• ‘Authoritarianism is tempting’

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd focuses on the exchanges during the opening session of the Bali Democracy Forum. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd focuses on the exchanges during the opening session of the Bali Democracy Forum. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday said he finds authoritarian rule “tempting” because “this might promise immediate gains” but quickly clarified that such method of governance will not succeed without the “consent and support of the governed.”

    Speaking at the opening session of the 7th Bali Democracy Forum on the Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture held at the Bali International Convention Center in Indonesia, Aquino said some leaders are tempted to take such a route out of frustrations and for other reasons that hinder the realization of their plans.

    “As leaders, all of us here have had our share of frustrations borne of the many factors that sometimes hinder the realization of our vision. This breeds the temptation to consider an authoritarian method, as this might promise immediate gains,” the President told his audience, including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

    “Sitting down and reflecting on this idea, however, we realize that, with the lack of consensus and consent from the people, such a mode, which offers quick, short-term gains, may be detrimental to society in the long-run,” he added.

    Aquino, who has expressed “openness” to a term extension if there is public clamor for it, also explained that without clear popular support, an authoritarian rule is doomed to fail.

    “That lack of consensus, combined with the great degree of dissatisfaction that inevitably arises, leads to instability and the eventual collapse of that particular system,” he stressed.

    He made the remark as he narrated an incident during his recent trip to the US when he was asked by a student if he “missed the good old days, particularly the stability fostered by authoritarianism.”

    “As you might know, my family and I lived in exile in Boston for a good three years, and obviously, as a member of a family victimized by an authoritarian regime, I could not share the sentiment. Instead I wondered: What were good about those days? The discussion with that member of our youth gave me the impetus to reflect even more on the matter,” said the President.

    As experienced in the Philippines and other countries, he noted that in a totalitarian regime, things get done faster, whether they are right or wrong, because there are no checks and balances in place.

    “Very often, the consent and support of the governed are neither sought nor attained. Naturally, such a regime, one divorced from the desires of its people, will have weak foundations. In that kind of regime, might I point out, the opinions and wishes of the governed are only second to the objective of staying in power,” Aquino said.

    He claimed that these regimes failed primarily because political survival becomes the “end all and be all” of the government.

    “And as we have seen in history, all authoritarian regimes, regardless of the cause of their coming to power, will at one point make political survival the end all and be all of government,” he said.

    Only recently, a survey firm reported that majority of the people do not favor an extended term for Aquino.

    I also found that majority do not agree that the powers of the judiciary, an instrument of check and balance, should be clipped.

    Aquino expressly opposes the fact that “judicial reach” has been “abused.” He lamented that the Supreme Court, for one, has stepped on the toes of the Executive. The President publicly ridiculed the Court for ruling that several provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were unconstitutional.

    In his Bali speech, the President underscored the benefits of a democratic state which, he maintained, “presents more stable, more solid foundations for equitable advancement.”

    “In a democratic state, which is the opposite of an authoritarian regime, government is systematically attuned to the voice of the people; it represents the people and works towards the betterment of its people. And while consensus building, which is the foundation of such a state, may be a long and complicated process,” he said.

    “Democratic institutions, after all, seek to free and enable its citizens, and the first freedom should always be from hunger, as my father once thought. In turn, that empowered citizenry becomes capable of nurturing and fostering democracy. This ultimately redounds to a virtuous cycle of inclusiveness, stability, and development,” Aquino said.


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    1. His father fought against authoritarianism.. ginamit niya pangalan ng tatay niya para manalo sa 2010 election, tapos babanat ng ganyan? Tupak na talaga.

      Sana 2016 na para makulong na sila ni Abad dahil sa DAP.

    2. Many people are unhappy because they are not realistic enough. They are crying for the moon to their deprivation of enjoyment of the earth. They prefer to live in their imagined expectations to their own frustration, instead of working POSITIVELY to improve what they really have towards what is beneficial to the country.

    3. There you go. Mischievous PNoy once again talking cheap and the poor listeners are does not know that PNoy is just taking them for a ride. The Heads of State in their respective countries were just fooled and sweet-talked by PNoy not knowing that the person speaking to them is the brainless one.

    4. There you have him folks, the idiot president thinks that he’s the savior of the Philippines! No madam,este aquino! You’re the cause of the misery of the Filipino people! Your stupidity, vindictiveness, arrogant, and your untruthful is the cause of our suffering! Better for you to commit suicide, for you are nothing but a burden to our lives.

    5. Sonny Dela Cruz on

      I told you so. Let the military takes over the government now before it’s too late. Clean -up the three branches of the government first, jail all the corrupts & thiefs. Stabilized the peace & order in the country. Eradicate the Murderes, KFR, Illegal drug MFR, dealers, pushers, smugglers etc. Then have an election of better people in the government. Amend the constitution for a FEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. This system enable the country to move forward, equal distribution of development throughout the country. The Senators & Congressman don’t need prok barrel, they are legislator. The pork barrel allocation should be with the Governor of the region to provide free education for the children, feed the hungry, provide employment, free medicare for the seniors who needed most. De-congest the Manila population.

    6. The guy is getting desperate. His options for 2016 are narrowing down. He is scared like a cat running for shelter. He knows he has alot to account for. This “authoritarianism” or dictatorship is his last option. He is already floating the trial balloon. Watch out! Let us be vigilant! Oops, wrong, his really last option is a harikiri!

    7. jose hernani m. parco on

      here we go folks you’ve heard it straight from the horse’s mouth! no doubt about it this is what is happening!

    8. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

      Are you kidding? Are you willing to ruin the country? Don’t be too presumptuous!

    9. An historical analyst once wrote: people are happiest under a despotism provided you have a good despot. If only we have the likes of Lee Kuan Yew here authoritrian rule might work. The first years of martial law were very good if only it was sustained we would be like Singapore now.

    10. the mere fact that pnoy, even in thought, considered authoritarian rule, makes him a dangerous person. a vindictive person has no place and no reason to rule or govern. i hope this ignorant, vindictive and arrogant president sees the writing on the wall. that the people of the philippines have no desire for him to extend his stay as president. i fear that if he doesn’t get his way, by vote or by charter change, he will become far worse than president marcos. i suppose a right thinking president, one that he is not, will not ask the people of the philippines permission to govern under an aurhoritarian rule, just because he wanted to achieve the goals he has set for the philippines, clip the powers of the supreme court, send to prison the corrupt and the plunderers, while at the same time, protecting his cohorts in government who are just as corrupt as he is. furthermore, i don’t think the filipino people will let him rule that way for that was the very reason why there was a ninoy aquino who died and in whose death started the downfall of such a dictator. somehow this president is utterly insensitive to the gains that his father’s death has given to this country. what a stupid fool!!!