The rising problem of voters’ remorse (over Aquino)

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As President Aquino completes his fourth year in office on June 30, one thing surely must be said: his term has not been uneventful.

To the contrary, in the era of BS Aquino, the Filipino nation has been deluged by too many events, too many disasters, too many scandals, never-ending drama, and so many pseudo events.

It has not been a fun ride, contrary to what our tourism promoters may be trumpeting.

Kaleidoscope of events (2010-2014)
In the kaleidoscope of events spanning the period, the following are an indubitable part of the Aquino record:


1. The Manila hostage crisis on August 23, 2010 in which eight Hong Kong tourists were killed, followed by a cold war with HK over an apology.

2. The impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona on January 16 –May 28, 2012 that may have turned into quicksand for the administration.

3. The Zamboanga City Crisis or Battle of Zamboanga,

September 9 – Sept 28, 2013.

The toll:

220 killed (183 rebels, 25 soldiers, 12civilians)
254 wounded
100,000 displaced from their homes

4. The landfall and devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda on November 8, 2013.
One of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing 6,340 (1061 listed missing), 11 million people affected, tens of thousands rendered homeless.

5. The midterm elections on May 13, 2013, which was marred by fraud allegations, based on

(a) the failure of the Commission on Elections to review the source code for voting machines used in the elections, in violation of the Automated Election Systems Law, and

(b) the discovery in the vote canvassing of a “60-30-10” pattern of votes—wherein administration, opposition, and independent senatorial candidates consistently obtained 60 percent, 30 percent, and 10 percent of the votes, respectively.

6. The exposé by whistleblowers of a P10-billion pork barrel scam, the discovery of an even bigger pork barrel scam, and the unmasking of the P170-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of the Aquino administration; the indictment of senators, representatives, administration officials and various individuals for plunder and malversation of public funds.

7. The hosting by the Philippines of the World Economic Forum in East Asia on May 21-23, 2014, and the dramatic declaration by the Aquino government that the country is “the new Asian economic miracle and tiger economy.”

Perception of these events and developments has varied widely, with the yellow crowd fervently chanting that President Aquino may be the best president we ever had, and those who think he can’t do anything right because of lack of qualifications and a track record.

Beyond these two groups, there is a third group, and this is the rising phenomenon of citizens who supported Aquino in the 2010 elections, but are now suffering voter’s remorse.

Rising cases of voter’s remorse
In his column of May 9, 2014 (“Grim Future”, A Law each Day, Philippine Star, May 9), the lawyer-columnist Jose C. Sison perhaps articulated most clearly and cogently the reasons why so many onetime Aquino supporters are turning away and why they are acutely concerned about recent events and developments in the country.

To give full justice to his point, I quote his column at length. He wrote:

“What is happening in our country now is really a cause for worry about the future of our apos [grandchildren]in this beloved country of ours. Our present state of the nation is definitely very much different from what we were hoping for at the start of P-Noy’s term about 4 years ago.

“At that time we were quite euphoric and full of hope that there will be a genuine cleansing in our government; an actual purging of the dirty and corrupt practices in the government especially the previous graft-ridden administration we had been vainly trying to get rid of. It was the same feeling we had right after the 1986 Edsa people power revolution. Indeed Filipinos considered the election of 2010 as another Edsa except that instead of rallying and demonstrating in the streets, the people went to the polls to oust those in power. Like in the 1986 Edsa people power revolution, people looked up to an Aquino to free us from the oppressiveness of a corrupt and rapacious government; Cory in 1986 and her son PNoy in 2010…

“People feel that it was a bigger mistake to have elected P-Noy as President because of what is happening in our country right now. After four years in office people are not only disappointed because of failed expectations. They are actually disgruntled and angry because the present government appears to be worse than the previous ones not only in the performance of their jobs as public servants, but also and more especially in avoiding and preventing graft and corruption….”

Attorney Sison is not alone in his disappointment with President Aquino. There are many others. And they are voicing their feelings more these days.

Citizens should not wait
At the Tapatan sa Aristocrat media forum the other day, citizens took turns lamenting how the government has dropped the ball and failed our people and our country.

One participant, Junep Ocampo, compelled attention because he is a civil society activist and convenor of several organizations that used to support the president.

He declared: “I was stupid for voting for Aquino in 2010.”

And then he slammed the administration for its incompetence and lack of political will in solving the nation’s problems.

Ocampo described Aquino as blind to the many problems facing the country. Despite the problems staring him in the face, the President has done nothing to address them.

“Our experience from the ‘Yolanda’ devastation and relief operations has clearly shown the government’s incompetence and the Aquino administration’s inefficiency,” he pointed out.

Ocampo believes that the citizenry should move instead of waiting for action from the government to solve their grave concerns, which include poverty alleviation, unemployment and slow economic growth.

His call was echoed by others at the forum, including Pastor Boy Saycom of the Council on Philippine Affairs, who stressed that the administration is failing in providing basic services because its officials have not put their hearts into the challenge.

Political consultant Malou Tiquia of Publicus Asia opined that the economic gains claimed by the administration are being wasted because there are really no social services being provided by the government.

“In spite of his claim that they have gained significant headway in the fight against corruption, I don’t see him ridding the nation of the problem at the end of his term,” Tiquia said.

A lesson from buyer’s remorse
With many of them, disillusionment has replaced the old enthusiasm. Four years of amateurism have made them remorseful.

The awful reality for the President is that one-time true believers, like former lovers, can become the most severe and unforgiving critics.

In contrast with buyer’s remorse, which is acute regret over a purchase, there is no quick remedy for voter’s remorse. The voter will have to go through impeachment and recall and wait for new elections to secure a remedy.

Retailers and merchants have come up with various bandaids to placate remorseful buyers—such as money-back guarantees and cooling-off periods.

In the United States, there are state laws mandating a 3-day window for buyer’s remorse and for returning the merchandise. California has the best consumer protection laws in the US, but there is no cooling-off period for auto sales.

Politics should also develop voter protection laws, so that voter’s remorse can be soothed.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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38 Comments

  1. Blowcoldblowhot on

    Years from now, historians may regard the 2010 election of Benigno Aquino III as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the problems of Philippine economy, direct the most corrupt military, handle the problems of graft and corruptions in all levels of the government, etc? Imagine a future historian examining Noynoy’s pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the elite school despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as an “owner of a Security Guard Company”; a long career as a congressman, devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote “present”); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the Philippine Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.
    He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator.
    It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

    Noynoy himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Noynoy was told he was good enough for Ateneo despite undistinguished grades at High School; he was told he was good enough for the Philippine Senate despite a mediocre record in the lower house; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Noynoy was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.

    What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Noynoy speaks? In 2010, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about his intellect, and cool character. Those people ought now to be deeply embarrassed.

    The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that’s when he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth.
    And what about his character? Noynoy is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. GMA did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess, its conspiracy. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

    In short: the president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in Malacanang Palace.

  2. This problem about Noynoy is the making of the electorate whose maturity by the way will take 666,666,666 years to develop, Ilang ulit na ba tayong naghahalal ng mga punong bayan natin at nabigo? Ito ay dahil na rin sa kagagawan natin. Hinayaan at hinahayaan nating bilhin nila ang mga boto natin tuwing halalan. Bumoboto ang karamihan sa atin, hindi batay sa kakayahang mamuno ng isang kandidato, kundi sa angkin nitong kasikatan at kaunting pungay ng mga mata. Natural, maniningil ang mga ito ng kaukulang bayad sa sandaling malagay na sila sa poder ng kapangyarihan. At ang kabayarang ito ay maaaring ang kinabukasan natin at ng mga anak at apo natin. Ayan, noong 2010, inilagay natin ang isang taong ni walang karanasan sa pamumuno bilang barangay kapitan, karakaraka nating iniluklok sa pinakamataas na kapangyarihan. Isang napakalaking pagkakamali!!! Pagkatapos, ngayon, may mga sektor na nananawagang i impeach si PNoy. Ang masasabi ko lang, hindi mai impeach si PNoy hangga’t karamihan sa mga mambabatas sa Mababa at Mataas na Kapulungan ay mga KAMPON niya. Magsisilbing na lang sanang aral para sa ating mga botante, sana, sa May 09, 2016, bumoto po tayo nang naaayon sa kakayahan ng isang kandidato at hindi dahil lamang sa kasikatan o pangakong ganito o ganoon. Tandaan po natin, pag nagkamali po tayo ng mga ibobotong kandidato sa araw na iyon, tatlo o anim na taon po tayong magdurusa. Sa isang munting pagkakamali, maaaring matagal nating pagsisisihan. Pahabol: Sa darating na May 09, 2016, kasama rin po nating iboboto ang mga gobernador, bise-gobernador, mga kasapi ng sangguniang panlalawigan/bayan/panlunsod, alkalde, bise-alkalde at mga konsehal (pambayan/panlunsod). Hindi po kasali ang mga punong barangay at mga kagawad nila. Ang paghahalal sa mga punong barangay at barangay kagawad ay gaganapin po sa huling Lunes ng Oktubre, 2016.

  3. Charlie Curilan on

    In his defense, he probably didn’t want to become President in the first place. However, now that he was given the chance by a wide-eyed hopeful sentimental public, he should have grabbed the chance to prove himself. Unfortunately, his 0 senatorial track record has been so painfully explained since the start, and it just keeps getting worse as each year passes. I wouldn’t call him “stupid”, I just think he’s oblivious. He’s not in touch with reality which makes it difficult for his cabinet and staff to communicate with him, and difficult for him to come up with, approve, or disapprove plans of action. I think this is his downfall. I actually feel sorry for the guy. In the end his party was just using him to get themselves at the helm of power and hope to stay there after his term. But the whole ploy is backfiring. Not only is their party becoming unpopular, their potential standard bearer, Mar, is also failing at demonstrating his prowess, and worse, there are no other presidentiable out there who is popular enough except for Binay–who is probably one of the most corrupt politicians out there. In the end the vote will be even more scattered, and again, a minority president will win (probably Binay), and the future of the country will be even darker than it is now (no pun intended). In 2010 we actually had a few better candidates in the likes of Gordon and Gibo, but their campaigns failed to top the popularity of noynoy, Erap, and Villar. This time around, who do we have??? Defensor doesn’t want to run, Cayetano is not that popular (yet), Poe is still new in the scene, the only ones that can garner enough masa votes are the very ones about to go to jail now–Binay’s party mates. The rotten bunch still has enough supporters and not one single candidate is emerging to rival that. Why don’t we all just get down on our knees and pray?!?

  4. He never listens to the boss – the people. He has his own mind – often influenced by pique and old grudges. sporting holier-than-thou stance. not a statesman. over-rated. time to do away with popular yet empty-headed leaders. why not a collective presidency?

  5. I did NOT vote for PNoy in 2010 – to be honest from the very beginning
    I knew that PNoy will NOT perform. One of my basis is that as a Senator,
    he only filed ONE (1) Bill and this Bill did NOT even pass !! PNoy was
    a lazy Senator – how do you expect him to be better as President ???!
    Plus all the news about PNoy and his mental health issues.

    I believe PNoy is the WORST Philippine President ever ! The proof is in the
    pudding – his mishandling of the Yolanda typhoon, the unresolved murders of media men and rising criminality like never before in our history. The price of rice and garlic now is the highest ever in recorded history. The PDAF and DAP and Malapaya scandals and corruption involving PNoy himself. The image of Congress is now destroyed – an all time low – the worst ever in Philippine history , all because of PNoy.The vindictiveness of Pnoy against GMA and Corona and on and on………..

  6. Hey Etot!! YES HE KILLED ASK THE HACIENDA FARMERS, HE IS A CANARD, VINDICTIVE LIKE HIS MOTHER AND A DESTROYER OF PEOPLES REPUTATIONS. IN CONTRAST HE IS THE PROTECTOR OF ALL HIS KKB FRIENDS AND COHORTS. MOST OF ALL, HE IS USELESS AS BULLS TITS. HIS NEMESIS PRES. GLORIA WITHOUT QUALMS HAD MORE ACHIEVEMENTS THAN HIM….NOW, YOU ASK? DID HE KILL? AGAIN YOU YELLOW TURD, HE DID!! HIS MOTHER DID TOO, SO DID HIS FATHER, YOU IDIOT!

  7. Bernardo Carpio on

    Iyan ang napapala ng mga uto-uto.
    As I have said a thousand times before, during and after elections the Filipino people elected the wrong Conjuangco. Like themselves the people elected a corrupt, inept, do-nothing, lazy incompetent demagouge. Magaling sa salita, mahina sa gawa.
    Compare him to his cousin Gibo, who not only exemplifies in what Filipinos should aim for – but to have a living example of possiblities.
    Kaso ang Pinoy mahilig sa mediocre – “Pwede na yan ” mentality – Maski paps.
    Takot sa mga intelhenteng tao.
    Stupidity and shallowness is exemplified as the “Best” in our society. Kaya iyan puro artista at comedyante ang nasa Senado. Kerida, anak sa labas at kainuman ang nasa sa Congreso.
    Masyadong mababaw ang Pinoy.
    Magtataka pa ba tayo?

  8. Nelson Celis on

    It’s not only the issues on source code review and the magical combination number 60-30-10, but actually the non-compliance with the AES law (RA 9369). Pls see cases filed in the Ombudsman at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152123218921661&set=a.10151259607571661.496947.546351660&type=3&theater.

    For other information re non-compliances in 2010 and 2013, which may happen again in 2016, visit all automation related facts at https://www.facebook.com/njcelis/photos_albums.

  9. Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the President, I still do not regret (“remorseful’) voting for him. He may not be the kind of President many would like him to be, but I felt, and I still feel that he is the best option I got in 2010.

    • No sir, I do not agree in your comment. If you consider academic background, knowledge, experience and personality and not considering party affiliations, etc. the best candidates in 2010 was Gilbert Teodoro and ex Sen. Dick Gordon. These two will simply outwit, outlead and outsmart the likes of PNoy and Erap. But as you may see, the Filipino voters are so en-amour of actors, entertainers, name-recall and emotions that they forget to use the brains for simple matters as voting wisely.

    • Tony Norona Jr on

      Definitely Aquino was the best option in 2010 election. I would be flabbergasted if Erap won the election. Just imagine a convicted ex-preside for plunder come back to run the country again. It is a choice for the lesser evil for me.

    • Bernardo Carpio on

      Feelings got us into this mess and will get again and again. Gamitin ang kukute.

  10. I regret risking my life for Cory during martial law, at EDSA and Namfrel. I hope that when his turn comes, there will be no jail prepared for him. Even Muntinlupa will not accept him.

    • Why Joe. What did the president did to your country. Did he steal? Did he killed people. Please enumerate your accusation. I am very interested why you say that…Thanks

    • darewin ocampo on

      When DAP is declared unconstitutional in July 1 of this year… chances are Pnoy will experience what he is currently doing to GMA after he steps down as president.

  11. I share the disappointment, frustration, and anger over the present kind of governance under the Aquino administration. Cory’s administration was not exemplary neither it was laden with hope. The so-called Cory Constitution (1987 Constitution) is the worst Constitution this country had ever produced. Instead of maintaining the two-party system, they amended the constitution and installed the multi-party system thereby making it very expensive for Juan de la Cruz to run and very unwieldy. Maintaining the Party-list system is just a waste of taxpayer’s money. When PNoy got elected in 2010 by the “yellow mobs” we knew that the people have elected a person NOT qualified to run the gamut of the Presidency. Crimes are on the rise, corruption is deeply rooted in the Filipino psyche, the economy is going down drain contrary to the administration’s propaganda machineries that the Philippines is becoming a “paper tiger” – all these empty rhetorics are nothing but a complete baloney ***&&&^^^##.

    • You are correct, Romy, the multi-party system of the Cory Constitution is becoming a monster in our political/government system. It is not only very expensive for the country to finance, makes the legislative branch top-heavy and worse, it produces more clowns, jokers and thieves in the Lower House which already had lots of thieves, jokers and clowns before the multi-party system was forced in government by your Saint Cory.

    • Bernardo Carpio on

      We always believe in “Miracles’. Iyan ang problema ng Pinoy. We do not look at what the person has done in the past. But we also are quick to judge even if its just based on ar umour. Iyan ang epecto ng “reliyoso kuno” na cultura.

  12. I am a Namfrel volunteer recruited by Mr. JoeCon back in Zamboanga City in 1985. To the “rising voters’ remorse” this “prayer” of Josiah Holland. It might help ease their (our) anxiety and perhaps enlighten all voters to vote wisely come election time, and I quote: ” God, give us men a time like this demands, strong mind, great hearts, true faith faith and ready hands, men whom the lust of office does not kill; men whom the spoils of office cannot buy; men who have honor; men who will not lie; men who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!” Thank you.

    • Bernardo Carpio on

      We pray but we never do the hard work of checking the facts and asking the right questions. Praying will get you nowhere in this world.

  13. You missed the ff:
    1. Delayed LTO registration plates and stickers.
    2. worsening MRT situation.
    3.NBI clearance issue (3 years ago a fall in line for over 7 hours just to get mine, only 30 minutes during GMAs time)
    4. BIR continues to fail in its collection targest, Kim Henares is all talk pa-press release but can’t get the job done. All she does is lick her boss’ ass.
    5. BOC reform kuno….they replaced Senior officials with Retired military generals. They say this reforms have improved but how come they continue to miss their monthly targets.
    6. NAIA issue – do I need to explain ?

  14. Lol…Sino Gusto nyo nanalo sana..si erap?mga ulol na salot..di nyo maloloko mga tao ngayon..iilan lang kayong mga naninira at patuoy na naninira na hindi naman nagtatagumpay hangga ngayon.

    • Sana nga si Erap na lang nanalo. At least sa sitwasyon natin ngayon, kung si Erap ang presidente, magaang sa loob tanggapin dahil sabi nyo nga artista lang at walang alam gawin kundi umarte. Ang kaso ang taas ng expectation ninyo kay BS Aquino eh tulad ng nanay nya wala namang experience sa paghawak ng gobyerno. Sa susunod, si Kris naman iboto ninyo. Pag puede na si Bimby, sya naman….

      Masyado attached ang mga Filipino sa Aquino Family eh. Eh si Ninoy lang naman ang magaling…. magsasalita!

    • darewin ocampo on

      Di na kailangang siraan pa si Pnoy. He dug his own grave and it will all be exposed when DAP is declared unconstitutional. Strike 2 na yun nun dahil yung paggamit nya sa Malampaya as discretionary fund nya nadeclare na ding unconstitutional. Also, I voted for Gibo. Hindi reasonable na iboto si Pnoy tapos mag expect kang may gagawin sya. Eh 9 years syang lawmaker ni isang batas wala syang nacontribute.

    • Kaso naloko kayo ng mga Aquino. Alang ibang inatupag kundi palabasin na masama mga katunggali. Kakaawa naman ang Pilipinas dahil sa mga uto utong katulod mo. Inutil.

  15. Alejo Rosete on

    What do you expect from a “Man” who was pushed to the Palace by the people. He has no ambition to become a president. Now what? All that you said are true – to bad for all of us, but what can we do. He is not as brainy either as the previous President and other presidents before him. Magsaysay was only a mechanic but the most loved of all presidents – but died after two years. Is this what they call “Bad grass-hard die”.

    Six (6) is too long for a bad president to stay in Malacanang – two more years to suffer. Is it his fault? No! Those people who voted for him. He run away from the palace if there are problems in Manila and hide in Bicol and/or Cebu – afraid? Face the problem not run away like a dog with his tail down between his legs.

    Why keep Abad? All those corruptions did not happen that far without him knowing it. Do you think Abad has gone this far without the Presidents blessings and/or knowing it?. Tell that to the marines.

    Let us go back to the 4 years with 1 re-election.

  16. Yes there is country-wide remorse why folks voted for this inutil King of Pork. But the problem are the voters themselves, especially the c,d,and e group will immediately forget that remorse when they are offered money, a basket full of groceries and see candidates, singing, dancing and making them laugh forgetting to use their brains and good judgment in electing capable candidates. Yet, they are the worse group affected by a corrupt government.

  17. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    The problem in the Philippines is that the electorate is not yet politically mature.
    We have to admit that the electorate has been voting according to sympathy,
    popularity and of course money. As it has been said, to win an election in this
    country is that one should have the 3 G’s(Guns, Goons and gold), qualifications
    regardless. In the past, it was a little better, In the case of Corazon Aquino who
    these yellows revered,what did she accomplished? Did she ever had a visible
    accomplishment? NADA. Icon of democracy? Oh common. She was catapulted
    to the presidency only through the treachery of Enrile & Ramon. Had it not for
    Enrile & Ramos, did Corazon Aquino ever landed in the presidency? Not a bit.
    In the case of this present president Abnoy. How did he ascended to the presidency?
    It was mainly a sympathy vote. Her mother died and the people through the
    influence of the yellows voted for him regardless of his qualifications. What did
    we get. Corruption, incompetence, vindictiveness, nepotism, bias justice, noynoying,
    etc. It’s a shame. Remember what happened during Yolanda. Even foreign journalists
    attested to the incopetency of this president. If we want this country to move on,
    then the electorate should do something better. Wake up Philippines.

  18. One must give credit to the executives of the liberal party for convincing PNoy to run for president and be the stooge of the party because it is very obvious that PNoy does not control his political party – on the contrary, it is the party that controls him. PNoy is good only for pronouncing slogans like “…Walang korap kung walng mahirap…” and “…daang matuwid…” and others. Kung ano ang iginaling ni Ninoy nuon, siya namang ikinabobo nitong si PNoy. At sa mga botanteng Pilipino, pumili naman kayo ng matitinong politico – hindi yung mga artistang bobo gaya nalang nina Unggoy Estrada at Bobong Revilla. Kahit araw-araw kayong magsimba,kung puro bopols at magnanakaw ang iboboto nyo eh hindi aasenso ang Pinas!

    • Pnoy is a puppet president who does things according to his party’s wishes. Only thing is, he is also a very vengeful person (perhaps taking it from his equally vengeful mother, Saint Cory of Hacienda Luisita). So those that belong to the opposition are really getting his ire. And that is a very dangerous combination. In the middle of all this bruhaha is the suffering of the Filipino people who are losing all hope in alleviating their situation and might one day just go to the streets like what we did during the 1986 EDSA Revolution. That could just be the answer.

    • Agree ako diyan….wag nang pumili ng katulad ni Abnoy, pero wag naman sila Bong Revilla at Jinggoy. Dami naman pwede dyan, si Gordan, Gibo, Miriam at meron pa naman mapipili.