Official records show that there have been 14 Philippine Presidents that preceded incumbent President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy). However, PNoy seems to be under the illusion that there were only two past Presidents before him and he takes turns referring to each one of them in his speeches depending on the occasion.
When PNoy talks about his famous and much revered parents, the late Ninoy and Cory Aquino, PNoy never misses an opportunity to blame the late former President Ferdinand Marcos for the “Martial Law” years. When PNoy talks about corruption, PNoy never misses an opportunity to point his finger at former President Gloria Arroyo for a decade of “dark” years as if she were the only President linked to corruption.
In his recent speech before the Filipino community in Singapore, PNoy was disappointingly predictable, blaming Arroyo yet again indicating that “all decisions made by the former administration were based on politics.”
PNoy’s favorite example of politics-based decision-making was when, in his opinion, Arroyo “allegedly” chose to reject an increase in electricity rates in 2004 because it was an election year, a decision which according to him again, resulted in “Napocor’s debts soaring to P1 trillion.” For a man with enough resources at his disposal to help him analyze most situations, PNoy is singularly focused on blaming one single entity for the shortcomings of his administration.
How sure is he anyway about his allegations? How is it even quantifiable? Arroyo not increasing electricity rates could not have affected the voter’s decision in the first place because the voters would have found the cost of living high at any given time, particularly during Arroyo’s term. And isn’t it PNoy and all those who despise Arroyo who keep insisting that she cheated in the 2004 election anyway? So her win in the 2004 election could not have been because she kept electricity rates down.
To be sure, PNoy is just trying to find a scapegoat; someone to blame (again) for why he needs to increase the cost of electricity during his term. He knows that as soon as the Filipino people feels the pinch of the rate rise, his popularity will more than likely, go down. It is short of saying, “Don’t look at me, Arroyo should have increased it during her term.” PNoy’s tactic reminds me of an Adolf Hitler quote, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
PNoy also stressed in the same speech that “the government became insensitive during Arroyo’s term.” Really? I wonder what kind of people fall for PNoy’s irrational talk? Even a biased Inquirer article about Arroyo accurately paints a very different story about the “insensitivity” of the government even before Arroyo took over:
Ms Arroyo came to power in January 2001 following the ouster of Estrada in a sequel to the iconic Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986. The first uprising had ousted Marcos after nearly a decade and a half of strongman rule.
The replay—nothing more than an out-and-out military coup—was triggered by moral indignation over the abortive Senate impeachment hearings against the actor-turned-politician. The televised proceedings showed he was up to his eyeballs in wine, women and wampum supposedly weaseled from “jueteng” (illegal numbers game) collections and shady business deals.
Arroyo, his vice president, replaced him.
What does politics-based decision making mean to PNoy anyway? It seems to me like he is playing politics too by excluding other past Presidents from the blame game. Even Walter Lohman, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center was quoted as saying that the country is facing “institutional problems that go back a long time,” and these “need to be addressed over the long term.”
And to quote myself in my previous article:
In other words, it is likely that PNoy’s own mother’s stint in Malacanang also contributed to the problems ‘that go back a long time.’ As a matter of fact, his own mother, the late former President Cory Aquino was actually instrumental in creating the current institutional and legal frameworks that are causing major, major problems for the country.
PNoy has the opportunity to fix things but unfortunately, there is no sign of improvement in the way he conducts things. PNoy is given a big opportunity but he is just wasting it. PNoy promised to improved things but he is not doing anything different to achieve it. Opportunity keeps on knocking at Malacanang’s door but PNoy refuses to let it in because he has no more room for improvement.
Likewise, in the same speech PNoy claimed that the Philippine economy is improving. He cited how it grew by a solid 7.3% last year and “the country is now the fourth-largest shipbuilder in the world and the No. 1 in the call center industry.” How lucky is PNoy? Barely a year in office and he is already taking credit for the growth that is the result of the previous administration’s hard work.
PNoy failed to mention the following reasons for the growth as reported by the Inquirer:
1. Higher remittances from the millions of Filipinos working abroad.
2. Spending fuelled by the billions of dollars overseas Filipino workers sent home.
3. Was achieved on the back of the world recovery from the global financial crisis.
4. The extra money that was pumped into the economy by politicians who campaigned in the national and local elections held in the middle of last year.
Additionally, the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) gave the following explanation:
Growth by sector
Private sector investment in construction, machinery and equipment resulted in a robust 17-percent growth in gross domestic capital formation. This supported the healthy pace of growth in manufacturing and services, according to the NSCB.
Industry contributed 3.9 percentage points to total GDP growth on the back of brisk manufacturing, particularly electrical machinery, petroleum and coal products, and food—thanks to a strong pick-up in domestic demand and the rebound in external trade.
The services sector contributed 3.5 percentage points to GDP growth, boosted by the strong performance of trade and private services. This was complemented by flourishing domestic investment, robust expansion in business process outsourcing, hotels and restaurants, wholesale and retail trade, and import and export trade.
Due to fewer typhoons, the agriculture sector managed to grow 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter. “Only two typhoons hit the country compared to seven in the last quarter of 2009,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga noted.
In short, PNoy had nothing to do with the economic growth. He just keeps saying that he did. Let’s see how the economy performs this year after tens of thousands of Filipinos had to be evacuated from the Middle East.
And of course, a PNoy speech is not complete without his standard ramblings:
“Lahat ng minana natin, hindi pa tayo perpekto, at tao tayong imperfect, hindi naman natin ma-pe-perfect yan. Pero gusto ko lang pagdiinan at ulit-ulitin sa inyo na talagang yung pagkatagal-tagal na iniisip nating walang kapaga-pag-asa, talagang sobra nang pag-asa ngayon,” he said.
I don’t know what PNoy meant with his latest drivel but when it comes to pure nonsense, I still prefer former United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld’s classier excuse:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.
Official records show that there has been 14 Philippine Presidents before PNoy. They have all made their decisions based on politics alone, which is why the international community still considers the Philippines a basketcase today.