Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Insert penis joke here.
It's easy to rage and to hate the president not for what he has done, but for what he has not done. To say that the legacy of President Noynoy Aquino is one of omission would be a massive understatement.
For the longest time, I have been nothing but even-handed with how I would critique the president's performance. He was handed a huge responsibility, practically on a lark, after his mother died. Mistakes will be made. This is natural and par for the course.
What I never expected, though, was his apparent inability to correct these mistakes. And his uncanny talent of repeating them throughout his term. And true, nobody will probably ever accuse him of the same kind of horrors Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was routinely battered with, but his obstinacy and refusal to do even the most common-sensical of things in the face of crisis speaks volumes about his woeful lack of leadership qualities.
There is an upwelling of outrage against PNoy lately: one that simply cannot be handwaved any longer. It is an upwelling of people who felt betrayed after they were told that they were the boss. It is an upwelling of people who believed with all their heart that the son of Ninoy Aquino and Cory Aquino could not possibly be so backwards that he would practically disgrace the not-even-blameless names of his own parents – despite the fact that Kris Aquino is already running around as a realization of this possibility.
And in the infinite wisdom of the palace, they decided to dismiss this upwelling as “microscopic.”
Which leads me to ask... what the hell are you smoking?!? Let's assume for a minute that this anger fomenting over the president's sins of omission truly were microscopic. Does this in any way invalidate that anger? Does saying only “a few” people were peeved at what PNoy did or did not do mean that these few are absolutely wrong? Do we not protect the majority and the minority alike? Or do we only give a damn what most people are saying?
It didn't matter at all if only one person felt put off by what PNoy did, if that one person had a valid point. Especially not if that person were one of the men who almost did not live to tell the tale of what happened to the #Fallen44. Or if that one person were a family member who did not choose to wait for the president anymore. Or if that one person was someone who was supposedly the “boss” of this president, as his own words indicated.
To this very moment, there is this sense of impunity and even smugness emanating from the Aquino camp that you can't help but notice. After all, even at his worst approval ratings, he is still leaps and bounds better off in public perception than Gloria ever was, once she assumed the presidency. But therein lies the rub: setting Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as your bar is so ridiculously and insultingly low to the Filipino people.
We expected better than that. Much, much better. And let's not mince words here: we were promised that by the president himself. “Daang Matuwid” was supposed to be a battlecry to right the wrongs and to change the system from within, but it became clear early on that this attempt at righting the wrongs affected only those on the wrong side of the party line. If somehow, you were on the president's good side, you can be every bit as terrible as you want, but a slap on the wrist for you is already pushing it.
So when the Palace says that this anger is “microscopic,” it doesn't change the fact that this anger is valid. Neither does this change the fact that the anger is not microscopic, by any means. When my 8List alone gets 200,000 views and an unprecedented number of outraged comments whether or not they understand the real intent of the list, then you can't just ignore numbers like those. And that's just me. Imagine how much more mileage other more established writers had as they eviscerated the president for a job not done.
To put this in perspective, only about 5 of the 400 or so 8Lists currently published on the site have ever broken the 100,000 barrier. When something hits that number on the site, you just know it hit a nerve somehow, for whatever reason. When 200,000 people direct their outrage towards one venue, nobody would ever call that microscopic.
What is microscopic, though? Is it the viewpoint of the Palace? Is it their “mercy and compassion,” which only highlights how utterly meaningless the Pope's visit was to them, no matter what they ay or do? Is it Mar Roxas's chances of winning in 2016? Or is it PNoy's odds of finding a date this February 14?
I don't give a damn. Because all I know is that this anger and this outrage is not microscopic and to dismiss our grievances so cavalierly is a slap in the face of the people our president claims to be his “boss.” And I will keep on harping on that point until I turn blue because he said those things himself, and no matter how much he can try to handwave that statement as merely a figure of speech, he can never undo going back on his word as unequivocally as he has when the Palace decided that there is no need to care what a “microscopic” number of people feel – not because their points have no merit, but only because they aren't “significant” enough.
This is something you would never say to your boss, no matter how small the power she holds over you may be.
And ultimately, when you say that hundreds of thousands of people being angry is merely “microscopic” in scale, do you not subsequently imply that the deaths of a “mere” 44 policemen is even more “microscopic?” Do these lives somehow not count?
If so, then there is no discussion left to be had: this is not the mentality of a statesman. This is simply the kind of thinking of someone who has successfully fallen for his own hype.