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P-Noy’s missed opportunity

/ 10:22 PM June 11, 2012

Even if we were to grant that former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s signing of a historic waiver of confidentiality on his bank accounts is mere gimmickry (as Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte and Rep. Niel Tupas described it), and an attempt at pathetic “palusot” (as Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas decried it), this does not take away its ability to greatly lessen corruption in our country. For if all elected officials were required to sign such a waiver, this will be a very powerful weapon in the hands of President Aquino: this will make headway for his “matuwid na daan” crusade and appreciably lessen the corruption that sucks away annually around 40 percent of our gross national earnings. It will also promote a culture of transparency, accountability and integrity among our elected leaders, and raise the standard for public service many notches higher.

That is why it was such a great disappointment when the President belittled Corona’s initiative, even refusing to sign his own waiver and require his Cabinet secretaries to do the Corona waiver, and to endorse an urgent and necessary waiver bill to Congress. It seems to me that P-Noy lost a chance at true greatness and magnanimous statesmanship when he did not adopt this initiative simply because it came from a political opponent. He showed pettiness and small-mindedness when for partisan reasons he did not credit Corona for the sacrifice the latter made in his waiver, which would have been a most effective tool to further Malacañang’s own “matuwid na daan” program. Perhaps we cannot expect this from a President who refuses to give up smoking, keeps a fleet of luxury cars and violated the sub judice law with insensibility during the Corona impeachment case

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I am not anti-P-Noy. On the other hand, I laud him for being responsible to a significant degree for the remarkable economic progress our country is making vis-à-vis other countries. He also contributed much to the more respectable image our country is now enjoying in the international scene. Things are looking up for the Philippines, in large part because of P-Noy.

But I do not want P-Noy only to be a good president. I want him to be a great president and statesman. And that includes rising above political partisanship, giving credit where credit is due even if it comes from political opponents, truly pushing for genuine land reform (starting with Hacienda Luisita), making personal sacrifices for the sake of the country especially the youth (P-Noy, please give up smoking!), and being magnanimous in victory to those in defeat, among others.

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P-Noy still has many years ahead of him as our president. May he make our country truly great.

—SAMUEL YAP,

[email protected]

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TAGS: anti-corruption drive, Aquino iii, corona verdict, letters, transparency, waiver on bank accounts
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