BS Aquino snake oil for PH’s ills


The electorate (some say it’s the PCOS machines) sent BS Aquino 3rd to Malacañang with high expectations that he would follow a straight path as he had vowed. He was touted as the leader who would correct what’s ailing the country. Now, we know that the supposed medicine for the nation’s ills turned out to be nothing more than snake oil.

The great hopes raised by the ascendancy of BS Aquino have been quashed. The people (PCOS machines?) didn’t get a newly minted reformist. What we got is a lemon instead, like a car that turned out to lack the excellent features it’s touted to have.

Or, did we get a president as is where is? BS Aquino was just an ordinary congressman for nine years and a so-so senator for three years. During those years, he impressed me only twice. The first one was when he interpellated Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on the Electric Power Industry Reform Act. He obviously prepared for that debate with JPE. I can say this because he even cited my Times report quoting JPE as saying he believed the government still owned Meralco. (He asked JPE if I quoted him correctly and JPE said “yes.”)

The other time that he impressed me was when he attended sessions and conducted committee hearings while his mother, former President Cory, was in her death bed suffering from colon cancer.

“This is what my mother wants me to do—to continue serving. She said that nobody forced me to become a senator so I should perform the duty that I had voluntary assumed,” he said when I complimented him about his presence in sessions and committee hearings.

Overall, he never stood out during his 12 years as a lawmaker. Definitely, the people’s high expectations were not the result of his performance in the legislature. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago once said of him on the Senate floor when he was still a congressman: “He is a sorry excuse for a scion of a great man whom I would want to educate—if he is educable.”

In the case of a car purchased as is where is, the buyer can still make improvements on the vehicle. But with BS Aquino, he remains the “sorry excuse for a scion of a great man” even after almost four years in Malacañang. It escapes me why, despite his limitations, he still refuses to convene the Legislative- Executive Development Advisory Council. His predecessors convened the LEDAC at least once every quarter to help them identify legislative priorities and get them moving. In his case, he convened the LEDAC for the last time more than two years ago. No wonder Congress is moving like a headless chicken.

He has acknowledged getting a list of supposed beneficiaries of Napoles but did nothing about it. His “achievements” lie in giving hell to his enemies. He believes he remains spotlessly clean by simply attributing all ills to his predecessor and by refusing to acknowledge faults.

The Philippines is now hosting the World Economic Forum and we are supposed to put our best foot forward. Hey, does this mean we have to stop criticizing the President and the government during this three-day affair? Sen. Serge Osmena said the Senate should postpone its inquiry into the Malampaya fund scam to avoid washing the country’s dirty linen while political and business leaders converge in Manila. Excuse me, but I can’t go along with this charade.

Why, the hosting of the WEF by the Philippines is already an anomaly in itself! It can’t showcase the supposed “fastest-growing economy” in Asia, not while the rate of poverty and unemployment is increasing, not while foreign investors still prefer our neighbors over us.

Romulo cites Times columnists
A comment by former Sen. Bert Romulo about Manila Times columnist warms my heart. I know, readers will say this is self-serving but I can’t help but write what he had said. He told me in a recent short talk over the phone that “The Manila Times is the newspaper to go to if one wants to read columns.” He added that “The Manila Times has excellent, well-informed columnists.”

Senator Romulo, also a former executive secretary and former foreign affairs secretary, didn’t say I’m among the “excellent, well informed columnists” but I felt like in Cloud 9 just the same. I’m relishing the reflected glory of sharing the same space with the likes of Rigoberto Tiglao, Yen Macabenta, Ricardo Saludo, Rene Bas, Rene Saguisag, Ernesto Herrera, Rick Ramos, Ben Kritz, Katrina Stuart Santiago, Marlen Ronquillo, Erwin Tulfo, Emeterio Perez, Fr. Shay Cullen, and Leonor Briones.


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  1. Apparently President BS Aquino has taken over all 3 branches of government with his 700 billion DAP fund and installing the current Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno to the Supreme court.

    After successfully removing former Chief Justice Renato Corona from the Supreme Court, President Aquino filled the post with his college friend Lourdes Sereno. Sereno doesn’t have any experience handling a criminal case in the past. That fact didn’t stop the President from assigning her to the Supreme Court to handle criminal cases.

    DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) – amounting to more than 50% of the national budget for projects and programs of his choice which was created without any congressional authorization or oversight.

    DAP is an illegal extension of PDAF “Pork Barrel” used to funnel “savings” from budget items and since DAP doesn’t exist in the eyes of Congress, DAP evades congressional scrutiny. Yet, the recipients of DAP funds are the members of Congress themselves.

    In effect, President Aquino has created a 700 billion piggy bank that he uses any way he wants. With the Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and Sandiganbayan bought and paid for with the pork barrell and Dap funds.

    Never in the history of the Philippines have so many people been involved in the corruption that now takes place and exists to steal billions from pork barrel and DAP allocations. lawmakers,Cabinet officials, members of the Judiciary, military officers, local government officials, scam operators, and non-government organizations (NGOs).

    Who made the Napoles family rich? We do not need to locate them, they are always on the news and television. Enrile, Estrada, Revilla, Sotto and those countless members of congress.
    Janet Lim-Napoles was not and is not the mastermind behind the pork barrell scandal, Janet Lim-Napoles is one small part of the corruption machine that is the government of the Philippines, Sitting at the top of this huge pile of corruption is the Pork Master President BS Aquino.

    Control the government and media and it’s business as usual for the landowners in Hacienda Luisita and the rest of the wealthy and their personal empires — e.g. PLDT, Globe Telecom, ABS-CBN).

    As if looting the country wasn’t enough, the congress, the President and the Supreme Court decided to discourage people from criticizing them by passing the Cybercrime law.

  2. kenn ronquillo on

    Always critical, as it is always necessary. Your newspaper keeps us vigilant especially in this time where the flame of insightful dynamics is slowly dying. Keep waking up the Filipino people.

  3. Indeed, the write ups are all worthy of my time. It gives me pleasure to visit and read most of the opinions.Good luck and more power to you and your colleagues.

  4. You are absolutely right Sir! In regards to Mr. Romulo, we agreed 100% because I and my Filipino co-workers read Manila Times column especially Mr. Tiglao, you, Mr. Macabenta and Mr. Saludo. Compare to some yellow columnists they are so biased.

  5. I agree 100% with former Sen. Bert Romulo. While many of the columns are critical of the administration, the opinions stated are excellent guides for a successful administration. But, it seems that there are people whose breed does not accept criticism; they “commit no mistakes”, they are “men of steel” or, just plain stubborn and proud. Sad!