The admission of President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd that he is now open to a second term in office as President of the Philippines finally exposed both the height of his hypocrisy and the depth of his mental dishonesty. Finally, President Noynoy or PNoy has shown his true colors revealing his flawed character.
President B. S. Aquino 3rd must be delusional to think that there is a public clamor for him to continue as president beyond his six-year term limit that is why he is now amenable to amending the Constitution. This is similar to his delusion of alleged “reforms” achieved under his presidency that I wrote about in my column last week (MT, August 9, 2014).
The scenario for PNoy’s second term in office looks like a well-orchestrated effort by Malacañang. On Wednesday last week, perennial presidential aspirant Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd floated the idea of a second term for President Aquino. Mr. Roxas claimed that it was strictly his personal view and had not discussed the matter with the President or members of the ruling Liberal Party. Really?
The pathetic Secretary of Interior & Local Government claimed that there was a clamor in “support for the continuance of Daang Matuwid” and said that he wants “P-Noy to continue the reforms.” In response, the Office of the President in Malacañang was initially “coy” on the term extension. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda even reiterated the president’s position of being opposed to any amendment to the Constitution.
A day later on Thursday, Press Secretary Herminio Coloma reassured the Filipino people that President Aquino has no intention of staying in power beyond the single six-year term . Then the next day, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte contradicted it, saying Aquino could still change his mind and may ultimately give in to the voice of his “bosses”—the people.
Exactly a week later after Mar Roxas’ surprise and baseless (there was no clamor!) proposal for a second term, President B. S. Aquino III told TV5 last Wednesday in an exclusive interview that he is now open to Charter Change to amend the Constitution that his late mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, had consistently opposed. His reason is that “I have to listen to my bosses (the Filipino people). He is probably hearing his own “voices” and not his bosses!
Reasons for second term
The main reason PNoy gives for his change of mind is very alarming: To check the powers of the Supreme Court! The puerile president said that the Judiciary appears to be using its powers of judicial review to check on the Executive and Legislative branches without restraint. Mr. Aquino spoke of “judicial reach” wherein both “Congress and the Executive may act, but they can be punished anytime.” What a pathetic justification!
True to his childish character of exacting vengeance, PNoy wants to get back at the Supreme Court for dealing him two major consecutive defeats. First, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Congress was declared unconstitutional in November 2013. The President had used the PDAF pork barrel that would have reached P25 Billion in the 2014 national budget to control the members of Congress.
The second and more humiliating defeat was when the High Tribunal also declared las July 1 the despicable Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional. It was perhaps just too much for a puerile president imbued with overwhelming hubris to take two successive major defeats in a short span of seven months.
Noynoy Aquino must have taken the humiliating defeat personally because he went all out of his way in October 2013 and July this year to vigorously defend his DAP creation. As of a result of the Supreme Court decision on the despicable DAP and all the negative reactions from the public, the approval ratings of PNoy plunged to its lowest ebb.
Mental dishonesty of PNoy
The script on the “çlamor” for the second term of PNoy is obviously to intimidate the Supreme Court into reversing itself when it rules on the pending Motion for Reconsideration of the Executive Branch on the DAP issue. President B. S. Aquino 3rd had earlier already threatened the Judiciary of a “collision” in July last month in his response aired on national radio and television to the DAP decision being unconstitutional. Thus, a strategy to intimidate the High Tribunal.
If President Aquino is truly sincere in amending the Constitution to correct the powers of the Judiciary, then he can do so without any term extension. The Chief Executive can do it in the next 16 months beginning September 2014 to December 2015. There is more than enough time. So there is really no need for PNoy to seek a second term just to check the Supreme Court.
Thus, it is a sheer mental dishonesty on the part of the President to use the term extension threat as a way to get what he wants. Before Mr. Aquino revealed that he is now open to a second term, there was even a sudden hearing in the House of Representatives to review the Judicial Development Fund (JDF), which was rightly not attended by the Supreme Court Chief Justice.
So why does PNoy want a second term in office when his approval ratings have plummeted? It simply does not make sense why. A public clamor for President Aquino to extend his term in office in spite of his dismal performance in the past four years?
The sudden decision to seek a second term in office is most likely due to self-preservation. PNoy does not want to experience the same suffering that he inflicted on former President Gloria Arroyo. Having a second term would temporarily spare PNoy from facing formal charges against him in the Office of the Ombudsman up to June 2022.
In case President Aquino does not seek s second term, he said that the “one that I would ask (to replace me) would be a friend of mine, not an enemy.” He must really be scared of going to jail like former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo.