THE deeper this administration sinks into a quagmire of its own creation, the more it becomes apparent that the nation is in the hands of leaders who are either intellectually dishonest or completely out of touch with reality.
In his Easter message, President Benigno Aquino III talked up the achievements of the economy, without acknowledging that ordinary Filipinos do not benefit one whit from the 110 times that the stock exchange set a record.
He also urged Filipinos to set aside fear and anger and to choose instead to end the cycle of poverty and violence in Mindanao, but did not say that the Bangsamoro Basic Law that he supports not only violates the Constitution, but also puts the rest of the country at a disadvantage.
The President’s unspoken advice was that we should set aside our anger over the deaths of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano at the hands of Muslim rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with which this government is talking peace.
In one throwaway phrase, the President also suggests we set aside our outrage that this government’s so-called peace negotiators are more interested in appeasing the MILF than protecting the national interest, such that they rush to the defense of the rebels and forget that 44 brave men lost their lives simply for trying to enforce the law.
Finally, the President is also asking us to set aside our anger that he irresponsibly allowed his good friend, suspended police chief Alan Purisima, to run the covert Mamasapano operation without coordinating with the Armed Forces for proper backup—then lied to cover up their role when the bodies began to pile up.
But Filipinos did not forget or forgive.
The latest Social Weather Stations survey, in fact, gives President Aquino his lowest net satisfaction rating to date, at 11 percent, with only 47 percent of Filipinos satisfied with his performance (down from 63 percent in December) as opposed to 36 percent who were dissatisfied (up from 24 percent in December).
The decline in the President’s satisfaction ratings, attributed to the Mamasapano incident, was evident across all geographical areas and income groups.
But taking a page from his boss, a Palace spokesman sought to put a positive spin on the SWS survey, saying that it reflected an increase from the Pulse Asia poll conducted three weeks earlier.
“It is possible that, having gathered more information about current events—and having been able to know and understand better the President’s position on the Mamasapano incident—the people gave the President a higher satisfaction rating in the SWS survey (47 percent) than the performance approval rating that he obtained in the Pulse Asia survey (38 percent),” the spokesman said, blithely setting aside the cardinal rule in research that says you must compare apples only to apples, and never to oranges.
But this was just another pathetic attempt to apply lipstick on a pig that has grown increasingly rank with the piles of manure that this government keeps shoveling our way.