Nothing much has changed in 30 years


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.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. FVR is a populist person but not real leader. As once said by Mr. Kuan Yew, if you want to be popular dont go to politics.Running a nation should not be based on popular choices. It is the reverse, making unpopular decision for the benefit of the entire nation and not for the selected few or associations

    We need aleader that will make unpopular but logical and transparent decision that can withstand the test from anyone.

    Dont elect a populist candidate ,you will continue to live in the life of poverty. The country will not have a lasting peace and prosperity if you elect a populist leader.

    At the barangay and municpal level, what improvement have been made by the incumbent leader. What technology,projects or initiative that will create jobs and improve the living standard of their constituent. Ano ba and nakitaninyong pagbabago sa inyoung barangay, municipal and probinsya. Kund wala po kayogn maalala, hindi po nakapagataka. Panahon na po na alisin ninyo sa pamamagitan ng boto and sinuman na sa ngayon ay nakaupo sa inyoong, munisipyo and provicial office.

  2. Miexed bags an mixed feeling. You cannot expect that change will happen in the Philippines as the politicians that we entrusted to run the brangay, town, the province were came from the same family tree. You dont expect revolutionary ideas and accomplishment with such kind of political system. Father, mother ,son or daugther were just changing hands in terms handling the same position. Dont expect any change until, we as a filipino decided to chang them with someone who has real education and compassion with the people. This is the main issues we have in the Philippines.Lefttist or rigthist or centrist, they are run by same of group incompetent people.
    You name, we need a revolutionary leader that will jail all these jokers,who rub the people of people, opportunity. Time to change and select the right candidate in the next election.

    At least this Pnoy acknowledge who is his boss. This is the opportunity for us to recaim our rights taken by the previous politician.But these right shpould be genuinely not to be sold the politician and to be used by them for their advantage. We are the boss, but dont sell your power and position specially in the coming election.

    Dont be clouded by the PR gimicks and survey fianced by these corrupt politician. Make the right and change your choice that will benefit the nation and not just your self for selling your vote. let’s change this nation by electing the most competent leaders and candidates.

    But make sure your vote is really counted not tampered with by the monster inside the PCOS machine!

  3. Maria Stevens on

    AI am sure that Mr. Aquino a well intentioned man, but he is swimming against the tide.The sad truth is, that the rich get richer..the poor get poorer. Everything changes. And everything stays the same..My heart bleeds for my poor beloved country. I hope things will get better soon, but I am not holding my breath.

  4. I like to add. FVR did tried to eliminate the Jeepneys during his term but the jeepney drivers went on strike supported by the leftists and created violence and chaos in the streets of Manila. FVR then backed down and allowed the jeepney operators to continue. Its high time to abolish the jeepneys and tricycles and use hybrid vans or electric powered vans instead. the government is lacking on enforcement of this as usual and it will only get worst. maybe the media can play a role by showing on tv and documentary films on the negatives of jeepneys and tricycles on the road and environment. seeing jeepneys and tricycles as the popular mode of transportation in the country is a sore eyes to the tourists and making the country looks backward up to this day.

  5. I share the same opinion. However there are a few accomplishments of Pnoy too it just depends on the person lets say I noticed Bong Bong Marcos is more intelligent than Pnoy and the bills he had passed and proposed are commendable including his scrutiny of the BBL. Im sure if BBM is the president he would have accomplished more than Pnoy. Pnoy is just an average IQ and he surely depends more on his advisers in decision making. He is also a little bit to the left. nothing wrong with this its just he is not smart enough to be a good president. Now with his few accomplishments are; transparency in the government and crackdown on corruption which again he cannot do it by himself. it needs popular support and strong enforcement. He armed to 100% the PNP officers when before his term some of them do not even have a sidearm in the rural areas. he partially and slowly modernized the AFP although not good enough but better than nothing compared to past presidents. He increased pay and benefits to all PNP AFP.

    But also this is the result of voting based on popularity. Pnoy won the presidency due to the late father Benigno who was considered a martyr an hero but I have reservations on this because of his involvement in the Jabidah massacre which some considered it a hoax. We will never learn the truth on this. His late mother Cory also was put in power only because of the Benigno and this is a very poor choices for the citizens or people to chose a leader. and this is the result. The people power revolution did not really accomplished much or if anything just the ouster of Marcos and the country is still a semi feudal society up to this day with the oldest insurgency in the world.

    the country is still beset with corruption which was one of the goals of the people power. they the officials then just changed clothes to yellow and proclaim themselves as allies of the people but after that the corruption goes as usual. Enrile was one of them. the archipelago is still lacking in electricity, running water, roads, and the government agencies are still the same with their sickening red tape and bureaucracy, one of the worst in the world. Lack of improvement in infrastructures, etc. so how can a country progress to prosperity then? Im tired of discussing this Im sure all of the readers and intellectuals know already the solutions. Lastly soon Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos will overtake the Philippines and we will be sending maids over there.

  6. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    01 August 2015

    Yes, I agree that nothing has changed in the last 30 years, as far as the economic and social situation in the Philippines are concerned.

    More likely than not, with uninspired leaders who are not able to analyze what the underlying structural problems are, nothing much will change in the next 30 years.


    • We will never get the leaders we deserve under the flawed political system. Only when PH shifts to the Parliamentary system