Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Early glitches

THE seeming success of the first automated national elections in this country obviously has dominated the highlights of the year 2010. And this came about amid doubts, debates and prejudices that the electoral body and the incumbent leadership could ever beget clean and honest polls. Today, of course, doubt seems to be still lingering on. But this may just be part of the Filipino cultural cliché that nobody losses just cheated.

But more than the apparent triumph of the automated polls, hope was rekindled when Noynoy Aquino bolted a presidential candidacy after the outpouring of yellow sentiments at the death of her mother, former president Cory Aquino—and won it. The Filipino psyche was in submissive agreement that here at last was someone who would make it for real that honesty is the best policy in governance.

Most of the country held its breath in awe during his inaugural last June 30, 2010 when Noynoy unleashed simple but definitive statements, or so it was how he sounded, that augured the long awaited social reforms. “Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong.” Or words that brought assurance and relief, such as: “Kayo ang boss ko, kaya hindi maaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo.” Like a magician with a fantasy wand, all the “wang-wangs” disappeared on day one.

But even before the euphoria of the first hundred days in the presidential office was over, the halo that he inherited from his parents came to be showing some premature cracks and disappointments. The first glitch was the choice of his cabinet secretaries and staff that smacked of political patronage, friendship and indiscrimination. It was a far cry, of course, from the blueprint envisioned by his inaugural. The next is his apparent closeness to the economic and budgetary policies of his predecessor which he disdained and vowed to reform during his campaign sorties. And today, he is towing same line, if not worse, on the promotion of gambling in the country by reinstituting small town lotteries (STL) which is a twin sister of jueteng.

Believe it or not, no social reform will ever happen as long as the government makes a vice such as gambling its priority agenda—or, as his lackeys would say, the fountainhead of the country’s social services which is, of course, a slap on the face of DSWD. Corruption and gambling are a logical equation. With gambling, Noynoy’s inaugural byword of “walang lamangan at walang pagnanakaw” makes him a clown. Maybe it is not any surprise why one senator would liken his presidency to one running a student council. Yet more kind is one prelate who called him a “juvenile president.”

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