THE title, which is a Latin verb conjugated in plural form, means “Let us pray.” It is an invitation to a community prayer, which Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd, as Malacañang’s temporary chief occupant, has misused. Perhaps the more appropriate verb would be “abused.”
That Aquino invited Filipinos to pray during the Holy Week was bad enough. By preaching prayer to them, he made his “homily” even worse. He should limit his impositions on the yellows. After all, he has shown himself to belong exclusively to the yellow tribe.
Hasn’t anyone noticed Aquino’s continued use of yellow shirts —minus the Philippine flag—when attending public functions for media consumption? Apparently, his constant display of said color is intended mainly to perpetuate the memory of his late mother, an incidental president, among the Cojuangco-Aquino loyalists.
By trying to force Filipinos to remember his mother, the son has mistakenly thought everybody still has faith in her and in him. After five years as casual resident of the Palace, he should have realized that his mother’s only legacy was her self-serving version of agrarian reform that entitled tenants to pieces of paper for them to become minority stockholders of a corporation that owns the farms instead of making them farm owners.
What happened to said maternal legacy? It has since been voided by the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2011 against the Cojuangcos and declared that the distribution of shares of stock to the farmers of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) was in not in accordance with the agrarian reform law.
Perhaps, Aquino has long been praying for the protection of his inheritance from the farmers. He must have believed that God heard his prayers because when he won a six-year tenure to reside in Malacañang, he retained his mother’s agrarian reform stock distribution model as part of his administration’s national agenda.
He was wrong in pre-empting the Almighty. God did not listen to his prayers for the family’s retention of the hacienda because he must have also, in effect, prayed against the tenants. No religion teaches its believers to pray “against” their enemies, no matter how much they hate them. It always advises them to pray “for” them.
Unfortunately for Aquino, God heard other people’s prayer for the farmers to win their legal battle when the Supreme Court finally ruled against HLI’s stock distribution scheme.
What an insult it was to the son for the High Tribunal to have virtually declared unconstitutional his mother’s agrarian reform policy!
Certainly, Aquino would not allow this to simply pass without vengeance. That is why he went after Chief Justice Renato Corona by having him ousted thru an impeachment process. He also jailed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who remains incarcerated without charges for placing during her nine-year presidency the Cojuangco hacienda under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
Perhaps Aquino anchored his revenge on his prayers and his misuse of other people’s money. Ask the members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate how much each of them received in the guise of pork barrel from Aquino and his budget secretary, Florencio Abad, who spent government funds to ensure the votes for the ouster of the Chief Justice.
I don’t want to speak for others. Personally, I do not believe Aquino in his media blitz that he would pray for his critics because he does not even know how to pray. Remember the reported and much publicized prayer meeting that he and his people organized at Malacañang on March 9, to which he invited representatives of various religious sects except the leaders of the Catholic Church and Iglesia ni Cristo?
What Aquino and his chosen elitists did was not a prayer meeting but a “pray-and-hate” gathering. (No such phrase, the reason for the pair of quotation marks.) In fact, they used God only for show to make Filipinos appreciate him and reject their calls for his resignation. True enough, the meeting ended up becoming a venue for expressions of support for Aquino. In effect, what took place in Malacañang was not a community prayer for the people but against them, particularly the critics of his erratic leadership.
Here is the worst that happened after the prayer gathering. In defending himself against public mistrust, Aquino singled out in his attack Getulio Napenas, relieved director of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police. After the “prayer-and-hate” meeting, he announced to those who cared to listen to him that he had been fooled by Napenas about the events and circumstances surrounding the massacre of the SAF 44. Really? Napenas should be congratulated for having fooled the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Finally, here is a humble suggestion: As a Filipino, I don’t want to be included in his and his fellow yellows’ prayers for the nation. As a Catholic, I have learned a long time ago that God hears only the prayers of repentant sinners who are truly sorry for their sins, and those who are in a state of grace.