This is in response to a friend’s bewildered query as to why I’m not voting for Noynoy.
In September of last year, I wrote a post in which I said that we should give Noynoy Aquino the benefit of doubt until he shows us that there is something behind that bland (bald?) demeanor other than tired platitudes and empty promises, the hallmark of the trapo. Nine months on, he has not said or done anything which would have convinced me that he has the qualities to become a capable president. In addition to other reasons enumerated in another later post, the following points have convinced me that the country is in deep trouble should he succeed:
1. He did not fight a “good fight” — In the sense that St. Paul meant, that we should exhibit intelligence, humility and moral courage in all our struggles. Or at least try to.
Instead, he relied on mudslinging and black propaganda. Most of the presidential candidates did so too, but his was the most odious in terms of viciousness and because of his oft-stated claim of virtuousness by reason of parentage. This two-faced and cynical approach to politics means it will be business as usual if he gains power. While mouthing high-minded ideals, he conducted his campaign at the level of the gutter. He will bring this hypocritical outlook to Malacanang.
His true character was revealed when Chiz Escudero unveiled the NOYBI initiative to stab Mar Roxas in the back. It took him a long while to publicly repudiate the effort and reaffirm support for his embattled running mate. This despite the fact that Mar selflessly paved the way for Noynoy’s run.
It was Mar again who immediately and graciously stated that any support for the standard bearer is welcome although it might bode ill for him. Say what you will about Mar Roxas, no one can deny that he’s a class act. In contrast to Noynoy’s new buddy, Jojo Binay, who out-trapoed the trapos in order to build a dynasty in Makati. Jojemar is telling the truth though. If he wins, he’s going to do to the rest of the country what he did to Makati, which is to say institutionalize patronage politics and corruption.
2. He’s weak — As shown by the fact that he consistently fails or refuses to exercise effective control over his supporters. And I don’t mean just his handlers, who are another breed altogether.
I refer to those who support him out of a strong sense of identification with Noynoy and his vague call for change. The members of his vaunted yellow army. They instinctively and viciously attack anyone who cannot profess unbridled love for their idol. I have almost been on the receiving end of their neck vein-bursting rage a number of times the past month. Only my good looks, charm and well-known prowess in the martial arts saved me. Even online, I can feel the spittle flying.
As for his handlers, Noynoy allowed them to run his campaign any way they damn well please. A strange mix of disgruntled and discredited former Erap and GMA officials, this detestable bunch, along with some new allies of opportunity, have imposed their agenda on the whole undertaking. It’s a safe bet that they will likewise dictate the agenda for a Noynoy presidency.
To be fair, there are numerous fine and upstanding people in the Noynoy camp, just as there are in the others. But if it’s true that the personal qualities of a leader are reflected in the kind of followers he has, then we have much to fear indeed.
3. He has a dangerous sense of entitlement — As proven by his declaration that should he lose, he will unleash People Power such as would make the troubles in Thailand a romp in the park by comparison.
Noynoy obviously thinks that he owns People Power as a birthright. That he can trot it out like an ordinary political gimmick to serve his own ends anytime he feels like it. This is the height of arrogance and irresponsibility. He’s beginning to sound more and more like Kris Aquino by the day.
This attitude degrades the historical significance of EDSA I and cheapens the memory of his sainted mother who played a central role in bringing it about.
Not even Cory would deign to claim People Power as hers alone. No one owns People Power, least of all Noynoy, who was physically safe and far from the crowds which risked their lives during those perilous days of February 1986. As Amado Doronila pointed out:
In his simplistic reconstruction of the events surrounding Edsa I, and in his effort to wrap himself in the Edsa mystique and as heir to the Edsa tradition started by her mother, Noynoy Aquino seeks to reinvent Edsa as an event that will automatically replicate itself if he is cheated in the May 10 elections. No one owns the Edsa tradition, and much less Cory Aquino’s heirs.
The people will not take to the streets in case Noynoy is wronged in the election, at the bidding of an outraged Noynoy Aquino. The most that can be expected is a strong backlash and outrage, but the cheated voters will not take directions from Noynoy.
And for simply telling it like it is, Julio Cardinal Rosales was promptly pilloried by Noynoy’s attack dogs, like Conrad De Quiros in his typically overwrought style, calling him a fat, cynical clown akin to Mike Arroyo (the next to ultimate insult one can throw today). When all the good Cardinal said was to give the electoral process a chance.
In his public pronouncements Noynoy comes across as a typical spoiled rich kid, as bratty as they come. If I lose the election, people will throw themselves under tanks. Somehow, I’m not surprised. But I am scared for us all if and when he takes office as president. A brat will never be satisfied even if he gets all the toys and goodies he screams for.
That said, I should admit that our family is divided on the issue of who should be the next president. Some family members will be voting for Noynoy, others for Villar, and some for Gibo. But we are one in our belief in the electoral process, flawed though it is, and in our respect for each one’s opinions and beliefs. And we are optimistic, despite the naysayers, that the people’s will will triumph in the end.