2013 was a calamitous year for the Philippines – earthquakes, strong typhoons, bus crashes, corruption scandals. The reactions of various newsmakers to these disasters have revealed a lot of things about the fundamental flaws in governance, and in particular the inability of President BS Aquino to govern properly and decisively. Let us review some of these popular sound bites which seemed at first to be irrelevant one-liners. Actually, many of these airtime and print fillers exposed the bankruptcy of the ruling order.
1. We should legalize everything…You have to remember: we have to be very careful because you are a Romualdez and the president is an Aquino. Secretary Mar Roxas reportedly uttered these infamous words during a meeting with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez a few days after super typhoon Yolanda hit the country.
2. But you did not die, right? BS Aquino’s reply to a businessman who was complaining about the breakdown of law and order in post-Yolanda Tacloban.
3. The issue here is whether the funds were misused or not. I hope the public will listen to our explanation that we did not pocket everything. Senate President Franklin Drilon should have said it in Filipino: Hindi namin binulsa lahat.
4. I can buy you, your friends, and this club! TV host Anne Curtis delivered the secret mantra of politicians and the filthy rich.
5. If I’m the president, I will declare a revolution. I will rebel against my own government. Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s response to the suggestion for him to run for president. He is the same mayor who advised investors to pay NPA revolutionary taxes.
6. Tanda, Sexy, Pogi. Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla.
7. We all here are victims of a flawed system, which is so ingrained and that has been institutionalized. An excerpt from Senator Jinggoy’s privilege speech which exposed the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
8. Oh there you are. Let me take a good look at you. Senator Miriam Santiago’s opening line after seeing alleged pork operator Janet Napoles in a senate hearing.
9. Tell the truth before the senators affected have you assassinated. Senator Miriam’s advice to Napoles.
10. Sinabi ng Senadora na ako ay may asim pa. Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanyang sinabi, pero ikinalulungkot kong sabihin hindi ako naasiman sa kanya. Believe it or not, these words were said in a privilege speech by former Senate President Enrile.
11. Pork Barrel King. The tag given by labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno to BS Aquino.
12. Ang pera kong ginarnish ng BIR ay hindi po nakaw at hindi po PDAF o DAP, ito po ay galing sa lahat ng suntok, bugbog, pawis at dugo na tiniis ko sa boxing. Sarangani legislator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao hits back at the Bureau of Internal Revenue for freezing some of his bank accounts.
13. Kung ihihiwalay naman yung Maguindanao figures, hindi naman talaga tayo ‘yung lalabas na [most dangerous place for journalists]. Hindi naman ganun kaseryoso o kalala ‘yung problemang ‘yun. Apparently for presidential spokesman (and former activist) Sonny Coloma, the 24 cases of media killings in the past three years are not yet alarming.
14. Bahala na si Lord sa inyo, busy ako. BS Aquino is obviously affected by the dramatic drop in his public trust ratings and he blamed everybody especially critics and fault-finding reporters except himself and his team.
15. It is time to abolish the PDAF. Victory for the people when the president was forced to give up the PDAF. But half the battle is not yet won because the bigger presidential pork is still retained in the budget law.
16. Itong si Anderson Cooper, sabi wala daw government presence sa Tacloban. Mukhang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya. Veteran reporter Korina Sanchez criticized a CNN report on the slow delivery of relief in typhoon-hit provinces in Eastern Visayas.
17. Ms Sanchez is welcome to go there (Tacloban) and I would urge her to go there. I don’t know if she has but her husband’s the Interior minister. I’m sure he can arrange a flight. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper replies to Korina.
18. Basta ‘wag lang manghihingi sa amin ang mga tao! Bacoor Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla’s position regarding the proposed abolition of pork barrel.
19. I don’t think that anybody, even the most criminal politician, can be that hard-hearted and close his eyes to this calamity so I can only surmise that they don’t know what to do. Director Peque Gallaga accuses the BS Aquino govenrment of impotence and incompetence.
20. Sana pala hindi na namin kayo tinawagan. Okay po, salamat po, wala po akong nakuha sa inyo. Arnold Clavio’s controversial interview with one of the lawyers of Napoles.
21. Yung composition kanina, nakita natin yung pagdagsa ng mga tae… sorry po… ng mga tao. GMA-7 reporter Jiggy Manicad’s blooper during a live reporting in Ayala.
22. Kilala mo ba ako? Makati Mayor Junjun Binay reportedly asked this question to security guards who stopped his convoy at Dasmarinas Village.
23. I think God was somewhere else when the typhoon hit. Davao Mayor Duterte’s reaction upon seeing the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda in Leyte.
24. There is no more Eastern Samar province. Rep. Ben Evardone’s assessment of the typhoon damage in his district.
25. Why should we leave our own home? Nobody will be sent to the Philippines. Sabah is our home. Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram responds to BS Aquino who wants the sultan’s armed followers in Lahad Datu to go home to the Philippines.
Mong Palatino is a Filipino activist and former legislator. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org