Deviant awesomeness

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

It should be apparent by now that Noynoy Aquino marches to a different drummer, making it difficult for the rest of Filipinos to follow. Most Filipinos believe presidential intervention could have stopped the "tanim bala" controversy at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that is giving the Philippines such a bad name dead on its tracks. Instead, Noynoy accuses everyone but the very perpetrators and protectors of the scam as merely sensationalizing the issue.

Noynoy did not lack any incentive to step in. The controversy is wreaking havoc on tourism and investments. People are now afraid to come, especially if they have to go through the NAIA, for fear of the syndicate that specializes in planting bullets in luggages in order to extort money from hapless victims fearful of being charged for terror-related offenses.

But instead of stepping in, as any good leader would, to stem the hemorrhage on the country's image and goodwill, Noynoy belittles it as insignificant, a minor kink undeserving of his precious attention. He even gets sarcastic in his diminution, saying that out of the thousands who pass through NAIA, only a few have reported being victimized. He cannot see that a single case of bullet planting for extortion purposes at the airport that bears his father's name is one case too many.

A good president would have promptly jumped into the picture to make sure the country's premiere international gateway does not give the wrong impression about the country and its people. But Noynoy does not see it the way most people do. To him, a few hundred victims out of the tens of thousands who transit through NAIA are just drops in a bucket that he would rather ignore.

The "tanim bala" controversy is just one in a growing list of incidents in which Noynoy exhibited a knack for seeing things the wrong way. During the infamous Mamasapano massacre, Noynoy committed one blunder after another because things simply do not strike him the same way that most people do. Like in the movie "As Good As It Gets," somebody drowning would be crying out for help and Noynoy would just stand there describing the water.

One can never forget the smiling face of Noynoy as he went around inspecting cars at a newly-opened Japanese car manufacturing plant while the coffins of 44 slain police commandos he sent on a mission were being unloaded from a plane. That scene etched in the memories of an entire grieving nation amply shows where the thinking of Noynoy often runs away to.

In one of the greatest natural calamities to hit the country and it became apparent that the the body count from supertyphoon Yolanda would hit five figures, Noynoy had the official count stopped at 6,000. Then he had the ranking police official from the region who had his feet on the ground and therefore knew of what he spoke fired for suggesting the number of casualties could top 10,000.

At a press conference in Tacloban, still in the aftermath of Yolanda, a businessman complained that there was not enough government security on the ground to prevent what seemed at the time as a rapid descent into anarchy. Instead of addressing the concern of the businessman, which essentially was the concern of everyone, Noynoy told him: "Buhay pa naman kayo, di ba?"

Noynoy Aquino is either criminally insensitive or he simply just doesn't get it. And we are now paying the price for the folly of ever believing he will make a good president. So do not ever believe the paid surveys that continue to churn out approval ratings that place Noynoy high on a pedestal. Only his sister Kris believes he is awesome.

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