What will President Noynoy Aquino say in his second State of the Nation Address on Monday?
At this point, its anyone’s guess. So rather than predict the future, let’s go back to the past and see how he scored based on the previous SONA. If anything, this exercise is a good preparation for that much anticipated speech next week.
SONA 2010: Last year’s SONA started with a barrage of “pampasabog” exposes detailing the gravity of corruption of the previous administration. Mr. Aquino narrated how Mrs. Arroyo and her cohorts raided the calamity fund, the coffers of the MWSS, the Motor Vehicle Users Charge (MVUC), NFA, plus the mismanagement of NAPOCOR and the MRT. He then announced the creation of a Truth Commission to ferret out the truth about the previous administration’s corruption.
A year later: The Truth Commission never took off due to legal loopholes exploited by Arroyo’s friends in the Supreme Court. The exposes against officials of the previous regime continues, which is fine, but government appears to be too slow in filing cases. In fact, private citizens and cause oriented groups are the ones spearheding cases against the former president.
SONA 2010: In order to curb the deficit, the President adopts a zero-based budgeting system and promises to curb corruption.
A year later: The budget not only retained the pork barrel and lump sum systems, it even increased the congressional pork by giving district congressmen a minimum of P50 million in infrastructure projects plus all congressmen P10-20 million in MVUC funded projects. Somehow, the straight path seems to have made a curve in Congress.
SONA 2010: The President announces that the killers of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen have been identified and that 50% of incidents of extralegal killings are nearing resolution.
A year later: The killers of Baldomero are still at large and no one has been convicted for such extrajudicial killings. In fact, the killings of activists and journalists have continued under the Aquino administration, with the AFP still denying their role in such atrocities, as evidenced by the way it is defying an SC order to surface missing UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.
SONA 2010: After lamenting the huge budget deficit, Pres. Aquino says “ang kakulangan natin sa pondo ay mga makabago at malikhaing paraan…” referring to Public-Private Partherships (PPPs). He adds that PPPs are a prerequisite for the proper funding of social services and is the main strategy to create jobs, develop the economy and raise incomes.
A year later: The Aquino government’s PPP concept has proven to be myopic, being nothing more than an expanded scheme to privatize the building and management of our roads, airports, seaports, trains, public hospitals, power plants, water districts and other public utilities. Private corporations end up replacing government, instead of complementing it. The fear is that this would result in the profiteering, thus higher cost, of public utilities.
SONA 2010: The President pitches for the following bills: Fiscal Responsibility Bill,
Anti-Trust Law, National Land Use Bill, a new National Defense Act, Whistleblower’s Bill, amendments to the Witness Protection Program.
A year later: None of these have been passed.
SONA 2010: The President makes an appeal for the MILF and CPP-NPA-NDF to go back to the negotiating table.
A year later: Talks with both armed groups continue to get bogged down. Though there appears to be some movement in the talks with the communists, the process remains hampered by the continued arrest and detention of a number of NDF consultants and human rights violations against left-leaning activists.
SONA 2010: The President says: “Ang anumang pagbabago ay magmumula sa pagsiguro natin na magwawakas na ang pagiging maluho at pagwawaldas.” He adds: “Kung kaya mong bumili ng Lamborghini, bakit hindi mo kayang magbayad ng buwis?”
A year later: The President buys himself a Porcshe but later sells it not because it is “maluho” (it was bought ‘second hand’ after all) but because it is giving his security detail headaches.
SONA 2010: The President says nothing about agrarian reform and the Freedom of Information Bill.
A year later: Still nothing.#