Something occurred to me while I was watching footage of President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) eating a hotdog sandwich in New York City. I thought that perhaps P-Noy would be better off joining the circus. P-Noy is very good at talking to a bunch of people with his mouth full and he does not seem to mind doing so in front of the camera.
If this latest display from the Philippine head of state were part of his job, we would not be questioning his competence level at all for it shows that he is very good at giving the Filipino people comic relief. Unfortunately, making a fool of himself while children watch is in poor taste. P-Noy probably thought that in order to be seen as pro-poor, he had to eat like he didn’t have any manners. And it worked like a charm. His supporters are praising him for being so “humble” after seeing this theatrical spectacle.
Talking with his mouth full is a good excuse too for a possible future claim that his message was misconstrued. He may or may not have been chewing when asked about his friend Rico Puno’s post in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), but what he said was not palatable:
One thing we have to watch out for is if these people who have been with us when we were still in the harassed opposition and who joined us in our struggles…if all these people who are close to us are removed and replaced by those who are not as close, the next group could already be our enemies
I guess P-Noy does not have any plans of letting go of his “trusted” friends, especially Puno even in the face of mounting evidence of his incompetence and his questionable character. P-Noy’s “daang matuwid” is now becoming harder to navigate as his first 100 days in office draws to a close.
As far as many Filipinos are concerned, Rico Puno has to go not because he is not “The Total Entertainer” some of his supporters thought him to be. He has to go in order for the President to get back on track and possibly be able to say “The Way We Were“. The President himself has to realize that eating hotdogs in New York is not enough to make him Macho Gwapito.
If the President really wanted to prove that he is a real man and a statesman, he needs to rid his team of his friend. Without secretaries that only serve to weigh down his administration, P-Noy can then concentrate on the business of improving living conditions in the Philippines and not on trivial matters. If he does this, the Filipino people’s Kapalaran might even start to change for the better.
In Puno’s defense, P-Noy stated that his friend’s involvement in the illegal gambling game jueteng and his bungling of the Mendoza crisis are still under investigation. As quoted from the man himself: “So, we have a process. We should give the same process given to our enemies to our friends and allies too. They should also undergo a process. I cannot hang him just because some people asked me to. I don’t think that is right,” he said.
However, from my point of view, his friend’s conscience should already dictate what he needs to do. To be fair to Puno, he already filed his resignation but it is P-Noy who doesn’t want to accept it. In other words, P-Noy is not even willing to heed his friend’s wishes. He is making it hard for everyone. P-Noy’s arrogance is not uniting the Filipino people. His ignorant supporters blindly side with him no matter how flawed his decisions may be.
P-Noy’s decision not to accept Puno’s resignation is inconsistent with what he said on his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his SONA, he was very adamant in his request to former President Gloria Arroyo’s “midnight appointees” that they resign. He asserted that if they had any delicadesa, they should resign immediately (even without going through the proper procedure). I wish he could remember his own words and apply it to this situation with Secretary Puno.
P-Noy has even insinuated “that his close aides are targets of a demolition job.” Our president is quite the conspiracy theorist indeed. He probably reads a lot of novels by Dan Brown because his statements keep referring to Angels and Demons.
Since the list of people cited as beneficiaries of jueteng money came from a member of the Catholic Church, Archishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, P-Noy is practically saying that the Church is demonizing his aide. Likewise, he might as well say that his Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is part of the demolition crew because she spearheaded the Incident and Investigation Review Committee for the Mendoza hostage tragedy which recommended that Secretary Puno be made liable for contributing to the fiasco. Does this mean that he does not trust some of his own aides too? No wonder he has requested for a review of the IIRC report, much to the surprise of Secretary de Lima.
Something else has occurred to me while analyzing what the President has said so far about his allies: he needs to think first before he opens his mouth. Or better yet, he should at least not talk while he is chewing. That way, his thought processes might catch up with his mouth.