Last Tuesday (13 April), The Times ran an editorial entitled, “Occupy Comelec,” which discussed the urgency of fixing the national election system and reorganizing the Commission on Elections in time for the all-important nationwide elections in May 2016. I will join this call in due time, but for today, I have a different occupation in mind.
One of the rewards of writing a column is conversing with readers about the subjects and issues I care about, and receiving on occasion letters that share insights, and point me toward new topics and issues for exploration.
Today, I will allow one such letter to occupy my slot in The Times, confident that it will enrich my long-running conversation with readers and colleagues in the media. The letter, whose author will be incognito for now, reads as follows.
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The antithesis of a leader
A leopard doesn’t change its spots.
PNoy Aquino is fundamentally a weak character with little courage, capabilities, conviction, compassion, commitment, or charisma. The antithesis of a leader, but no doubt a useful mendicant for the oligarchs, whose profits have rocketed to obscene levels during his time, a valuable gofer for the US in pursuing their bases strategy and their Mindanao objectives, and a walkover for the politically savvy Malaysians.
An accidental leader is invariably also an accident waiting to happen. It has!
BBL has always been a Trojan horse. People are only now beginning to connect the dots, but better late than never. A strong peace is not achieved from a weak agreement — it would simply be the springboard to a raft of other problems.
You also cannot play international chess and negotiate successfully if you do not know how “the horsey thing” moves, and Aquino has always been a willing enabler for the dark lords, and an easy puppet for his US masters, and seemingly has no personal interest in social reform or deep-rooted respect for fellow Filipinos, but has always preferred a lazy quiet life with his few BFF’s, and shooting clique, away from the reality of normal life, and cocooned in privilege away from the common herd.
People are now seeing beyond the facade, and PNoy Aquino is no doubt feeling the pressure, and counting down the days until he can return to anonymity, and ribbon cutting for fast food chains.
A leader knows how to respond in times of grief, and that his first duty is to heal, not confuse, lie, or go AWOL. Leaders occupy the front line, not the back passage, and take the moral path, not the sewer pipe! They exhibit empathy not apathy. They have a track record of endeavor and causes, not Xbox and karaoke.
And real leaders do not betray their men, let them be butchered, crawl away to nurse a bruised ego, and concoct excuses, whilst others console and share in the heartbreak.
The self-proclaimed misnomer father of the nation, is nothing more than the spoiled brat of the nation, who has a yellow backbone to match the yellow ribbon he loves to wear as a sign of singular self-interest. Leaders unite and inspire people, not divide and demoralize.
Aquino has largely lived an indolent self-obsessed life in the shadows, devoid of passion, purpose, and performance, so people should hardly be surprised at the comedy of errors which has unfolded from the very outset of his Presidency, and which has been a recurring theme throughout, culminating in his latest debacle, which has been made far worse by the post massacre political disorder, and the very evident panic now emanating from Malacañang, and the shrinking number of hardcore yellowtards, who now act as a rearguard task force of social media “privates” firing blanks, while their Commander in Chief pretends that he is irresistible to 20-year-old beauty queens and working 18 hours a day! Typical of his infantile response to serious issues, and the cult mentality of his needy followers who lap up gossip and reflect the “bread and circuses” style of politics, or in Filipino parlance, “T- shirts and 200 pesos.” Delusional, deceitful, and desperate.
When not Noynoying, his biggest single management mistake was in his initial selection/poor choice of “bad” people as cabinet members, — “the best of the best” according to Aquino! — but that reflects his lack of experience as a leader, his love of micro mismanagement, and the patronage politics which permeates his values, the system itself, and which prevents any meaningful progress. The error in Aquino’s judgment has been exacerbated by continuing to have misplaced loyalty in his underperforming and/or corrupt friends — too many of whom are still making hay while the sun shines, and the full extent of their misdemeanors will only become apparent in due course. Mediocracy in place of meritocracy.
All mouth and no trousers
Ultimately it is results that count, and by which you are judged.
But there were only ever bad intentions with promises such as FOI (freedom of information act), bribery of senators, the corruption of DAP, all the contract backhanders enjoyed by his KKK, and no intention of promoting strategic change through initiatives such as anti-dynasty, 60/40 economic provisions, DICT, etc.
Instead, a money grab to fund the next power grab, and dictatorship to replace democracy (weak as it is)
All mouth and no trousers – all branding and no substance. The lights are on, but nobody is at home!
Everything PNoy Aquino touches turns to calamity — – the reverse of Midas touch.
Headline short-term economic paper gains, hot money, and financial manipulation masking unsustainable policies and no inroads towards inclusive growth. OFW remittances continue to prop up an economy devoid of an industrial base or home-grown innovation, and reduced to a low-cost labor pool and subjected to a myriad of restrictive practices.
Those who can, join the brain drain, which will have significant adverse long-term consequences for the country.
It is ironic that many Filipinos are able to strive and thrive abroad in more egalitarian and welcoming societies where business sectors do not operate as a closed shop, and where ability and effort count, but are consigned to the scrap heap in their own country.
It is even more damning that OFW’s will put up with abuse, or prefer to remain in war-torn countries than return home.
There is no excuse.
It’s social plunder, stupid.
And maybe the economics student should personally explain why high GDP growth is not translating into inclusive growth, or reductions in poverty levels, and why the Philippines will not achieve the Millennial Development Goals in 2015 which is a big deal — grants depend upon it — and a major embarrassment.
It’s economic pillaging, stupid.
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THIS is blistering and intoxicating – the ideas come in a torrent. I will close this digression in my Saturday column, with a few more paragraphs from the letter, and a note on how readers respond to this diatribe.