• The chasm between Duterte and PNoy

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    IT was almost a year ago when former President Benigno Aquino 3rd uttered these fateful words: “The 2016 national elections will be a referendum on daang matuwid.” Well, we all know how that referendum went.

    After Filipinos roundly rejected the so-called “good governance” platform of the Aquino administration, the septuagenarian probinsiyano from Davao, who many say is the antithesis of PNoy, was sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines at noon last Thursday.

    Looking slightly uncomfortable in his formal barong—and with the formalities attending the inauguration of the new country’s leader—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gives off the impression of someone who shuns political pomp and pageantry.

    From his very brief but nonetheless profound 15-minute inaugural speech—the shortest ever inaugural speech for a Philippine President—to his powwow with leftist protesters (who were picked up from Mendiola and brought to Malacañang by the Presidential Security Group at the behest of the country’s new President), Duterte’s first acts as the nation’s Chief Executive reeks of unconventionality.

    He seems allergic to the perks and privileges of his office. In fact, one of the first directives during his first Cabinet meeting was to put a stop to the VIP treatment usually accorded to the President at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

    “I want the practice of giving a 30-minute hiatus for the presidential plane to take off or land stopped. We should not be treated differently from the other suffering Filipino passengers,” Duterte told Art Tugade, the new Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) secretary.

    Addressing his Cabinet secretaries, Duterte said: “Just advise CAAP, if you are given priority to take off, thank them but also follow everyone’s travail. Let’s line up.”

    “We should treat ourselves just like any other Filipino traveling… I don’t want any special treatment. There should be no stopping of activity just because [of us],” declared the new President.

    It is this down-to-earth and sympathetic demeanor that has endeared Duterte to common folks. He can hardly be accused of gimmickry because this is the same Duterte that Davaoeños have known throughout his long political career as mayor of the country’s “durian capital.” Of course, how his promise of “change” will actually translate into real-world actions and results remain to be seen. But it is a refreshing and hopeful beginning.

    Duterte’s unpretentious character is in sharp contrast to his immediate predecessor who obviously had no qualms using perks and privileges of the presidency to brag about the accomplishments of his “daang matuwid” administration until the very end.

    Exactly a week before he stepped down, PNoy bestowed (or more accurately, showered) the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Grand Cross [Bayani]—the country’s second highest civilian honor—on members of his Cabinet and favored lieutenants, saying that they were chosen “based on [their]remarkable performance during [his]administration.”

    Clearly, the message PNoy wants to put across is that he, too, did such a great job during his six-year term, given the “remarkable performance” of his top officials.

    We agree. They certainly did a fantastic job with the MRT-3, the Metro Manila traffic situation, the Development Acceleration Program, the Typhoon Yolanda relief effort, the Mamasapano encounter, and scores of other “achievements.” Ang kapal!!

    Give it to PNoy to bastardize our national honors system.

    Under Executive Order No. 236, the Order of Lakandula is supposed to be given only to a Filipino: (a) who has demonstrated by his life and deeds a dedication to the welfare of society; (b) whose life is worthy of emulation by the Filipino people; (c) for deeds worthy of particular recognition, including suffering materially for the preservation and defense of the democratic way of life and of the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, for devoting his life to the peaceful resolution of conflict, or for demonstrating an outstanding dedication to the fostering of mutual understanding, cultural exchange, justice and dignified relations among individuals; or (d) for acts that have been traditionally recognized by the institution of presidential awards, including meritorious political and civic service.

    What specific act or deeds were performed by his officials to deserve such honor? What “meritorious political or civic service” did PNoy’s “chosen ones” render to be entitled to the award? None that we could think of.

    As a bit of a footnote, we also find it quite ironic that the honors PNoy chose to lavish upon his Palace coterie is actually a creation of his arch nemesis, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who created the Order of Lakadula after overhauling the country’s national awards roster in 2003.

    Although exclusively a presidential prerogative, the wholesale conferment by PNoy of national awards to his own political appointees for doing their job—and badly at that—is in poor taste. It is not only an insult to previous awardees like Hillary Clinton, Emperor Akihito of Japan, etc., but also a slap on the face of millions of Filipinos who suffered under PNoy’s incompetent leadership.

    PNoy also said the “awards are meant to raise the bar for all.” In that case, Duterte has no reason to worry. With PNoy setting the bar so low, any improvement, however small, that Duterte can make to the lives of our poor countrymen would already be a resounding success.

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    17 Comments

    1. Veronica Castro on

      Not so fast. It seems tayo ang sira ang ulo. Look around talk to people. Open your eyes, and mind . It is a borderless world. We belong to a community of nations that validate what we are saying based on facts not emotions.
      . Hindi kasi sinasabi natin , totoo yon.

    2. I blame the 15M who voted for an undeserving president BSA3..Pnoy is a politician and never was a leader to the Fil.ppl.He served only his yellow KKKs.He was anti poor and pro rich.His Daang Matuwid was deaigned only to enrich his KKKs and to persecute the ppl whom he considered as his enemies.His biggest legacy is destroying the 3 govt institution .He corrupted all the govt agencies, the senate and congress using DAP to destroy the judiciary by ousting its Chief Justice bcoa he consider him as his enemy.He is responsible for Corona’s death..

    3. President Duterte is really incomparable and yet LP is planning to impeach him! The faces of all the members of LP is like a hard stick glue that is unremovable from this society. A kind of parasite that eats his own flesh and blood! Yet, trying to manipulate everything like what they did to General Luna! A traitor to his own countrymen! A salute to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his”malasakit” to Filipino people, serving our country without asking anything in return! Long live the President!

    4. Makapal talaga ang mukha ni P’noy ipinagtanggol pa ang paggamit ni Kris ng chopper para mangampanya talagang natural lang siguro sa lahi nila ang pagiging makapal ang mukha, tingnan mo si Kris iba’t iba ang ama ng mga anak nya pero ipinagyayabang pa.

      • Melly Nazarino on

        Baka nakalimutan natin na nobody is perfect in this world except God at madali Lang sasabihin pero mahirap gawin tao Lang tayo we are subject to mistake kahit sinong tao magkakasala din.

    5. In history, who will then be declared the revisionist?

      Aquinos and not the Marcoses!

    6. Hector David on

      Pnoy was living in fantasyland .. Disney should open a park and make him GM..that job is cut out for him….or George Lucas …. for star wars …. and video games

    7. Most, if not all, of Pnoy’s achievements are in limbo. He should start practicing the Limbo Rock while hibernating in his house in Times St.

    8. Please, we have to understand that Noynoy is psychotic. He’s living in his own world. Akala nya ang galing galing nya. Pag sumakay sya sa MRT from Monumento to Makati at 7am weekday, he will surely blame Arroyo dahil sa pila. Talagang abnoy.

    9. Nomer obnamia on

      Thanks PNoy is out of office. Duterte in his low key, unpretentious style is what the country needs. PNoy’s loyalty is to the memory of his mother, the yellow ribbon emblem of her failed presidency. Did PNoy ever wore the flag pin? Is PNoy living in a dream world? Duterte surely beamed him back to earth. His day of reckoning is coming soon.

    10. What is very clear in my mind is Pnoy should not have been the President of this nation. He should not even be considered a candidate of the Liberal Party. Why he won, only one factor, these are sympathy votes from the death of his mother. Do not even brag that you are a competent politician, you did not write and enact any law when you were a congressman and senator. It should have been Manny Villar that should have been president because Ex President Estrada is a convicted criminal. He was given a pardon because he admitted his guilt. Arroyo refused the pardon because she did not admit of her crimes.

    11. Stark contrast… He talked like a man. President Duterte did not capitalize on the “shortcomings” of his predecessor to gain the applause of his audience inside and outside of Malacañan Palace.

    12. Atty. Dulay is on target, zeroed in on PNoy the target and very well explained how the Philippines became a basket case because he was not doing anything right for 6 years and have the gall to announce that he achieved so many. What achievements, even an achievement he is talking about is not seen anywhere.