It’s been 3-1/2 years since President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino 3rd took his oath of office and he still doesn’t have any legislative agenda. The absence of such agenda doesn’t fit in with his comment that he’s now in his “last two minutes” in Malacanang – unless he considers senators and congressmen as mere receivers of pork for his “tuwid na daan.”
Since he assumed office, BS Aquino convened the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council only once. His only “priority” agenda in Congress were the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, and the enactment of the Reproductive Health and sin tax measures. Those were more than a year ago.
Recently, chief Malacanang propagandist Herminio Colona was asked by reporters about the legislative agenda of BS Aquino and he couldn’t give any answer. Was he clueless because Aquino doesn’t have any priority measure in mind?
I may be considered among his critics who are, in his own words “hopeless” cases, but I’ll be among the first to praise him should he show real urgency in accomplishing priority programs in his last 30 months in office. Earlier, he said that his administration would hit the ground running this year. Hey, “hitting the ground running” is an ideal policy to follow at the start of an administration but not in the last two minutes. What has BS Aquino been doing in the last 42 months? Oops, sorry I asked.
Speaking before Grade 11 pupils who seemed more interested in his love life, BS Aquino said that he would master the art of ignoring his critics in 2014. Ah, but that’s an “art” he has already mastered long before he became president. During the campaign, he refused to participate in any forum where columnists Emil Jurado and Tony Lopez were in the panel of interrogators. The A-1 example of his “mastery of the art of ignoring critics” is his treatment of former Sen. Joker Arroyo, a family friend for more than 40 years. He forgot the decades-old friendship after Joker made him look like a fool in debating a legal issue.
Joker could be very intense on issues where he believes he’s right. BS Aquino is very intense in pursuing his stand — whether he is right or not. Ordinary persons with such a trait could be described as pig-headed. This may not be politically correct to describe a chief executive, however. The Yellows will definitely describe him as “a man of conviction” for clinging to his own belief even if proven wrong. A Supreme Court decision had affirmed the correctness of Joker’s stand but this was of no moment to BS Aquino who has since refused to talk with Joker.
Ears only for praises
With such an attitude, BS Aquino will certainly look very comfortable when surrounded by rah-rah boys and when reading only favorable comments in media. He’s a person who’s good at dishing things out but not in receiving things. When he was with the opposition, he reveled in the mud thrown at the GMA administration.
Now that he’s the President, he couldn’t understand why there should be criticisms of his administration.
He once said of his critics: “Bahala na ang Diyos sa inyo.” I couldn’t say the same thing of him because his every wrong move weighs down on the entire nation. Should we praise him for expressing helplessness in stopping power rate hikes? He has the power to unseat the head of a co-equal branch of government but he’s helpless against power sector? Despite “justifications” by his drumbeaters, I can’t praise increases in the premiums for Philhealth and Social Security System, much less the huge bonuses of their executives. Critics won’t hold their breath on the favorable credit rating and gross national product of the country until they result in more foreign investments and more employment.
Where’s that Aquino?
BS Aquino deserved praises in pushing for a Public-Private Partnership program at the start of his administration. The fact that only the Daang Hari project has taken off shows the incompetence of the administration in pursuing a laudable program.
He deserved praises in pushing for the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act, in pressing for the greater power of the Commission on Appointments over bypassed nominees and appointees, in decrying the reliance on overseas workers for economic growth and calling for generation of more employment. Where’s that person now?
Going back to the President’s icy comment to his critics: “Bahala na ang Diyos sa inyo,” what made him believe God is with him? Many Churches are against him.
What if God is on the side of his critics? Ah, but expect BS Aquino to ignore even such a possibility. After all, it’s the President, not his critics, who is hopeless.