There are several theories on Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s changing tune on charter change. One is that this is a mere ploy to prop up his friend Mar Roxas by stressing the urgent need for continuity. To put it blatantly, if not comedically, it’s like PNoy saying: “Sa 2016 baka pwedeng ako ulit. Pero kung talagang hindi uubra, yung friend ko na lang na si Mar ang ipalit ninyo sa akin.”
Putting it another way, its the Liberal Party making the Filipino people choose between two unlikely things: a term extension via cha-cha or a Mar Roxas presidency.
Another theory is that this is just PNoy’s idea of a joke. His chief apologist in Akbayan, Rep. Walden Bello, says the President is just making fun of media and the Opposition. In which case I’d really like to have anything that the President is taking, as it apparently gives one a major trip. Lakas ng tama, pare.
A third theory is that he’s just being brutally frank. Meaning he really is open to a second term and wants the Supreme Court’s powers clipped. In which case we’re really fucked because quite obviously, this whole thing about him being the best president we ever had who can do nothing wrong has gotten to his head.
Call him delusional, call him power tripping, call him egotistic, the fact is that PNoy comes from a distinct class of oligarchs who have been in power far too long. The way ruling elites go, the Cojuangco clan has always been top dog. At one time or another, they have owned the biggest landholdings in the country (i.e. Hacienda Luisita and Danding Cojuangco’s vast estates), owned the biggest corporations (i.e. PLDT, San Miguel), and made politics their playground, bagging the presidency not once but twice. Plus Kris Aquino rules showbiz as the Queen of Talk. While we owe so much to Ninoy and Tita Cory, let’s face it, no clan has ever had it so good as the Cojuangco clan.
And so in true cacique fashion, the master is always right. What PNoy wants, PNoy gets. It’s just how it is, as far as he’s concerned.
Take the Rizal Park hostage-taking massacre. He simply refused to apologize to the victims of that botched rescue attempt. Later on he would also refuse to apologize to the victims of the mishandled Zamboanga siege, many of whom continue to die in decrepit holding areas to this day. Nor could the victims of Yolanda get any apology for his government’s flat-footed response to the disaster. He even reprimanded officials who dared tell the truth about how many actually died in the storm’s wake. Under Aquino, the President is either right or is in good faith. He does not make mistakes, he does not say sorry.
PNoy’s defense of the pork barrel, specifically the congressional Priority Development Assistance Program (PDAF) and the presidential Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) also shows his cacique brand of leadership. The pork barrel system as exemplified by PDAF and DAP are glaring examples of how the people’s money are used by politicians for patronage and corruption. Aquino and his allies in Congress could simply not swallow that fact that the Supreme Court unanimously declared both congressional and presidential pork unconstitutional and illegal. Thus the attacks against the judiciary – from the President’s bellicose pronouncements, the reduction of the Judiciary’s budget and threatened abolition of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF), to the threatened clipping of the SC’s powers via charter change. Under Aquino, a Supreme Court that upholds the Constitution and the rule of law against corrupt and abusive politicians is a Court that is overstepping its powers.
Aquino’s push for greater privatization of public utilities and government services via public-private partnerships betrays how a cacique extends favors to his amigos y amigas in the ruling class. Notice how his most ardent supporters and campaign contributors bag the juiciest contracts around. It’s a huge pie, with the biggest slices going to the Ayalas, the Pangilinan/Salim Group of Metro Pacific and Cojuangco/Ramon Ang’s San Miguel. Under Aquino, his cronies are laughing all the way to the bank.
Last but not least is Aquino’s decision to allow the return of American bases via the Enhanced Defense Security Agreement (EDCA). In true puppet-like fashion, Aquino violated the constitutional requirement for Senate ratification of the agreement in order to lay it at the feet of visiting US President Barrack Obama last May. And like any puppet regime, Aquino tows the US line on everything from Israel to China in exchange for political, economic and military support which he needs in order to prop up the country’s reactionary institutions.
Which makes all this talk of cha-cha truly worrisome. Here we are with a President who refuses to accept mistakes, who allows his cronies to corner lucrative government contracts, who dances to the strings of an imperialist master, who has little qualms about violating the Constitution to achieve his ends, and who now wants to extend his term and clip the Judiciary’s power to check wrongdoing and abuse by him and his administration-dominated Congress. Sounds pretty familiar, if you ask me.
Beware, a yellow dictatorship is in the works.#