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A heartless insinuation

By coining in 2010 the campaign slogan “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” PNoy and his strategists made us believe that he and his administration officials would instantly eradicate poverty by first eliminating corruption during his six-year term as president. He even reinforced this mantra with the “Daang Matuwid” slogan on treading the straight path.

Together, they eventually made up his administration’s central policy, which he embraced with his entire body and soul judging from his words and deeds.

He formed the core of his Cabinet from the incorruptible members of the Hyatt 10 Group who resigned en masse from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Cabinet after she said “I am sorry” to the nation and admitted that she had made that “Hello, Garci” call. He then filled up the rest of his Cabinet with his circle of elite friends and his mother’s loyal political supporters. These he did to actualize his government’s central policy.

He didn’t waste his time projecting PGMA and other public officials as corrupt who should be blamed for our country’s ills and sufferings. 

Now on his last year in office, he had charged, arrested, or impeached our former top leaders.

First, he had by Nov. 18, 2011 a frail and sickly PGMA arrested and detained at a public hospital. Soon after, on Dec. 12, 2011, he had Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached by the House of Representatives and eventually convicted by the Senate after making him endure a much-publicized trial. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile was almost arrested, too, but avoided this humiliation by voluntarily surrendering on July 4, 2014. Still, he was detained at Camp Crame and later transferred under hospital arrest before being released on bail a year later for health and humanitarian considerations.

All three are still facing criminal charges but have remained unconvicted.

PNoy never admitted that the trio had inflicted injuries and harm on him and his family in the past. He never complained, for instance, about PGMA ever embarrassing him while he was her student at Ateneo.

Still, he may have subconsciously used the “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” and “Daang Matuwid” policy to exact from them a personally motivated kind of justice. Besides, they still could have threatened his fragile administration and weakening them was appropriate from a Machiavellian perspective.

But was he not promising to eradicate poverty whenever he chanted this policy?

Poverty incidence still ran high at 25.8 percent of the population in the first half of 2014 compared to our Millennium Development Goal by 2015 of 16.6 percent. 

We cannot lie about these figures because they, too, are being measured by international agencies.

The poor among us have become poorer, and all the international accolades that have been heaped on our country and the financial successes that our economy has achieved are nothing but useless statistics that have not benefitted them.

Sensibly, PNoy’s administration has given up on its poverty reduction target and simply avoids discussing it.

We cannot just assume that PNoy and his officials lived the straight path, but granting that they did and still do, their manner of pursuing it has resulted in our sorry state. We are simply unhappy and angry with the regular flooding, heavy traffic and poor peace and order that have become regular fixtures in our lives since he assumed the presidency.

Only months now before the next presidential election, PNoy and his media men are making us believe that pursuing the same straight-path policy that they are implementing is the best thing that our next leaders could do.

And for PNoy and his bright boys, the best person to pursue it is Mar Roxas—his losing vice-presidential running mate in 2010 whom he first appointed as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications before moving him later to the Department of Interior and Local Governments. During that entire period, he also acted as president of PNoy’s Liberal Party.

It is so obvious to us that Mar—while treading PNoy’s straight path as secretary of these departments—has not delivered the kind of transportation, communications, traffic management, and peace and order that we want.

Yet in PNoy’s assessment, he should be our next president.

Overall, in fact, the straight-path policy that PNoy and his officials have implemented has not been good enough for us. We cannot endure another six years of its implementation.

Interestingly, Senators Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero also committed themselves to pursue the straight path when they offered themselves in separate occasions to serve as the country’s next president and vice president.

They emphasized that its pursuit couldn’t be monopolized by any group.  We all should help one another pursue it.

Senator Chiz announced then that a President Grace Poe would establish a “GP” or “Gobyernong may Puso” kind of government.

Heart would be the central part of it, he said.

But didn’t he insinuate that PNoy’s straight path policy didn’t have a heart for the disadvantaged—the poor, the elderly, the unemployed, the women, and etcetera?

“Heartless is PNoy’s implementation of the straight path,” was how his insinuation sounded to us.

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