• Aquino’s isolation is now complete


    It’s time for him to say, so long, farewell, goodbye and good night.

    Not that its word is more precious than that of other papers, but when the New York Times joins the call for President Aquino to “gracefully step down” when his time is up, it’s prudent for him to listen.

    Otherwise, if he persists in his childish ways and defies all reason and counsel, he will be completely isolated not only in this country but in the world. He could bring ruin to our economy, our democracy and our standing in the world.

    ‘New York Times’ editorial    
    In language that echoed the Lipa declaration of religious leaders on August 27, the New York Times expressed its view in an editorial published in both its US and international editions.

    The piece is entitled, “Political mischief in the Philippines.” There’s no mistaking who is the mischief-maker. The action urged is bluntly stated.

    The key passages leave no room for hair-splitting. Some Excerpts:

    “President Benigno Aquino 3rd of the Philippines is now hinting at running for a second term in 2016, which would require a constitutional amendment. He has also suggested limiting the power of the Supreme Court, which, on July 1, declared parts of Mr. Aquino’s economic program illegal. That, too, would require adjusting the Constitution. These threats jeopardize Philippine democracy…

    “Mr. Aquino believes that the Supreme Court has grown too powerful and that someone needs to reassert executive authority. By a 13-to-0 vote, the court struck down a spending program he created to stimulate the economy. It ruled that he had exceeded his authority in disbursing funds and that parts of the program consisted of irregular pork-barrel spending…

    “Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother, who died in 2009 after leading the ‘people power’ that triumphed over the excesses and abuses of the presidency. In practical terms, that means he should stop butting heads with the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.’

    Many Filipinos, with Rabelaisian humor, seriously doubt whether Aquino is capable of graceful. But he will step down; we will have to split the difference between soon and June 30, 2016.

    So what happens now, after the publication of this editorial, the issuance of the Lipa Declaration, the launching of the People’s Initiative, and countless other projects?

    The unfolding scenario
    I see the following scenario unfolding.

    First, there will be a dramatic change in the language and tone of Palace statements and Palace-directed activities.

    As he has done during stressful times, Aquino will withdraw to his shell and desist from issuing incendiary statements for a while.

    Lacierda, Coloma and Valte will clam up and just concentrate on enjoying their paychecks, allowances and perks.

    Kompre will fold up, and all this business about defending Aquino’s reforms will dry up from failure to identify the reforms. Makati Business Club will find itself without a horse to ride.

    Inversely, the people’s initiative and the National Transformation Council will gain ground and adherents.

    The administration will drop all talk about the president’s trinity of wishes: to amend the Constitution, seek a second term and reduce the powers of the Supreme Court.

    Congress will change its priorities
    Second, the Senate and the House in Congress will implement a radical change in their priorities and activities.

    The House will abort its scheme to use the three impeachment complaints against Aquino as a lever to extract incentives from the President. Aquino will have no largesse to offer the porcine legislators. The impeachment will not go forward.

    Speaker Belmonte may also abandon his plan to amend the Constitution, with respect to its economic provisions, for lack of Palace support.

    The Senate will tone down the insane self-serving scheme of senators Trillanes and Cayetano to bring down vice president Jejomar Binay, from his front-running status in the presidential derby.

    The chamber will withdraw its plan to redefine savings in deference to Aquino, and in aid of reviving the DAP.

    Because of his groveling before the administration, there could be a serious move to take down Drilon from the Senate presidency. The Nacionalista Party could leave the majority coalition.

    Congress will quietly set aside the Abad-authored bill and resolution that would legalize the DAP and exonerate Aquino and administration officials of wrongdoing in the illegal program.

    2016 elections will proceed
    Third, the President will dismiss all suggestions about resigning his office instead of waiting for the final bell to sound on June 30, 2016.

    This means there will be no interregnum and no Binay succession to the Presidency.

    Which further means that the May 2016 election of a new president and a new Congress will definitely push through. Positioning in that balloting will intensify. The campaign will begin for all intents and purposes at the crack of dawn in 2015.

    Would-be candidates for the presidency, the Senate and Congress will accelerate their plans and preparations for the 2016 elections.

    From kingmaker to spectator
    Finally, Aquino will become a spectator, not a kingmaker, in the 2016 elections.

    Instead of anointing a successor as he envisioned, he will be reduced to scrambling for whatever deal he can find and extract from his successor.

    Like his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo, Aquino will lose interest in stage-managing the campaign and the voting.

    His endorsement will be regarded as the kiss of death. Any candidate who promises him a pardon will have to kiss his campaign goodbye.

    DILG secretary Mar Roxas will carry the colors of the Liberal Party, just as envisioned from the beginning. With the billions of pork he commands in the 2015 budget, he should jack up his electability enough to warrant the continued support of his backers in the business community.

    Sixto Brillantes will retire before the balloting takes place. The PCOS machines will also be retired, despite Abad’s insistence on funding them with another throw of P18 billion of people’s money.

    Judicial supremacy aftermath
    As I anticipated, my previous column on judicial supremacy (“The disputed doctrine of judicial supremacy,” Times, August 28) generated a lot of comment and heat.

    Many readers were angry and disappointed. Some were supportive. And one reader accused me of being funded with DAP. I will not dignify the last with a denial, and will only tell readers to read the column carefully. My key assertion is that judicial supremacy is disputed doctrine, not a settled issue. And I documented the dispute.

    I will take up the subject again in my next column. I have come upon new materials that enrich the debate.

    I hope other columnists who write on legal issues will also take a stab at judicial supremacy.



    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. Indeed, a long wish list from somebody who strongly dislikes PNoy, has nothing positive to say about our own country, and will write anything … “Makabenta” lang!

    2. Leodegardo Pruna on

      Judicial supremacy in general should not be an issue because the SC simply banks its decisions on the Constitution. Judicial supremacy in particular especially the “interpretation of the law” comes to fore. However, the people should understand that the SC is the “Court of Last Resort” and as such and with reference to the Constitution should not be in anyway an issue because again, its decision is a collegial one and that it is again based on what is contained in the Constitution. God bless the Philippines.

    3. Graceful exit is the best of option for President BS Aquino to save himself, “MAKE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE” – RESIGN.

      President Cory Aquino said this to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

      President Nixon did it – to save himself. Vice President Ford pardoned him.

      Similarly, Vice President Binay will pardoned him, a precondition to Binay who will the
      President if BS Aquino resigns.

      Besides, the Vice President is not what he is today if not for Cory.

      My unsolicited advice:
      If this happens, Vice President Binay should not run for President in 2016.
      He will not make it like – PRESIDENT GERALD FORD.

    4. redentor pajara on

      Hello Mr. Makabenta,

      I am an avid reader or your column. Indeed, this is the worst political blunder a sitting president has done, to retain the services of the architect of illegal budget scheme. Or is he the Planner and Abad is the Dummy architect. From the view of the masses there seems to be hegemony from the president to shove his whims to the people. This has lead to the fall of many leaders around the globe and our best example is Marcos. Now, would this (doesn’t) happen to Pnoy?

    5. If we listen to New York Times we are naive. Whoever wrote this article for sure was paid and has vested interest. Why would the New York Times not print the good words said by the President of the World Bank and IMF. Isn’t New Your Times a friend of Manila Times?

    6. P. Akialamiro on

      The editorial regarding the ‘political mischief in the Philippines’ makes one wonder if ever there are advisers to Pres. B.S. Aquino like any other leader of a country has. if there are, it’s either the advisers are not giving the proper advice, or the advisee is simply a “Man of Still”; still to believe!?

    7. Mr. Makabenta and to all your supporters (supot/hypocrites)
      It’s easy to believe that other people are the grumblers. That’s because that thing called “complain” has a companion called “blame.” Spend too much time with those two and chances that we become mumblers and grumblers, too
      Chronic complaining can be highly contagious, inflammatory and difficult to treat. There’s no soothing ointment to slather on to make it go away. Some say it’s a little like second-hand cigarette smoke that affects us whether or not we’re the one doing the smoking.
      Chronic complainers do not see themselves as negative people.

      Scientific research from Stanford’s medical school revealed that exposure to 30 minutes of negativity every day can physically damage the brain. It damages the neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive functioning. This is significant because research also shows that in Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage.
      ic complainers aren’t searching for solutions. They prefer sympathy and validation. In other words, they want to hear you say yes…and agree with them always…
      Are you one of them Mr. makabenta? (chronic complainer). asxholx

      • Edison Buendia on

        Hahahaha….korek. All opinion writers of this paper had never wrote anything good about what is happening to the country. All they write about are their negative thoughts and ideas which, according to your comment, is bad for their health…better look on the positive side of thngs Mr. Makabenta!!

    8. Pinoy has the mentality of a spoiled brat boy, nothing else. And the people around him knows how to manipulate that weakness. They say things he wants to hear and feed his ego. I heard the same warnings before, from Reagan to marcos. And marcos had no option but to run away in spite of the money he doled out to the candidacy of Reagan. People always wash their hands clean. What will happen to pinoy? He is not used to be down, and trodded, and miserable. My fear? with his state of mind he might kill himself. I hope not, but with his delusions of grandeur broken into pieces, he will be left with nothing but the broken pieces on the floor.

    9. aquino should be very careful from now on coz the new york times is a very powerful media outfit in the usa. i recall reading somewhere that nytimes is represented in the so called Foreign Correspondents Board (am not sure if i got the name right) which washington listens to in shaping washington’s foreign policy. the americans are getting tired of aquino’s antics?

    10. What if you had a brilliant president who did everything right & who moved the philippines up in the world & who made poor filipinos lives better each year. Would you then like to keep him or her in power. In the uk we dont have a term limit in that you cant stay in power because of the law. Its who gets voted into power. So if the incumbent prime minister with his party gets re elected & his party keep him as leader he will remain leader of the country. It works great in the uk & if you look at the uk right now under david cameron the uk is the leading economic nation in europe. Yes he isnt perfect & he could improve in certain areas, but hey nothing is perfect.

    11. There was one thing you said i didnt like, you said ” Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother, who died in 2009 after leading the ‘people power’ that triumphed over the excesses and abuses of the presidency “. You are wrong, he should uphold the constitution as he is the president of the philippines & im sure he swears to that when being sworn in as president. No person is above the constitution, the constitution is there for the benefit of the country.

    12. Does Pnoy understand what the New York Times wrote in its editorial the other day? His intransigence based on today’s newspapers’ headlines is very pronounced. The abnormality not yet known to most Filipinos is gradually showing but apparently, the president’s insensitivity never wanes. Walang kupas talaga.

    13. veronica castro on

      Maraming kontra kay PNOY maraming siyang enemies. Hindi naman mabubura ng plunderers ang accomplishments ni PNOY. Lahat ng hoodlums. The statements of foreign nations are statements from free nations let it be. GRACE POE, so clean, so pure, so decent and so presidential.

    14. You’re right Mr. Makabenta, the isolation of the Abnoy is complete. The whole world is now alerted on the evil machinations of our machine-elected president. Every leader abroad knows now of the evil greed the Abnoy is made of and every international leader of note knows now of our determined struggle to free ourselves from the clutches of this dictator and tyrant. No doubt, we can now ask for international support in our struggle. We can even ask the United Nations to intervene in our behalf in demanding the resignation of this Abnoy.

      No doubt, the Lord above is intervening in our history.

    15. The piece is entitled, “Political mischief in the Philippines.”

      The resident SpinMaster Sonny Coloma’s official line of comment of the above quote is “INAPPROPRIATE”. True That, It is really inappropriate for Big Bully China to grab and occupy Mischief Reef, which truly belongs to Penoy, err, the Philippines.

    16. I appreciate 100% and salute the findings and conclusions of Mr Yen Macabenta on President Noynoy Aquino III. The Philippines will be much better off if Mr. Aquino steps down as Philippine president — he must humble enough to emulate Pope Benedict who resigned the Papacy. We are now in much better condition under Pope Francis. The Philippines will definitely be liberated from clearly ineffective Presidential leadership if Mr. Noynoy will graciously steps down.

      • Mabuhay Mr. Yen Macabenta. I agree with you and I want to see the result in the near future. It’s a shame for an adult to be childish and be vindictive.

      • How can we be much better if history records shows that we are not. So far he (PNOY) administration has deliver the goods. The economy has gone better, the peso became steady to the dollar and the crooks are in jail. Currently our GDP is second best in Asia.
        Let me guess whoever has published a “Political Mischief in the PH” is one of the friend of opposition. What goes around comes around. From an OFW fan of the administration.

      • Edison Buendia on

        I don’t know which country you are living now. Mr. Echano. Who is ineffective? Reminder: it is only in Pnoy’s time that a Reproductive Health Law was passed, only in his watch that we have consecutive +6% GDP growth, it’s in his administration that we gained investment grade from 3 prestigious world ratings agencies, the AFP is wallowing in modern fighting equipments which have given them high morale, high profile government officials are now awaiting trials for corruption….need I say more? May be you were one of the rah rah boys of GMA that desperately wants to return to their glory days of wanton economic destruction. Now that good governance and transparency is in the mindset of everyone, no corrupt men or women will ever set foot again on any elective office.

    17. Robertley Barrameda on

      Well, we cannot blame PNOY for trying to get his term extended. He will always try his best to make it happen for the simple reason that he know very well what is likely to happen to him after he is out of the presidency. Just like what happened to Pres. Estrada and GMA. Its just too anxious and jittery for him to think of it.

      • he started this game of revenge directed to his perceived enemies whether true or not using the vast powers of the presidency. he even bribed congress to do his persecution of his perceived enemies. he thought he was above the law with his invention of dap. now he is afraid of being jailed also? only a fool would think he could get away with crime against his fellowmen and the country

    18. Rogelio C. Lim on

      Hindi lang siya Pork Barrel King at Thief Executive, siya ay “a man full of mischief(isang tao puno ng kaululan).

    19. gabriela silang on

      there’s no way for aquino but down…and out. posturings, double talk, crisis management and all wont endear aquino to his ‘boss’ . had enough…seen enough. people’s gullibility is not limitless. people can see through the mirror…and the images are not convincing…not favorable to aquino…it wont be long…and it really wont be long.

    20. Beware when the foreign (especially U.S.) press joins those who are criticizing a sitting Philippine President. It is a confirmation that a plot is being brewed to unseat him.

    21. Correction: Insert NOT as shown below.

      I am NOT so sure that PNoy has the ability to listen to anyone but to his inborn deficient mind. He cannot help being himself. He does know the difference between right and wrong. He thinks he always right even when he does unlawful, unconstitutional acts.
      He should not go abroad and embarrass the nation Philippines.

    22. I am so sure that PNoy has the ability to listen to anyone but to his inborn deficient mind. He cannot help being himself. He does know the difference between right and wrong. He thinks he always right even when he does unlawful, unconstitutional acts.

      He should not go abroad and embarrass the nation Philippines.