“Aquino is acting in the fashion of his kind: an arrogant, despotic, aristocratic landlord whose orders can never be deemed wrong or unfair.” Pia Malayao, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – After President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III defended his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), independent analysts regularly interviewed by the mainstream media predicted his popularity rating would slip down lower in the coming days. For the progressive lawmakers who also comprise some of the SC petitioners against DAP, Aquino’s primetime speech last night represented a huge waste.
“Aquino just wasted our time with his arrogant yet empty speech,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said in a statement immediately after the televised speech.
For Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Pres. Aquino has also wasted the opportunity to divulge all the details of the DAP.
In failing to come clean and show remorse or accountability on DAP, and doing the opposite even by declaring war against the Supreme Court as Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan described it, Aquino has also wasted a chance to defuse threats to his presidency.
“Before President Benigno Aquino III started his speech, he had two chances to salvage his presidency – slim and none. But now slim has also left town,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon who listened to Aquino’s speech along with peoples’ organizations gathered in Plaza Miranda.
Spoken like a true king (of pork barrel)
“Instead of admitting his wrongdoings, the President conveyed the message that he is above the law. That kind of attitude befits his haciendero origins. He acted like a brat,” said Anakpawis Party Rep. Fernando Hicap in another statement. Hicap warned that “this bullying” will not go down well with the court or with the people.
The priest Ranhilio Aquino, Dean of San Beda Graduate School of Law, also found Aquino’s speech “disappointing,” saying it was like a speech of a “kanto boy” and not of a president. Lawyer Aquino said in Filipino on a radio-TV news interview with Noli de Castro that you may not agree with the Supreme Court, but it is the one tasked by the Constitution to interpret the law. He warned Aquino that he is approaching culpable violation of the law.
In Aquino’s speech last night touted as a sneak preview of his upcoming State of the Nation Address, he criticized and questioned the Supreme Court for coming out with a ruling that his administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional.
Although the petitioners have said they expected that ruling, the DAP being “clearly and manifestly” unconstitutional, the ruling provided another clear basis for demanding Aquino’s accountability and culpability, the pork barrel critics said. Calls for an investigation, Aquino’s impeachment and ouster swiftly followed the SC ruling. His allies have also just as swiftly vowed to kill the impeachment and ouster moves – but it only seemed to add fuel to calls for Aquino’s accountability, forcing Aquino to come out and speak out last night.
Unfortunately, with his speech, Aquino again confirmed that he is indeed the arrogant haciendero who is far removed from the people he once called his “Boss.”
“Aquino is acting in the fashion of his kind: an arrogant, despotic, aristocratic landlord whose orders can never be deemed wrong or unfair. ‘Ang utos ng hari, kahit mali, hindi mababali’ (The King’s command, even when wrong, cannot be disobeyed),” said Piya Malayao, spokesperson of Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP).
With his speech, Aquino also confirmed that he is indeed the Pork Barrel King, adding fuel to the people’s growing anger with him, and hastening his downfall, said Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
“His defiance of the law will result one way or another to a constitutional crisis in the name of political survival,” Hicap of Anakpawis Party said.
In delivering what many viewed as bullying and threatening statements against the Supreme Court, Aquino alluded to some quarters including SC justices who he said are getting personal with him in their attacks. Youth leader Vencer Crisostomo said, in a statement, they for one are indeed going personal against Aquino. Echoing Aquino’s “If you don’t use it, you lose it” argument for seizing programmed funds, Crisostomo told Aquino “the people no longer has use for you, you’re even stealing from us, you should now go.”