During a presidential campaign, it’s usual for the black propaganda team of a rival candidate to twist popular perceptions of the leading candidate and project a fictitious but severely damaging story around these. Thus was borne the projection of President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy), which his bashers have been peddling incessantly — that the only son of Ninoy and Cory is a wimp and indecisive.
They found his unassuming and self-effacing manner a convenient handle for projecting weakness. In more perceptive societies, P-Noy would be considered the strong, silent type, which is positive. In a country where many are over-entertained and under informed the big lie some times resonates. Fortunately for P-Noy, the big lie about his being a wimp did not affect the over 15 million who voted for him in 2010.
Lacking really big issues to hit P-Noy with, the big lie continued to be peddled, indirectly validating the high trust ratings that P-Noy has been enjoying in the Pulse Asia and SWS surveys. After being in office for 18 months now, there isn’t a financial scandal hounding P-Noy and his cabinet. Remember how barely 3 months into the terms of former presidents Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) and financial scandals were already reverberating all over the country.
Teddyboy Locsin has been an on and off P-Noy basher. Even Teddyboy conceded in his December 3 Free Fire column that P-Noy isn’t a wimp. He wrote: “The President has been acting strangely, not least in defying the Supreme Court, flouting the separation of powers, challenging judicial review, inviting a case for impeachment, even if not its likelihood, given the total submission to the Congress - all proof that he is far from the wimp former US Ambassador to the Philippines, the beautiful Kristie Kenney, described him to be.”
Indeed, the firmness with which Justice Secretary Leila de Lima upheld the government’s right to prevent GMA’s travel despite a Supreme Court (SC) TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) could only be a reflection of the determination of P-Noy to pave DAANG MATUWID (Straight Path). Sec. de Lima would not have been that bold if she sensed that P-Noy was soft on the course of action the government has taken.
After P-Noy’s December 1 and December 5 broadsides against the SC, the latter in front of SC Chief Justice Rene Corona, it’s safe to say that P-Noy isn’t running away from this fight. My intuition tells me that P-Noy has elevated this to more than just a legal battle and is prepared for war. Expect impeachment to be taken as an option. Don’t be surprised if unsavory questionable deals some SC Justices may have in their closets suddenly surface.
In his December 5 Justice Summit speech, P-Noy admitted that even if he’s not a lawyer, he knows the difference between right and wrong. That’s a profession of moral ascendancy that leaders like to assert before waging war. Many are seeing this tussle between P-Noy and the 8 SC Justices who have been supporting GMA as mere skirmishes over specific legal issues. All indications point to a Chief Executive who has crossed his Rubicon after realizing that the country needs to have a Supreme Court that’s above suspicion if DAANG MATUWID is to be paved.
He told the December 1 MBC (Makati Business Club) audience: “The issue of electoral fraud has been in the national consciousness since the Hello Garci controversy. We now have a singular opportunity to put closure to an issue, which the previous administration was unwilling to address. This is what brought us to this point in the first place. This time, closure can be achieved by submitting Mrs. Arroyo to the process of investigation and a fair hearing.”
He added: “Just recently the President of South Korea paid a state visit to our country, and in my toast at our dinner, I said that the Republic of Korea represents some of my most cherished hopes for our own country. The institutions and body politic of South Korea grew stronger from holding its leaders to account. Chun doo-hwan and Roh tae-woo were convicted of crimes only they, as former presidents, could have committed. It was not seen as a vendetta, but rather, as what it was: justice. The strengthening of a system of laws, and not men. Closure to a painful and harrowing past characterized by impunity in official circles.”
Characteristically, P-Noy is a careful planner - something some people are spinning in media as indecisive. He detests going into a fight sans the proper preparation of mind and resources. If he should err, he would prefer to be late but sure rather than rash and sorry. The Duke of Wellington must have been one of P-Noy’s role models. Wellington defeated Napoleon not with bravado but with careful yet bold planning.
If you consider the difficult periods that P-Noy and his family underwent during the years of the Marcos dictatorship, how he himself was almost killed during the 1987 coup attempt — you will better appreciate how all these have molded this president to be what he is today.
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