At first, I thought that President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, was just a spoiled brat. Now, I know better. He’s actually much worse. His diatribes against the Supreme Court decision on his pet Disbursement Acceleration Program and his defense of the indefensible showed this.
In his defense of the DAP, he wanted to impress the public that he wants projects to immediately benefit the people, that he’s a man of action. Yet, his actions belie his words. Where’s the fast action on the relief and rehabilitation of victims of the Zamboanga Siege and of super typhoon Yolanda? Where’s the fast action against smuggling that has cost the government hundreds of billions of pesos in lost revenues? Why was it taking long for Malacañang to give full details on the sources, use and recipients of the DAP? Why hasn’t he acted fast enough to upgrade the services at NAIA-1 and the LRT?
There was no mark of statesmanship in his open defiance of the High Tribunal’s 13-0 decision on the DAP. A statesman would have admitted he erred and bowed to the unanimous verdict. A statesman would have yielded to the authority of the Supreme Court to decide constitutional issues. He did none of these things.
In his hypertension-inducing “defense” of the use of the DAP, he voiced superiority over the Supreme Court on a legal matter. He had shown this bent when he was a senator but unfortunately for him, he debated with a legal eagle in Sen. Joker Arroyo and he merely exposed himself as incompetent on legal matters. Obviously, he learned nothing about that debacle on the Senate floor for he’s now taking on the entire Supreme Court.
But wait! It could be that BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, isn’t really banking on his limited knowledge of the law. He knows what he wants and he’s dead bent on getting on. He has such a one-track mind on the continuation of his DAP that he could unleash his allies in the House and the Senate against the judiciary.
I didn’t conjure this possibility out of thin air. His unmistakable warning of the executive and legislative departments ganging up on the judicial department was evident in his own words: “My message to the Supreme Court: We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene.”
One doesn’t have to be smarter than a third grader to catch the veiled warning. The intervention of the third branch, the legislative, in a clash between the executive and the judiciary, could only result in the legislative’s siding with the executive. Don’t expect lawmakers to act like an impartial referee. With the executive having complete control of the budget, they’ll do anything that Malacañang wants them to do.
So, not content with having Congress under his thumb, BS Aquino now wants the Supreme Court to meekly follow his line of thinking even if he’s not a lawyer. It’s now evident that the republican concept of checks and balances means nothing to him. What he wants, he should get, just like the absolute monarchs of yesteryears. Those monarchs had claimed divine rights. Our president is acting as if he’s the only son of God. Siya lang ba ang anak ng Diyos?
The president wanted to show that he isn’t vindictive.
“There are those who say that this decision might be a personal vendetta against me, that I am being dared to act in the same vindictive manner against them. All I can say, as the President, as the father of this country, is that we need temperance and forbearance, we must comply with due process,” he said.
The problem is he has been stressing “due process” only for his allies but never for his political foes. What’s more, his actions have shown him to be actually vindictive and onion-skinned, one who couldn’t stand criticism. As I have said in a number of columns, I’ll believe that he’s not onion-skinned the moment he reconciles with Joker, a family friend of more than 40 years. Joker made him look like a fool in a debate over legal matters and to this day, BS Aquino has refused to talk with Joker.
In our emperor’s mind, his word is the law. He could do no wrong. Only those who disagree with him are erroneous. With his inability to accept errors or faults, how can he seek forgiveness? When he goes to confession, he must admit his sins and vow to sin no more. Without contrition, he would never get any absolution. The Unforgiving inevitably becomes The Unforgiven.