Victims of knee jerk reactions
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-01-25
Filipinos may not want to admit it but many of us have knee jerk reactions to situations that prevent us from fully appreciating important public issues and national developments. A great deal of these knee jerk reactions are the result of psychological conditioning.

A classic case is the public mind conditioning created by the Ferdinand Marcos presidency and dictatorship. Because Marcos kin — wife, brothers-in-law and so forth — were perceived as people who made hay while the Marcos sun shone, Filipinos were thus prone to henceforth think that presidential relatives are similarly inclined to make hay while their political sun shone.

The relatives of our late president, Cory C. Aquino, were the victims of such perception. Congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco became the biggest target. He was called Bekoy, coined from the names of two Imelda Romualdez Marcos brothers named Bejo and Kokoy who were rumored to have cornered lucrative businesses during the Marcos dictatorship.

That was how Kamaganak (relatives), Inc came about. Unable to really find an issue against President Cory’s integrity, the political termites of the Cory administration played on the public perception that all presidential relatives are crooked. To this day, the Kamaganak, Inc tag is being used against the present President Noynoy Aquino III administration.

To this day, nobody among the biggest propagators of this myth had provided a single proof of the fruits of Kamaganak, Inc illegal activities. Unlike the Romualdez brothers, Peping Cojuangco has no Meralco, Mantrade, and Journal publications to show for all the influence that he had during his sister’s term as president.

Your Chair Wrecker cited this as a backdrop to what is now being propagated by the termites working against the President Noynoy Aquino III (P-Noy) administration — the idiotic notion that anarchy has overtaken the land largely owing to the car dealer murders. If you listen to P-Noy’s critics, you would get the impression that the president is helplessly watching these gruesome murders and is unable to curb criminality in the country. If you listen to his critics, you would get the impression that carjacking — the proper term and not carnapping — is rampant and that nobody with a vehicle is safe anymore.

Last January 20, your Chair Wrecker exchanged text messages with P-Noy about this topic of the car dealer murders and carjacking incidents. P-Noy said: “Statistics from the Highway Patrol indicate substantial drops in incidents (referring to carjacking). Concentration for now is on arresting perpetrators which I expect to happen soon.”

The next day, the PNP (Philippine National Police) announced the capture of the two suspects who were last seen with car dealer and murder victim Vernon Evangelista. No less than the PNP Chief was physically present when an alleged safehouse in Pampanga of the suspected perpetrators was raided.

What does that sequence of events tell you? Did it not debunk the notion that the P-Noy critics were peddling — that he was helplessly just watching from the sidelines as anarchy ran rampant in the land? Did it not underscore that P-Noy rendered personal attention to the matter which is why he could confidently state that there will be apprehensions soon? Surely, immediate criminal apprehension is not the hallmark of a country where anarchy reigns. Compare the facts with the insidious propaganda.
As to carjacking incidents, it was subsequently revealed by the Chief of the Highway Patrol Group, Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, that:

1. A combined 1,739 motor vehicles and motorcycles were reported stolen in 2010, while from 2000-2009, the yearly average recorded was 2,134.

2. Vehicle robbery incidents last year were 18.5 percent lower than the reported annual average of stolen vehicles during the period 2000 to 2009. An average of 1,186 motor vehicles was reported stolen yearly during the period 2000 to 2009, compared to 761 stolen motor vehicles in 2010. Car robbery cases in 2010 were 37.6 percent lower than the yearly average for the past nine years.

Those are the hard facts. The fact is P-Noy was on top of the situation and exerted pressure on the PNP to immediately solve the gruesome carjacking murders. You don’t get that kind of immediate response unless there is intense pressure from the top — especially when it is largely suspected that cops are involved with the carjacking syndicates. The fact is there is no basis whatsoever to say that we are experiencing anarchy. Carjacking is down and the suspected perpetrators of the two recent carjacking murders have been apprehended already.

Filipinos should also realize that P-Noy is not ever going to be the grandstanding type of a Chief Executive. That is not his style and personality. He is self assured and self effacing. He simply wants to do his job and allow the institutions to function properly.

By all means, let us criticize P-Noy when the situation calls for it but let’s not do that on the basis of false accusations of people who want to bring down this administration. Good presidents like Cory Aquino and Noynoy Aquino we should support. Those who preceded them are the ones who deserve our distrust and strictest scrutiny.

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  Previous Columns:

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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