What ever dilemma President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) is facing today he has only himself to blame. He is probably most concern about how history will judge his presidency when his term comes to end in 2016. Well, he can be assured that it will not be pleasing to his ears.
PNoy may have met the expectations of the international community for implementing economic reforms and seemingly stumping corruption with his straight path advocacy (tuwid na daan), which he has used as the centerpiece of his administration’s trust in governance, thus earning his administration favorable credit ratings, but where his presidency, his leadership on the national level is concern, sadly, so much has still to be desired by the Filipino people, and there is really not much time left.
Between now and 2016 many things can still happen that could contribute further in making his legacy a dismal one, and all because of his uncouth manners in dealing with people that matters most, especially in times of distress brought about by natural or man-made calamities.
The same impertinent attitude happens even in the course of PNoy’s presidential duties where he is invited to grace certain events and functions.
Who would forget about a report that came out during PNoy’s visit to Tacloban after Yolanda’s destruction of the place, where he had a brush with a businessman who first asked that the government already declare martial law or a state of emergency.
The businessman’s urging came about because his friend told the president that people “were being slaughtered downtown because of the looting.”
After which Aquino asked, “Slaughtered? Slaughtered by…?”
The businessman said “Someone shot at me downtown.”
The president retorted, “You’re alive, so you’re not slaughtered.”
What inconsiderate and tactless remarks at a time when he should have shown understanding and sympathy, even making up perhaps for government’s long delayed response for assistance. He said it with a smirk in his face, which normally shows when he stresses a point.
How about the mishandled/mismanaged 2010 Luneta bus hostage crisis that resulted in the death of a number of Hong Kong tourists? It is said that PNoy opted to have former Undersecretary of Interior Rico Puno managed the crisis, while keeping the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo of the loop.
Sounds familiar the way PNoy also kept Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the dark in the Mamasapano massacre that cost the lives of 44 police commandos. This was even worse because he also allowed OIC PNP Deputy Director Leonardo Espina to be uninformed about the impending Oplan Exodus.
All these happened because he blindly trusted the ‘competence’ of his former bodyguard, friend and protégé, former PNP Director Alan Purisima, who recommended the ‘silent treatment’ approach on the officials at the time when he was on a suspended status for corrupt practices.
Having the essential people in the chain-of-command disregarded with impunity in a critical undertaking such as Oplan Exodus is simply inexplicable for a president and a commander-in-chief to do, which could only be attributed to PNoy’s uncouth behavior.
It is bad enough that PNoy got himself sucked into this crisis involving the Fallen 44, but what is despicable is his absence when the caskets bearing the remains of the police commandos arrived in Manila.
PNoy seems to be making it up by giving monetary and other form of assistance to the families of the victims and in the process, trying to console them, too.
The problem with PNoy, however, is that he thinks and believes that telling the victims how he and his family felt when his father, Ninoy, was brutally gunned down while deplaning, is an expression compassionate, merciful and sympathetic enough to assuage their own pains for the loss of their love ones.
Uncouthly telling the grieving families “patas na tayo” (roughly translated as “we are now in equal footing”) is far from being comforting words or not the words they all want to hear from a president.
The way Ninoy died was destiny for him. He was among killers and there was no way for him to be saved.
It’s a different story, however, with the Fallen 44. They succeeded in accomplishing their mission and most, if not all, had the fair chance of coming back alive ….. if only proper communication and coordination was made for a timely reinforcement and help to safely extricate them arrived.
Alas, there never was, as the cornfield became a killing field.
Now, what the grieving families are asking for is an explanation on why help did not arrive on time, and there is no better person to give it than PNoy.
Unfortunately, PNoy, with a smirk on his face, refuses to understand this.