As of now.
Ask yourself, how well do you know him ? His advocacies ? What issues are he passionate about ? Like me, I suspect that most people would draw a blank when asked about Noynoy Aquino, apart from the fact that he is the only son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.
Noynoy himself, and his handlers, have not been shy about playing the Ninoy-Cory card. Says Liberal Party 2010 campaign manager Florencio â€œButchâ€ Abad: â€œSenator Aquino will not turn his back on the legacy of his parentsâ€. In a press conference prior to his going on a weekend retreat do seek divine guidance for his political plans, Noynoy said â€œyesâ€ when asked if he would carry on the fight started by his parents. What this â€œfightâ€ is all about in concrete terms, he does not say although he can be rather smug about his legacy. Says he: â€œWe enjoy popular support all these years because we reflect the interest of freedom-loving Filipinos.â€
But if his main selling point is his parentage, wouldnâ€™t we be better off with Kris Aquino, who is undoubtedly more popular and has lived a more drama-filled life than her bland and balding brother ? It would certainly make for a more interesting campaign, at the very least.
To be sure, Noynoy can come up with the usual sound bites, throwing around time-worn phrases like â€œwe are all in this togetherâ€ and calling for â€œsacrificeâ€. But behind all these motherhood statements is a cardboard man totally lacking in substance. Worse, he may not be above resorting to cheap political gimmickry ( as alleged by Malacanang but for once I agree with Gary Olivar on this). In Noynoyâ€™s case case, following to the letter a Cory template successfully utilized during the 1986 snap elections. As pointed out by Dr. Winnie Monsod, no friend of this blighted administration:
It was clear to everyone that Noynoy wanted to make the run for the presidency. So why the announcement that Aquino was to go on retreat to help him decide on whether he should make that run?
If the decision is already madeâ€”and it must have beenâ€”the retreat has to be for the purpose of asking Godâ€™s blessing on his candidacyâ€”so why not just so state?
Is it because Noynoyâ€™s handlers want to milk the Cory magic and show that Noynoy is doing the same thing that Cory didâ€”and not only thatâ€”but also time his â€œdecisionâ€ to be made on the 40th day after Coryâ€™s death? If that is the case, shame on them all. Because that not only reflects the cynicism of the ultimate, exploitative â€œtrapo,â€ it is also a disservice to Coryâ€™s memory, and all that she stood for, as well. Cory was truly a reluctant candidate, and she agonized and prayed before finally accepting the mantle. What is more, there was not a single, insincere, manipulative bone in her body.
Anyone who wants to assume the mantle of leadership and selflessness similar to that of Ninoy and Cory better make sure that it is deserved, and earned. It is not something that can be claimed merely because the same blood runs in oneâ€™s veins. Rather, it is a matter of character.
I believe we have to reserve judgment on Noynoy until he can flesh out a program of government which would meet our peopleâ€™s aspirations for honest and just governance. And show us that there is something behind that pleasant demeanor other than tired platitudes and promises. As Tony Meloto reminds us yet again, it is our national tragedy that we are â€œalways looking for somebody to pin all our hopes on and also to blame when these hopes are not realized.â€ We would be doing ourselves and Noynoy a favor if we do not prematurely hoist upon him the burden of being our savior.