Noynoy Aquino Superstar

"We all know I respect Ms. Nora Aunor," Noynoy Aquino said in a news conference in Clark at midday today. "My only problem was her drug conviction."

So it did all boil down to that. Nora Aunor was not conferred National Artist status, despite going through a rigorous selection process and getting the approval of experts and peers, because of her past drug use.

"She was convicted and punished," he continued. "[The] question here is: if we make her a National Artist, is there a message we are sending to the people?"

You mean, apart from your belief that once you make a mistake, you can never be forgiven, nor allowed to change?

"I don't want there to be a message that, sometimes, illegal drugs is okay or acceptable. The message I want to send is [that] it is always bad, and illegal drugs do nobody any good. We have zero tolerance for drugs. It is wrong all the time."

I am not arts expert. I have not seen every film in existence. My studies do not confer me that status, far from it. But I know that Nora Aunor's acting has been recognized here and abroad, in films such as Himala and Bona and, most recently, Thy Womb. If there's anyone who deserves to be National Artist, I'd think of her. But, yeah, she used drugs. She was arrested in Los Angeles for drug possession in 2005, but underwent rehab and was cleared two years later. She used drugs, therefore all the great things she did are instantly invalidated.

"Wishy fucking washy," Alyssa told me.

But then again, it's par for the course, really. I mean, Gloria Arroyo did some good things too. She brought our economy to an upward direction, albeit slowly; while Noynoy did his part, too, he refuses to acknowledge that he's merely riding on what his predecessor began. She was (allegedly) corrupt, therefore all the great things she did are instantly invalidated.

"Paano pa kaya si Mang Dolphy?" Dan asked. "Kasama pala sa basehan ang moralidad..."

So since when did Noynoy Aquino become Jesus Christ?

Now, I am obviously not saying drugs are not bad. I don't support drug use myself. But that is not the message Noynoy is sending with his veto. He's saying, no, once you do one bad thing, whether deliberate or not, all the good things you did don't matter anymore. By that logic, no, Dolphy cannot be National Artist because he's had many partners but never got married. No, Robin Padilla cannot be National Artist because he was imprisoned for illegal possession of firearms. No, Richard Gutierrez cannot be National Artist because he had a child before getting married. Not that there's a chance he'd win that honor, but you get the logic.

No, he says. To be celebrated for your achievements, you have to have not done anything vaguely disagreeable. Fuck one thing up, and you're toast.

And, in this case, the one person who determines that is Noynoy Aquino.

He's certainly enjoying the role of God, isn't he? He got elected because he is perceived to be clean, to not be corrupt, you know the whole thing by now. He's always been against corruption in government, he's serious about stamping it out, you've heard it all before. Because the nine years before the last four years are characterized by pure evil, and he's come to save us all from that evil - he must, therefore, be God!

That delusion has meant an insistence on defending things the population - and not just the people who usually make noise about these things - has found reprehensible. Pork barrel, for instance. He dilly-dallied around it, initially saying it's a good thing, only to backtrack in a televised speech, only to turn out that we won't see any changes until 2015, because the pork-laden 2014 budget is already locked and loaded. "Kayo ang boss ko," he said four years ago, "kaya't hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo," and yet here he is, defending things his bosses clearly do not like anymore, because he's God, and he is infallible.

He defended the Disbursement Acceleration Program, ostensibly a way to jumpstart public spending, and with it the national economy, by reallocating all of the money government saved from more prudent spending practices. So, to jumpstart the economy, he decided to, say, take the savings made by the Department of Education, and put it in a huge pot along with the other savings. He has government agencies and legislators request for additional funds from that pot, never mind if those savings are, legally, supposed to stay within the department that saved the money. So, essentially, it's pork barrel: a huge pot of money, not allocated for anything, distributed at will, with the results only taken note of at the end.

But no. God said the DAP is legal. God said it's clean because no money was stolen from government because of it. God said it's good because it benefited the economy, otherwise our GDP growth would be stuck at the 4% level (the level God inherited from Lucifer) and not at the 7% level we have seen in recent months.

God is also, he claims, against corruption. He certainly does not want to look like he's allowing corruption, which explains the dramatic arrests of Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada. But if he's really serious about looking like he's against corruption - the same way he's serious about looking like he's against illegal drugs, to the detriment of Nora Aunor - then why won't he scrap pork barrel? Why won't he scrap DAP? Why won't he readily prosecute his allies already damned by evidence involving them in government fund misuse?

Today the Supreme Court has declared the DAP partially unconstitutional, while definitively declaring the important pieces of the program - transferring savings out of the concerned government agency; transferring savings from the executive branch to the legislative; using said savings to fund projects that are not in the budget - as unconstitutional.

So, no, Noynoy, it does not look like you are against corruption. Far from it - it looks like you are encouraging it, what with your defense of the DAP. It does not look like you can be considered God, either.

And your responses...

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