No nostalgia for P-Noy and his ‘daang matuwid’
Last June 30, former President Noynoy Aquino returned to private life. He’s been gone for more than a month now, but I don’t feel any nostalgia for his administration. Neither does his absence make “my heart grow fonder.”
To be frank, I’m happy he’s gone. Reflecting on his administration, there is this feeling that although he has improved our economy in a significant way, I feel betrayed because even with simple and commonsensical problems, he failed to take the bull by the horns. Some examples:
- P-Noy’s absence when the bodies of the 44 slain members of the PNP Special Action Force arrived at Villamor Air Base, if only to show sympathy with the grieving relatives and sorrowing nation. Instead, he was at the inauguration of the Mitsubishi plant in Calamba, Laguna. After that no act of commiseration or promise of material assistance could compensate for his insensitivity.
- His failure to listen to public clamor asking him to show his transportation secretary, Emilio Abaya, the door for the latter’s failure to provide even temporary solutions to the daily woes of MRT commuters.
- His anemic response to the internationally embarrassing “tanim-bala” scandal that further tarnished the already very bad international reputation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
- His appointment of a shady character to head the Bureau of Customs toward the end of his term.
- His retention of a kabarilan as internal revenue commissioner, despite her insensitivity to the poor Filipino taxpayers’ plea to find ways to lower taxes. For this lady, raising taxes was more important than providing relief to millions of low-income Filipinos who could hardly make both ends meet.
- His coddling of his budget secretary despite the scandal whipped up by the Presidential Priority Development Assistance Fund, which the latter drew up. How could millions of pesos be released to local government units without the authority of the budget secretary?
- His delayed action to relieve from duty his favorite PNP chief, Alan Purisima, who was facing serious corruption charges and whose involvement he allowed in Mamasapano operations which ended up in tragedy.
- His failure to rein in members of Balay group and the Samar group who were locked in a silent tug-of-war for his special attention from the start of his unlamented
- His failure to dismiss his social welfare secretary, Dinky Soliman, in the face of widespread complaints regarding rotting relief supplies and the snail-paced construction of new houses intended for “Yolanda” survivors.
I would often gnash my teeth and pound on the table, asking in frustration the question: Is it difficult for a president to act on so simple a problem like this? Indeed, I found P-Noy’s attitude of turning a blind eye to “minor” problems very disturbing. Perhaps, he didn’t realize that even droplets of rain can make a dent on a hard rock that they repeatedly and unerringly hit on the same spot.
Instead of feeling nostalgic for the past six years of P-Noy’s administration, I now realize that I was “tranquilized” by the mantra of “daang matuwid,” the catchy phrase that is now the symbol of broken promises.
—CARLOS D. ISLES, [email protected]
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