PRESIDENT BS Aquino The Last, I mean Third, and his Cabinet members were discussing while on a plane how to make the Filipino people happy.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said he could throw a sack of imported rice out of the plane and make a family happy.
Social Welfare Sec. Dinky Soliman said she could throw out of the plane several boxes of donated relief goods and make hundreds happy.
Budget Secretary Butch Abad said he could throw millions of pesos of government funds out of the plane and make thousands happy.
President BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third, joined in. “I could throw all three of you out of the plane make millions of Filipinos happy!”
Now, here comes the National Transformation Council (NTC) saying, in effect, that if it’s the President who gets thrown out of the plane, the entire Philippines will be happy.
This joke is gaining currency. I guess if we can’t make BS Aquino fire under-performing and highly controversial members of his “student council Cabinet,” as revered statesman Joker Arroyo describes it, we can just joke about it. Hey, why is it that I have this sneaky feeling the Aquino administration believes the joke is on us? Whether we like him or not, he’ll be in place until June 30, 2016 – unless he gets thrown out or is forced to resign, which the NTC wants to happen.
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Even as its demands for reforms and the firing of a number of his Cabinet members have gone unheeded by Malacañang, the NTC continues its clarion call to create a bandwagon that could lead to the formation of a new government before 2016. One of our more eminent columnists, ex-Sen. Kit Tatad, described the Aquino administration as the “most corrupt” in history. Kit, a prime mover of the NTC, cited the trillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund and Disbursement Acceleration Program scams as main examples of the administration’s abuse of public funds.
Well, the President has gone stone deaf to the voices of his supposed bosses. He could hear only echoes of his own. Why, he wouldn’t even listen to the sound advice of Health Secretary Enrique Ona to cut down on his smoking for his own good! It wasn’t in retaliation for this unwelcome and unsolicited advice that BS Aquino canned Ona.
The President’s mouthpieces have given a lot of reasons why he continues smoking even if he has signed laws stressing its health hazards. One said BS Aquino develops severe headache whenever he thinks about the problems of the state and that only by smoking will this headache be relieved. Should we pity him for having coughing fits then, the result of “relieving” his “severe headache about problems of the state?
The increase in the excise tax on cigarettes by 700 percent could discourage the poor from smoking but the heir of a hacienda that remains undistributed to farmers could afford an increase even a thousand fold. I have many young farmer-relatives in Lupao, Nueva Ecija who continue smoking despite the hefty price increase in the cost of their bad habit. They must have been influenced by the example set by the man in Malacañang.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking BS Aquino to task for smoking incessantly. He may remain an unrepentant and relentless smoker for all I care. He’s already an adult and he can decide by himself on this issue. However, it’s only when his decisions affect not only himself but also the entire nation that others should take notice.
Speaking of smoking, I just read a news report quoting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying cigarette smoking among US adults last year touched its lowest record on record. The agencies said about 17.8 percent of adults smoked cigarettes in 2013, down from 20.9 percent in 2005 and 42.4 percent in 1965. They attributed the new record drop spurred to higher prices, smoke-free policies and anti-smoking campaigns. Obviously, higher prices, smoke-free policies and anti-smoking campaigns would not work on our “Man of Steel” despite his coughing fits.
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BS Aquino The Last, I mean The Third. and his acolytes say he’s treading the “tuwid na daan” but oddly enough, he can’t walk straight. In fact, he waddles like a duck. Or is it like a lame duck? Say, did you notice that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un walks the same way? Look closely at video footages of the dictator who couldn’t stand criticism and who ascended to his high position because of the death of a parent and you’ll see what I mean. Oops, our resident grammarian Joe Carillo might call my attention to the unclear antecedent of the word “dictator.”