PDEA Declares Robredo's Hometown Naga as Shabu Capital of the Philippines Following Multiple Arrests
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has now declared Naga City the Drug capital of the Philippines following the latest ...
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace-- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, many times I have overlooked your love in the circumstances of my life. I know you are always present, even if I don’t feel your love. This time of prayer is an opportunity to show you my love, and I truly desire to bring you consolation as you so often bring consolation to me.
Petition: Heavenly Father, help me to stand firm amidst the vicissitudes of life.
1. “As for Me and My Household, We Will Serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
The beauty of this life is that it offers us so many options. We have all been given the grace of free will, and we can choose to do many things. We can choose where we would like to work, where we want to vacation, who our friends are, what we are going to do this very moment. But the most important choice we make in life is to decide whether to love and serve God or to deny him. God’s greatest, natural gift to us is free will, and with it we direct our own destiny. What a truly beautiful soul who chooses to spend his life serving God! Clearly opting for God and his ways gives direction to a person’s life and provides clarity in moments of darkness and trial.
2. The Time to Prepare for a Storm Is Now: The worst time to clean out the gutters is in the middle of a thunder storm. And that roof would have worked a lot better had it been fixed before a week of rain. The concept of being prepared is so hard for us human beings. Christ told his disciples, “Watch and pray, that you may not undergo the test” (Matthew 26:41). He was saying, “Be prepared. You never know when temptations or tough times are going to strike.”
3. Holding the Fort: The spiritual life is a lot like a castle. A castle has its strong points and its not-so-strong points. It has a moat, high stone walls and turrets, but it also has a gate made only of wood. Each of us has one or two things that can be likened to that wooden gate. We all have our weaknesses, but do we know what those weaknesses are? One of the keys to being able to resist sin is self-knowledge. If we know ourselves, we can avoid putting ourselves in compromising situations. We can use our strong points to fight the enemy and fortify those areas that are the weakest. In the end, the strongest weapon we have both to resist and to fight is our dependence on the Lord – our prayer and fidelity to his will!
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I don’t want to base my life just on feelings and on what makes me happy. I want to live for you, to take a risk for you.
Resolution: I will start a constant prayer life by praying the Rosary every day this week.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The impeachment “trial” of Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno is an exercise that is political in nature — because it is a process conducted in and governed by Congress where popularity holds currency (in contrast to trials done in a court of lawwhere standards to ensure logic and reason prevail are higher and more stringent). The logical merits of the case surrounding Sereno are therefore less important. What is important in determining the outcome of this circus is what is popular with the Filipino people.
Thus it is not surprising that Sereno is in the midst of a frantic media blitz. She has made numerous TV appearances and has been interviewed by the Opposition’s crack team of attack-journalists led by the likes of Winnie Monsod and Karen Davila. Nonetheless, what she is up against is an impeachment complaint that was found to be of “sufficient form and substance” by the House of Representatives to progress via due process. Indeed, hers is no different from the same impeachment raps filed against the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona as it involves allegations of lavish lifestyles vis-à-vis revelations of fees she had collected in a previous government role that weren’t declared in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
As expected, the media sound bytes Sereno has been fielding have nothing to do with the case itself and are more around appeals to the public’s emotion.
“To tell you the truth, I do not feel as embattled as the news stories may portray me to be,” she said.“I am like this because I know that the truth is on my side. And in a time of constant spin, when narratives are coopted to serve the personal agenda of a few, the truth is our bedrock,” she added.Sereno reiterated that she has been honest in her work as chief magistrate and believes that the impeachment complaint against her will not succeed.“Alam kong hindi ako nagsinungaling, hindi ako nandaya, hindi ako nanlamang ng kapwa, at ginawa ko nang tama ang trabaho ko bilang Punong Mahistrado,” Sereno said.“I have enough faith in the truth to sleep soundly at night; I have enough faith in our people, and in our democratic systems, to know that narratives built on lies will eventually crumble,” she added.
True to the spirit of this being a political exercise, Sereno is sounding more and more like a two-bit politician than the highly-trained officer of the law that she is supposed to be. To her credit, she likely already recognises that her impeachment trial will be a popularity contest above all else.
Recent history offers clear lessons about circuses like this after all. Corona’s impeachment trial in 2012 began with a strong pretense that it will be about sound evidence that was gathered legally and evaluated using judiciary-grade standards. As thecliché goes, hindsight is 20-20. We all know today that the trial of Corona was everything but up to the standards of legal procedure as defined by the judiciary. The evidence was weak and gathered illegally and was fed to the media unadulterated by the shovel loads so much so that nobody had a firm grasp of what constituted valid or invalid information used in the proceedings.
The Corona trial by all intents and purposes was no more than a quaint trial-by-media disguised by the legalese robes donned by the “senator judges”. Like the good body of popularly-elected politicians that Congress is, the “senator-judges” who oversaw the Corona trial regarded public chatter around the factoids fed to them by the media as input into their decision-making and treated this as input of equal weight to the evidence produced within the chamber.
Funny, indeed, how the Opposition now criticise the impeachment complaint against Sereno as being merely based on “newspaper clippings”. Back in 2012, the evidence that launched an impeachment complaint against Corona was also based on hearsay “news” published by “investigative journalists” Raissa Robles and Marites Vitug. It is also worth noting that the impeachment complaint against Corona was helped along its journey to endorsement by the House by a “furious” Aquino who “wanted a ‘fast’ impeachment” to happen under his watch.
This is the reality Sereno is facing. The timing of her own impeachment trial mirrors that of Corona’s — transpiring in the first quarter of the president’s term of office and the peak of both presidents’ popularity. Strike while the iron is hot, kung baga. Had Corona been impeached later in former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III’s term (or any time after Typhoon Yolanda hit in 2013), the outcome would likely have been different; reflective of the dismal popularity ratings of the Aquino administration by then. Same rule-of-thumb applies today. Impeach your enemies while you are at the peak of your popularity.
It’s just politics, really.
And, in a “democracy”, what is popular is what is right. This impeachment trial is not a “threat to democracy” as Sereno asserts it is. It is an embrace of the whole point of popular democracy.
The Philippine Liberal Party (LP) don’t seem to learn. They must be using the same lame PR consultants that ran “vice president” Leni Robredo’s personal brand to the ground. Sadly (for them), they come across as infantile in the continued use of religious hocus-pocus and prayerful posturing to style themselves as the “decent” choice. It’s a bad case of doing the same thing again whilst expecting different results.
The latest stunt unfolding in living colour in recent days is the re-branding of the LP in an effort to retire the now-poisonousdilawan (“Yellowtard”) theme in favour of a more virginal (presumably white) theme. The way they are effecting this “transformation” is so elementary in the way it fails that they will likely end up as fodder for lists of What Not to Do in public relations textbooks to come.
At the core of this PR failure is an inadvertent insulting of the Filipino’s intelligence. What the LP still don’t get is that the rise to power of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was a protest vote against the perverse “decency” that served as the main pillar of the LP brand. “Decency” had come to be seen as a notion hijacked by the LP and baked into the Yellow narrative of rallying “victims”, prayerful “heroes”, and angelic “martyrs”. Generations of Filipinos indoctrinated in this narrative believe that to be decent is to be Yellow, and to be not Yellow is to be evil. The simplicity of this narrative is what entranced an entire generation of Filipinos for 30 years.
It is astounding that this underlying premise remains a cornerstone of the re-branding effort we are now seeing. That LP stalwarts Senators Franklin Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, and Bam Aquino, former president Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, and “vice president” Leni Robredo would strike prayerful poses before their official Rappler photographer in their new uniform attests to just how intellectually-bankrupt the broader Philippine Opposition are in continuing to allow these bozos to lead them.
Perhaps some credit is due to the LP for recognising the key task at hand, that the Philippine Opposition can REFORM and MODERNISE by purging itself of the Yellowtards, as we wrote back then. Trouble is, they are implementing a solution based on a mere superficial understanding of the problem, one that does not address the root cause of why the Opposition continue to fail to make a dent on Duterte’s formidable popular mandate…
The challenge for those who genuinely would like to reform the Opposition is to purge it of the clowns who infest it with medieval thinking and behave like religious zealots on social media. That’s a tall order if one considers how much the Yellowtards dominate the Philippine Opposition. It is quite obvious that Duterte won the 2016 elections on the back of a widespread public disgust for everything “yellow”. Indeed, included in the campaign paraphernalia used by the Duterte campaign machine were images of yellow colours dominating crowds of rallying Opposition “activists”. Even the relatively multi-partisan and multi-faith community of Martial Law Crybabies lament rallies that had failed because of what they perceived to be an effort hijacked by the Yellowtards.
Evidently, purging the colour yellow from Opposition collateral is not enough. The purge should go deeper, down to the people who subtract from its brand equity and the practices and beliefs that give the Opposition its Medieval vibe. It is quite obvious who those people are seeing how so quickly this picture of prayerful white-shirted clowns spread all over the Internet and attracted massive ridicule and contempt.
The broader Opposition deserves better than obsolete dilawan characters and monomanic communists whose professional “activist” leaders habitually accuse any sitting Philippine president with the same thing again and again using the same recycled slogans. They deserve more creative and more innovative activists — not those entitled Jesuit-educated “millennials” who use gay analogies to their telenovela lovelives to fill their glossy placards. For the Opposition to truly re-brand at the core they need to uplift their discourse and present an intelligent and modern alternative — one that befits a nation and society that aspires to succeed in the 21st Century.
Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and MartyrFather John Doyle, LC
While they were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, "A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.' His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, 'We do not want this man to be our king.' But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, 'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.' He replied, 'Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.' Then the second came and reported, 'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.' And to this servant too he said, 'You, take charge of five cities.' Then the other servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.' He said to him, 'With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.' And to those standing by he said, 'Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.' But they said to him, 'Sir, he has ten gold coins.' 'I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.'" After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.
Petition: Lord Jesus, teach me to be patient and persevering in using my talents to serve you and my neighbor.
1. Jesus, the King of Kings: Nowadays there is renewed interest in the imminence of the Lord’s return in glory. Every Sunday when we recite the Creed we attest to our faith that Christ “will come again to judge the living and the dead.” But we also know that we do not know when it will be, as Our Lord clearly states: “But about that day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36). So what should we do in the meantime? The answer is very simple: Live faithful to the values of Christ’s Kingdom and show that he is our King right now. Are there any areas in my life where Christ is not ruler? Am I faithful to my Christian commitments? Do I use my time well?
2. Earning One Gold Coin at a Time: In today’s parable each servant receives only one gold coin, but some invest it better than others. There are some gifts that God has given all of us in equal measure and some that we each receive in varying degrees. At baptism we receive the gifts of faith, hope and love in seed form, so to speak, and it is up to us to make sure they are cultivated, irrigated and exposed to enough light so that they will grow and bear fruit. These gifts of faith, hope and love are not given to us just for rainy days or moments of trial, but rather to keep us focused on who we are as children of God and heirs to the kingdom of heaven. Exercising these virtues is like earning gold, one coin at a time. How often have I thanked God for his gifts of faith, hope and love? Do I strive to grow in these virtues by keeping my heart set on the things of heaven and through charity towards my neighbor?
3. God’s Generosity: St. John reminds us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s essence is self-giving. The man who hid his coin could not discover or fathom this reality, but the man who “spent” his gold coin found this out as he was able to earn many more. Jesus tells us that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain” (John 12:24). Later however a metamorphosis occurs which brings many new grains of wheat into being. Jesus’ death on the cross is the perfect example of the transformation of sacrifice and self-giving into fruitfulness. We can’t have Jesus as our king unless we are willing to follow him on his journey to Jerusalem and impending death. We have much to give up, but we have so much more to gain by using our talents for the Kingdom.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I am sometimes afraid of what it means to die to myself. Help me to use all of my talents for your kingdom. Help me to realize that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain and to take steps courageously to love you.
Resolution: As a way of showing my love for Jesus, today I will practice patience with someone who annoys me.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo in one of her recent public engagements expressed a controversial remarks that triggered some of pro-administration supporter and proponents.
The statement contains an implicit accusation of the vice president against the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte. Talking about the pervasive and rapid changes Philippines had experienced since President Duterte assumed office, Robredo said.
"We woke up one day and you ask yourself: What is happening to us? Ano ba iyong dumaan na umiba any lahat?"
Responding to Robredo's implicitly provocative question was Andrea Carigma, a Filipina doctor and a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. In her post, Carigma slammed the Vice President by answering Robredo's questions. Carigma enumerated 7 answers which she implied to be ignorantly unknown to the end of the vice president.
The Filipina doctor's speculative Facebook post reads:
"Leni Robredo, ang sagot sa inyong tanong:"
- Empowerment of the people through a social media platform - having access to verifiable information, and being able to respond and be heard.
- Having a duly elected president who works for his people and brought bcd national pride - most especially the dignity for every citizen to stake his claim for this nation.
- Having active social media personalities who emulate what most citizens feel.
- Your office blocking people. You calling actual people "trolls and bots".
- Your office rejecting Freedom of Information inquiries from citizens.
- Your UN video and your malicious and flawed "palit ulo" statement.
- The ever-growing "EJK" count that until now is unverified to be state-sanctioned but is loosely used by media sites (national and international).
- Your delaying tactics for the election recount.
(I think a lot more people can add to this list.)
Now, I would like to return the favor. Here is my question: WHAT IS THE TRUE PURPOSE OF YOUR NATIONWIDE "ISTORYA NG PAG-ASA"? Because if we need inspiring stories, I think MMK already has that covered." Andrea Carigma ended warily.
I knew Cocoy Dayao back when he wrote for his own blog Big Mango in the early- to mid-2000s. Back then, a healthy respect for Yellowtardism still pervaded the political discourse, but there was, even then, a growing skepticism surrounding what was perceived to be a disturbing trend towards extra-constitutionally changing duly-elected leaders (a.k.a. “people power uprisings”). This was just shortly after former President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada was removed from office in what went on to be referred to as “EDSA 2” because the uprising followed the same 1986 modus operandi involving pedestrian “activists” massing in huge numbers on EDSA as a show of protest.
Back then, Cocoy wrote in a relatively partisan-agnostic way and focused on the true fundamental issues that posed real challenges to the ability of the Philippines to progress. Indeed, he was, at the time, counted amongst a then-rare set of Internet writers who delved beneath the intellectually-thin layer of petty politics (the layer where “‘tards” both past and present slug it out in so-called “debates”) to focus on the deep social and cultural character of the Filipino and, using insights gleaned from exploration at that level, came up with great ideas. Indeed, such was my admiration for his work that I invited him to write a foreword for my e-book Get Real Philippines Book 1 which I put online for download back in 2006.
Cocoy’s view of the Philippines and, consequently, the approach he took (at the time) to systematically mapping a path ahead for his country can be encapsulated in this passage from the Foreword he wrote.
It isn’t any one person, or group of people or this or that leader that has brought this Republic – this race – to this point; this rut. The moment, we choose to set aside the blame, to dig deep within our own Filipino psyche, to take our own destiny into our hands; that will be the moment we as a people step up and make good on the myriad of promise exhibited by generations past. Still to get there, one needs a greater understanding of who the Filipino is.
This is interesting, considering the view Cocoy takes today in singing off the same page in the Yellowtard hymn book that pins disproportionate blame for the sorry state of the Philippines on both former President Ferdinand Marcos’s Martial Law “regime” and the allegedly “violent” administration of current President Rodrigo Duterte. This is unfortunate considering that I best remember him for his monumental sixteen-part blog series Understanding Nation Building where he articulated his (at the time) deep understanding of the Philippines’ real challenges.
Even more interesting is how he espoused federalism (at the time) as he wrote in the first blog post of this series…
Building a Federal government is probably the best way to go. We have been a centralized government since the Spanish ruled here, perhaps the other way will benefit us.With a Federal Government, we can encourage development in the country side. Development can be on a per provincial or regional level. Those governors know what their people want. The people in the country side know what they want. We should trust them.If you travel the Philippines, each region is a paradise. We are an industrious people. Yet the treasure that’s fat is on the national level.You may say what happens to the poor regions? They have to work hard then. They must create industries. They must elect better leaders.With a federal government, we create a much simpler country.
The “success” of “EDSA 2” made the Yellowtards feel invincible. They felt that they could shout down any president or government executive they did not like for any reason their Yellowtard brains could think up. Back in those days, Cocoy knew better than to lap up the Yellowtard idea that using extra-judicial means to change leadership is such a divine “power” possessed by Filipinos. Indeed, like a true realist Cocoy aksed the right questions, like What happens next? as he does in a brief deviation midway through his blog series in the lead up to an impeachment bid against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In Of Leadership, Of Moral Ascendancy, of People Power and Of Truth, Cocoy writes of the then Opposition (which was composed of the same Yellowtards that lead today’s Opposition)…
The Political Opposition is asking for a great change. Yet where is the plan for tomorrow? We kick out President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today, the man walking in the street begging, will still be begging tomorrow. Traffic will still be outrageous. The prices of oil will still be determined by economics and like many across the globe, we will still need to pay bills and mortgages. The only change that will happen will be, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will no longer be President of the Philippines.
Rightly, the Opponents of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) are correct in that the moral degeneration of our society is such a contemptible thing and we have the right to demand the highest post in the land be placed in a higher standard and lapses of judgment, of ethics is a serious crime. Yet, PGMA is but a tiny manifestation of a cancer prevailing in our society. This cancer fills every fabric of our culture, of our nation, of our people. Where are the cases against those who cheated in the elections, irregardless of post, of position, because every elected position is a sacred public trust? Why just PGMA? Why not also those who made cheating possible?
We can see now that Cocoy thought in a fundamentally different way back in the mid-2000s. The question we need to ask ourselves is this:
What happened to Cocoy Dayao between then and now?
Many of the Yellowtards’ foremost “thought leaders” think they are on the same wavelength as Cocoy Dayao today. This is, perhaps, because Cocoy chooses to think and act at their cognitive level. Credit perhaps goes to the allure of celebrity and pedigree politics that Yellowtards are known to be national experts at. But, really, it is likely that very few of Cocoy’s Yellowtard “allies” are aware of the ideas Cocoy used to delve in back in the old days. Indeed, they will be unlikely to wrap their heads around these ideas, much less articulate them coherently even if they tried.
Let the story of Cocoy Dayao’s tragic embrace of Yellowtardism be a cautionary tale of how popularity and massive fandom can fnck up the minds of even the smartest amongst us. Perhaps Cocoy (wherever he is today) could take some time to reflect on how level-headed he used to be — before he succumbed to the dysfunctional emotionalism of the Yellowtards he found himself in the company of in recent years.
If popularity surveys are to be believed, Presidential candidate Mar Roxas is not very popular among the voters. He has consistently landed on the 4th spot in most of the surveys conducted since the first popularity surveys were commissioned for these Presidential Elections. He is even behind Vice President Jejomar Binay despite the latter being subject to months of negative propaganda by members of the Liberal Party to which Roxas belongs.
Roxas’s supporters in social media are baffled as to why their candidate is unpopular. They think he is a decent guy and they think the ideas presented in his platform are great. But that is where the problem lies. A lot of people do not think Roxas is a decent guy and they don’t believe in his platforms or promises anymore especially since Roxas had been in various key positions during the current administration under President Benigno Simeon Aquino.
In other words, Roxas was already in powerful enough positions to effect change and implement some of his ideas but he failed to do so. He could have done more considering BS Aquino made an informal promise to Roxas at the start that the latter would play an important role in his Presidency, sort of like the President’s right-hand man. This was some kind of consolation prize after Roxas agreed to put aside his Presidential ambitions to give way to a more popular BS Aquino back in 2010 and especially after losing in his Vice Presidential bid. Furthermore, both Roxas and BS Aquino have a strong family heritage in the Liberal Party stretching back to the early postwar years and, therefore, are like family. Unfortunately, the bond between the two is the reason Roxas’s bid for the Presidency is failing once again.
Because Roxas cannot publicly criticize BS Aquino for his government’s failures, many see Roxas as impotent and a weakling. The voters who are tired of the current government want someone new and effective, not someone who promises to continue the same things.
Why would they vote for Roxas when he could not even improve the appalling traffic situation in major Manila roads nor provide better public transport services while he was in charge of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC)? Roxas left a sorry legacy to be inherited by his unfortunate successor, current DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya. Nonetheless, Abaya went on to run with that and oversee further deterioration of the Metro Rail Transit system under his watch. Abaya’s role in mishandling of the MRT maintenance is huge according to Philstar columnist Jarius Bondoc:
The other sleaze began in Aug. 2015 and was consummated in Jan. 2016. In utter secrecy Abaya negotiated a P4.25-billion three-year maintenance of MRT-3. Exposed in this column that he was rigging the talks for Korea’s Busan Transport Corp. and four unknown but supposedly highly capitalized Filipino principals, he brought the final price down to P3.88 billion. Nothing for the Filipino people to be thankful for that, because Busan easily can walk out of the deal, especially when sued for dummying. Despite its P350-billion capital, it owns only four percent of the joint venture, while the four dummies, with just a little over P1 billion combined, control 96 percent. The four – a condo constructor, an agricultural supplier, a general merchandiser, and a plumber – have no experience in railway. They are the newest fronts of Abaya’s favorite LP member Marlo dela Cruz, who before this had wangled P1.86 billion from MRT-3 without maintaining it. Vitangcol swears that Rapanut brokered Busan’s participation too.
It seems all these years that Roxas, then Abaya, were in charge of the MRT, they wasted their time trying to negotiate a deal for contractors who would get paid for doing hardly any maintenance on the MRT. Abaya has been lucky so far that the MRT problems have not resulted in passenger casualties specially whenever trains stop in between stations, when the doors don’t shut while the train is moving, and that time when the train derailed and jumped off the tracks. Abaya has been lucky that the commuters who wait for hours while enduring heat, humidity and sometimes monsoon rains just to get a ride on the MRT bear with the situation because the poor souls need their jobs to be able to meet their basic necessities in life. Abaya is disgraceful for taking advantage of the public’s “patience” while Roxas’s boss BS Aquino was too disconnected from reality to fire Abaya for his negligence and Roxas for laying the foundation for the MRT debacle. All of them still think they have done a great job for the public.
Similarly, why would Filipino voters vote for Roxas when his performance in his last major role as head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) was a disgrace? His true character was unraveled during the height of super typhoon Yolanda. His arrogance was even broadcast to the international community while he was being interviewed by CNN’s foreign correspondent Andrew Stevens as mentioned in my previous article:
At one point during the interview, Roxas was arguing over the treatment of dead bodies left rotting on the roads. Stevens pointed out that every day, he sees the same decomposing bodies when he passes by the same road on the way to the city. But Roxas vehemently denied they were the same bodies, stopping short of calling Stevens a liar. The DILG Secretary showed his arrogance in that instance. Suffice to say, it is evident that it would be another colossal mistake if he becomes the next President. Korina Sanchez as the next First Lady doesn’t sit well with a lot of people either, specially since she is beginning to show signs of irrational behavior. Another CNN journalist can attest to this.The way Roxas kept interrupting Stevens during the interview gave viewers the impression that he is not a people person. His attitude was like “I already know what you are getting at but let me correct you now…”. Likewise, his use of banal metaphors to describe their relief efforts can be interpreted as an attempt to distract from the real issue. At one point he said that the government only set aside pails of water not realizing they needed a swimming pool of water. As if that actually excuses the government’s lack of foresight.Stevens seems to share other international media correspondents’ observations and pointed out to Roxas the apparent lack of order in distributing relief goods. While he acknowledged what Roxas was trying to say — that the government could not handle the initial response — Stevens couldn’t help but remind Roxas that it has already been a week and yet the victims of the typhoon still beg for water from him and his crew.Stevens appeared frustrated over not getting an accurate assessment of the relief and rescue efforts from Roxas considering they were both in the disaster zone. It was as if they were both seeing the same thing – chaos, survivors begging for food and water and dead bodies lying around – except that the DILG secretary still insisted that the situation was under control.
Roxas’s recent attempt at revising the accounts as the tragedy unfolded through a comic book portraying him as a “hero” is an insult to the over 6000 people who died and countless who are still unaccounted for. The survivors know the truth and Roxas and his public relations people cannot hide it by glossing over the pain the suffering the victims are still feeling now particularly since a lot of them still live temporary bunk houses.
It’s not enough that Roxas is perceived as a “decent” guy by those close to him. He has to be a people person too. Since only those loyal to the Liberal Party are into him, he won’t make it to Malacanang. It’s not enough that he has grand plans for the Philippines. If you think about it, it’s only recently that Roxas has become vocal about his plans. He now says his vision is to build a high-speed train and put order to traffic. Some people can be forgiven for saying his vision will be like his comic book — they will remain on the drawing board.
Yes, family and friends in the business community Roxas is a part of will likely thwart the implementation of his “vision”. They will fight for the right to get awarded with contracts to supply and manage government projects. Because Roxas has to please his “friends” in the business community, negotiations alone could take the entire six years of his term. The voters are wise not to vote for Mar Roxas.