• Presidential tears, a distraction


    Looking at what the social media world was talking about the day after PNoy delivered his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), it was clear that the emotional content of the speech was more interesting than the substance—if there was any.

    The discussions and heated exchange among netizens were on matters like “did the President cry or did his voice simply crack”, or “why was presidential sister Kris wiping away tears?” “Was the President hurting?” or “Was the weight of presidency too much for him to carry”? “How many times did he cough?” and “Were the coughing simply meant to prevent himself from choking with emotions?”

    So, there you are. Clearly, the greater segments of the SONA’s audience, both those in the gallery and those watching and listening via media, were focused on the dramatics of the moment. If asked whether or not they understood what the real state of the nation is after PNoy’s speech, they probably would say, “We don’t remember him talking about it.”

    There are two possibilities regarding the apparent injection of heavy emotional content into the delivery of the SONA.

    One is that it was not deliberate. The other is that it was done on purpose.

    Regardless, what was clear was that the speculation on the basis for the presidential tears served as a powerful distraction to the substance of the speech—or to the lack of it.

    But to those who chose to ignore the dramatics and focused on what was being said by PNoy, the scanty substance was disconcerting and alarming in many parts.

    Already, many have noticed that PNoy did not touch on the items that matter much to many Filipinos such as the Freedom of Information bill.

    The other items were delivered in a rather hurried manner that they apparently failed to register in the SONA audience’s mind. PNoy may have created the impression that since these items were just hastily enumerated by him, they were not really that important. In so doing, these items escaped the attention and scrutiny of many listeners.

    But not on all.

    One alarming item on the SONA which the presidential emotions may have clouded was PNoy’s take on his supposed accomplishments on water.

    PNoy boasted that his administration has prepared well for the future of our water supply. He enumerated the following as evidence that he has addressed this issue: the construction of the Kaliwa Dam Project in Tanay, Rizal, and the Water District Development Sector Project under the Local Water Utilities Administration.

    There is nothing wrong with preparing future water sources. The Kaliwa Dam project is part of the originally-planned Laiban Dam, a controversial project that is facing stiff opposition from various sectors.

    What PNoy did not say is what he is doing to ease the current woes of millions of Metro Manila residents struggling with the cost of water services imposed on them by the two giant concessionaires—the Pangilinan group’s Maynilad and the Ayala Group’s Manila Water.

    He did not say what action he has taken on the issue raised earlier by an angry public protesting the “greedy” practice of these two giants of passing on to consumers expenses that should rightfully be shouldered by the concessionaires. Among these are the passed-on corporate income tax and the millions of pesos in expenses for dining in fancy restaurants, buying gifts, give-aways and, as my favorite media colleague Teddy Boy Locsin would say, even flowers for their executives’ favorite “pom-pom girls.”

    By distracting the public with future plans on water, PNoy may have skirted a more important public aspiration—lower water rates and the refund of these passed-on costs. Water consumers have long expected him to side with them and champion their cause against two of the country’s most profitable business giants. Once again, PNoy failed them in that expectation.

    Such public expectation is not without basis, after all.

    MWSS regulators appointed by PNoy announced late last year that they had ordered the two giants to lower water rates. That announcement was met with public applause. Yet, consumers in the areas served by the two are still being charged the same rate they were paying before PNoy-appointed regulators raised hopes following that pompous announcement of lower rates last year.

    PNoy would have done the public justice if he had, in his SONA, directed the MWSS to implement the lower rates the agency had already decided and ordered.

    The presidential tears may have caused many to overlook the apparent lack of importance he has placed on water issues.

    Now, tears are starting to fall from our eyes, too.


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    1. Horacio B. Freires on

      Projecting his love kuno to his murdered father, the presidential tears is to evoke public sympathy amid the crisis of public trust he is undergoing. .

      With all the presidential powers he had shown by ‘raping Congress’ via DAP, ‘murdering’ the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court via DAP (now downgrading the Institution itself by publicly going against its 13-0 decision on DAP), persecuting the human rights of his predessesor, ensuring his family is paid w/ regards to Hacienda Luisita in an accelerated manner (via DAP again) . . .

      . . .Is the presidential tears an expression of real love to his murdered father? . . .and yet not pursuing who the real mastermind in his murder?. . .(KNOWING IT IS NOT FERDINAND MARCOS). . Is it love by perpetrating the INJUSTICE done (by his family) to his murdered father. . .for decades now?. .

      His father who brought him and his mother to the Presidency of this forlorn country?. .

      Even ‘utang na loob’ there is none. . His father’s image is only utilized for his (and his family’s ) own selfish bested interest. . Is he fooling the Filipinos thru this dramatics?

    2. hehehe, ung pag-ubo ni Thief Executive eh hindi dahil sa emosyon. Dahil ang tawag sa ubo na un eh “SMOKER’S COUGH”, hehehe. Ung luha ni Kris? me dala siyang sibuyas na maliit para kung gusto nya maluha eh medyo ilabas lang niya mula sa purse o handbag niya, presto, maluluha siya. Puro kaplastikan ang mga magkuyang ito, Lahat ng sis nya me ganun din malamang ang ginawa. Hay, di dapat patulan ang mga iyak ng Kris na ito. Puro arte lang.

    3. The tears displayed by all the Aquino’s are what we call CROCODILE TEARS. The Aquinos really like crocodiles, starting from Frank Drillon and all those Legislathieves in both chambers.

    4. A show for the emotionally, juvenile, tactless, mindless, unfortunately our President PNoy. Sorry, the truth has to surface.

    5. During my time they were called crocodile tears. Meaning, when the crocodile knows that he is to be killed, he starts shedding tears so pity would befall on it, and set it free. But once free, it will attack and kill the person who freed him. Kris is an actress, she may have told her brother to shed some tears, people forgive easily when they see you “contrite and humble”. Sorry kris, pinoys are waking up to the reality of your brother’s dirty tricks. There are a few who refuse to see what is obvious, but those are the ones that are beyond fixing. Luckily, those bred are getting smaller and smaller as years go by. they must have gotten most of the genes of those reptiles whose only forte is to attack and eat, nothing else. Funny, Imelda up to this day still cries during interviews, Pinoy and her must have come from the same ancestor.

    6. Of course the tears were to distract people. The sona should have been about just that, the sona, not about past presidents & how good they were blah blah blah. But thats how it works here in the philippines. Its like his sister kris, i cant abide watching her interview people. She will say & you love your parents & they were loving parents, & you go to church, your a good christian, blah blah blah, no substance whatsoever, but the pinoy public love all that. Its the substance they dont want. They love laws, as long as the laws dont affect them.
      But there is so much to do in this country to even start to rebuild it who on earth knows where to start. I dont see much happening to change things in my lifetime. They in government will always look after their own. Im wondering if the senators ever get prosecuted how long it will be before the sitting president gives them a pardon, & by havbing a pardon its like not having a criminal record so can go back into government just like estrada has done

    7. P. Akialamiro on

      Pro or con, if one were to analyze the entire SONA, that was really the “state of the nation” under this president. No significant results; all talks.