Do you seriously want more of Noynoy?

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

Somebody better check what Noynoy Aquino is smoking these days because he seems to be hallucinating. He keeps mumbling about hearing voices that he believes to be coming from his bosses. If by bosses he means the people, then he needs to pinch his nostrils and blow to clear his ears. The bosses have long spoken but he was not listening.

In 2010, only 15 million plus people voted for Noynoy. On the other hand, those who did not want Noynoy president numbered more than 20 million, only that they spread their vote over a number of other candidates. But hear this. In that election, 81,985 people voted for one Vitaliano Acosta. That is close to a hundred thousand bosses who actually preferred Acosta than Noynoy. And to think Acosta was already disqualified by Comelec days prior to the election.

Now, never mind the other candidates. But would you believe that 46,489 bosses actually wanted Jamby Madrigal president instead of Noynoy? That's right, Jamby Magrigal. She took 46,489 votes from Noynoy. That many people preferring Jamby over Noynoy may not be much in terms of numerical significance. But when taken in terms of something else, that is a big slap in the face. So what voices is Noynoy mumbling about?

Ever since the 2010 the numbers of Noynoy have consistently been dropping in survey after survey. And unless the numbers were plucked out of thin air, they must be suggestive of a consistent erosion of faith in his leadership. There is no way Noynoy can claim otherwise. Given this, and the fact that he is just a minority president, any desire for an extension of his term cannot be anything but hallucinatory and a delusion.

The bosses he invokes were never there in the first place. Or if they were, they were in the minority. And their numbers are dwindling. Noynoy losing original support would not have mattered if he had been able to win new bosses. But Noynoy is the exclusive type. As his ubiquitous yellow ribbon unmistakably proclaims, he is the leader only of the yellow horde. Everyone else is an outsider, a critic, an enemy to be persecuted. He cannot win new support that way.

Those who do not want any term extension for Noynoy are wrong in saying he must respect the legacy of his parents. Whether or not Noynoy respects the legacy of his parents is a matter that is between him and their memory. It is a personal thing for the Aquino family to determine. The lives of 100 million Filipinos must not be held to the ebbs and flows of one family member's fickle-mindedness.

The only reason Noynoy must not be given any extension of his term is because six years were all that his 2010 mandate gave him. That was the contract he and his bosses signed on back then. That was the understanding they agreed upon. Legacy has nothing to do with the issue. What is at issue is constitutionality, legality, honor, commitment, respect and decency.

If Noynoy had any honor, any commitment, any respect, any decency, he would not equivocate about stepping down at the end of his term in 2016. Unfinished business or lack of a credible successor are too flimsy and self-serving a reason to dismantle the institution upon which is built this nation. It is too arrogant and too egotistic for Noynoy to think he alone can lead this nation to its destination.

On the contrary, he is the single biggest stumbling block that hinders any real progress that might be in store for this country. Last Friday, all newspapers carried the news about the 50 richest Filipinos. Lost in the glitter of those fabulously rich names was the fact that the 50 richest Filipinos had a combined net worth of P3.23 trillion, or 28 percent or nearly one third of the country's 2013 gross domestic product.

Every now and then we are titillated by glowing Malacañang press releases about how our economy is experiencing unprecendented growth under Noynoy. Well, there it is in the preceding paragraph is the reality of it all. Malacañang is lying about its attribution to Noynoy. You can take Noynoy out of the equation but you cannot take those 50 richest Filipinos out of the picture.

In other words, nobody will miss Noynoy if he is gone. The economy will take care of itself. It may cough and hiccup occasionally from the exigencies of the times and may bump and stall for lack of clear policy decisions. But overall, the wheels of industry will keep grinding. The 50 richest Filipinos grew their money not because Noynoy is in Malacañang but inspite of him, and regardless of where he is.

Conversely, the poorest and most unfortunate among us, such as the victims of supertyphoon Yolanda, are slowly getting back on their feet not because of Noynoy but because of the overwhelming response from good samaritans both here and abroad. The only things Noynoy can be credited with in relation to Yolanda were his giving of bottled water days after the tragedy, his desire to limit the casualty count to just 2,000 and his appointment of a rehab czar with no real rehab powers.

In other words, you can take Noynoy out of the Yolanda picture as well and the people in the devastated areas will still eventually rise regardless. The inate goodness of the human race will take care of humanity itself. While Noynoy's trusted henchmen were quarreling with local politicians over lineage ("He is an Aquino and you are a Romualdez"), help from more than 30 countries were already plucking survivors from the jaws of death, giving them food, shelter, medicine and hope.

Also last Friday, the newspapers were full of pictures of the latest Chinese activities well within our exclusive economic zone. And what were the news about Noynoy? One said any term extension will depend on Noynoy's bosses, which is the subject of what you are reading now. The other is about Noynoy refusing to take the ice bucket challenge because the water is cold. Do you really, seriously want another term for this guy?

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