President Aquino still in denial on Mamasapano

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - July 29, 2015 - 10:00am

It was the longest State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Pres. Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III and perhaps the most dramatic and he was applauded a hundred times… after all he was among his peers and people who benefited from the last five years of their lives while the rest of the Filipino people continue to suffer from the student government of this President who never learned from his five years in Malacañang.

After listening to the President on nationwide television… I came to the conclusion that the legacy of P-Noy is a case of missed opportunities because he could never stop looking backward. He started his speech, taking potshots at his predecessor where he used the immense power of the President and kept former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in hospital arrest, despite the fact that his prosecutors could not pin her on the alleged corruption charges that the Aquino regime slapped against her.

Under the Aquino regime, he embarked on the impeachment and eventual conviction of sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona for a mere offense that he could still have corrected in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALNs), but his allies like Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who too had errors in his SALNs was allowed to correct them and I’m sure that after the Corona conviction… many politicians looked into their SALNs and corrected them. Now was that fair?

Now you may ask…was it fair to convict CJ Corona and let the equally guilty ones with erroneous SALNs get away with their errors? I’m sorry Pres. Aquino, but this is not the straight path that we would like the next President who will take your place to continue. Again we point to the statue of Lady Justice who carries a scale and is blindfolded. Alas, the Lady Justice depicted by the promoters of I has a “loaded” scale and a blindfold that covers only one eye!

When it comes to Pres. Aquino… my thoughts immediately bring me to comment and sigh, “If only!” Pres. Aquino had that uncanny ability to ram home his programs regardless of what the people around him think. This attitude reminds me of what the late Steve Jobs said before he died, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.”

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” This would have been the perfect description for PNoy. But unfortunately, he loves the status quo! This is why we do not see the political reforms that this nation badly needs.

I just cannot believe that P-Noy’s two-hour SONA, complete with video presentation of his past and present glories did not mention an incident that permeated the hearts and minds of all Filipinos for at least four solid months, hugging the headlines and nationwide TV news. Yes, I’m referring to the infamous Mamasapano massacre. P-Noy is still in denial when it comes to this gory incident that will haunt him even after his Presidency is over.

Finally in his valedictory address…P-Noy totally ignored a political promise that he made before the elections… that if elected, he would prioritize a Freedom of Information Bill (FOI). Honestly speaking, we completely forgot about the FOI Bill…but right after the President’s SONA, no less than Sen. Grace Poe lamented that P-Noy failed to prioritize the FOI Bill… after all it was his campaign promise. On this basis alone, no matter how flowery and dramatic was the President’s SONA this failed election promise is the legacy of his Presidency.

While the President still has less than a year to go in office, P-Noy can still salvage what’s left of his legacy by agreeing to the proposal, enunciated by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno who suggested that Congress should call for constitutional changes and elect the delegates of the constitutional  convention  (con-con)  together with


the May 2016 Presidential elections. This way, whoever will be the President after Pres. PNoy exits from the Office of the President, he cannot be accused of using the con-con to perpetrate himself in power.

I suggest that the members of the con-con should not include politicians whose terms are ending in the 2016 elections. This way, we would be able to craft a constitution where we can already put political reforms such as the Anti-Dynasty Law in the new constitution, then shift to a Federal/Parliamentary elections where finally, there will be no more need for a national elections as all elections would now be local.

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