The Aquino’s test of leadership

Let’s mention it, 2014 is here and Filipinos are certainly hoping for a more stable and successful year for personal aspirations – an annual common drive for our countrymen to be motivated and bring their social and economic mobility to a higher ladder. This characteristics of positivism and anticipation of good things are never exclusive to Filipinos alone – rather stemmed to human beings as comforting mechanism and living by the cliché, “Pag May Bukas, May Pag-asa”.

Living in a democractic and developing society surely helps our people to maintain a life of being hopeful because things are in process and moderation, but this does not exempt the leadership of public officials in power. Hope can only do so much as to hope is nothing without progression.

Aquino Clan

Way back in 1983, former Senator Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., who was assassinated at the Manila International Airport , formed the leadership of the opposition to the government of then president Ferdinand Marcos. He received popular support from the Filipino people as he fought for freedom and sovereignty of the nation against the authoritarian government of the Marcos regime marred with extreme corruption, political repression and human rights violations.

In 2009, former President Corazon Aquino, icon of people power in the Philippines and around the world, died of colon cancer. The whole country mourned for another leader’s death , one who contributed to the nation’s fight for freedom during the Martial law against the Marcos government. She adopted a policy of national reconciliation that freed more than 500 political prisoners, including the top leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines during her presidency; pushed for labor-intensive projects and forwarded trend of setting targets for poverty reduction and unemployment. The gigantic support turned into tangible recognition of Filipinos that crowded her death and memorial at the Manila Memorial Park.

All of these celebrated leaders will never be forgotten. The compelling reason why PNoy run for office and got elected  could be the easy recall of the contributions done by his parents who  massively contributed to the reformation of the Philippine polical system. I I reckon that the Filipino people do not deserve his kind of leadership. After his mother’s death in 2009, politicians urged him to run for office. People again showed support and the influential clout of her sister in show business were again grand.

I am not a critic of the president or a follower of his “promising” taglines “Pag Walang Kurap, Walang Mahirap and the vague illustration of “Tuwid na Daan”however it has been three years yet things are still the same for common Juan Dela Cruz. Surely, when he stood at the podium during the campaign period, he mesmerized the electorate with his resounding slogans, offering a new kind of leadership – to let culprits of corruption be punished and give justice to the people as we value public office as a public trust. After three years  passed, I try to recall PNoy’s exclusive political brand as to what his parents  achieved and delivered to the entire nation . Two things transpired – (1) a justice provider to pave way for empowerment and sustainability and (2) a leader who does not possess a decision-making capacity.

These accusations of his leadership are never fictional but factual. The previous year was indeed fatal for the whole country – Zamboanga standoff, Bohol earthquake, pork barrel probe, and the devastating super typhoon Yolanda, tragic as it may appear for the victims and survivors of these unwanted scenarios for the Philippines, this could be an opportunity for the president to bring his leadership to another level.

During the Zamboanga crisis, it was reported that Junior AAFP officers were unsatisfied with PNoy’s take on Zamboanga standoff, group of Reformed Office Union of AFP aired out sentiments caused by countless failures of the government to respond to the Zamboanga siege by the group of former Moro National Liberation Front Chairman Nur Misuari. It took five days for PNoy to fly to Zamboanga for him to check the status of the siege first hand on ground.

The most catastrophic event of last 2013, on the other hand, was when typhoon Yolanda ravaged the Visayas region and other provinces and islands – thousands lost their homes, loved ones and livelihood, causing a total economic breakdown for areas severely hit by the typhoon. This event turned out to be a blame game or worse a soap opera in the making as polliticians divulge themselves into dramatic course of questioning accountability between Romualdez and Roxas because the system has failed. Without a doubt, the system has failed. PNoy blamed the response of the local government in the face of the typhoon’s unprecedented destructive power, appearing to ward off international criticism that the national government dragged its feet in hastening aid to the disaster zone. Aquino once told reporters, “We had a breakdown in power, a breakdown in communications… a breakdown in practically everything.”

One thing, in a country where everything is in the process of development, I consider the presence of assistance in its local units – benevolent in extending help from the national government, constant cooperation and most importantly perceptive of its functions.

In this country where political association seems to be the be-all and end-all in keeping our duties – progression will always be in the state of hope.

Originally posted at Philippine Online Chronicles.

Photos via President Aquino’s Facebook page. Some rights reserved.

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