WITH only 44 days to go before President Benigno BS Aquino III rides to the sunset on June 30, Malacañang is deploying its entire propaganda machinery and using the yellow media for the single-minded objective of keeping Aquino out of jail, and discouraging the incoming Rodrigo Duterte administration from going after Aquino.
Freeing him from incarceration and prosecution is the top priority, rather than fortifying and spelling out Aquino’s legacy.
A sensible communications team should have by now completed a coherent report on what President Aquino has truly done during his six years in office.
Yet instead of highlighting what is positive in the record, communications secretary Herminio Coloma is butting heads with those who are convinced that this President should be prosecuted for all his crimes of commission and omission while in office.
Because of his immunity from suit and his grip on Congress, Aquino has for the most part gotten away with major shortcomings and abuses while in office.
Now that his presidential immunity is about to come off, aggrieved citizens and concerned groups naturally want the incoming administration to prosecute all criminals, including President Aquino and his top officials for crimes committed against the people.
Many want Aquino to suffer the same barbarous treatment that he administered to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former chief justice Renato Corona, and so many other high public officials who were subjected to persecution and prosecution.
Many want the selective justice that he applied to his political enemies and rivals to be turned on its head, and applied to Aquino and his cohorts in the administration.
There is, for example, the abominable Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court ruled as illegal and unconstitutional, and for which its authors and administrators must answer before the law.
Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Jr. are the principal authors of this dastardly scheme, which cost taxpayers P150 billion.
The idea that Abad, who facilitated the plunder of the budget by Aquino and politicians, will get away scot-free is so repulsive, we might as well stop talking about good governance and combating graft altogether.
There is, for another example, the outright bribery by Aquino of representatives and senators to secure the impeachment of CJ Corona and his conviction.
Indeed, the names of 20 senators are listed on the SC’s DAP decision, which details courtesy of Abad the sums of either P50 million or P100 million for their conviction vote in the Corona trial. Abad even specified the dates when the money was released to each of them.
The unjust persecution and prosecution of CJ Corona is a low point of the Aquino presidency, and PNoy should answer for it at some point.
Coloma says there is no basis for the incoming Duterte administration to go after President Aquino once he steps down from office. He says the President followed the Constitution and enforced the laws fairly during his term.
This is arrant falsehood, and no citizen will believe it.
President Aquino’s term saw the Philippines grow as expected after the growth pattern set in former President Macapagal Arroyo’s presidency. But Aquino was manifestly unsuccessful in lifting many of our millions out of poverty.
This administration spent too much time and resources in propagandizing imaginary achievements and the daang matuwid slogan, A proactive approach to promote the people’s welfare and strengthen the nation would have made the threat of jail unlikely.