Why we cannot trust Noynoy and Manny

Newsflash: There is a crisis of authority in the Philippines. Our institutions don’t work and we don’t trust the people behind those institutions. Oh, wait…that’s old news.

The word trust means assured resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship, or other sound principle, of another person. It is a word that means nothing to Filipino voters, specially now that it is a mere banality thrown around by presidential candidates. After all, each and every past presidential candidate had said “trust me” in one way or another. Where are the results?

Let’s face it. In an era where what were considered to be pillars of industry and society – such iconic organisations and communities as Toyota Motors Corp, Wall Street, and the Roman Catholic Church, for example – had imploded, there is a prevailing distrust in the air not just in the Philippines but all around the globe. Institutions that many had relied upon and looked up to for guidance let us down. Malfunctioning brake pads; financial crises and sexual abuses, etcetera, etcetera. Once trust is gone, it is hard to earn it back. Once an individual’s ability to trust is gone, that person becomes completely lost and walks around town without a sense of purpose or meaning. Life is not what it used to be for the person betrayed.

Filipinos have been betrayed time and time again. As a result, a lot of Filipinos walk around devoid of purpose or meaning. They have been continuously betrayed by their government and the very people who supposedly were duty-bound to serve the Filipino people. Institutions like the Senate, Congress and the Office of the President have all been accomplices in that betrayal. Even other elite members of our society who provide essential goods and services like telecommunications, water, and energy cannot be relied upon to put their customers first before the bottom line. They too are collapsing inwards; they just don’t know it yet.

Filipinos do not trust anyone who says “trust me”. Ask the average Filipino who is apathetic about the coming election and he or she will likely just shrug and say “Pareho-pareho lang ang mga kandidatong yan. Mag-nanakaw lahat” (roughly translated, “All the candidates are the same. They are all corrupt”). Regardless of who among the two most popular candidates, Noynoy Aquino or Manny Villar, get the 40% vote in the election needed to place them in the top job, there will still be the 60% of the constituents who didn’t vote for that candidate and likely won’t trust him. That’s a lot of Filipinos who will be walking around town without senses of purpose or meaning in life.

Who can you trust in this environment? Maybe we should all learn from what happened to U.S. President Barrack Obama. President Obama is a good man. President Obama promised change during his campaign. A lot of people trusted him, and that is why he is now in office. Fast forward to now: a lot of Americans are dissatisfied with his performance. As a result, his popularity rating has declined dramatically. President Obama indeed does want change but he has a lot of detractors who don’t subscribe to his ideas around how to implement change in the system. It turns out that it was not going to be easy to institute change. Lots of businesses have vested interests in not seeing the kinds of changes that Obama wanted to implement, specially in the health care system.

This is democracy at work. It’s not easy to implement change in a First World country that practices democracy like the U.S. — and more so in a Third World country like the Philippines where institutions are weak. There is a lot of wheeling and dealing that takes place behind closed doors.

Therefore, if you have a leader like the late president Cory Aquino who was technically a push-over, then the changes that will be made could potentially be more detrimental for the country and its people. This is exactly what happened when the 1987 constitution was drafted. To put it bluntly, the same thing is going to happen if Noynoy Aquino becomes the president of the Philippines because he does not want to touch his mother’s Constitution; one that is hindering our country’s march to progress. This is precisely the reason why we cannot put our trust in Noynoy Aquino as a leader of the Philippines. Since announcing that he is not amenable to public debates anymore, he had all but confirmed that not only is he going to be another push-over like his mother, he also made it clear that he is averse to even just discussing anything but the kinds of changes that he will implement in the system — if there are any to begin with.

Greed is the name of the game in the Philippines. A lot of the people running the show find ways to manipulate the system in ways that belie their claim of having any real stake in the welfare country they are working for and living in. A lot of people say that Noynoy Aquino is not greedy but the question is, does he have what it takes to go after the greedy corporations, which evidently are owned by some of his relations and friends? Furthermore, does he have the guts to implement changes that will most likely be unfavourable to them?

Presidential candidate Manny Villar, who appears to have amassed a fortune in such a short period of time, is just a product of the very system that needs to be changed. Whatever way he made his fortune, the system in place failed to check and ring alarm bells before he got around to covering his tracks. Since greed is the name of the game, it is no surprise that there are people who would actually support his candidacy. It is because they also have vested interests that will benefit from a Villar presidency. And since Filipinos do not ask for platforms from their candidates before going to the polls (due to ignorance), they really have no idea how a man like Villar is going to manage the country while he is in office. Meanwhile, Manny Villar uses a popular game show host to reel in the crowd. To his followers, endorsement coming from this noon-time show host makes up for Manny Villar’s shifty eyes and monosyllabic speeches.

Trust is a word that we need to bring back into our system. We need an acceptable degree of transparency applied to the way we conduct our politics. The only way we can bring some semblance of trust is to ask our candidates what they plan to do once they are in office. The things they say will give us an idea of their trustworthiness. If they can promise something, at least we can hold them on those promises once they are in office. Be afraid of those who don’t even want to say anything because they think that no one is listening anyway, or those who just let their campaign managers and paid entourage do all the talking. They cannot be trusted.

Bear in mind that there are other candidates aside from Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar. If we have eliminated these two as untrustworthy, then we need to look at the other alternatives that are not afraid to say what they want and are not going to be push-overs once elected.

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29 Responses to Why we cannot trust Noynoy and Manny

  1. Mimang says:

    We can’t leave the Philippines to Noynoy, no doubt..

    But you gotta be kidding about the Villar part.. You can stone me to death for not thinking about the C-5, etc. etc. etc. but you see, even the Anti-Pinoy favorite Gordon has his own issues to solve. In fact, all candidates have their own issues. If Manny Villar had shifty eyes and monosyllabic speeches, Gordon had his awkward mega-crying moments.

    I think you are well informed that all these candidates will do everything to win. Lucky for him he got tons of money to spend. If Gordon had 25 billion pesos worth of net assets, I think he’ll be spending as much as Villar is spending today, or even greater.

    Filipinos just fondly equated his being the “richest pure filipino” to the “most corrupt person ever lived”. Labeling is the Filipinos’ masterpiece.

    • BenK says:

      Interesting that Ilda brought that up, because I hadn’t really taken special notice of Villar’s demeanor. To me, the C-5 issue is exactly what disqualifies him. He may not have done anything specifically illegal involving the C-5 (or he may have; point is, I don’t know enough to say with certainty one way or another), but at the very least he gamed the system for his own benefit. And there’s nothing he could say to convince me otherwise, because I travel that wiggly-ass road of his here in Cavite two or three times a week — a road that, if you saw it, you would realize actually BYPASSES a few established settlements that lie along what would be a natural, more-or-less direct path between point A and point B, in order to make a big loop past some brand-new developments with HIS name on them. Coincidence? Possibly. But enough of one that it should warn people off the sort of transactional politics that might coincidentally become SOP under a Villar presidency.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Mimang

      At least we agree on Noynoy 🙂

      You are mistaken in assuming that I view all people with money as evil. I happen to know a bunch of people with money and they are some of the nicest, kindest and compassionate lot I know. Usually, those who have newly minted coins in their pockets or those whose newly acquired money still have wet ink on it are the ones who can’t get enough of accumulating wealth through not so legal means.

      Don’t get me wrong though. I will be one of those who will rejoice if and when Manny Villar finally gets exonerated from all the accusations of stealing public funds because I’ve had it with all the rumours surrounding him but have yet to see or hear anyone following-through on investigations or filing charges against him. If you notice, I haven’t been saying anything negative about the guy until now because I happen to believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

      I see a few problems though with a tainted candidate like Villar. Aside from the 60% of voters who don’t trust him, we have a justice system that has no follow-through even if they investigate and file charges and even if he gets cleared, the mud has already stuck in the minds of the Filipino people.

      I have no issue with paid advertising as long as it is legal and as long as the candidate can fund it with his own money. However, it’s another story though if that is the only way Villar is going to win. A credible platform to stand on will level the playing field for all the candidates.

      I noticed that being emotional is the only thing you have against Gordon and saying that he will spend more than Villar on advertising if he can is a bit rich.

      Good luck with your candidate!

    • usi says:

      nope, Gordon won’t..he knows the max. campaign limit accdg. to Law:
      “With an estimated 51.3 million voters, including overseas absentee voters (OAVs), from a population of around 91.8 million trooping to the polls on May 10, 2010, a Filipino candidate for either of the two highest positions is allowed only to spend a maximum of P513 million ($10.9 million, US). ” – from http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/288550

  2. Gorudon says:

    lahat naman tayo may issues na kailagang masolusyunan. ang tanong na lang dyan eh kung sino yung may MAS malaki at mahabang issue. Haba kaya ng C-5.

    o sige sabihin na nating pareho lang malaki issue nila. id still go for gordon kase, experience pa lang, malaki na lamang ni Gordon.

  3. BongV says:

    Legally, Villar is probably aboveboard. It’s his sense of ethics that bothers me.

    The one word that comes to my mind when I hear Villar – it reminds me of Italy’s Berlusconi.

    I’ll trust the guy to run a business. My spidey sense is going off that like Noynoy, I can’t trust Villar with the reins of government. Somehow the C-5 issue is a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” kind of thingie.

    There are two major schools of thought on rich men running for government office:

    1 – They are rich and therefore will no longer be tempted to steal. Campaign expense is a philantrophic exercise

    2 – They are rich and will recover their campaign expenses one way or another – through contracts, or outright malversation

    So far, Berlusconi has been hounded by Item #2. The probabilities of that happening with Villar are quite huge, given this C-5 brouhaha.

    However, if it boiled down to a shootout – between Noynoy and Villar, given the Indonesian experience of solid growth despite corruption – I will sway towards Villar. Given candidates both with vested interests – I’ll go for the one with better performance – Villar, fully knowing he, like Noynoy will be hounded with corruption allegations.

    In fairness to Villar, I was impressed with his handling of the Estrada impeachment. So much so that Arroyo saw the threat posed by Villar if he were to preside over an Arroyo impeachment. Arroyo maneuvered to have Villar replaced with Enrile. it’s one of the reasons why I don’t buy the Villaroyo line.

    Fortunately, Noynoy and Villar aren’t the only candidates in town – there are other choices – Gordon provides an alternative – while it is true that past performance does not guarantee a repeat – and then there’s the Peter Principle – sure he might be good as a small town mayor – but a city is an entirely different thing. That’s where we dig into Gordon’s other work experiences – as Senator, as PRC chair, as SBMA chair – to get a glimpse of his leadership style. In doing so, one can spot consistency in terms of political will and delivering results.

    In this process of elimination, I have already eliminated Villar and Noynoy.

    I have a quantitative version using the Kepner Tregoe approach – Villar and Noynoy didn’t make the cut as well. Noemi Dado also applied the KT approach – http://thepoc.net/voters-education/4451.html

    • ilda says:

      I wish Abe Margallo used the Kepner Tregoe approach instead of his gut. 🙂

      Abe is probably one of those elders who influenced Noynoy’s decision to forego debates. I remember Abe kept insisting that no one cares about platforms and the like anyway.

      I didn’t realize that Manny and his wife are both CPAs. That’s a combined talent for getting around the loopholes in the system.

    • killem says:

      c-5 is pure smoke and no fire, you can ask alot a person from the south who used the said road, and they are thankful that c-5 is build. besides if c-5 is tainted with corruption as what they say, then why is villar still being proud of it???

      on about appreciation of value of the property wihtin c-5, thats the main purpose of the road, so that people are going to used it, you don’t construct a road in deserted place!! the increase value is merely incidental the project.

      • waitwat says:

        I get you… the road really did help people. I live in the city too.

        I think Villar is just being what he is. A business minded person, because he -is- a business tycoon. You make something to create a profit. You invest something that will grow in value. It’s pretty normal thinking, IMO.

        In the business world, I was taught, that it isn’t exactly clean. Prepare to step on someone’s head or go around loopholes in systems.

        Still for Gordon though…

  4. Persona Non Grata says:

    Why we trust Marcos than other candidate? Martial Law

    Why we trust Cory than other candidate? Nothing doin’

    Why we trust Ramos than other candidate? A notch better than Cory

    Why we trust Erap than other candidate? Jueteng

    Why we trust Gloria than other candidate? Accused never prosecuted. Never found guilty

    Why we trust Gordon than other candidate? I wonder what this chap up his sleeves and the rest of the presidentiables.

  5. Parallax says:

    i wonder whether noynoy and villar simply underestimate pinoy voters’ intelligence with their stupid campaign ads, or perhaps they’re actually spot-on (meaning the biggest chunk of voters they need to convince are actually dumb enough to fall for these ads).

    • Cool Guy says:

      I think the latter is their objective (getting the actually dump demographic to rally up with them or something).

      Not to totally derail the topic at hand, but as for me, that is the biggest problem that Da Pinoy is experiencing. It’s not who’s corrupt, who’s rich and who’s poor. It’s in the priorities. Like those candidates pandering to the lower classes too much, that they totally forgot about the middle and the above-average classes.

      I’m still not discounting Manny as a candidate though, well, mainly because Las Pinas. Sure, it ain’t as good as say, Marikina and or Subic (and that’s why Gordon/Bayani will probably be my vote), but I’m willing to wait it out until May to really find out who to vote for.

      And that’s not Home- I mean Noy. D:

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      “i wonder whether noynoy and villar simply underestimate pinoy voters’ intelligence” Parallax, you are implying that Filipinos has intelligence and never to be underestimated? TOO PRESUMPTOUS!

      • Parallax says:

        you’re in a blog made by some really smart filipinos, so, yes, some filipinos, like these men and women, do have intelligence that must not be underestimated. (but they’re outnumbered by those with flawed thinking – the anti-pinoys.)

      • Cool Guy says:

        True that my friend, true that.

      • ilda says:

        Hi Parallax, Cool Guy and PNG

        Thanks for your comments.

        To me, Noynoy and Manny both know exactly how to handle the masa. Their style is no different to what the candidates have been doing prior to the advent of blogging – appealing to emotion; catering to short attention spans and instant gratification. This is exactly how Erap won.

        Unfortunately, we will know only after the election if all our efforts here at AP really made a difference to their strategies. It’s kinda hard to gauge the likely outcome for now because the surveys reveal very little about what’s in every electorate’s head.


  6. Votoms says:

    Lalo mukhang malaki pera naman mga yan.

  7. Persona Non Grata says:

    I do think that the bloggers here are not paid hacks. Bloggers here are born out of passion to give Philippines 180 degrees power turn. Just because they do not see your way they are paid hacks? I do not see it that way. I do not even believe in all presidentiables. They are there to protect their interests. Others are for power. Minority has Filipinos on their mind to leave their place in history.

    A place in history is not in my mind. Legacy is far fetched.

  8. boombox says:

    I look at Villar has resemblance to the former PM of Thailand: Thaksin Shinawatra..

  9. killem says:

    To me, Noynoy and Manny both know exactly how to handle the masa

    this the reason of why there are top contenders, in a democracy its the majority that counts, even their choices is not so logical.

    I cannot fault noynoy and villar for trying the same strategy of Obama(although Obama is more qualified than noynoy) always criticize the unpopular admin(in case of noynoy) and promise everything you can promise, never mind if you can deliver the said promises.

    what the country need now is someone who has the brain and the charisma who can lead the nation and used the presidency to uplift the filipino lives, not to enrich his pocket( just like the case of marcos)

  10. Philip says:

    though i have some trust remaining with erap, i still don’t want a profligate president anymore. though what’s left (for me, at least) is Gibo and Gordon, I am still choosing the best option. one who has a leadership style that’s cut above the rest.


  11. Caesar says:

    Manny Villar as President of the Philippines – another EPIC FAIL

    and yes, they (Noy and Manny) toy around with the masses just to win some votes by cheap stunts with showbiz personalities. They should have based their campaign based on their own merits, yet, the ever famous Crab Mentality always prevails for them.

  12. Kevin says:

    Hi Ilda, I’ve been reading your articles for quite some time now. I just want you to know that I’m a fan of yours and I respect your intellectual opinions very much. I just hope more Filipinos could understand ( or at least read ) your articles. Like you, I’m fed up with all the brainless NoyNoy supporters. Reading your articles and comments gives me hope that there are still Filipinos like you who can think rationally. More power. God Bless 🙂

  13. thinking_pinoy says:

    I would choose anyone that doesn’t have “noynoy” in their names.. haha.. anyway…

    After all the allegations against Manny, even though he has already proven himself not-guilty through black and white, and still being labeled as “corrupt” just because he had the talent to put his money on the right track, i still go for him.

    My point why I choose him is that He has already done and accomplished something. Personally, he raised himself up from the ground of poverty. Public service wise, he did something good in Las Piñas. I don’t buy his commercials, “swimming in the seas of garbage”, (and that commercial with willie revillame, i hate that, it was a wrong decision to use him), but at least he knew what it felt like being poor, and he had the chance to live the transition from a poor-to-good life. I want someone who would empathize before making decisions, and I believe, and I kind of think you would all agree that you could empathize much better if you’ve experienced such.

    The fear of Villar stealing money to get back what he spent during elections, hmmm, I think I wouldn’t be caring a lot with that. With all the money stolen through corruption here in the Philippines, would it feel different if somebody would steal again? IMO, I believe a lot have been stolen already during the Arroyo days (see “First gentleman” for more info) and they aren’t just pennies, they are billions of God-forbidden money. But these are just fears. I’m willing to face that fear.

    Lets say he’s a “corrupt” and “witty” business man because he amassed tons of money with his businesses, then its good to have a “witty” leader that would steer us and be wise enough to get us out of this continuous downfall. (With the crop of politicians nowadays, you just have to pick the lesser evil, and pick your own poision). Marcos is witty, although his wife is not, but come to think of it, we were better with the Marcos day’s compared to our beloved mother of pushover democracy. But what if he’s just plain “witty”? Then he must be really good of a leader, and the picture just looks a lot more better.

    I want a leader that has proven himself he could do what he preach. Not just preach and preach. I wan’t a leader that empathize, that acts, that doesn’t sound too mesianic (sorry noynoy, but you just can’t erase corruption, sana sinabi mo nalang babawasan mo, pero di mo yun kayang tanggalin completely. Refer to the Roman Empire for more info).

    I originally have 2 candidates in mind, Villar and Gordon (although Gibo sounds intellectual enough, his color speaks for himself, he is too “green” for the job). Gordon has the qualities I wanted for a leader to have, but I like the approach Manny has in terms of leadership. Its just like a hairline difference for me between Manny and Gordon.

    As for my vice president, anybody who doesn’t have “mar” on his name.. ahaha… I’d rather go for Binay or Bayani.

  14. another anti noynoy says:

    Hi Antipinoy,

    No wonder Aquino’s survey ratings are so high, he pads the results! Business world online says so (probably just slip of the tongue or fingers, but who knows?). Check this out: http://www.bworld.com.ph/main/content.php?id=10589


  15. Rennan says:

    and your thoughts on Gibo Teodoro?

    • ilda says:

      Gibo is certainly an intellectual. My misgivings about Gibo has to do with his being a member of the oligarchy. How’s he going to deal with the members of his family who gets in the way of progress?

      I also find him too politically correct. Pinoys need someone who is direct to the point otherwise, they might end up just scratching their head all the time trying to figure out what he really means.

  16. Rennan says:

    I hope to see more stuff written on Gibo and Gordon. I feel most are in agreement that these are among the best we have as far as Philippine political leadership is concerned. Moving along… never too early to start looking up our choices for the future

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