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Waiting for last straw to fall

/ 12:12 AM November 26, 2015

The P-Noy presidency started well enough. Daang matuwid, the banning of wang-wang, and the avowals to fight corruption in government raised hopes that the Philippines would finally march into an era of inclusive growth. But then the Luneta massacre happened, portending the incompetence and insensitivity that would get progressively worse as the Aquino administration wore on.

True, the arrest of former president Gloria Arroyo and those similarly accused of plunder lent some credence to the administration’s anticorruption posturing. However, bribery among senators was suspected to have attended former chief justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial. And corruption scandals involving Janet Napoles and the Priority Development Assistance Fund, the Disbursement Acceleration Program and other financial sleights of hand broke open.

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And who could have failed to notice the glaring inefficiencies of President Aquino’s key men in the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Department of Agriculture and other executive agencies? These, too, gradually eroded the people’s confidence in government, exposing daang matuwid as little more than sloganeering.

The raiding of the nation’s resources continued, and basic services increasingly got worse day by day.

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And as jobs and incomes became more scarce, commuting became even more of a challenge as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the DOTC conspired to make getting to work and going home much more difficult, with a religious sect even joining the “fun.”

To cap off this “sterling” performance, the P-Noy team gave us Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) 2015 with the 2016 elections as farewell gifts.

“Quo usque tandem abutere,  Catilina, patientia nostra?” For how long, Catiline, will you abuse our patience? (Catiline was a Roman senator who is said to be among the conspirators of an insurrection that would have torched Rome and killed as many of his fellow senators. The plot was discovered, so this question from Cicero in a speech before the Roman senate. The question might have been in the mind of Filipinos as well, as they heavily paid for Apec with precious resources and impossible traffic.)

As the P-Noy presidency draws to a close, things seem to be falling apart and public patience is indeed wearing thin. Indeed, many quarters are waiting for the last straw that would break the camel’s back, so to speak. It could be an MRT accident, a Poe disqualification, a “tanim-bala”-like scam, a PCOS-cheated election, or a breakout of armed hostilities between any of the candidates in the 2016 polls. It’s anyone’s guess. There’s no shortage of possible “triggering” events.

But the effect will be the same.

—JOSE OSIAS, [email protected]

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TAGS: Apec 2015, Aquino administration, corruption, daang matuwid, traffic
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