• Hello DU30, bye-bye BS Aquino


    A RADICAL change will engulf the country starting at noon tomorrow and this goes beyond the mere ceremonial turnover of the reins of government from BS Aquino The Last to President Rodrigo Duterte. We can only hope that the expected change under Mr. Duterte will be for the greater good of the greater number. He has our best wishes.

    BS Aquino as a legislator never impressed this Congress Insider. He’s an onion-skinned person who didn’t excel in lawmaking and whose main asset is a respected family name. Yet, when he won as president in 2010, I wished he’d succeed as chief executive. Unfortunately, he was never able to rise above his own self. Once a BS, always a BS I guess.

    BS Aquino The Last said he would happily relinquish the presidency. Well, I have good news for him, in case he hasn’t heard it yet – a lot more people are happier to see him leave Malacañang. They’ll be happier still if he’ll be made to account for subverting the decision of the Supreme Court against pork barrel and the disbursement acceleration program, for the suspected misuse of calamity funds, for command responsibility over the Mamasapano and other massacres, and for much executive over-reach.

    BS Aquino is elitist, Duterte is populist. However, there they have one common trait – distaste of criticism. Once, I wrote in this column that I found it unbelievable that after 9 years as congressman and almost 3 years as senator, Aquino didn’t know yet that the Senate could consider a House-approved bill without a Senate counterpart bill. When we got to talk, he maintained the correctness of his position, and then gave these menacing words that normally come from neighborhood toughies: “Baka naman kinakalaban mo lang ako!”

    I’ve come to realize that BS Aquino considered all criticisms as a personal affront. He had always believed in his own correctness and righteousness. This hubris was most evident in his treatment of the late Sen. Joker Arroyo after a heated floor debate. He had refused to talk to this old family friend after that incident. Why, he didn’t even extend any sympathetic word to the surviving members of Joker’s family after his death!

    He refused to be interviewed by known critics in media. Somebody in his circle once told me that he believed critics were merely seeking his attention (“nagpapa-pansin”) and should be ignored. It seems, however, that this belief on criticism may persist even after BS Aquino has left Malacañang.

    Mr. Duterte and his followers should realize the importance of an adversarial press in a democratic society. The media’s questioning or pointing out of perceived errors doesn’t necessarily indicate “bias.” He and his avid followers should acknowledge that responsible journalism doesn’t mean reporting only the news favorable to the administration and parroting releases from Malacañang. Media will give him the benefit of the doubt, will wish him well, but media will never be a mere mouthpiece. It never was; it never will be.

    He should find that media is a powerful tool for explaining to the people his program of government – and such explanations should be made in clear, understandable words. There should be no room for the media to interpret what he really means. “Say what you mean and mean what you say,” as the adage goes.

    One campaign promise of Mr. Duterte that’s beyond misinterpretation is his vow to wage total war against crime. This is the campaign promise that has drawn the most support among the voters. I hope that this war will go beyond the elimination of the small fry in crime syndicates or gangs and target the ring bosses for a change. I also hope that this will result in the capture of many politicians who have avoided the clutches of the law, like the former congressman from Mindanao convicted of killing his wife.

    There are high expectations for Mr. Duterte. He can be “forgiven” should he be unable to eradicate crime within the first six months of his administration. He didn’t eradicate crime in Davao City during the 23 years that he was the city mayor, so for him to do so in the entire country in six months would be expecting too much. Anyway, he has six years within which to fulfill this and his other noteworthy promises, including the shift from unitary to a federal form of government. But that’s another story.



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    1. Media’s job is to be objective and not necessarily be adversarial to a sitting president. Media was certainly never adversarial to BS Aquino. They never called BS out for ignoring the rising drug menace and its resulting criminality. They never pounded BS for his personal vendetta against Corona (i.e. the CJ who dared side with the Hacienda Luisita farmers) by bribing the senator-judges to convict the man for a non-impeachable offense Media licked BS’ backside for most of his 6 years in office; even letting him grab credit for the economy that rightfully belonged to PGMA. So, now they want to “adversarial” with DU30 (and all the double-standards that this implies) and then wonder why Digong is boycotting them?

    2. Siti Tubanza on

      DU30 is banking on the vast powers in the arsenal of a president to hit crimes head-on. He wielded the limited powers of a mayor when he fought the drug menace in Davao. The powers might have been complimented by the death squads of Davao. Successful or not, this drive catapulted him to the presidency. Now that he is at the helm, let’s see if the Davao success rate would be directly proportional to the success rate for the whole country.
      From city to country – a lot remains to be seen.

    3. bert de guzman on

      pnoy seems to be simple and innocent-looking. but beyond that, he’s so sensitive and hates criticisms. that’s why he convened ledac twice only and rarely met his national security council despite the alarming presence of china in wps

    4. Distate for criticism? i don’t think so. Duterte welcomed the press/media to his conferences prior to the fallout even if he knew that he was portrayed as evil by the very same people during the height of the campaign for the presidency.
      The media wanted to look for mistakes and gaffes and then play it up to destroy further his image.Grossly unfair!

    5. Ang problema sa mga media practitioners e lahat ay columnists. kahit mga news reader sa tv. lahat subjective. nawala na yung objective news reporting. lahat may sariling slant.

    6. I understand Duterte’s distaste for most of the mainstream media in the Philippines as most media practitioners act and talk like they were such a special breed that they consider themselves beyond reproach. I got news for all media practitioners out there – first you are no more special than the pinoy next to you: second the line of questioning of most media people leaves a lot to be desired in terms of substance; third I have heard/seen on TV a lot of media who could even put together a correct compound sentence let alone compose a whole paragraph. How these managed to get a journalism degree I can only guess that it probably came from a back-alley in Recto.