AS we write this editorial, the latest count shows that of the 41,164,560 (or 41 million plus) votes counted, 31,505,982 (31.5 million plus votes, which represent the same number of Filipinos) reject Mar Roxas, President B.S. Aquino’s chosen and zealously supported successor, and Mr. Aquino’s so-called reform governance. Roxas proudly carried the “Matuwid na Daan” banner before, during and after the campaign, and vowed to continue his master’s so-called governance reforms and anti-corruption thrust.
BS Aquino, confident of victory because of Malacañang’s billions, logistics and control of local officials, had arrogantly proclaimed that the 2016 presidential election was a referendum on Matuwid na Daan. He was sure that he could then boast that Mr. Roxas’ winning the presidency was Filipino people’s expression of satisfaction with the Aquino regime’s policies and performance as well as Aquino’s personal claim of having operated an honest and clean government.
The people’s judgment upholds the stand of The Manila Times these past years about the dishonesty and hopelessness of BS Aquino’s hypocritical, corrupt, lazy and incompetent administration.
We, in The Manila Times, after a bit more than a year of lenient watching and monitoring the various departments of the government and the President’s Office, could no longer hold our sense of outrage in check. For we could see how B.S. Aquino, since he took office in 2010, was not managing the affairs of state responsibly. He was refusing to act as the attentive CEO and supervisor of the Cabinet members under him should. In fact, we learned that he did not deign to hold meetings with his Cabinet officials at all. He only talked to old and personally trusted friends and shooting range companions.
And we were seeing telltale signs of negligence and incompetence among the officials. We heard of and saw growing indicators of criminality and corruption.
That made us more and more insistent in our editorials, and our columnists in their pieces, for President Aquino to look into this and that anomaly and injustice in that agency or another, hoping that he would heed our calls and put a stop to the rot by firing or at least scolding the clearly miscreant official and reversing a wrong departmental decision that was causing injury to the government and our Republic. But our calls went unheeded.
Thus did we make our criticisms of the Aquino regime, the Daang Matuwid and Mr. Aquino himself, more harsh.
The excerpts from the editorial below on July 31 last year are among such harsh pieces. Its point is still completely valid today when he has only about 45 days left in Malacañang Palace.
Transparency is less than an afterthought for BS Aquino 3rd
One of the criticisms leveled against President BS Aquino 3rd almost as soon as he finally closed his mouth after his painfully-long State of the Nation Address on Monday was that he omitted any mention of the Freedom of Information bill, two versions of which are currently languishing in Congress.
The Freedom of Information law, we should not forget, was the single coherent campaign promise made by then-Senator Aquino during his quest for the presidency in 2010. And it was a promise that he broke immediately upon assuming office by first trying to convince everyone that his “clean” government made it unnecessary, and then by applying his influence in subtle and not-so-subtle ways to stymie any progress on the law in Congress.
Obviously stung by the criticism, Aquino made a hasty about-face on Tuesday, the day after the SONA, by suddenly declaring the FOI a “priority,” even contriving a sense of urgency to the matter by suggesting that the bill’s prospects were dim unless it were passed within the short time left in his term.
Aquino’s off-handed treatment of the FOI bill should make it clear enough that he and his regime do not understand nor have any respect for the concept of “transparency,” but if one needs further evidence, all one needs to do is to attempt to read or download a copy of the “SONA Technical Report” from the Official Gazette website, or for that matter, any other government website.
The Technical Report is a collection of background information that provides greater detail about the facts and figures presented in the speech itself. It is … useful for fact checking and putting many of the assertions made in the speech in the proper context.
Until now, the Technical Report—since it is information crafted for public consumption—has been available the next day, sometimes earlier. This year, however, as of yesterday morning, three days after the SONA, the Technical Report was still not available.
If President BS Aquino 3rd was actually serious at all about “transparency” and being accountable to his “bosses”—an honorific that he actually manages to make sound like an insult—he would not have forgotten the FOI in the SONA in the first place. He would have acknowledged it as an important piece of unfinished business, and reassured the people that he intended to at least make an honest effort to keep his word, rather than treating it as a minor detail that slipped his mind, like forgetting to write “laundry soap” on the shopping list…