There are a lot of misconceptions about Philippine President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino that his supporters have been passing around as “truths”. They range from harmless to downright ridiculous but most of them are obviously part of a propaganda campaign concocted by his propaganda machine to keep his waning popularity up.Indeed, BS Aquino’s “celebrity” status seems to have more to do with the results of the work of a publicly-funded public relations firm perpetuated by the majority of celebrity-obsessed voting public and less to do with the results of the President’s actual output during his term in public office. In other words, BS Aquino is like the Wizard of Oz whose magical powers turned out to be nothing more than just smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, a lot of people cannot or refuse to see him for what he is – all special effects and nothing of substance.
Even before he was voted into office, BS Aquino’s handlers already realized that fooling the general public into believing that he is the answer to the country’s woes would be a piece of cake or just a walk in the park. Knowing that the majority of Filipinos were beholden to the Aquino name and with all the resources at their disposal particularly the use of taxpayer’s money, the Liberal Party has been having a field day deceiving the Filipino people for years.
While BS Aquino feels powerful while in office, he does feel threatened by political rivals particularly those who are rumored to be positioning themselves as a possible candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election. Some of the senators who were charged with misuse of the priority development assistance funds or “PDAF” like Senator Bong Revilla have been crying foul of political persecution. Revilla claims that the charges that he pocketed his pork barrel funds using bogus NGOs are false and part of a demolition job to ruin his chances in 2016.
Indeed, prior to the eruption of the corruption scandal, there was news of Revilla possibly running for the Presidency floating around, which gives merit to his claim. Whether what Revilla is saying is true or not doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, the country would be better off not having him as the next President anyway. However, it does give the Filipino people an idea of what the Aquino administration’s priorities are and the lengths to which he and his minions would go to just to get rid of their rivals.
Being in good terms with media giant The Inquirer has worked wonders for BS Aquino. Aside from getting that extra exposure like being given the “Filipino of the year” award, some people have noticed how the Inquirer is always breaking the news about alleged corruption or bad behavior involving his political rivals. They seem to have “exclusive” information about people BS Aquino considers “enemies”. One cannot help but wonder if the media organization is part of the demolition team whose objective is to focus only on the opposition. The Inquirer was the first to report on the PDAF scam. They were also the first to report on the Binaygate scandal featuring Vice President Jejomar Binay’s son “Junjun” allegedly forcing his way out of a no-exit gate at Dasmarinas Village, Makati City. It’s no secret that the elderly Binay wants to win the next election.One political rival that BS Aquino can’t shake from his thoughts is former President Gloria Arroyo. Even though she is already frail and suffering from what seems like an incurable illness and even though she is already detained at the Veteran’s Hospital for an indefinite period, he still feels very insecure about the possibility that she could nevertheless do something to pull his popularity down. Some social media commentators have also reported that her visitors are now forbidden from having their photos taken with her. This followed after high-profile personalities have been flocking to see the former President to pay their respect. These people have realized that she is being unjustly detained for the trumped up charges against her. This was making BS Aquino look bad.
BS Aquino’s fear is not unfounded. Most of his critics know that the economic growth he is enjoying now is partly due to the result of the former administration’s economic policies, which includes government spending to stimulate the economy. It is a policy that the Aquino government just copied and keeps crediting to itself. It doesn’t help that the international community keeps buying the hype that the Philippine’s strong economy has all to do with BS Aquino’s “anti-corruption” drive. It goes to show that even some members of the international media do not know what they are talking about when it comes to tackling local politics in Third World countries. They seem to rely on what’s being reported by the local media whose members could be bought cheap or who have political affiliations.
So far, BS Aquino has been lucky to get away with the irregularities in his government some of which are being branded as illegal by law experts. His lucky days could be numbered though because more and more people are joining his critics in clamoring for him to be impeached. For the benefit of those who still believe in his “Daang Matuwid”, here are a few un-truths about the President:
(1) BS Aquino is not corrupt.
Of course he is corrupt. There may not be evidence yet of him pocketing public funds but he used public funds to fast track the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona by bribing and strong-arming members of Congress. The revelation that he gave extra PDAF in the amount of Php 50 million to senators who voted to convict Corona is enough evidence to support this.
He may also have used public funds to travel to campaign sorties around the country to support the Liberal Party’s candidates in the last mid-term elections held in 2013. Aside from bribing members of Congress, BS Aquino bullies his way around by bad-mouthing his enemies and turning people against each other.
(2) BS Aquino finally exposed corrupt activities in government.This notion is absolute garbage. In 1996, there was already an exposé on pork barrel scamming. The news also landed on the front page of the Inquirer. What happened next is a mystery. Obviously, pork barrel scams still continued even after the expose in 1996. The point is, BS Aquino’s government cannot take credit for something that was already newsworthy two decades ago. In fact, what has been exposed is that the pork barrel scam was worse during BS Aquino’s term. His 2014 budget even allotted 200 million pesos for every senator and 70 million for every congressman. That was quite generous considering they were already aware of bogus NGOs linked to some of these men. The PDAF allocation was diverted from being given directly to the members of Congress when his government was forced to abolish the PDAF after the public outcry.
(3) BS Aquino is the greatest President the Philippines ever had.
On the contrary, he is the worst President the Philippines ever had. Not only does he lack diplomatic skills, he is also arrogant and vindictive. He doesn’t even have the humility to apologize to the Hong Kong government for bungling the Mendoza hostage crisis in 2010. He has divided the sentiments of the Filipino people and caused the public to argue about his executive decisions. The so-called “peace deal” in Mindanao involving rebel group MILF has put the nation at odds because of its unconstitutionality. Some want peace but not at the cost of giving away parts of Mindanao to a rebel group. The deal is not even acceptable to other existing rebel groups in Mindanao.
Aside from the much-lauded “economic growth” in the last two years, not much has changed since he took office. The number of poor people is still going up and corruption is still rampant in government. To quote a news report:
A Social Weather Stations survey has found that more than half of executives from some 1,000 enterprises in Metro Manila and six urban areas nationwide indicated “a lot” of corruption in the government last year. Fifty-six per cent of the businessmen claimed seeing “a lot” of corruption in the public sector, a 30-per-cent increase from 43 per cent in 2012.
(4) BS Aquino is the lesser evil.
In the eyes of some people, he is plain evil. He seems hell-bent on persecuting his former college professor and former President Gloria Arroyo for allegations, which are proving to be false and malicious. So far, the charges against her keep getting dropped for lack of evidence.
He has no compassion for an ailing elderly woman considering his own father Ninoy received compassion from former President Ferdinand Marcos when he was allowed to seek medical treatment overseas.
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Those are some of the misconceptions his supporters use to defend BS Aquino. It works in the short term but in the long term, they will be proven wrong. One thing is for sure; time is no longer on BS Aquino’s side. Time will prove that he lied to the Filipino people when he said he is fighting corruption. The truth is, he is only fighting the men and women who are not on his side.
[Photo courtesy Latest News Photos.]