Grading Noynoy’s Excellent Adventure: Maybe He Should Ask for a Re-sit

Shortly before Noynoy’s Excellent Adventure in the US, I took the opportunity to speculate on what the outcomes of his first state visit might be, and whether those might be good or bad signs for the Philippines’ near-term prospects. That the news coming back from his expedition has been dominated by his appreciation for American fast-food, upside-down flags, and his having to suffer through a total of 26 hours of not being able to smoke (Imagine! Way to take one for the team, Noy.) should give everyone ample cause for concern. But was his trip a complete waste of time? Let’s review:

*Aquino at the UN: My take on this was that if he managed to present himself in a statesman-like manner, and address Philippine concerns in the context of global interests he would largely accomplish about all he could expect to at the UN. His brief speech to the General Assembly started off as a rehash of global interest platitudes, segued into a thinly-disguised whine about how rich nations are obliged to help poor nations like his, and ended with an awkward and confusing analogy to ‘People Power’. I did not see the video of his actually delivering the speech, but on paper, it’s unimaginative and obtuse. It’s not likely to have made much of an impression on anyone for longer than it took for the next speaker to ascend the rostrum (which was President Sambi of the Comoros Islands, if anyone’s interested); if one wants to find something positive to say about it, at least it can be said that Aquino probably didn’t annoy anyone with his remarks.

GRADE: D –. It was a pass, but only in the sense that he didn’t make a fool of himself or offend anyone for no good reason.

*The US-Asean Leaders’ Conference: In general, this went pretty well; Aquino avoided the problems of having to address internal security issues in the Philippines (in particular the still-fresh memories of the Manila Bus Massacre), and other potentially sticky inter-regional issues such as trade. The conference, although hampered by the absence of Indonesian President (and incoming ASEAN chairman) Yudhoyono, produced some interesting comments on strategic partnership with the US, but otherwise ended on the pleasantly innocuous note that I had earlier guessed would be a reasonably good sign for the Philippines’ relationship with its Southeast Asian neighborhood in the near future.

GRADE: B. Aquino certainly didn’t stand out, but he really wasn’t supposed to – this was, after all, a collective exercise. Otherwise he handled himself appropriately, and did well to not dwell on the focus of the meeting either by antagonizing or pandering to the leftist elements in the Philippines, who are certain to be furious about it.

*The Aquino-Obama Meeting: Contrary to my expectations, Aquino did get to meet with Obama privately, albeit for only seven minutes. Clearly not expecting the opportunity and obviously being completely unprepared for it, Aquino chose to bring up the thoroughly irrelevant matter of a 60-year old US ammunition dump on Corregidor Island.

GRADE: F. Aquino reacted with the diplomatic equivalent of that character in South Park that always throws up on his crush every time she talks to him, and should probably consider himself lucky that Obama had no real comment on the encounter.

*The Investment “Roadshow”: Even before Aquino left for the US, it was difficult for anyone with even a vague grasp of logic to see how someone with no business or economic acumen was going to convince investors to pour money into a country with one of the world’s most restrictive foreign investment frameworks, and the results were just about what anyone could expect. While the Office of the President is crowing about $2.8 billion in investments “pledged” during the trip, the details are less than impressive: $434 million of that is in the form of the MCC grant which the Aquino Administration had absolutely nothing to do with securing for the country – the approval having been made in March, two months before he was even elected – and the rest is in the form of very preliminary proposals to construct an additional power plant in Luzon, and a plan by Hewlett-Packard to expand operations in the Philippines. Neither of these two ideas have progressed beyond the study phase, and certainly cannot be construed as ‘money in the bank.’ And $2.4 billion in actual ‘foreign investment’ is not much to crow about – Vietnam has already collected almost twice that amount in the first five months of this year.

GRADE: F. The MCC grant had already been approved through no involvement of Aquino, Hewlett-Packard is already here, and the possibility of a new power plant, given the significant shortfall of electrical generating capacity in the country, at best represents mitigation of an existing problem rather than progress. Strictly speaking, Aquino did not achieve nothing – but he was pretty close.

OVERALL GRADE: F. On a scale of 1 to 10, Aquino’s entire trip scores about 3, and so the answer to the original question “Was his trip a complete waste of time?” is apparentlyYes. We at least now know that he really likes hot dogs and can suck it up and do without a cigarette for the duration of an overseas flight; what possible use that knowledge will be to the wise governance and progress of the country, someone else will have to explain.

About bkritz

I'm a writer, and I do things my own way. That might sound cool to you, unless you're one of the people who actually knows me, in which case you're probably shaking your head in exasperation at the depth of that understatement.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Grading Noynoy’s Excellent Adventure: Maybe He Should Ask for a Re-sit

  1. It was very wise of the American politicians to NOT politicize their speeches about Noynoy and the Philippines. They did not have to mention how it was the previous regime who worked hard on the culmination of the grant coz it’s a Philippine effort after all. President Noynoy, however, was unlike that when he gave his speech for the Filipino people coz he made sure to strike those he alleged as bad critics after delivering his list of possible investor companies. it was a combo of a good PR (coz there is not any single proof yet of such investments, just the enumeration of the companies that he talked to) and bitter politics. If he was able to behave before the Americans, why couldn’t he subject his own people to such good behavior?

  2. ulong pare says:

    … what was roxas doing at the UN with a pekeng ID? … FLIPS, if you don’t belong, yu harden der (MANIGAS KAYO)… :mrgreen:

  3. annonymousse says:

    President Aquino, say thank you to GMA. Har har har

  4. ulong pare says:

    while prez gung gong was deep throating a nuyak hotdog, doktor santa ate glo phd was loitering at the hotel astoria hunting for hook-ups… ay sus ginoo… flips, for shame…. shame…. buti na lang hindi ako flips… FYI: AYM ‘MERKAN!!!! 😳

  5. sotirios says:

    46,000 jobs over three years (15,333.3333 jobs per year). The poulation was 63 million in 1993 and in 2010 expected to be 94 million; an average annual increase if 1.82 million more people per year over that time frame. Looks like at this stage we need at least 1.5 million new jobs per year, so he’s gotta find 1.184 million other jobs next year. Hope they’re well paying jobs too! Oh but of course we can always send them overseas (shame shame shame). They won’t earn much but at least it’s something. Oh, right (penny has dropped), maybe we should control the population growth. Oh no, those catholic “guys” protest!; they need poverty to survive. … . If noynoy pushes through with this,I give him some credit. This is his real test for, the real long term solution. If he backs off, then I’ll agree that the next six years is an utter waste of ALL our time.

    • BenK says:

      I’d like to see how what he supposedly came up with actually generates 46,000 jobs — I’m thinking the same chiz-like math that was applied in the SONA is being applied again here.

  6. sotirios says:

    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/202186/bishops-threaten-civil-disobedience-over-rh-bill

    It’s time we take a stand against the church. There is meant to be a separation between state and church. If the church wishes to become involved in policy then they have two options;
    1. Start paying taxes.
    2. Pay taxes and start taking fiscal responsibility; support all those poor families with a multitude of kids they never wanted to happen. I pay enough taxes and there’s little left to support the children I have taken responsibility for.
    Finally, lets introduce a law to only allow taxpayers to have the right to vote; perhaps then we will get fiscally responsible elected representation in government!

    • BenK says:

      I would have liked to have mentioned his statement on reproductive health, because taken at face value I think it is a very reasonable and practical position to take, and I think credit should be given where due. But that issue didn’t really have anything to do with his trip, and as a matter of fact, one could be forgiven for being a little cynical that he only made a firm statement while he was safely on the other side of the world. Whether he can follow up on it is just something we’ll all have to watch for.

      • sotirios says:

        “Finally, lets introduce a law to only allow taxpayers to have the right to vote; perhaps then we will get fiscally responsible elected representation in government!”

        Revolutioary thought any no reply, SAD!

      • Jay says:

        Its not as revolutionary, thought it may also alienate young voters, besides the unintended citizens who are willing to mark the name that gave them a sack of rice and a lechon party. I do support it but also fix the entire voting process as well. Even if the voting system was electronic, it wasn’t revolutionary that local barons and such still employ medieval tactics of using hired goons and brute force to threaten and cause fear to voters.

    • bokyo says:

      Civil disobedience?? LOL

      “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” – Matthew 22:21

      They’re now really going to intervene the earthly government with this stance. What about governing the spiritual aspect?

      If they’re going to do this then Article 2, section 6 of the 1987 constitution of the Philippines will be a slap to their face.

      • bokyo says:

        And if some bishop started on that “Get fruitful and multiply” crap, i’d question their spiritual mindset

        God did not imply only on mankind’s procreation physically. It’s to spread out The Word and multiply its followers. Same as AP is doing: awaken and awareness from the Pinoy dysfunctional system, spread its message and multiply the numbers.

        Tsk. talk about taking the Bible too literally.

      • Aegis-Judex says:

        Speaking of ‘dres, I’m sharing a link here from a ‘dre I’m following in Blogspot:

        http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/09/vatican-ii-and-preservation-of-latin-in.html

        Note that even THIS ‘dre admits there are Iscar-iyots (this time, I mean it!) such as the legendary Damaso, as follows:

        THAT IS NOT TRUE. THERE WERE ALSO ABUSES BEFORE. THERE WERE PRIESTS ACCORDING TO OUR OLD PRIESTS WHO WERE CUTTING THE PRAYERS OF THE MASS TO MAKE IT SHORT. THE HOMILY WAS ONLY PURE SHOUTING DECLARING THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE AS IF THE ENTIRE ASSEMBLY ARE ALWAYS IN MORTAL SIN.

        THERE WERE ALSO PRIESTS IMPREGNATING WOMEN BEFORE AND MOLESTING BOYS. BUT THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE VICTIMS PREFER TO BE SILENT BECAUSE THERE WERE NO MEDIA THEN TO EXPOSE THE EVIL DONE.

        DON’T PRETEND AS IF THERE WERE NO MORTAL SINS DURING THE PRE-VATICAN II CHURCH. EXCUSE ME. SEXUAL, LITURGICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, POLITICAL ABUSES ARE PRESENT IN THE WORLD OR IN THE CHURCH DURING THE TIME OF POPE PETER, POPE PIUS V [THAT IS WHY THERE WERE REFORMATION THEN DUE TO ABUSES AND SCANDALS] OR PIUS XII OR BENEDICT XVI.

        THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS COMPOSED OF SAINTS AND SINNERS FROM THE FIRST CENTURY UNTIL NOW. DON’T TELL ME THAT YOUR ERA IS HOLIER THAN OUR AGE TODAY. THE SINS OF THE WORLD TODAY ARE BROADCASTED BY TV AND RADIO. DURING THOSE TIMES THEY ARE SIMPLY KEPT IN SECRET. PADRE DAMASO IS NOT A VATICAN II PRIEST BUT A PRE-VATICAN II. PHILIPPINE HISTORY CAN ATTESTS TO THE CORRUPTION AND EVIL AND IMMORALITIES PRESENT IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE SOCIETY DURING THE PRE-VATICAN II ERA.

        He even thinks that post-V2, Holy Church is kinder and gentler!

    • brianitus says:

      Civil disobedience versus RH? Isn’t unprotected sex and irresponsible breeding happening all the time?  No need to make that call, imho.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        Please understand well the Christian faith. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine. He ordered the Catholic Bishops to convene the Council of Nicea, in Greece. This was to formulate the premises of the Catholic Faith. They put on a Christian Bible. Left out some important Books of the Prophets, on order of the Roman Emperor. These removed Books are called: Apocrypha.
        The left out Books are : Book of the Prophet Enoch; Book of the Apostle Mary Magdalene; the Revelation by Saint Peter the Apostle; Book of the Apostle Philips; Book of Judith, etc…There is even a Gospel of the Apostle Judas Iscariote. Knowledge of how our Divine Source manifests himself to us; is the key to remove fundamentalism in your religion.

  7. mel says:

    Thank you, BenK, for the MCC Grant (Approval in March 2010) information.

    For me, PNoy’s “global people power” is offending and a sign of ignorance. Rich and developed countries helped and are helping (not only the Philippines!) after the Second World War. In times of catastrophes and natural calamities, foreign donations are given to those needy.

    I was in Legazpi, Albay, during the Milenyo/Reming lahar disaster and I experienced the wrath of Ondoy here in Northern Luzon. I did not hear somebody called for a people power to help rebuild and rehabilitate these areas.

    Pakistan was under water. Parts of Germany experienced the same fate. I did not hear or read the Philippines called for People Power to help these countries. What gives us, Filipinos, the privilege to only receive?

    PNoy’s analogy to people power is based on the fact that the EDSA1 was orchestrated by the Oligarchs. Aquino cronies mobilized their wealth and employees. Unfortunately, I was one of those who, out of loyalty to my employer, blindly followed orders. I was with the Logistics Group who planned and monitored the key areas. We sent out our delivery trucks and the huge manpower to EDSA. The rest was easy and history.

    • UP nn grad says:

      Hey!!!! Persidente Noynoy Aquino (llike Persidente GMA before him) always willing and very willing to send Pilipinas PNP and Army to serve 💡 under the United 🙄 Nations flag to be in Timor, Lebanon, Haiti.

    • BenK says:

      It was actually approved much earlier than that, but the final decision on the disbursement as it were was made in March. At that point, MCC decided to hold off until after the election to avoid confusion as a result in the turnover of the administration. Despite the Aquino admin’s not-so-subtle claims that they somehow caused it to happen, none of them had anything to do with it.

      Yes, it is true that concerns of the MCC about the corruption measures, along with a few other factors, pushed preliminary approval into late 2009. But while Ignoy and his people bash on GMA for the “corruption issue that delayed the MCC grant,” they conveniently fail to mention that it was her admin that eventually got enough of a grip on things to pull the RP into an acceptable range at the last minute. Any way you look at it, Aquino didn’t do jack shit except play errand boy to go pick up the check.

      If you go to that link (on Scribd) and read the transcript of his speech, you tell me what the hell he was talking about “People Power”. I honestly can’t make any sense of it at all, and I like to think I’m a fairly bright guy. To me, it almost seemed like he (or whichever of the 3 Stooges wrote it for him, rather) just tried to force some vague reminder of the “Aquino aura” in there at the last minute, never mind if it was in context to anything else.

  8. UP nn grad says:

    President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino (who is known to be 🙄 “generous” to his shooting buddies and college buddies) the weeks before he left was trying to get the entire Abu Sayyaf declared as a terrorist-group by Pilipinas lawmakers. He was not able to get it done (Only the thirty-plus Abu Sayyaf members already charged with committing a crime, the rest can walk in and out of airports or markets “no 😯 problemo” and ASG bank accounts are free to receive money-transmissions).

    The smiling-one :mrgreen: “Noynoy” Aquino could not talk to Barack Obama about more electronics and maybe aircraft against the ASG since he failed to complete his homework.

    • ulong pare says:

      … daaang… prez gung gong is fully aware of who is running the ARMM/MILF/MNLF/JI/ASG thingy in the south of ‘tang inang imperial manila… prez gung gong had a briefing with ‘merkan amb and JSOT-P commanders recently. muklo leadership is getting thinner ebridey…. prez gung gong will not do or say anything about military magic going on in da south.., it’s is under unc sammy’s control… and, y’all better believe it… bekos, the ops runs a lot smoother without gung gong’s intervention… just sit back and relax, y’all… prez gung gong is not showing at da debonaire’s radar… not a ping…. bwi hi hi hi hi…

    • ChinoF says:

      That was a bugger… why was Abu Sayyaf not declared a terrorist group by our country long after they took the Burnhams, and the ‘Merkan US already declared then terrorists?

  9. Hyden Toro says:

    To the information of all: It was not a State Visit. A state visit would had Pres. Obama invited him and talked to him privately in the White House. He would had been treated with Honor Guard Parade-in-Review. The event was a yearly event; whereby member countries of the United Nation; have the opportunity to address the U.N. General Assembly. It is to present their agendas to the World Body. Iran’s Ahmadinahjad was there blasting the U.S. The delegation from the U.S. walked out. Iran’s Ahmadinahjad was even more noticed. He had an interview with CNN Larry King. And, in the next day; he had an answer-and-question session with the U.S. Press. Noynoy Aquino was there in the streets of New York, eating Hot Dog.His fellow Oligarchs who accompanied him; may had a good time in New York and Las Vegas. 🙂 🙂

    • BenK says:

      An appearance by a Head of State at the United Nations is a State Visit, and while the UN is the host, it is treated as such in terms of protocol, diplomatic, and security arrangements by the US government.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        It was not state visit for the U.S. Not with the U.S. government. The U.N. is a different entity from the U.S. Iran’s Ahmadinahjad was not a U.S. state visitor.Would a state visitor blast and insult his host? U.N. is located in New York. However, it is like the Vatican in Rome. It is separate and distinct from the U.S. government.

      • BenK says:

        Look, wtf difference does it make? You’re wrong, anyway, but it’s a minor point — I bet you’re one of those people who got bent over the backwards flag.

        The UN complex in New York is accorded approximately the same courtesy and protection as an embassy in the US, although obviously defined slightly differently. The Vatican is an actual State.

  10. Hyden Toro says:

    I have visited the U.N. many times. I’ve talked to those U.N. guides. They are foreign university students from different countries; who are members of the U.N. The United Nation has its own security. If you get in trouble inside the U.N. compound. The U.N. laws, not the U.S. laws will be enforced on you. What good information, to have than those working inside the U.N. It is an entity outside the U.S. government. The lot was donated by the Rockefellers. It came out from the League of Nations. I only want to inform. I’m not misinformed. I studied in a University near it, when I was in school: Columbia University.

  11. jemon says:

    A fair assessment I should say.

    I think your too generous though on the US-Asean Meeting. It seems to me that it is where the Philippines acted as the US’ conduit to the rest of Asean, a US broker I should say. I am sure you won’t agree though being an American economist? jejeje.

    Meanwhile, do you have some reference proving that the MCC grant is indeed approved in March or at least before BSAIII’s term?

  12. brianitus says:

    The only good thing about the MCC grant is that it is a GRANT — no need to pay it back.
    At least that’s what we would all like to comfortably believe while we sleep at night but…
    Since when did this country get cash without any strings attached?
    Sa bagay, pera na rin yan.

    WIth Ben’s failing grade assessment for the trip, the only true winner in that entire trip was the NYC hotdog stand.  Who knows? That stand could be the next toursim Mecca for Pinoys in New York. lol.

  13. J_ag says:

    The U.N. is the embryo of a future world government. It’s mostly Western backers organized it for the purpose of promoting representative government around the world. All members of the U.N. are free to send their heads of state every year for the opening of the General Assembly. Aquino was there on official business to represent the Philippines at the U.N. He was not there on an official state visit.

    While there he took the time to be present with U.S. businessmen in meetings with groups who were doing business with the Philippines and members of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce. All the proposed investments had already been in the pipeline even before Aquino became president.

    This is the typical narrative for Presidents of the Philippines and a country still trapped in the “dollar dollar Joe” culture.

  14. vhortex says:

    Religion is a weapon, they even inserted purgatory which never existed in any gospel or letters. Given some people in the bible with super powers by tilting and molding it a bit to impose obedience. 

    The reason why the other books was removed are mainly, they render christ like a normal mortal being with favors from GOD (he should be a normal mortal since it was his job). They also hidden the other parts since it conflicts with the Roman teachings. Romans are well known for incorporating their beliefs inside the native beliefs to avoid revolts.

    The church from way before also kill non believer under using the oath that they need to cleanse the world from sinners. Hence the long war of roman christian and muslims rooted (The Crusades). 

    ************
    Partially I am with the roman church this time under the clause ‘that this move may result on people being irresponsible on aspects of sexual life due to an easy remedy’. I do also believe that RH matters should be tackled and to FORCE (yes i mean FORCE) people to start within themselves to be responsible enough to care for their children and capacity to sustain them. Pinoy’s are growing almost exponentially and the irony that those who complains about poverty are usually the ones that sells their votes and have at least 7 children.

    When I moved here in Laguna, 9 out of 11 families that I meet that only earns a living by scavenging trash have at least 8-9 offspring and 2 out of this 11 have 15 offspring.

    • ralliart1to3 says:

      Twisting of beliefs have already occurred even when the Church was in its infancy during the time of Apostle Paul, which he vehemently condemned like in Galatians 1:6-10. Anyway, I really don’t believe that the Catholic Church has direct influence of the masses at all. Most Filipinos have this “selective hearing” disorder. They only hear and apply the things that are favorable to their beliefs. So in the end, its people who decide on their fate.

      The only solution is for their minds to be preoccupied with something economically productive rather than reproductive.

  15. ralliart1to3 says:

    I was hoping for him to ask for some leadership training or something from Obama. Of all the things he could tell, why something irrelevant like the decades old ammunition? Very much out of touch with reality. Still, could be worse. :mrgreen:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s