• A banana has more heart than the Aquino govt


    (Like President BS, I could not physically join as I had hoped the commemoration last Sunday, November 8, of the second anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and the trail of tragedy, sadness, and official callousness that it left behind. So I offer this piece as my way of remembering that awful page in our lives and our history.)

    I received many comments and thoughtful responses to my column last Saturday (“Aquino’s legacy: Regressing from Third World to banana republic,” Manila Times, Nov.7, 2015).

    Each comment is much appreciated. Without playing favorites, I want to focus attention today on a thought-provoking one-sentence comment from reader J. Herald:

    “Mabuti pa nga ang saging may puso…pero itong gobyernong ito wala…(The banana plant is better because at least it has a heart; but this government [ the Aquino government] has none.)”

    This statement is pregnant with implications and insight.

    Is Herald (he/she) suggesting that “banana republic” as a term of derision in politics and journalism maligns the noble banana (the plant and the fruit), considering all that it contributes to our cuisine and our daily diet?

    Is Herald criticizing President Aquino’s well-proven lack of empathy for people, no matter their distress, and his government’s slavish emulation of his insensitivity?

    Is Herald a survivor or victim of Typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan, who has much to complain about in the government’s incompetent response to the disaster?

    Is Herald perhaps an OFW (overseas Filipino worker), who has many issues to raise with the President and his administration?

    OFWs as our top export today
    The OFW angle merits further exploration, because another reader pointed out to me by e-mail that the term “banana republic” originally denoted countries whose economies had one major agricultural export or commodity, like bananas or pineapples or sugar.

    The Philippines is long past this agricultural fixation. But in some ways, he said, our single biggest export today is our overseas workers (OFWs), who remit some $ 26 billion annually to the home economy and help countless countries with their labor. They contribute some 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    The size and importance of the OFW sector have been built up many times over since the time of President Marcos, who started the overseas workers employment program — so much so that today, the OFW sector is indispensable to national life and the government in charge.

    President Aquino would lose his mind and tear out all his hair if his government did not have the OFW remittances to fall back on.

    People as export is a dreadful idea to contemplate, but I was not far off the mark in suggesting that the Philippines today is a banana republic. People are our banana substitute.

    OFWs more victims than heroes
    The real tragedy is that our OFWs, for all their contributions to national life, are neglected, patronized and much-abused. When they are not being abused by illegal recruiters, human traffickers and grifters, they are also being harassed and abused by onerous government regulations and government officials.

    Although government and the media always talk about OFWs as our modern-day heroes, OFWs are more often victimized than honored.

    The Aquino government has done nothing to enable the economy to employ more of our OFWs here at home. Our economy remains closed and protectionist to ensure the profitability of big business and our dollar billionaires. Policies to open up the economy to more foreign investments are bottled-up in Congress.

    And then when our workers find employment abroad, they are subjected to all kinds of scams.

    When OFWs send their traditional balikbayan boxes to their families here at home, the boxes are subjected to inspection, pilferage and taxes.

    Whether coming or going, they are subjected to the now-infamous tanim-bala or bullet-planting racket. Bullets magically turn up in their luggage. Aquino appointed his cousin Jose Miguel Honrado as general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). Now, with a national and international scandal blowing up over the bullet-planting scheme, Honrado refuses to resign. Aquino does not have the balls to fire Honrado and others responsible.

    It’s a horrible image to raise but the Aquino government shafts Filipinos in all kinds of ways, by failing to provide vital public services, by subjecting us no end to boastful propaganda about daang matuwid, by the blatant looting of the public treasury, and by the abuse of our indispensable overseas workers.

    If change doesn’t come next year, this banana republic will explode!

    Heartlessness born of narcissism
    In several columns earlier this year, I traced the lack of empathy of President Aquino and his administration to a basic character flaw: the man is a narcissist. He is absorbed with himself, and has no regard for others. If he has a disorder, it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), the official name in modern psychiatry.

    His heartless response to the victims of Yolanda, to the victims of the Mamasapano massacre and their surviving families, to the victims of the Zambaonga siege, to the long-suffering commuters and motorists of Metro Manila — all are exhibits of Aquino’s malady, which disables him for the task of problem-solving.

    The mad enterprise of forcing his anointed candidate in the 2016 presidential election, Manuel “Mar” Roxas to become his clone and to continue his twisted daang matuwid program is an extension of this narcissism.

    The forced shutdown of Metro Manila for the APEC summit next week, which will subject all of us to four days of deprivation and inactivity, is a form of despotism that only a president with no heart will think of and impose.

    So, yes, Reader Herald is absolutely right. A banana has more heart than President Aquino and his government.

    After writing this, I schemed to get my wife to serve a sumptuous kare-kare dish at dinner, complete with the obligatory puso ng saging.



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      • Correct. Especially to those who voted for Abnoy last 2010 elections. We lost our jobs when he cancelled the Laguna Lake Dredging Project. I convinced my colleagues then not to vote for Abnoy.

    1. Aquino is an oligarch and so his insensitivity is a natural part. He is also a snob, an egoistic maniac who thinks he knows everything and others know nothing. His incompetency, which is very obvious, almost all the time results in disasters. But he won’t acknowledge them and always put the blame on someone else. If no one, GMA is always around. But look at how he reacts and addresses some issues: OFW-kasalanan nila; SAF 44-wala akong alam; MRT-improvements will come (on the meantime you passengers have to suffer); Yolanda victims-we tried our best but your mayor is a Romualdez; and many more. DAANG MATUWID-DAANG PALPAK KAMO!!!!!

    2. Sad when a substantial no of citizens live in poverty and even hunger while the government institute policies to make the rich richer and government officials wallow in perks and totally misuse public money, and we wNt to. Onto us the straight path ,,,,,, to where extinction . Civil war, or hell on earth

    3. I hope before the end of his term by next year onwards June, 2016, Mr. Pnoy will be in disastrous situation. His brain will be exploding like a bomb that will cause him to act more violently that could landed him in MENTAL HOSPITAL…esp. when his LIBERAL PARTY will be lost in this coming election. Every Filipino is praying for that, mostly in TACLOBANOS region..

      • We will all be glad if he is put under hospital arrest once the Liberal Party lost in the 2016 elections. He will be confined at the National Mental Hospital and once this materializes, the next administration will rename this hospital into Benigno C. Aquino III Memorial Hospital for Mental Health!!

    4. brandogandanghari on

      Tanga na lang ang boboto sa kandidato ni Noynoy sa 2016 elections.Halos lakarin ko na ang EDSA pagpasok sa aking trabaho mula Cubao hanggang ortigas dahil sa hirap ng pagsakay sa bus at sa trapik. Sa anim na taong ibinigay ng Dyos sa kanya para pagsilbihan ang masang Pilipino at hindi lang ang Oligarkiyang Dilaw na kinabibilangan nya, wala man lang syang ipinatayong bagong daan sa EDSA o kaya biniling bagon ng tren ng MRT o LRT para sa mga empleyadong papasok sa trabaho. Mapapamura ka talaga sa gobyerno ni Noynoying.

    5. Ano ang ma expect natin sa kanya WALA! A mere example na dapat as Commander in Chief ng AFP/PNP naroon sya during the salubong of our SAF 44 Heroes, kaso mas importante sa kanya ang inaguration ng Mitsubishi sa Laguna. Si FVR naroon din sa Mitsubishi Inaguration Pero humabol sa Salubong ng atin SAF 44 Heroes. He’s a disgrace Commander in Chief!

    6. Malas natin naka pre-program na ata ang PCOS to select the next president of the Philippines..kaya PCOS pa more..sabi nga ng isang kandidato di niya kailangan ang boto ng OFW..kaya to all OFW around the world alam niyo na kung sino ang party na hindi dapat iboto.

    7. OFWs are the modern heroes as they say.. yet you are right.. often abused in ways you can’t imagine..

      as Mar Roxas says.. He doesn’t need OFW votes to win.. which will tell you this abuses will keep on coming until a new leader is installed in Malacanang..

      I just hope this callous treatment not just to OFWs but to ordinary Filipinos will end.
      let’s Vote wisely come 2016..

    8. Ang Tuwad na Daan ni Topak Noynoy Aquino… itong mga tao na hindi dapat maging Public Servant kasama ng kaniyang Presidentiable Candidate na baliktad din ang pag-iisip “si Mar Roxas” mga sinungaling at manloloko ang mga Taong ito, mga Abnormal…

    9. Kawawa talaga ordinaryo at abang Filipino. Lahat ng panganib eh ating nararanasan mula sa mga halang ang bituka na miembro ng salisi gang, zesto gang, budol-budol, estribo, pitas, holdaper, mandurukot, laglag barya, at iba pa. Pero mas mabigat eh kung ang mismong panganib o banta nito eh manggagaling sa inaasahan mo
      na mga lingkod-bayan kuno. Mas grabe ang modus nila at legal. Tanim/laglag bala, wait atin taniman nila tayo ng saging… huhuhu

    10. conchita gabucan on

      If I were to choose between Pnoy’s annointed candidate Mar Roxas and Binay, I would rather choose Binay.

    11. Yan kasi “feeling haciendero” [nagkahacienda lamang sila dahil sa negosasyon ni Ninoy sa kanilang pagpapatuloy ng Luisita galing sa Tabacalera, na pinondohan ng gobyerno na dapat ibalik sa mga sakada matapos ang 25 years]. Itinala siyang head of security ng Luisita ng mga pinsan niya matapos siyang makakuha ng edukasyon sa Ateneo de Manila !!!
      Mahal na mahal niya si Honrado kasi ito lamang ang kamaganak niyang nalalamangan niya sa hitsura, ngunit isan paligo lamang.

    12. We should all participate on this coming APEC event in Manila by simply walking out in the streets to protest and show all our International guest that the President of the Philippines, BSAquino and his party are a bunch of Hypocrites !
      Trying to show off a different image of the country. For what ?

      • Good idea. Why not get all Metro Manilans to occupy all the major thoroughfares during the four day circus? Anyway, they declared those four days as holidays so the people may just use the period to try to send benigno a message.

    13. Baliw man c Panot…accepted, but first thing to think is who put him in Power? What is wrong with us is that we are fond of miracles and we consider Cory something of a saint that’s why majority of us believe that maybe Panot is also coming from heaven. This coming election we might be politically matured enough in choosing the next leader.

    14. Leodegardo Pruna on

      P-Noy is not original in narcissism. He inherited and continued to practice what he saw from an earlier lady Chief Executive bearing his name the art of narcissism. No heart, no empathy, no concern, insensitive except to those in their class. What a way to govern in a regressive way like tuwid na daan leading to nowhere. God bless the Philippines.

      • Di nga ba naturingan ang ama na congenital liar so naturalmente, ang anak will always be lying to himself. Pangalawa, run di ako nagkakamali, meron ng pagaaral na ang ama ni benigno ay narcissist kaya ganun di ang kinalabasan ng utak ng anak.

    15. The insensitivity and snubbing entirely the commemoration of this tragic event can really be “annoying”, considering that even the supposed official to lead in remembering should have been Pres. BS Aquino. His attitude toward this unfortunate happening can be aptly described as “Noy-noying” which, to me, sounds like “who cares”..

    16. Pnoy aquino lacks ethics – in simple terms knowing right from wrong – or doing the right thing.
      Additionally, his cocooned upbringing and lifestyle have only reinforced his distorted, and antiquated, view of society, and himself.
      As if believing in the ‘divine right of kings’ pnoy aquino considers that he can do no wrong, and that others do not have the right to challenge or criticise him.

      So it is no surprise that he attended the wedding of business tycoon andrew tan’s son on sunday, rather than acknowledge the 9,000+ who died in yolanda, and commiserate with those who are still suffering.

      When money talks, Pnoy Aquino listens, but if you are poor, you don’t exist.
      When the Ayalas and the Tan’s say, ‘jump’ – Pnoy Aquino says, ‘how high?’

      A leader without ethics is divisive and destructive, and a danger to democracy. Their moral compass points to a den of iniquity and a road to inequality.

    17. laguatanlawzen.com on

      ABNOY had been bragging that under his watch, PH economy has improved. Perhaps he is day dreaming that because of monthly remittances of OFWs working abroad, as well as other Filipinos who became naturalized from other countries, who continuously make dollar remittances to their respective families back home in the PH, has greatly help the economy grow. ABNOY treat these dollar remittances as part of his economic strategy. This is an idiotic economic assumption because there are no marked massive foreign investments coming to the country on day one of Aquino’s administration. Foreign investments coming to the country, should there have been any, is an economic indicator that the PH has taken off from economic doldrums and despondency, because such foreign investment portfolios would certainly create various job opportunities. ABNOY and all his rah-rah boys and girls, pride themselves
      for having attracted foreign investors to put up manufacturing ventures. Who are the foreign investors, in his right mind, would risk putting in their dollars so they would be kidnapped and ransomed? Truly, PH is now a full-fledged banana republic. No wonder, we don’t only plant banana, we also plant bullets. In one of the papers I read, it is very intriguing to note that US Pres, Barack Obama jokingly remarked – (is it APEC delegates??) never to forget to bring home their gifts – FREE BULLETS from NAIA airport. Ha, ha,ha – embarrassingly funny!!!!

    18. Mr. Makabenta, the brain damage of PNoy apparently is quite severe so much so he cannot identify what is pity, malasakit and empthy.

    19. a colleague said he and his relatives wouldn’t vote for Binay in the next presidential election even if they are from the same province; because Binay is corrupt. but they changed their mind and would vote for Binay, when Binay visited the wake of their departed relative.

    20. What do you mean “… would lose his mind…” ? This malevolent creature is already a mindless mental case. See the Bulatao psychiatric evaluation of him. Di na mababaliw pa ang baliw na mula’t sapul.

      About APEC, other countries do not shut down and paralyze their key cities when they host this event. Nangyayari lang ito sa Pinas dahil abnormal ang presidente.

      • The President need Psychiatrist…mukhang may sayad iyan…mental disorder that acceptance is the hardest part among relatives…and he himself knows it.