7/15/2014
A president unhinged

Well, consider me surprised.

I wrote yesterday's longer-than-expected essay to, more or less, refute Noynoy Aquino's defense of the Disbursement Acceleration Program before he could deliver it. Let's be honest - we all know what he'd say before he could say it. And, in that regard, he didn't let us down. He said the government would, understandably, file an appeal to the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision calling the DAP unconstitutional. He insisted the DAP is within the bounds of the constitution (and, for his purposes, the 1987 Administrative Code, which his mother, Cory Aquino, signed into law). He maintained that the DAP did not go to dirty projects, but was used to accelerate programs deemed necessary to sustain the country's growth. Above all, he reiterated that the DAP was done in good faith, and therefore cannot be scrutinized in the same way as the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

Of course he couldn't resist the opportunity to, again, paint himself as incorruptible, and his immediate predecessor as impossible. But of course he'd say that. He always has.

So far, so good. And then he said this.

"May mga nagsasabi rin po na pareho lang ang DAP sa PDAF. Excuse me. Iba ang DAP sa PDAF."

Did he just get cutesy?

"Excuse me."

Is that even cutesy?

And things went further downhill after that. Noynoy challenged the Supreme Court's decision. He pleaded to them. Can't you reconsider your decision? Well, "pleaded" is putting it nicely. He pretty much confronted the Supreme Court. He pretty much attacked the Supreme Court.

"Mayroon din kasi kayong ginawa dati, na sinubukan ninyong gawin ulit, at may nagsasabi pang mas matindi ito base sa desisyong inilabas ninyo kamakailan lang," he said. "Nagtiwala kami na tama ang ginagawa ninyo alinsunod sa konsepto o prinsipyo ng 'presumption of regularity,' lalo pa’t kayoang dapat na mas madunong sa batas. Ngayong kami naman ang may ipinatupad - na kayo na rin ang nasabing nakabuti sa mamamayan - bakit mali na ngayon ang aming ginawa?"

Passive aggressive much?

"Ang panawagan natin sa Korte Suprema: huwag ninyo naman sana kaming hadlangan," he continued. "Hindi ba dapat kasama namin kayo sa repormang ito? Tapusin na natin ang sistemang nagpapahamak sa taumbayan."

 Yeah, passive aggressive much.

There we were, following the speech in one way or another - on television, on radio, online - and there he was, the president of the Philippines, throwing a tantrum in the most dignified way possible. Catch was, he couldn't keep it as dignified as he should. He sounded like a kid who got grounded because he was caught by his parents making out with a girl in their bedroom. He sounded like a kid who still insists on going out, because he's got a good thing going on with this girl. "Nanay naman!" he might have said. "Pinapahiya mo ako kay Melissa!"

The other catch was, his audience isn't as sympathetic as he hoped. The day of his speech, Social Weather Stations announced that Noynoy's approval ratings dropped to 55% - a high amount, still, but his lowest yet. It's been four years since he was elected, and his sheen is starting to fade. (Except for his forehead. Yes, I know it's a cheap shot.) There's growing uncertainty over whether Noynoy can deliver something tangible, something beyond the tired pronouncements. His allies were confident that, after last night's speech, people would regain confidence in him and his ratings would rise again.

Well, no. It did the opposite.

From a PR perspective, last night's speech was a massive cock-up. What the hell is his press team doing? I thought. Wasn't the whole speech - the fact that it's airing at six in the evening, just before the newscasts, maximizing the potential for exposure - designed to make him look good? But then they wrote a speech that portrayed the president as a whiny, spineless excuse for a leader. As far as public image goes, it's a catastrophic fail. Anyone undecided about Noynoy before last night would have seen him as arrogant and stubborn.

Last night, Noynoy Aquino showed his true colors. He finally revealed to us - "revealed" being completely subjective; some have been saying this for months, if not years - that he's a man harboring delusions of grandeur. He utterly, sincerely believes he can do no wrong. He cannot accept that he would be accused of doing something wrong, even accidentally. He believes he can use his status, his legend, his popularity, to muscle his way through everybody. I want flourless chocolate cake, and you will bake it for me no matter what.

It's not necessarily a bad thing - his stance on the RH Law, his stance on China's nine-dash line, his standing firm has been beneficial to those. But couple that with the belief that anything and everything he does is good, and it becomes an insatiable monster. He'll just gobble up anything in his path because he's hungry. It might bloat him up and all that, but - ulk - YOLO. To hell with the system of checks and balances. To hell with the trust of the Filipino people. To hell with my political prospects, and Mar's political prospects. I think the DAP is right, and I think you are all wrong about it.

How the hell did that get past his press team?

I've a couple more things on my mind. One, how will Noynoy's rant affect the motion for reconsideration the government plans to file? I'm not suggesting the Supreme Court is as petty as the president, but surely - I'm no law student, so please clear this for me - it's foolish to say "you're wrong!" to the judge in an aggressive manner, before sending him a formal motion saying the same thing in a, well, formal tone? I don't know what that principle is called, but I'm pretty sure this is what "no comment" was made for: so a blabbermouth wouldn't jeopardize a perfect plan.

Of course, it's worth noting that the government could've made a better case defending the DAP before the high court issued its decision. I guess they were pretty sure they would sail through, and were caught flat-footed once the Supreme Court voted unanimously against the measure.

And two, will Noynoy's tone change towards the DAP once public opinion of it really boils over and scalds him? "Excuse me. Iba ang DAP sa PDAF," he said. "Sa PDAF, may ilang nagdala ng pondo ng gobyerno sa mga pekeng NGO, at diumano’y pinaghati-hatian ng ilang mapang-abuso. Sa DAP, malinaw na hindi ninakaw ang pondo ng gobyerno - sinikap itong gastusin para maiparating ang benepisyo sa Pilipino."

Didn't he also say the same thing about the PDAF almost a year ago? Didn't he also defend the PDAF, acknowledging that there were "good uses and bad uses" and all that was needed was to punish those who misuse it, and support those who don't? Two weeks after saying that, with the Million People March brewing and his anti-corruption image tarnished, he went on a televised address and announced that he would scrap the PDAF and replace it with a new, PDAF-esque mechanism?

I wonder how long he will keep singing his current tune about the DAP. Maybe he'll flip sooner than later, seeing how many people are starting to turn against him, thinking he's just like everybody else, if not worse.

And your responses...

"sinikap" talaga? parang napilitan lang no sis? hehehe. oh well!

Blogger Angel E.7/19/2014     

God I want to waterboard you. This has nothing to do with any of your attention-seeking blogs, nor your corrupt senators, nor your country the Philippines, for that matter.. This has everything to do with your gay, hypocritic, self-righteous ass. The thrill is watered down by the fact that I already know where you are, Niko, but it's bitter still. And I want to waterboard you none the less.




Sunshine.

Anonymous Anonymous7/20/2014     

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