So President Noynoy Aquino is popular. Okay, already. Frankly, his minions in the Inquirer.net are over-praising him for just being popular with the public and rating highly in a trust “survey”. There are even newspaper columnists who give P.Noy too much credit on things he hasn’t accomplished yet — even without laying any kind of concrete plan of action for the future. They say he “now holds the highest ever trust rating ever earned by a public official.” The thing is, former president and convicted plunderer, Joseph Estrada was popular with the electorate too and he even almost won the presidency again in the recent election. So clearly, popularity is not a big deal especially if one is only popular for the wrong reasons like, say, having a popular mother, father and sister. Besides, all newly elected presidents are popular at the beginning of their term anyway (think: Obama). P.Noy’s popularity is not something that should define his presidency this early.
Inquirer columnist Jose Ma. Montelibano said in his sorry excuse for P.Noy’s lack of a roadmap in his SONA, “The roadmap is about character, the character of the leader and the character of the follower, the character of P-Noy and the character of the Pinoy.” But exactly what type of character does P.Noy have anyway? I fail to see any redeeming qualities that can make up for his lack of foresight and vindictive nature. In fact, more and more people are starting to become vocal about his character flaws and one of the many obvious character flaws of P.Noy is his boastfulness about being someone with integrity.
Can you imagine yourself announcing to your friends, “Hey, I’m really someone with integrity!” They might just think you are delusional or something. One does not go around telling people about one’s own goodness. One should just show his or her good intentions through his actions and let other people be the judge of their character. People’s perception of you can be totally different from what is in your mind and you just can’t force everyone to believe what you are saying especially if you haven’t done much to prove yourself.
To be fair, it’s only been a few weeks since P.Noy was sworn in as the President. But it’s been one heck of a gaffe-filled few weeks culminating with his state of the nation address (SONA), one that was filled with what seems to be unsubstantiated claims, empty rhetoric and negativity. No wonder the media outlets owned and operated by relatives and friends of P.Noy are coming out swinging and on the defensive about his “character”. It is like scraping the bottom of the barrel because they haven’t got much to work with. P.Noy’s supporters are just banking on his popularity to help him through his term.
So now Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda is saying that “the President instructed all the Cabinet secretaries to come up with an individual spokesperson for all departments.” Perhaps this move was prompted by the coming to light of all the inconsistencies in P.Noy’s SONA in recent days. So this means that there could be at least 19 new spokespersons added to P.Noy’s communication team. Great! Increasing the number of people to speak on behalf of the President will make it even easier for P.Noy to blame someone for being misquoted or being misunderstood. Indeed, this will be a very convenient excuse for all the future gaffes by the Chief. And whatever happened to working in simple ways for better coordination and less labor cost? Obviously for the P.Noy Administration, less is not more.
Speaking of communication, could it be true that P.Noy’s original mouthpiece, Conrado “Nonoy is like Aragon” de Quiros was “bitin” with P.Noy’s SONA?!? I had to read his analysis of the SONA twice just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. It had a hint of dissatisfaction that was very unlike those other public relations pieces of his that were dedicated exclusively to P.Noy.
De Quiros was actually saying that P.Noy missed the opportunity to take advantage of the people’s mood because the Filipino people are so “inspired” at the moment and they are just waiting for P.Noy to tell them what to do. He said “It should have been obvious from the campaign that the people were no longer in the mode of ‘What’s in it for me?’ They were in the mode of ‘What can I do to help?’” But then he had to add the delusional statement in the end by saying that John F Kennedy’s proposal during his time was now a reality for P.Noy. He says, Filipinos are asking “what can I do for my country?”
The Inquirer.net sorcerer couldn’t be more wrong because the electorate is still in the same mode as before which is to leave every problem to the government to solve for them. Where is the evidence of this you might ask? It is in the same statement of Inquirer columnist Montelibano that P.Noy “now holds the highest ever trust rating ever earned by a public official.” It is not a good sign when the electorate has complete trust in their government. When the electorate does not even question or use their critical analysis faculties when listening (or not listening) to their public officials, it only means that they are not in the mode of “what can I do to help?” They are more in the mode of “we can trust him to take care of everything for us.”
The Filipino electorate is indeed dreaming again. They are back in their comfy stupor. They keep going back to being less vigilant every time there is a newly elected head of state. It was the same with former President Gloria Arroyo when she was new to the office. It’s because voters believe that their duty ends on election day and anyone who complains or makes a fuss of the new president’s “errors” of judgment are just being unpatriotic or sore losers.
If you believe the surveys conducted by polling firms owned and operated by friends and family members of P.Noy, he is indeed, the most popular guy in town. Unfortunately, popularity is just like gravity. What goes up usually will come down one day.