the coming of the end. The internet is . . .

    The Chinese are right!!! Zap this cancerous growth before it goes malignant.


    • benign0 says:

      Mr Joe America, what you say above may be true — but only if those that you say have a “claim to special rights without responsibility” cannot be accessible for direct challenge.

      My ability to make the assertions I make here indeed entail little responsibility for me (at least as far as you are aware). But my assertions are open to direct counter-argument. That’s what the Comments facility in this blog is for. You only need someone with enough intelligence to craft a convincing response to these assertions. Where are those who are willing AND ABLE to step up and challenge the assertions made here? I don’t see any. Do you? Perhaps that is why you perceive this exercise as one that endures with impunity — because it remains unchallenged. Yet the reason is a bit more simple. It is that there are none from Noynoy’s camp who are up to the task to challenge these assertions. Even worse, they see no reason to do so, considering that Noynoy remains unchallenged at the polls.

      This guy Lito summarised this reality about Noynoy’s immunity from responsibility right in this comment from

      Why attack and descend to their level? Noynoy and his people at FB should avoid attacking Villar or Gibo. That’s a sign of weakness. The best offense is defense. Noy has a solid core votes already and those will not gravitate to any of his opponents come May. Villar cannot harvest from Noy’s core votes anymore. He has to get additional vote from elsewhere to surpass Noy’s numbers.

      There’s the rub, Mr Joe America. The onus to apply a counter-check to ellicit responsible behaviour on the part of bloggers in this corner of the blogosphere is on those who beg to differ to mine and others’ assertions here. Trouble is, they choose not to act. But for argument’s sake. let’s say that, indeed, I behave irresponsibly by applying my license to publish these views without the need “to explain any bias, untoward motive, or reason”. Well then consider what I say above and apply this to Noynoy Aquino. He has applied full license granted by (1) his being an Aquino and (2) the death of his mother just as election fever had started to kick in, to appeal to SENTIMENTALITY to become the most popular candidate which it seems renders him immune from the responsibilities that go with being a candidate for President of the Philippines — i.e., the need to explain how he plans to GOVERN. And unlike us bloggers, that immunity is beyond any ordinary effort to challenge directly. Ask anyone who’s tried to nail Noynoy down for a public scrutiny of his agenda as a presidential candidate to comprehend these words.

      • Joe America says:

        True on that. The halo effect.

        Well, I have acted on Noynoy and moved Gordon up as the lead horse. I think the presidency would enhance his solid skills, and he would do well. I think the presidency would turn Villar into another Marcos as he aged, and would turn Aquino into a puppet of so many factions that he would mostly spend his days twitching.

        Regards. Enjoyed the commentary.


    • ilda says:

      Manny Villar can get on line as jethernandez and slander Noynoy Aquino to his heart’s content.

      Now, now Joe, don’t let your imagination run wild or else you will be no different from people in this site:

      Can you believe their claim?!!! They are saying I’m just a paid hack? Har, har, har, hi, hi,hi. I can’t stop laughing. If my friends could see what they are saying about me now, hahaha. I’m sure even my friends who are for Noynoy will go for someone else after reading their comments because they know me and they know what I’m about. Oh, that’s a good idea, I will share that site on my FB..

      Me? paid by Villar? Show me the money! hehe 🙂

      Seriously, totally unbelievable! The minute you write something about Noynoy that is perceived to be negative, you are a paid hack! I can’t get over it! I’m sure this doesn’t happen in the US.

      • Joe America says:


        Okay, I have reined in the imagination. Truly, this fine medium does enable the imaginative and deceitful full license to distort. That is now our world.

        I rather enjoy it, myself, as I can whip out a yarn with the best of them.

        I think you should pretend to be a hack for, say, Mr. Teodoro. Imagine the fun you will have making up arguments on his behalf.

        Please let me know if your man ever found his rubber boats . . .

        No, no. Do Estrada. He has precious few friends on line. He needs a boost . . .


      • UP n grad says:

        JoeAm: You have to look at a mirror every so often, mr sniper you.

        Apparently it is not sniping that you do not like since you snipe as often as snipers would snipe.

      • Joe America says:

        My sniping skills were honed in the Boy Scouts and the US Army.

        In the Scouts, I learned that snipes are little brown birdlike creatures that can only be hunted in the deepest, darkest part of the night, in the deepest, darkest part of the forest, as the unaware are sent up the hill to drive the beasts down the mountain. The aware are back at the camp site eating smores.

        The US Army taught me how to aim well, and squeeze the trigger, not yank.

        Yes, I know sniping. And I have a good mirror, to boot.


    • jethernandez says:

      Crying again Joe?

      Your preconceived notions and your fallacies makes one think that you have a problem with your cognitive faculties. You’re autistically inclined to passionately rebut with generalizations that is sooo boooring…

      Before talking about BLOGS and RESPONSIBILITIES… You have to define who these bloggers are… name these sites and cite the links as to where these slanderous statements are. Your statements are slanderous in itself (racist, trash and paid hack)… you should have at least taken the effort to define what SLANDER means.. again your dreaded phrase applies EITHER PUT UP OR SHUT UP…

      To contextualize the political bickerings of the AP and FV posters leads to a general premise that any taxpaying and voting citizen has the inalienable right to question any elected official’s spending (of tax payers money) and performance. The Luisita… the SCTEX… and the NON-PERFORMANCE as a Legislator are issues of SPENDING and PERFORMANCE… Noynoy is being tortured for his platform because HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY PERFORMANCE… His TRAPO rivals Villar, Gordon and Gibo have something to dangle with.

      You want to swim upstream? You want to bring arguments to a higher plane? YOU CAN’T… you’re drowning in your kiss-ass mode.

      • Joe America says:

        Fact. Nonoy is being accused of misdeeds by the Villar camp because he profited on the sale of land for the Subic Expressway. The land value of the property was on record for P9 a hectare, and he sold it for P200 per hectare. I think he must be a really lousy negotiator. I think Villar got something like P30,000 per hectare for the C5 re-routing. Add “lousy negotiator” to your litany of criticisms for Noynoy.

        One would wonder, of course, why in the world good land was valued at P9 a hectare. Wonder if it has anything to do will tax rates.

        struggling with the concept of facts in lieu of kiss ass fallacies.

        Have a jolly happy day.


      • BongV says:

        “world good land was valued at P9 a hectare. Wonder if it has anything to do will tax rates.”

        – and noynoy has the nerve to talk about honesty and anti-corruption?

      • Joe America says:


        Right, precisely. But you will note that Mr. Villar’s people do not make THAT challenge. They challenge the percentage mark-up. Challenging the assessment would encourage people to look at the books and see what values are assigned to Mr. Villar’s many properties.

        The country would not be so broke if it would simply collect property taxes on land that is valued at honest market rates.

        Just about every property owner is like Mr. Aquino, so he is not being unethical by fitting so well into a system that says cheating is ethical.


  4. Mike Hunt says:

    So what do you say now?

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