Soon Pnoy will deliver his SONA after a year in office. Don’t mistake this for GMA 7's Sojo’s SONA, a rude, disrespectful but clever way of attracting attention to her program, a ruse which media practitioners are often guilty of. Sojo may have unwittingly vandalized a traditional, important and anticipated report coming from no less than the highest post of the land. Although Sojo’s naming of her program came much earlier on, it does contribute to the more recent effort of some detractors to put down the president’s SONA as a trivial piece of prose.
Pnoy with all his weaknesses is still our best bet to start this country on the road to real change. He has no political savvy, no pretensions to intellectual brilliance, no outstanding physical traits and no awesome presence, but by god, he is honest and very resolute to see through his mission to stamp out corruption. He is up against the lords of corruption who have the shrewdest lawyers, the best image makers and most expert spin doctors that make up a formidable “dirty tricks department” all paid for by our money stolen from the government coffers. They have support coming from among the richest and most influential members of society and from the majority of elected government officials, who in one way or the other, benefits/ed from the munificence of the former dispensation and from the inherent but abused provenance derived from their power and position as elected officials. We least expect these people to help in instituting change in the existing system as change could be inimical to the prestige and privileges they are used to. Pnoy needs help from the ranks of ordinary honest citizens who are sick and tired of the insidious situation the country is in but are clueless on how they can help and are inured by now by the futility of ever seeing change, thus, they have chosen to remain uninvolved.
The “dirty tricks” machinery of the dark side are feverishly at work designing subterfuges and disinformation media blitzes to undermine the SONA of P’noy. The theme that they are focussed on is the non achievement of the first year of the presidency and P’noy’s lack of vision. Contrary to what Pnoy’s detractors say there have been numerous achievements but not of the media event variety. There have been modest but real achievements that perhaps are dull and boring, not enough for media to get enthusiastic about. The oppositors harp on P’noy’s undue emphasis on pinning down the miscreants of the former administration and bringing them to justice and giving less priority to the pressing needs such as poverty, hunger and other restaged perennial issues. He is being branded as vindictive and lacking in purpose, so unlike his mother, former president Cory, an elegant and forgiving lady. P’noy’s detractors have been taken aback by the uniqueness of his approach. In the past, a new president would be busy in the first year impressing his constituents by bursts of high profile activity to reinforce the rightness of their choice. Cosmetic jobs. These activities usually end up as unfinished businesses and much of the intended fruits of the labour remain unrealized because the oppositors have anticipated the predictable course of a president’s first year and have perfected a formula to trivialize whatever achievements that were done.
The eradication of corruption is the centerpiece of P’noy’s mission and from history we know that even the most well meaning president have been unsuccessful in the effort to stamp out these evil which has been with us ever since politics reared its obscene head in our midst. His approach is to ready the patch by weeding out the unwanted elements and cultivating the environment before he starts seeding and building. In his program it is important that trust of the people is regained. The running after those who have been guilty of graft is important to demonstrate to the people that there is justice in the land and that those criminals, whether high or low, are meted out their just deserts. The erring generals should not go scotfree from their crimes, corrupt bureau satraps who pilfer the till should be pursued to prosecution. No past sins are old enough to be let alone and condoned. False heroes need to be shamed and not given honours, ill gotten wealth must be recovered and ploughed back to the people as a redress to the damage inflicted by the coercive pillage of the robber barons. Corruption will pay the price of public condemnation and meted the harshest penalty possible while integrity and honesty in service will deserve accolade and fitting rewards. This approach cows the guilty and inspires the ordinary citizen. In the midterm it also gives confidence to investors and would be investors to bring in their money without fear of harassment from corrupt bureaucrats and of the uncertainty brought about by ambiguous and inconsistent business rules of conduct. Truthfulness and transparency in all three branches of government reigning supreme is the ultimate goal of Pnoy’s government. When this is achieved the social, the cultural and the spiritual regeneration of the Filipino will be off to a robust and optimistic start. It’s a long and narrow road, this “matuwid na daan”, snipers and ambushers of the forces of evil abound every step of the way. It will take a lot of heroic perseverance and unflagging stamina to stay the course. Pnoy should have all these strengths to put a stop to this tenacious continuum of evil that has bedevilled the Filipino for so long a time.
If Pnoy seems too engrossed in running after Gloria he is justified in doing so. Gloria is responsible for most of the mess we are in. The election fraud which stole the presidency from a rightful winner, the fertilizer scam which involved and tarnished some of her more sincere cabinet members are just some examples of treacherous and treasonous acts that deserve to be revisited. The recent incident of China’s bullying the rightful claimants of the islands in the South China Sea have reopened a forgotten bit of treachery by the past administration. There were earlier negotiations between the Philippines and China wherein PGMA gave a lot of concessions to China over the disputed territory which may have paved the way to subsequent sub rosa deals (ZTE deal and others). We can’t let Gloria off the hook if she was culpable to giving all sorts of unbridled concessions to the Chinese in the earlier agreements regarding the Spratlys. Presumably this was made possible with the collusion and abetting by the president’s subalterns. You just have to leave it to our politicians to have the wantonness to sell the patrimony of our nation for their own personal gain. This evil is perpetuated by the tolerant attitude we have on the wrong doings of our government officials. It is true that we react with the indignation of the spurned at the news of any new expose but it no sooner than dissipates into thin smoke. Will we ever get a satisfactory resolution of all the graft cases now in the courts? Not until a revamp of the judiciary and the justice system is successfully implemented. There are just too many rogues in robes and too many unscrupulous “experts” of the law that it becomes virtually impossible to prosecute criminals who have the money to delay the implementation of the law against them or in some cases, get exonerated despite their apparent guilt. Lawyers are aware that they only need time for the heat on their cases to simmer down then they can do their legal “sleight of hand” because the public’s attention has been diverted to new and more exciting scandals fanned by a partisan media who may be a witting or unwitting player in the conspiracy. Add to this the highly suspicious midnight appointments in the judiciary (among other positions) brazenly initiated by the exiting president. Time only will tell if the appointees will remain beholden to PGMA because of the appointment or possibly that they are partners in past crimes that a change of heart for the good will be next to impossible to expect from them.
I am not privy to what Pnoy will deliver during his SONA but if it lacks the lustre of finely crafted speech with long litanies of achievements just bear in mind that Pnoy has his own unique strategy to get to his goals. The idea is not to wow you with embellished achievements and grand promises. The initial stage of his presidency is to clean up the mess, weed out the undesirable elements and make ready, at later stages, the country for seeding and building.