So much for a so-so SONA!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - July 31, 2014 - 12:00am

The advantage of writing thrice-a-week columns is that it gives you time to check and verify comments or reports from both sides of the fence. It’s now been the 4th day since Pres. Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III made his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) and we have searched the local and national news, including the social networking sites on how the Filipino people sized up the President’s SONA and believe you me, it isn’t as rosy like the way the President pictured it in the last four years of his administration.

In fact, early Tuesday morning, Kabayan Noli de Castro called up to interview me in DzMM on what was my reaction to the 5th SONA and I opened up by asking Kabayan “Was it really a SONA or was it a Valedictory?” I say this because for the first time, one could sense that the President was embattled. For the first in his life, he was now facing not one, but three impeachment complaints when he made his SONA and there were thousands upon thousands of militant protesters outside the Batasan who braved the razor sharp barbed wire and concrete blocks, including container vans that the police used to stop protesters from entering the Batasan Complex.

Hearing the President speak on ABS-CBN nationwide TV, while seeing a picture-in-picture video of protesters being bombarded by strong pressured fire hoses gives you an idea that this President is running scared. Gone was his past braggadocio and instead, he used a tactic that only his Presidential sister Kris Aquino used to the hilt by appealing to the emotions of the Filipino people. Towards the end of his speech, he was nearly in tears recalling the past incident during a shootout in Malacañang where he was hurt. You can call P-Noy now as the “Drama King!”

He called upon his father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and quoted his famous phrase, “The Filipino is worth dying for.” Yet days after his SONA, most Filipinos remain dissatisfied with the Aquino regime. PNoy obviously forgot that the people that his police hosed in the barricades were not the same ones that then Pres. Marcos hosed in his time. He  did not realize that his emotional appeal was directed to my generation of Filipinos who like me are now in our senior years and have become jaded.

In fairness to Noli de Castro, he also asked me for some positive news coming from the President’s SONA and I told him that this was when he gave details of the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). But in getting the AFP modernized, the President didn’t give any details on what is the true state of the Filipino soldier today and I would like to believe that the Filipino soldier and his family are still wallowing in abject poverty like the majority of Filipinos suffering from high cost of living.       

So what really is the true state of the nation? As we all saw on nationwide TV, the President arrived at the Batasan Complex still sporting his signature Yellow Ribbon, instead of the Philippine Flag displayed on his chest. For me it was a message to the Filipino people that the persona of Mr. Aquino was more important than the whole nation and nothing has changed!

That his yellow minions, the Senators and Congressmen and their ladies were sporting Yellow Ribbons was more than enough proof that the political elite was going to support the embattled President no matter the cost. One idiotic Congressman even proposed to pass a law to legalize the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) not realizing that such a stupid law would make the Legislative branch irrelevant.

The President proudly claimed that high-profile crimes like the killing of Cebu businessman Richard King in Davao City has already been solved. Yet, P-Noy was speaking before the members of the Legislative branch many of whom figured in the pork scam of Janet Lim Napoles, thus earning for themselves the unenviable title that Congress is the biggest criminal syndicate in the Philippines. Yet up to this time, only three Senators have been detained. When will the other high-profile suspects within Congress also be arraigned and detained?

Before P-Noy made his SONA, I asked well-meaning friends what they expected to hear from the President? A good number wanted the President to announce that he accepted the resignation of DMB Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad, while others said that they wanted the President to explain his P150.6 billion personal pork barrel which he already used up but there was no accounting or transparency on this fund from the President.

But we didn’t get any Cabinet resignations, not even a Cabinet revamp despite the high prices of basic goods (especially garlic), high power costs and problems at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Lastly, the President told us to choose our leaders wisely, referring to the 2016 elections. Yet there is no investigation on the so-called PCOS Tikas of the 2013 elections even if the Automated Election System (AES) watch already has proof of this Electronic Dagdag Bawas. So much for his so-so SONA!

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com


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