• BS Aquino’s legacy: Ad hominem politics


    Many of us, I’m sure, have been shaking our heads, even pulling our hair over the childish squabble between Manuel Roxas 2nd and Davao’s Dirty Harry Duterte.

    But really to blame is the kind of politics and electoral discourse President Aquino 3rd has imposed on this country.

    In debates, there is what’s called the fallacy of ad hominem argument, or that directed against the person rather than his position in the debate. To borrow that phrase, Aquino’s brand of discourse is that of ad hominem politics, or variations of it.

    Roxas started the childish squabble by disputing Duterte’s claim that Davao is a peaceful city, calling it not just inaccurate, but a “myth”. He even used the Pilipino word “kathang-isip,” which translates to “fictional.” While such talk, on the surface, appears to be a question of fact, it is really an attack on the person of Duterte as the mayor considers Davao’s peace-and-order situation his unquestionable achievement, especially since he even had to “kill” criminals for it.

    Duterte, of course, retaliated by questioning Roxas’ “Wharton” record, which surprisingly hit a raw nerve in this man who is Aquino’s 2016 bet. I wonder why he had been so sensitive about it that he blew his top. One could lose his cool over that if getting into Wharton had been an ordeal, or cost the family tons of money. If that was the case with Roxas, that could explain why he was admitted only in September 1976, two years after he finished high school in 1974.

    Roxas’ dig into Duterte’s track record in Davao, rather than debating with the mayor what he intends to do when or if he becomes President, has really been Aquino’s and his camp’s kind of discourse.

    They spent hundreds of millions of pesos and the Senate’s valuable time trying to pin the corrupt label on Vice President Jejomar Binay with the help of one of the biggest broadsheets in the country. It was easy, of course, for the Aquino camp to quickly dig up documents showing that Grace Poe Llamanzares isn’t a natural-born Filipino and doesn’t meet the residency requirement to run for the presidency.

    Watch how the Commission on Human Rights will swiftly uncover evidence that Duterte did kill criminals. Liberal Party stalwart Chito Gascon, a lawyer, wasn’t made chair of the CHR last July for nothing.

    But this has always been the self-righteous mindset of the Yellow Cult: those who aren’t with them are corrupt, evil. Marcos was the Devil incarnate, President Gloria Arroyo was evil and they did nothing, absolutely nothing for the good of the country.  Aquino’s trademark argument, in fact, has been to blame everything that has gone wrong during his term – even the most recent international embarrassment that was the tanim-bala episode – on his predecessor.

    The unfair, slow justice system? Take out Chief Justice Renato Corona, as he was picked by Arroyo. The PDAF pork barrel scam? Jail the three opposition senators only. The Mamasapano massacre? Blame it on sacked police chief Alan Purisima, only.

    Don’t expect the election discourse to involve such issues as whether the P178 billion conditional-cash transfer (CCT) scheme was a huge dole-out, the most expensive vote-buying scheme ever undertaken in this country; what alternatives do we have in dealing with what is now our biggest trading partner, the People’s Republic of China; what economic program do we have other than just opening up our economy to the world, and hoping the hidden hand of the free-market works; or what do we do with the moribund coconut industry, in which most of our poor are trapped in.

    The only thing this yellow regime and its cohorts know is ad hominem political discourse.

    Aquino didn’t sign climate-change document?

    The revelation was buried deep into the article published Dec. 16 in the opinion pages of this newspaper by Rene Golango, the business sector representative to the advisory board of the Climate Change Commission: That President Aquino had not signed our “pledge” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris assembly of which was hailed as a historic one that could save the planet.

    The pledge is technically called the “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (INDC) to the world’s effort to stop global warming. Aquino had to sign the document, and not just issue an authorization for someone to sign it, as he was the chairman of the Climate Change Commission.

    “For such a critically important international document outlining official commitment/s of the Republic, the Chairman’s imprimatur should be required, “
    Golango pointed out.

    Golango also noted; “The Philippine INDC was submitted under the authorship of former Climate Change Commission Commissioner Lucille Sering (aided by Climate Change Office Deputy Executive Director Joy Goco). By sequence, Goco announced that Sering resigned her position in September 2015. Yet, a covering letter dated October 1st [attaching the INDC]submitted to the UNFCCC on its face was signed by Sering.”

    So could Sering sign the document and submit it, when she was no longer with the Climate Change Commission?

    Golango explained:  “The Commission is composed of three Commissioners, plus the President of the Philippines as its Chairman; only the Chairman can call for a meeting of the Commission…” There is no showing of a Climate Change Commission en banc meeting convened for the purpose of approving the INDC, and authorizing its release and/or submission to the UNFCCC.

    It would turn out to be a big embarrassment for the country, that we submitted a document for such a crucial initiative of mankind that wasn’t signed by the head of the Philippine Republic.  I even doubt that Aquino read the document.

    No wonder it was such a naïve pledge, that we promised to reduce our CO2 emission by 70 percent by 2030.  No other country was stupid enough to promise that much reduction, with our neighbors in Asia pledging at most only a 30 percent cut.

    The only way we could, perhaps, achieve a 70 percent reduction is by banning all vehicles on EDSA and closing all factories in the country.

    Such stupidity has been, anyway, the new normal for this Administration.



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    1. Absolutely,comrade Tiglao,this fake yellow brigades are beyond comprehension among us who cant wait on 2016 to change this stupid regime . The electoral system is a mess as we desperately look for an alternative. But as history told us during the dark days of Martial rule there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

    2. Rora N Suppitsu on

      This may be ad hominem politics, Mr. Tiglao, but have you seen some of the comments of netizens? On the one hand are the supporters of each candidate cheering them on and totally defending their candidate’s macho-man response. On the other hand are those in the sidelines with their own ad hominem comments that contribute nothing whatsoever to vital issues. Open any article nowadays about a candidate’s stand on an issue, and what you get are like 5% of the comments are on the issue itself while the other 95% are comments pushing or attacking such and such candidate, and not necessarily the one mentioned in the article. Unwittingly or not, the Roxas and Duterte catfight has touched a nerve that resonates in the baser instincts of the electorate.

    3. The peso will continue to lose value against other currency’s while the world watches and laughs at the incompetent Philippines leadership.

    4. It is a joy to know that this retarded Pnoy’s term is fast approaching so that this brain damaged and delusional accidentally elected president will be leaving for his one room jailhouse where he could rock his damaged brain. It is indeed a very unfortunate moment to have this man Aquino elected to the highest post when his delusional behaviour do not augur well in governing the nation. Pnoy boasrptef on the growth of the economy when it only benefited the oligarchies who are exploiting the Filipino poor people. This president is so insensitive, stubborn and callous to ignore the victims of disastèrs and the Mamasapano 44 SAF heroes, the poor people in the quagmire of poverty, the high crimes on murders, drugs , traffic congestion and thousands of suffering commuters which this idiot President totally ignore and not even his alter ego cabinet secretaries pay attention to. BSA is the worst President we ever have due to his plain stupidity, callousness and insensibity and self-egoistic idolatry. He is the most highest AGENT of CORRUPTION by masterminding the PDAF and DAF funding of corrupt members of Congress just to control their actions.
      Thank God Pnoy’s idiotic and bad management and government administration is almost over. Pnoy must answer to all his corruptible ways by prosecuting, charging and putting him in JAIL with a thorn crown on his head!

    5. BS Aquino is a lameduck president since he was elected by symphaty votes garnered because of his mother cory’s death. All were disappointed to have this unkind of person ever produced to lead our country.In tagalog nakakahiya “palpak!” He should resign now instead of waiting his term is over.He is inutile leading our country chaos and frustration.He is the commander-in-chief not lifting a finger and order the military to prepare for eventuality happens in disputed Philippine sea (Spratlys). Our military can’t be heard while our territory was being robbed by monster China.The fishermen near the disputed should be armed with weapons and train to fight against Chinese intruders what happened now many Filipino fishermen has no more fish to catch because the Chinese claimed that the artificial they built is theirs the world is laughing at Chinese government while they were laughing at us who us done nothing but waitng for help of other nations.What we need now is a president who is brave,with determination to fight any country who tresspass or intrude our territorial waters,BY ALL MEANS KILL THESES CHINESES BY BEHEADING THEM ALL EVEN BY “Jungle Bolo”

      • Why wait for more months when we can do it yesterday? Will you be prepared to join a movement that wants a new leader?

    6. A 70% pledge to reduce emissions is not only ridiculous, out-of-the-world commitment but a product of the failing mind. Of course, this Aquino administration never think first before opening their mouths or issuing statement which adds the exposure how ignorant these people are, led by PNoy.