Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is Noynoy Aquino the real deal?


If we are to believe in surveys, then the next president of the Philippines is none other than Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino III, the son of hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr and democracy icon and former president Corazon Aquino. With barely 2 weeks remaining before the May 10, 2010 elections Noynoy has even widened his lead over his closest rival Senator Manny Villar who was shown on TV saying that as long as the lead of Aquino is not in double-digits then it doesn’t worry him. Well, the results of the latest SWS survey might just be a bad news for Villar, Aquino’s lead jumped from 9 percent to 12 percent and Villar’s rating went down by 2 points. Pulse Asia reported an even wider 19-point gap with Noynoy getting the support of 39% versus the 20% for Villar. I wonder what Manny Villar is thinking right now. Imagine a neophyte senator who has no sterling track record to boast, no remarkable executive experience and no billions of pesos to spend in the campaign may just trounce him in the polls?

Manny Villar used to be the frontrunner in various surveys before Noynoy Aquino entered the picture late last year. The death of Noynoy’s mother, former President Cory Aquino served a pivotal role in changing the political landscape in the country just before the elections. The overwhelming display of love and support of the Filipinos to the former President gave birth to the idea that her son can possibly continue the legacy of this well-loved president. Based on the outpouring of support for the late president, he was clearly missed by the people. Some said that she was the antithesis of the current president. Former President Cory was just like Noynoy when she was thrust into the political arena, she was reluctant, even unprepared but she was willing to make sacrifices for the good of the country.

Even if he was the son of two illustrious Filipinos and a brother to famous celebrity Kris Aquino, Noynoy was unassuming. He was never the kind of politician who would steal the show from his fellow members of Congress by holding press conferences or do grandstanding in the halls of the lower House or the Senate. He was not like other politicians who have their eyes set for the presidency even when they are still in Congress. He managed to avoid the limelight but maintained an untainted record. He gave us the impression that he is not lusting for power.

According to his website: “In his nine years in the Lower House, Noynoy focused on the fiscalizing role of a legislator. He felt that there were already too many laws, and good ones at that, but they seemingly lacked proper implementation. He concentrated on crafting laws that would help create opportunity rather than impose additional burdens to those who are already disadvantaged. He actively took part in budget deliberations to ensure that government initiatives do address the plight of the people who need help the most.”

I also found a list of bills which I found progressive that Noynoy filed in the senate. According to Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), Senator Aquino authored the Workers Productivity Incentives Act of 2007 that would grant annual productivity incentive bonuses to all workers in the private sector amounting to no less than 10% of the company’s net profits before taxes. He also led the call for the renegotiation of the Japan – Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and voted against its ratification. He authored the Superior Responsibility Act of 2008 which would adopt the doctrine of “Superior Responsibility” for all military and police personnel, in response to extra-judicial killings, particularly human rights activists and media practitioners. He also authored bills that would promote transparency in government such as the Government Procurement Reform Act and the bill that would add Congressional oversight to budget decisions undertaken by the President, including budget rescission, reservation, and deferral. If you want to view the legislative record of the senator, then you can go to his website. You can also search for bills that he authored from http://www.congress.gov.ph/.

Critics of Noynoy are trying very hard to discredit him in many ways conceivable. He is being linked to Hacienda Luisita as if he completely owns it. You can also see various blogs and different forums referring to series of GMA news articles about the ghost of Luisita haunting Noynoy’s future as if its contents are bedrock truth. It doesn’t prove anything against Noynoy Aquino. The fact that it is now being used by his detractors to discredit him doesn't add to the credibility of the articles. I also found on YouTube a series of videos with a different tune. It explains what they said was the truth about the Hacienda, claiming that farmers and not propagandists were finally interviewed to get the facts straight.

There were also issues raised questioning his sanity or his mental health which I think is the cruelest attack on a person. If these allegations are true then his detractors could have provided a solid evidence to support their claims. There should be witnesses, at least, that can attest that they saw Noynoy on an insane or depressed state. But up to now, they can only come up with bogus psychiatric reports which can easily lead us to believe that these are nothing but black propaganda. Believe me, if there’s someone who is holding solid evidence that will put this man down, then the best time to surface is during this campaign when information like this can even worth a fortune. But so far, none has appeared.

Frankly, I was not impressed with Noynoy’s performance as a public servant. I will not vote for him just because he is the son of a hero and a democracy icon. I want to see more. I want to see a solid track record. I want to see him speak eloquently about his platform of government. That is what my ideal president. I want someone who can talk convincingly; someone who has a brilliant and bright mind. I don’t want just an ordinary person just like me. But then on second thought, do we really need an intelligent and a bright leader? If this is what we need, then why the need for an election, why can’t we just subject the candidates to an IQ test or any aptitude examination to know who is the most intelligent among the lot. That way, we can save billions of pesos that we are now spending in automated election.

And will brightness and competence bear fruits of good leadership? Let’s re-examine our country’s history and we will know that intelligent leaders don’t necessarily do well for the country. Marcos, for one was a brilliant speaker and a bar topnotcher getting almost a perfect score. Gloria Arroyo was educated at Georgetown University and was said to be once a classmate of Bill Clinton. If you think that they did well for the country then I rest my case. But if you think that what they did for the country contributed to our current state as a nation then I think it is high time for us to revisit our criteria in choosing our leaders. Perhaps, instead of intelligence why not look for a leader that has the credibility and moral ascendancy to lead and inspire the people. Why not look for a leader that we can trust or an honest leadership for a change?

Is Noynoy Aquino the real deal? Ultimately, history will have to reckon with him if he emerges as the winner. But if you will ask his supporters, you will surely get an affirmative answer. They said that Noynoy is a leader that we can be proud of, who has integrity, credibility and character with a legacy to protect. They said that he awakens hope in the Filipino people for a brighter and better tomorrow.

After visiting his website and verifying the claims and information provided therein, I was made to realize why this senator is enjoying the support of many people. He was not without accomplishments as a legislator just like what other people would want us to believe. He may not be the best legislator who walked in the halls of Congress but he did his job well as he saw it fit. He has a good vision of the Philippines which encourages Filipinos to join him in the fight to stop corruption. He is not promising to end poverty as if he is the "messiah" that will end our suffering but he wants us to work together to achieve a better Philippines.

I was not expecting this, but with only a couple of days before the elections, I now have a candidate for the presidency.

8 comments:

betchai said...

very thoughtful and informative post Leomar, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. election is near, i wish the best for our country.

LeoMar said...

thanks, betchai! have a great weekend!

salvy said...

buti na lang malaki na ang agwat heheeh..

Vernz said...

Hi leomar, you really have researched it well enough to convince me ..... not to vote for him ahihihihi.... sorry dear .. he's not my president! LOL!

LeoMar said...

@salvy, yes, malaki na ang agwat pero sa surveys pa lang... pwede pang magbago sa May 10.

LeoMar said...

@Vernz, there's nothing to be sorry about. it's your right to vote for the candidate whom you think is the best for the job.

onlinewriter said...

Hey, you've changed your comment box? anyway, i admire you for the intensive research, leomar. i'm torn between noynoy and gordon. one day i'm for noynoy, the next day i'm for gordon. aaargh! anyone of them would be great but not villar! or else we're all going to the dogs.

Anonymous said...

yes! noynoy! kay noynoy tayo! :D

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