Now that President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) has regained the approval and trust of the Filipinos for the way he is running the presidency, what he should do next is strive harder to sustain it and convince the people even more that reforms in government could only succeed further if those leading the country and heading different government agencies have the moral ascendancy to occupy their positions.
I am more referring about today and until we get ourselves involved again in the 2016 presidential election.
No doubt PNoy has proven himself worthy of the presidency by virtue of his competence and leadership that, even, the world community recognizes. But what mars his ‘tuwid na daan’ (straight path) advocacy, which appears to be the center piece of his administration, is the perception by people that he keeps two sets of principles against those committing corruption – one for his enemies and another for his friends.
We all know how PNoy went after former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona which resulted to the latter’s shameful ouster after the Senate acting as an Impeachment Court convicted him for corrupt practices, among other things.
Everyone knows also that in his drive to stump corruption, PNoy was instrumental in having Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, JinggoyEstrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla investigated by the Ombudsman for corrupt practices where the charges against them are now being tried by the Sandiganbayan or the government graft court.
But, why, for crying out loud, has PNoy continue to keep Vice President Jejomar Binay in his fold, in his cabinet, when his name and reputation has been badly tainted from alleged corruption practices, while still the mayor of Makati City, that is so mind boggling in scope and amount?
Most recent results of the nationwide survey by Pulse Asia from November 14 to 20 showed a 21-percentage point drop in Binay’s approval score, from 66 percent in September to 45 percent.
Accordingly, Binay’s trust ratings also tumbled, from 64 percent in September to 44 percent in November. The Vice President’s distrust score gained 15 points (from 11 percent to 26 percent) while those undecided went up six points (from 24 percent to 30 percent).
Now if the Filipino people are starting to doubt and distrust Binay, and obviously these numbers show and will slip down some more still, I believe, what could convince PNoy that the man is corrupt and should not be in his cabinet?
The same goes also with the way PNoy is keeping Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Purisima, who together with several other police officials, has been placed under preventive suspension by the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in an anomalous contract between the PNP and the Werfast Documentary Agency, a courier service, in 2011.
Note that Purisima is also facing two plunder complaints before the same office over allegations of hidden wealth and questionable deals, including the renovation of his official quarters in Camp Crame.
Even political allies, Senators Serge Osmeña and Grace Poe, have suggested that Purisima should resign because he already has lost the high moral ground to command such a vital organization.
Yet, PNoy seems to be hanging on with him.
Definitely, PNoy’s handling of Binay and Purisima does not augur well with his resurgent approval and trust as he looks forward for somebody to succeed him in 2016.
If PNoy truly has the country in mind, then he should let go of Binay and Purisima now.