No long goodbyes and fond farewells for the President of the 1%

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THE President of our nation always leaves behind a most-remembered optic, upon which we base our lasting impression of his or her leadership. It can be an act of supreme greatness—or hubris. That optic stays vivid and fresh in the national memory—there is no need for a caption, or accompanying worlds. Think of Erap and his tugboat ride out of Malacañang to escape the lynching mob outside. In contrast, think of Mr. Ramos and the joyful cigar puffing and his “skyfalls,” reminders of a government marked by relative prosperity and peace. A government of very little tumult.

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On Mr. Aquino, the one lasting, unforgettable optic of his six years in power—his permanent imprint on the national memory—took place on the sad day the bodies of the fallen SAF 44 were planed in by military aircraft to Manila, from the Mamasapano killing fields. Not a shadow of Mr. Aquino was at the welcoming group, an occasion that marked an outpouring of national grief and commiseration.

Where was he? What epic event made the President decide to skip a sad homecoming where his presence was not only badly needed, but a leadership must, and a calming one?

Believe it or not, he was at the recycling-cum-inauguration of a decades-old car manufacturing facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, which changed ownership, to save the facility from moving on into the next obvious destination—the junkyard. There, Mr. Aquino talked of the theme that animates him, investments, and the supposed nirvana that the nation derives from such lofty event—which on that day was the recycling of a mass of steel to save it from its junkyard-bound fate.

A mass of aging steel versus 44 returning cadavers that his government itself had sent into the slaughter? Mr. Aquino, our all-business President, opted to glorify the aging steel instead of sharing the grief with his stunned, mourning nation. Nowhere in that Sta. Rosa speech did the President waver from his unrelenting theme of growth and investments. It was totally out-of-sync with the preoccupation of his nation at that moment, commiseration with 44 SAF troopers waylaid due to operational and leadership bungles in the underwhelming cornfields of Mamasapano.

A look back at the six years of Mr. Aquino in power, and the photos that revealed what for him were the highlights of his presidency, validated the impression that Mr. Aquino’s obsession were inanimate pursuits: nice GDP charts, credit upgrades from the (discredited) rating agencies, inaugurations of roads, bridges and office towers and assembly plants. If you wanted the attendance of the President, or the attendance of an enthusiastic President, the invitations should be about gleaming office towers of glass and steel, new power plants, new airports and seaports, structures with intimations of a country on the go and on the move.

Never human lives, especially the lives of the downtrodden .

Of course Mr. Aquino interacted with humans. But they were taipans, young achievers, would-be-investors, movers and shakers. On the occasions with the movers and shakers, the photo collection of the Aquino presidency would show him a pleased man, grinning from ear to ear, devouring the usual blah blah on how these chosen ones’ investments would move the GDP growth.

Mr. Aquino’s sense of triumphalism peaked on the occasions he was with the Davos crowd or the Makati Business Club.

About two years into his presidency, I wrote a piece titled “Mr. Aquino should change his photo-ops” after many concerned citizens took note of the fact that his photos as President were exclusively about success and successful ventures and people—never about people on the margin, the class of people so strongly specified in The Sermon on the Mount. Where were the weak, the meek, the humble and the persecuted in Mr. Aquino’s presidential photos, that piece asked. Why were they rendered invisible by his presidency?

Was not the President the father to all the citizens regardless of status in life, religion and beliefs?

Typhoon Yolanda and the heart-rending misery and devastation it dealt on Eastern Visayas unraveled the almost brutal indifference of the Aquino government toward those who need the government most. Mr. Aquino and his co-president, Mr. Roxas, if you reread the Yolanda files, seemed to loathe the whole exercise of coming to the succor of the dead and the barely living. Mr. Aquino was a clueless Dead Leader Walking while presiding over the Yolanda relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The adrenalin that surged within the body system of the President during the inauguration of gleaming office towers was replaced by impatience and surliness in the Yolanda devastated areas. The work of coming to the succor of a wasteland seemed to be too tasteless, too cumbersome for the President.

Of course this was the same President who vetoed a meager increase in the SSS pension, claimed that the token Magna Carta for the Poor was a “budget-buster” and vigorously opposed a tax break for tax-burdened wage earners; and used the Napoles scam to cut off the token subsidies to the peasantry.

Of course, this was the same President who designed the P1.4 trillion PPP projects as bid-ready for the members of the 1 percent and the blue-chip corporations.

Mr. Aquino will be a private citizen a month from now and the new Palace occupant is the same man he vigorously campaigned against, the candidate he deemed unfit to be President. The voters, the ordinary citizens he failed to serve, rewarded Mr. Duterte with 16 million-plus votes, their silent but definitive verdict on Mr. Aquino’s presidency .

There are no fond farewells and long goodbyes for the President of the 1 percent. He and his GDP charts will go, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

mvronq@yahoo.com

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23 Comments

  1. godi ridanse on

    You said it best and most completely, sir! Thank you for speaking for us!

  2. One big thing the author forgot. The first to be blamed are the voters that placed Pnoy as president. I again prayed that we, Filipinos did not made a mistake for voting Duterte. This might be one extreme on the left and one big extreme on the right. We need to know the medical records of Pnoy. He might have attention deficit disorder. I notice this in his first year in office. He might go to jail with VP Binay. He might go to the hospital like Pres. Arroyo.

  3. juan masipag on

    Aquino a vindictive inept individual not fit to assume public pisition as publl8c trust.. the most corrupt of all the author of imcredible 2016 elections… impertenenteng mandaraya… magbabakaw ng botos..

  4. Its all said. Pero si penoy humirit pa. Si Napeñas pa rin ang may kasalan sa SAF 44. Paki busisi Atty Vitaliano.

  5. All I can say on the last day of Aquino is GOOD RIDDANCE OF THE ASSHOLE PRESIDENT!!

  6. Only words of comdemnation and undying remorse will suit this worst ever student council president the Philippines had.

  7. It wasn’t his choice to be “President – the father to all the citizens regardless of status in life, religion and beliefs” to begin with, but once in that position already he always had choices of actions how his term will end.

  8. Aquino the modern CALIGULA! Plunderer,Butcher,Liar and Vindictive Canard! May you and your ilk rot in Jail!!! May the AQUINO Name be remembered as destroyers of of the nation opportunistic Impostors!! GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH!!

  9. If anything, typical Aquino trait (especially Kris) is to be out of touch with reality and be self absorbed

  10. Catalino Garcia on

    Grabe ka sir. You said all that I could not say. Maybe Aquino can now join Kris in Hawaii.

    • So where are your friends at ABS CBN “nagiisa na lang kayo” where are the yellow tards, open up the Hacienda Luisita case, you are useless President the country has, what legacy you left to the Filipino people, you have failed in your leadership, if they ask you “man up” you can’t because you don’t have balls.

  11. Pete Rodill on

    Very well put Mr. Ronquillo! Of the many instances where this outgoing president demonstrated with glaring clarity his total indifference to the plight of the ordinary people (the 99% of the Filipino citizenry), three incidents stand out. In the order of occurrence:

    1. Post Yolanda disaster – president Aquino in his remarks to the forlorn and suffering victims crying out for government help – “Eh buhay pa naman kayo!” What a shameful and insensitive thing to say for anyone, most of all, coming from the leader of the nation.

    2. The fallen SAF 44’s remains as they were flown to Manila – The Commander in Chief on whose orders these brave men died for was not even present to greet their remains and console with their families and the nation. Aquino’s absence during this sad and solemn event is deplorable in and of itself made even worse by the reason for his absence. Talk about adding insult to injury!

    3. “Tanim-bala” incident – this deplorable and shameful incident happening in the nation’s premier airport by all indications and pattern of occurrence is a scam run and perpetrated by the very people tasked to care for the safety and well-being of the traveling public. The president’s comment when asked by the media – the incidents are but a small fraction out of the hundreds of thousands – that according to him is putting things in perspective. So following his logic, the scam or outright extortion is acceptable as long as it happens only to the few, within the 99%. Ever wonder what his reaction would have been if it happened to one of the 1%?

    On a final note. Notice how quickly this president became irrelevant as soon as President-elect Duterte came out as the clear winner. All eyes and ears of the nation are on the President-elect. The message is clear from the 99% – “We are done with you!”

  12. Guilt of sending this 44 patriots to their death, the most non compassionate president treated the ordinary people as nothing..the most vindictive as treated Philippine politics as their own, that Philippine democracy is their creation..self praised as he brag of all economic achievement the Philippine has but in reality that there is no improvement in people’s lives..most foolish of thinking that people are better to be given cash on hand rarher than proper jobs..most naive as never felt the genuine state of society..biggest spender of government money for useless goal, PDAF, DAP, election spendings, pangtawid, president that has no vision for the country..like mother like son..

  13. If Mr Aquino still couldn’t get the meaning of the resounding 6M+ votes that buried his candidate despite massive gov’t resources put into use for their advantage…this guy is really hopeless and clueless to the very end! Good riddance!!!

  14. renato irlanda on

    aquino is not the president of the top 1% but the slave, puppet, uto-uto, and the errand boy of the top 1%
    ill bet my bottom dollar that when aquino leaves and invites the top 1% to a farewell bash none of the top 1% will attend

  15. Amnata Pundit on

    You are obviously an intelligent man and an excellently talented writer. Can you explain then how a cretin like Boy Sayad managed to hoodwink you in 2010?

  16. Just a piece of advice to the president of the 1%. Do not tell the Filipinos how great a president you had been. Wait for us to tell you that! But the resounding defeat of your yellow candidate is a clear voice of indictment of your failed presidency by the Filipinos.

  17. Whew! A long, extended sigh of relief that finally the pea-head President is finally going out of the Filipino’s way. Thank heavens. Now it is time to ask PNoy and accounting for all the misery he brought upon our people. Let us see if the 1% which Mr. Merlin Ronquillo mentioned in this article will protect him. Or, just like the majority of the LP members, have they not started to go over the other fence, the fence where Mr. Duterte holds poser.

  18. P.Akialamiro on

    Sir, you have said in all; you nailed it! Mr. Aquino and his minions have the ‘right’ to claim otherwise, but the impression etched in the hearts and minds of the Filipino remains, as you’ve rightfully mentioned. It would only be “hubris” that’s left with B S Aquino III, as he was prone to show.

    Mabuhay, ngayon, ang Pilipinas!

  19. Brilliant article by the author.

    ” President Aquino III….President of the 1% ”

    None is so apt to describe Aquino’s watch.

    • That is true Bro. Yes she represents the 1% Sodom and Gomorra hiding under the pretense of a macho man.