With thanks to Maria Montelibano, P-Noy starts with a BANG!
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-07-01

With a lot of thanks to Noynoy Aquino Campaign Media Bureau head Maria V. Montelibano, President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) is off to a roaring start. Maria headed the P-Noy inaugural task force which operated yesterday’s ceremonies at the Luneta Quirino Grandstand with utmost efficiency.

It was likely that Maria even requested her top assistant, Ateneo Graduate School of Communications Professor Jan T. Co Chua, to implore the Focolare Movement for prayers. The weather, which was very wet at 4:50 in the morning, even relented. The cloudy skies didn’t pour during the event, even allowing for a more comfortable attendance at the inaugural site.

Quite the opposite of what is usually associated with Filipino organization — the embarrassing Filipino time — the inaugural program even went ahead of schedule. Because the new president had to be sworn into office at 12 noon, by tradition, a series of entertainment numbers, albeit delving on relevant themes, had to be injected. The adlib managed to heighten the event’s climax.

The coordination, the events sequencing, the flow of vehicular traffic to the Quirino Grandstand, the entry and ushering of guests — all went according to plan, as would be expected of a Maria Montelibano production. The pomp and ceremony of the occasion was observed in accordance with tradition and protocol but through it all the essential P-Noy, casual and friendly, was preserved.

During the campaign, when presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino’s ratings started skidding from a high of 60% to the precarious mid-30% level, it was Maria Montelibano who was tapped to take over the media management. She formed a top rate team of media pros which crafted the correct strategy and mapped out the plan that arrested the slide and primed Aquino’s ratings to recover.
After the inaugural ceremonies, your Chair Wrecker sent Maria Montelibano a text message which stated: “Maria, splendid inaugural, a supreme act of love for Ninoy, Cory and Noy. Take your 1,000 bows. It’s good for you — reduce your weight!” Maria is the niece of Ninoy and from being one of the most sought after girls of Maryknoll (Now Miriam) College — Maria is now also sporting a few excessive body curves. Expect Maria to kill your Chair Wrecker for publishing this!

The inaugural captured the essential character of the Aquino campaign — a People’s Campaign. P-Noy’s inaugural speech paid homage to People Power and enjoined People Power to lead the country to the Filipino Promised Land. P-Noy reiterated his campaign commitment to impose closure to the big issues of the last nine years, reduce poverty and curb corruption.

Quite notable in P-Noy’s speech was the statement that he can forgive those who have wronged him personally but not those who have wronged the nation. Indeed, national reconciliation — a most worthy goal — will be a sham if not accomplished with justice.

Folks were elated to hear P-Noy elaborate on the simple character his administration will adopt — from removing excessive pelf and privilege in public office all the way to an austere financial policy. P-Noy rightfully acknowledged the rightful king of the land — the people. He underscored the importance of citizen participation if the desired reforms are to be realized. P-Noy was every bit a public servant in his inaugural address instead of sounding like a new ruler of the country.

The presence of P-Noy predecessor Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada projected a good symbolism of a viable Philippine democracy, despite its warts and all. It was such a good sport of Supreme Court Chief Justice Rene Corona to grace the inaugural despite his troubled relationship with the new president.

The sight of the new president and vice president — Jejomar C. Binay — comfortably chatting on nationwide television like the old friends that they are is most comforting to a nation which is becoming apprehensive about a rift that could develop between the two top executives of the land. Conflict between a president and his vice president presents a lot of unwholesome possibilities that could evolve into a national security situation, sidetrack reforms or cause political instability.

We must both pray and actively support our new president. P-Noy embodies the aspirations of the present and future generations of Filipinos. We are in the NOW OR NEVER stage of our country’s history. If P-Noy fails to deliver, there is no predicting where our country will go from here.

All the indicators are there that the long suffering masses cannot tolerate anymore setbacks without resorting to radical means. This P-Noy ascendancy may be a great moment of democracy for our country but it could well be the last chance for Philippine democracy if P-Noy is unable to deliver.

The truth is P-Noy can only deliver if he is assisted by a nation which will contribute its share in the saving and development of our country. Nothing best provokes a people’s shift towards radical means for attaining reform than when hope is betrayed. It is human nature to expect less from the less regarded leader. It is the opposite for those who are viewed as national saviors. Big letdowns invite and provoke radical reactions.

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