I DID not watch the sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 27 of President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd. Well, there were better things to do like fixing some things in the house and also arranging some business and personal files. It was a productive day last Monday where my family and I sorted out things and were able to separate items that can be given to charity, like clothes and shoes.
Based on what have been printed in the newspapers and posted in social media, President Aquino’s final SONA in 2015 has been a huge disappointment. Well, I expected it and that is why I did not bother to waste my time listening and making my blood pressure elevate. Among those who listened to PNoy, there was no person whom I talked to who was happy with what was said in the two-hour presidential speech.
My orthopaedic doctor, who looks like she is in her late 30s, told me that she had expected the President to talk about his achievements in the past five years and the challenges that remain, which will be inherited by his successor. She said that she did not expect a farewell speech thanking everyone as if it was his last day in office. Well said.
What was amusing was when my doctor told me that President B. S. Aquino 3rd also even thanked his hairdresser. Then I realized there was really nothing much up there to work on to dress his hair, unless it includes the hair under his armpit. Seriously, it is so puerile for a President to thank one’s hairdresser as if he were a movie actress or pop singer who would also thank the person who did her make-up!
On the serious side, the pathetic President criticized and blamed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) for the nth time for about 25 minutes, according to a business leader who attended the SONA and was later interviewed for his comments. In 2012, I had predicted that President Aquino would criticize GMA up to his last year in office. I was proven right, as usual. In fact, Noynoy will blame her until his dying day.
Gobal News Network (GNN) invited me to their Politics Today program a week earlier on July 20. The topic taken during the talk-show program hosted by Harry Tambuatco was on All the LIES on the Previous SONAs. In his Talk to Harry program, Mr. Tambuatco touched on all the previous presidential prevarications, which I helped explain for the viewers to better appreciate like the 12,000 kms of road by the DPWH.
When I was asked by the host on what to expect on the forthcoming SONA, my reply was that it would Be More of the Same. These are the LIES that President Aquino dish out each year when he addresses the Joint chambers of Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Just like drugs, alcohol and sex, prevarications and equivocations can also be addicting to a person imbued with hubris and hypocrisy.
My final comment on the SONA is that President Aquino eluded the subject on the Slaughter of the Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao as if there is already closure to it. Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendres said in a TV interview that there is nothing more to be said. This guy is a complete idiot like his boss.
Reflections on the past three decades (1986-2015)
So little has changed for the better and so much has changed for the worse in the past 30 years. There are still the ubiquitous Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) that has remained the main mode of public transportation in the secondary routes. The Jeepneys are still the same as in the past three decades: dilapidated, smoke-belching and with undisciplined drivers who will stop anywhere for their passengers.
President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) had wanted the PUJs removed in five years when he became president. A line in the popular song of the Earth Wind & Fire goes, “something happened along the way and yesterday was all we had.” I will ask FVR when we meet again. Last time was at the launch of his book Giving Back: Service & Legacy last week. Fellow Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao also attended the affair.
After the ubiquitous Jeepneys are the tricycles that have now strayed from their tertiary routes to the national highways like the Sucat Road. (now Dr. A. Santos Ave.) in Parañaque to the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road in Laguna and Cavite. There is a law or a government regulation that prohibits tricycles from the national highways, but the law enforcement agencies concerned have not implemented it in the past 30 years.
Related to public transportation are the traffic congestion and air pollution that go with it. Almost everyone these days are complaining about the worsening traffic situation in the metropolis, especially in the past five years under the sanctimonious administration of President Aquino. The same goes for the air pollution caused by motor vehicles that can be seen in the Makati skyline and down southwest to Pasay and Manila.
The traffic congestion has actually started to deteriorate as early as in Year 2000, while the air quality began to worsen in the mid- 1990s. These two factors are the main reasons why I moved my family to the province and have lived there for ten years now. The other reason is the deteriorating peace and order situation (we were burglarized thrice! in the metropolis) and also to spend more time with the wife and children. I learned to relax in a more conducive environment.
However, nothing can be compared to the despicable traffic and pollution today. Well, traffic management is under the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) headed by the super-incompetent Chairman whose only qualification is being the friend and former classmate of PNoy! He is a lawyer-politician experimenting in traffic!
In public infrastructure and transportation, the most accomplishments happened during the term of President Ramos: LRT 2, MRT 3, C-5, Skyway and the rehabilitation of SLEX up to Alabang and NLEX. This is rather impressive because the six years (1992-1998) under FVR only constitute 20 percent of the past (almost) 30 years since EDSA 1. PGMA’s term of 9.5 years or 30 percent of 30 years was also impressive for public infra achievements.
The most pathetic of the past three decades are the combined terms of the Aquino mother and son. Together their 12 years in office represent 40 percent of the past 30 years. The administration of President Corazon Aquino was far better because she had the benefit of having high-caliber Cabinet members and other top officials. Her son, who hardly worked in his life, could only appoint his friends, former classmate and shooting buddies.