The ‘Kayo Ang Boss’ Myth

18

Third of four parts

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Myth No. 3: President Aquino’s boss is the Filipino people.

Every politician, of course, styles himself as the nation’s servant, like President Aquino’s oft-repeated references to the people as his bosses. But the reality is often anything but—most especially with Benigno Aquino 3rd.

His trebling and misuse of pork barrel, augmented by the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), best demonstrates how the President has done the very opposite of his “Kayo ang Boss Ko” mantra.

The National Transformation Council (NTC), grouping religious, civil society, government, and other sectoral stalwarts, cited Malacañang’s pork bribery of lawmakers as the first reason to urge his resignation. This morally and constitutionally destructive act is so widely acknowledged, even by those in the ruling coalition, that denying it would only erode Palace credibility.

The bribery of Congress using both the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and DAP, violates three tenets of serving the people and treating them as your master.

First, it breaks the law — the collective will of the nation as formulated by its representatives and, in the case of the Constitution, directly ratified by the electorate. Pork bribery undermines the separation of powers and the independence of Congress, and uses funds in a nefarious manner never mandated by law.

Second, pork bribery undermines democracy — the rule of the people. It induces lawmakers, the citizenry’s chosen representatives, to set aside their sworn duty to speak, vote, and legislate as their constituents require.

Having tripled PDAF from past levels to over P20 billion a year since 2011, and adding DAP to the expanded pork, Aquino has, as the Filipino adage puts it, fried the people in their own lard — using taxpayer funds to corrupt and control the legislature.

Malacañang’s subjugation of Congress has since gone from bribery to blackmail. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad holds over every kickbacking senator and congressman their PDAF records. These can be released to probers, public and press if bribed lawmakers turn against Aquino.

Third, PDAF and DAP bribery harms the people. Already suffering immense privations, the poor and needy — the intended beneficiaries of government programs — are further deprived of the full benefits of budget allocations, as the pork scandal has amply shown.

The many billions of pesos siphoned off looks set to swell further. Despite Supreme Court decisions voiding PDAF and DAP, the 2015 budget has over P20 billion in disguised pork. And grafters in the Aquino camp go scot free, spared by the “selective prosecution” lamented by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Is this the way to treat the bosses?

Sadly, this pernicious trio of disregarding law, undermining democracy, and hurting people has marked major Aquino actions and initiatives.

DAP violated the Constitution by usurping the Legislative branch’s power of the purse, by which the people’s chosen representatives directly decide how state funds are spent. And by shifting resources, certain sorely needed benefits like the bonuses of hundreds of thousands of schoolteachers were diverted to pet Palace projects and pork barrel.

In the Mamasapano assault against Malaysian and Filipino bomb experts, which cost the lives of 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force commandos, the Commander-in-Chief broke the chain of command by letting suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima run the operation and conceal it from top security officials.

Then, when the SAF came under massive attack, Aquino held back reinforcements, according to a reliable source cited by The Manila Times. Most egregious fault of all, Aquino authorized an assault into rebel territory, triggering renewed conflict and endangering peace efforts crucial to harmony and development in Mindanao.

When Yolanda devastated Tacloban and government relief took ages to show up, beaten to disaster areas even by a CNN anchor coming from across the globe, Aquino blamed flooding-decimated local authorities and even taunted a shell-shocked businessman worried about armed looters, “You’re still alive, aren’t you?”

His own ally, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, warned that Aquino-Romualdez family animosity could get in the way of national agencies doing their duty to aid Tacloban victims. And even the dead were violated when those found after the 6,000 body count was reached, were no longer counted. (One calamity data expert estimated about 17,000 dead.)

Indeed, the dead and the devastated are at times denied presidential sympathy sorely needed to show that the nation and the government care. When coffins of the SAF’s Fallen 44 arrived at Villamor Air Base, Aquino skipped arrival honors.

He also did not pay respects to murdered transgender Jennifer Laude, saying he did not go to wakes of strangers. And when he toured Yolanda-hit areas a year after the catastrophe, he did not visit Tacloban.

Even long-suffering daily commuters of the capital region’s Metro Rail Transit can only get a presidential argument justifying the doubling of fares, with no word of sympathy or urgent action on the anomalous MRT maintenance deal that created the mess.

Is that what one does when one’s bosses suffer distress, death and destruction?

Public relations, not public service
Aquino did devote many hours talking with orphaned, widowed and bereaved families of the Fallen 44. But that looks more like a self-serving attempt to counter mounting disdain and anger against him among both the people and the security forces.

Indeed, far more than public service, it is public relations and prestige that Aquino is most focused on.

In issue after issue, the Palace would rather look for scapegoats and solutions. As Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle remarked during the papal visit media briefing, the administration tends to blame problems on the past government.

This Aquino obsession with pride and prestige not only hurts his bosses. It has also endangered national security, as the last part of this article will explain.

(Parts 1 and 2 were published on Feb. 24 and 26; the last part will run on Thursday.)

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18 Comments

  1. Juan Mabayan on

    Very amateurish negotiators:
    Reading the BBL, one gets the distinct impression that the team of Deles, Ferrer and PNoy is giving away the Philippines. An example is the section on “Share in Taxes”. Please read:

    “Section 10. Share in Taxes of the Central Government. – Central Government taxes, fees, and charges collected in the Bangsamoro, other than tariff and customs duties, shall be shared as follows:
    a. Twenty-five percent (25%) to the Central Government; and
    b. Seventy-five percent (75%) to the Bangsamoro, including the shares of the local government units.
    The aforementioned twenty-five percent (25%) share of the Central Government shall, for a period of ten (10) years, be retained by the Bangsamoro Government. The period for retention may be extended upon mutual agreement of the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government.”

    Imagine that you now own something and somebody comes and tells you ” I’ll take that from you, but I think I’ll be generous and leave you 25%”. And you say thank you. Then he says “But I will keep your share for 10 years. You can not use it”. And you say thank you again. Then he says “After 10 years, we will talk about it, I may not want to give you anything”. You say thank you again and then put this agreement in writing.

    This is not a negotiation. These are terms of surrender. I have not seen such amateurish negotiation. Even a slave negotiating with his master will not sign this agreement.

    And they want Congress and the Senate to rubber stamp the BBL. Deles and Ferrer must be removed from the negotiating panel.

    http://www.opapp.gov.ph/sites/default/files/House%20Bill%20No.%204994.pdf

  2. if pnoy holds true to that myth that the filipino people as a whole is his boss, then he should quit. the people of the philippines want him out of the palace. so what reason does he have now to keep staying?

  3. Hector David on

    Coloma ,lacierdada ,Roxas,see the lies and the utter lack of moral fiber .. I do not know how they can sleep at night…… This administration bleeds the middle class to use the money for mismanagement and bribery .. The Corona and the Bangsa Moro Law shows this apart from scores of other Bo boos Yolanda.,Zamboanga incident,Mamasapori .there is a total failure of Government . Yet they go on supporting a incompetent person who would be king ….. Well me them answer to the generations of Filipinos hence.

  4. russ calagan on

    The reason why the move to “un-sit” Noynoy is not successful is because Binay is the Vice President. Noynoy should thanks Binay. If only the VP is someone who has a clean record and decisive political will, the call for the ouster of Noynoy will prosper

  5. I am not for President Benigno Aquino, but my question here is who will replaced him as President, is it Mr. Binay? Mr. Binay has also a questionable character. What I could I advised to President Aquino is to explained to our countrymen what happened that time during the Mindanao massacre. He was in Mindanao that time and I don’t think he has no knowledge what’s going there. We Filipinos are fond of gossip. And for BBL we need to examine this thoroughly because it’s our future generations here are at stake. There will be no peace in Mindanao unless our government will used iron fist to eradicate this lawlessness. Look what happened to we signed peace with MNLF? Then MILF broke away from MNLF. Now there is BIFF, etc. Mindanao will be peaceful only if people there will have their meals three times a day. I live in Mindanao before and this is what I have observed. We need to keep the economy of Mindanao alive. But who will invest in Mindanao if security will not be guaranteed. I salute for Senator Cayetano for his stance on BBL.

  6. There is no difference between ABnoy and Kris. They belong to the same rotten fruits.Si Kris sumasali sa politika by defending ABnoy from his critics. He refuse to apologize because of his hardheadedness. So he also refuse to RESIGN because he is protecting his alalays who might spell the beans. So we have to wait until his last term.

  7. Ramman@yahoo.com on

    Nakakahiya ang walang hiya… Magaling sa pagkukunwari… Alam mong tubog at Hindi tunay…

  8. Until now you are not aware? Pnoy and Binay belongs to the same team? That’s the result of 99% pinoys love telenovelas. Nowadays, I will not be surprised that good movie directors moonlights as political consultants/analysts.

  9. What Aquino does not realize is that he himself built and condoned the actions of this government that will forever be remembered as the worse of all time. Of course he has the single award as the worse president of all time.

    • If you can’t substantiated you are part of the problem. Let’s be more intelligent please.

    • Alejo Dustin on

      Tigilan na nila ang kakasisi kay President Aquino tungkol sa Mamasapano.Magmove on na lahat dahil hindi na maibabalik ang buhay ng SAF 44. Ang importante ngayon mabigyan sila ng hustisya at masuportahan ang mga naiwang pamilya na naman pinababayaan ni PNoy

  10. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The only thing which separates P-Noy and GMA is “I am sorry”. At the very least, GMA did say “I am sorry” after piles and piles of evidences were being unearthed. P-Noy on the other hand has his minions and ass lickers cover up the mess of their doings by saying that “P-Noy has accepted the responsibillity” and that is enough that there is no need to say “Sorry”. What is happening to our country? God bless the Philippines.

  11. Eddie de Leon on

    Right, very correct and tumpak, Mr. Ricardo Saludo. Eagerly waiting for Part 4.

  12. juan nationalist on

    POSTED MANY TIMES. SPAM ITO. So you want PNoy to resign?

    Kapag nag resign si PNoy automatically ito ang mga mangyayari:
    1. Si Binay agad ang magiging President of the Republic of the Philippines at nakalagay yan sa Constitution at ikaw na uto-uto ay wala kang magagawa, BOBO!
    2. Pag si Binay na ang nakaupo automatically pardoned si GMA, ENRILE, ESTRADA, REVILLA at ang iba pang mga p*tanginang KURAP na harap harapan tayong ginagago dahil IKAW mismo ay nagpapa-uto sakanila.
    3. Mawawala na ang kaso ng mga Binay sa ombudsman at sandigangbayan at siguradong tuloy ang OVERPRICED PROJECT, yun nga lang BUONG PILIPINAS na.
    4. Makakakuha ng Government Positions ang mga komunistang BAYAN MUNA na nang gugulo at pasikretong sinusuportahan si Jojo Binay, narinig nyo na bang nag rally ang mga animal na toh sa mga kababalaghan ni Binay? Hindi!
    5. Isusuko ni Binay ang kaso natin laban sa Tsina sa United Nations at siguradong makiki-pag areglo ito sa hudas na Chinese Government.
    6. Hindi na matutuloy ang AFP Modernization Program pagkat papalitan ito ng Cake Modernization Program.
    7. Mawawalan ng Confidence ang mga Foreign Investors sa bansa at siguradong aalis ang mga ito at kasama na dun ang TRABAHO MO.
    8. Mas lalong babagsak ang bansa at siguradong sisisihin mo si Pres. Binay na ikaw rin mismo ang dahilan kaya naging Presidente.
    9. Sasama ka na sa pag-aaklas laban kay Binay na siyang ginawa mo rin sa panahon ni PNoy.
    10. Si Nancy Binay na syang Presidential Press Secretary na ay mag lalabas ng statement laban sa inyo ;

    “MY DAD WONT STOOP DOWN ON YOUR LEVEL”

    Kaya pag isipan ng mabuti yang hinahangad mong PNOY Resign unless isa ka sa mga CAKE beneficiary ni Jojo.

    Follow us at Juan Nationalist

    • Dati si GMA ang laging sagot sa problema ni Pnoy. Ng malaos na ito at dina kagatin ng tao, si Binay naman ang gagamitin nyo na panakot. At least aminado kayo na hindi OK si Pnoy kaya lang mananatili si Pnoy ay dahil baka maging presidente si Binay.