A government without “malasakit” nor mercy and compassion
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III's veto of the bill approved by Congress to increase the SSS retirees' pension, his refusal to lower the income tax rates, the monumental failure to rehabilitate the Yolanda victims and his failure to fulfill his many promises to the widows and orphans of the SAF 44 are some of the indubitable evidence that this government has no mercy much less compassion.

The first and foremost problem with the current administration is its blatant refusal to exercise "malasakit" for the people. This government does not truly understand the meaning of poverty, and does not understand the pains, the sufferings of millions of poor Filipinos. This is the main result of a president who is an haciendero, a modern "ilustrado," an "elitist" who cannot empathize with the masses.

We are not for Vice President Jojo Binay but we do agree with him that this administration is "manhid," "pabaya," "walang habag" at "walang awa." And Binay, having been a part of this administration has a big share too in the government's accountability to the people. We are not for Senator Grace Poe but, at least, she understands that what the Filipinos need is a "gobyerno na may puso." What we have under PNoy is a government with a lot of brains, a little conscience but without a heart, and therefore without any mercy, without compassion. And she, too, as an administration bet in 2013 and who was in a Senate controlled by a coalition of which she was a member, must be partly answerable to the people. Mayor Duterte is correct. "Dapat nga'ng bagohin natin ang Pilipinas."

A president who was born with a silver platter cannot feel how it is to be poor. In this sense, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno has a better heart. He knows how it is to sleep at night without a decent dinner. The president does not understand that. Isko knows how it is to have sleepless nights thinking of where to get the meals for the children next day. The president does not know that. Isko knows how difficult it is to be working as tricycle driver under the scorching sun or the raging rain. The president cannot comprehend that. Isko knows how it is to be sick and your mother has to leave you alone in order to do some laundry just to earn a few pesos to buy medicines and settle the hospital bills. The president is completely clueless on that. Thus, the president's administration is incapable of compassion and mercy.

The president is the son of President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, a rich heiress to the Hacienda Luisita, a large landed estate that occupies the biggest portions of Tarlac, and of Central Azucarera de Tarlac, with many alleged histories of anti-labor practices. He cannot feel the pains of poverty suffered by hacienda tenants and "obreros."

The President is the only son of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. He was raised in an elite family with many "muchachas," drivers, and servants. PNoy has never plowed the field, nor worked in the farm. He has always been driven to and from Ateneo, the school of future politicians and taipans, where the sons and daughters of the rich and the famous hobnob with fellow scions of the oligarchs. I should know. My daughters and sons studied there too. But I make sure that they do understand how it is to be poor. There are many other good Ateneans who are really men and women for others. But not this president.

The president has never lived in a squatter area, has never eaten dinner with a laborer's family. He does not understand the hardships of being jobless, of being homeless, of having to run every morning to catch a bus or a jeepney or line up for the MRT and the LRT. That is why his government is a government that pays token tribute to the poor. His government contends itself with the billions of give-aways via the infamous PPPP (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) which makes mendicants out of the poor, giving fish, instead of teaching people how to fish. And some trapos among the administration party are using the program to bribe voters and pressure the poor to support the president's party. This government has no genuine concern for the poor. Its programs are all "pa pogi." "Talagang manhid, walang pakiramdam."

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