Noynoy Aquino is the present most favored candidate for Presidency. He’s son of famous Cory and Ninoy Aquino. It does not imply he should be celebrated the way he thinks he should be.
“I’m the daughter of a brilliant lyricist. Sure, I write songs too but should people celebrate that before they even hear my songs? Hmm.” (Isabella Magalona, 2009)
Filipinos, when it comes to their political life, can’t help but be squeamish at times–and I mean really squeamish. It’s not betrayal if one politician decides to change parties or decides to be a political prostitute; it’s called patriotism. “One swears allegiance only to the country, not to his party”. Yeah right. It’s not also peculiar if one elected official is initially seen as an “exemplar of the highest morality” or as an “honest public servant”, just to be later derided as “corrupt” or “degenerate”. Take the incumbent president for example. Her accession to the highest office of the land was met with expectation by all sectors of society. Nine years later, after the state of things was not perceived to have ameliorated in any spectacular way, she is touted as being worse than her predecessor–whom we sacked in a second people power revolution (which should have given us the impression who’s the worse and the WORST). It seems that no matter how epic our actions may be, or how legendary they may be in the cause of democracy, our squeamishness would later betray the principles from which we are known throughout the world.
Well, these political farces are not uncommon in a developing country. Clearly, it has been shown by history that decades of political instability are succeeded by years of economic prosperity, and by extension, a greater commitment to the teachings of democracy and liberty. It’s just that people get impatient at times. In one way or another, they will finally realize that political bickering and fighting will bring them to nothing; and in some degree, will unite to carry their country into sustainable levels of development. They may accomplish this through autocratic means–like what South Korea and Taiwan have done in the past; or through a gradual and less direct but more democratic method which is often under the guidance of enlightened and idealistic leaders such as former communist Eastern European countries like Poland.
These I can accept. But there is one thing which I cannot find any excuse from. I don’t know if we’re the only country which has done this but patently, this is an insult to the intelligence and and logical reasoning of the Filipino people. Ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about this notion in our country which depicts that politics is a very complex and important issue to be decided by the whims of outpouring emotion.
I am referring to Noynoy Aquino.
Just late last year, Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party’s main contender for the 2010 presidential elections, stepped down from his bid in order to make way for the Aquino scion whom he described as “being more capable to lead the country”. Well, that was Roxas’ polite way of telling us that he had been pressured by political allies both inside and outside Liberal to step down for the new man of the hour. To think that he was spending millions bombarding our television screens with his “advocacy” campaigns, then all of a sudden he quits from the race, is a big surprise indeed. And what could have caused this act of political impulsiveness? Surely, this is the emotion of thousands of people grieving upon the death of the former president and Noynoy’s mother, Cory Aquino. Her unexpected demise from Cancer shocked the whole nation and even the global arena who throughout the past 20 years, have sought refuge from her determination and ideals together with that of her martyr husband Ninoy. Furthermore, the couple left a very lasting and conspicuous mark on Philippine history making the Aquino surname a household name. Thus, it is but natural for these people to perceive Noynoy as their future new hero simply because he has the same surname and from the crude assumption that if his parents are known for their heroic ideals, then he should have also “inherited” these principles, as if they were material wealth. Intelligence can be inherited, yes. However, I believe that the method of putting this intelligence comes from something unique within and is NOT inherited.
But through careful examination of reason, we know that this is not the case. It does not follow that if your parents are good, you are good as well. Same goes to people who have tyrannical parents. For instance, the father-son relationship of Claudio Teehankee Sr. and Claudio Teehankee Jr. The former is one of the most renowned Chief Justice of the Philippines. The latter is a scrutinized ex-convict for murder. Though it is very fallacious to downplay the role of parents in the rearing and guidance of their children’s destinies, one could not rest on their ideals alone. Personal experience, education, and the influence of other people are equally essential pillars as well. It is apparent that Noynoy plays the willing pawn to this delusion, no matter how he might have resisted and argued against such proposition. He offers us accountability, transparency, honesty, and determination–which are NOTHING but the recycled axioms of his mother and father. Heck, he could not even put up strong arguments and standpoints in debates against his rivals in presidential debates and forums! Besides these, it is safe to say that he won’t really be offering anything new in the future. If the values of your parents truly live up to you too, then you should have your own values as well. Those familial values make you only half-worthy–YOU have to build your own name as well. YOU need to work on it. It’s not your parents or your tactless sister. To rest on your laurels is a bad thing, but to rest on your parents’ laurels? Such is an act of the worst proportions indeed.
And could the Filipino people trust a president who is quickly moved by the simplest acts of caprice? Noynoy, before accepting the calls to presidency last September, DID NOT even have the clearest of intentions of running. Great power comes with great responsibility, and great responsibility comes with great PREPARATION. Noynoy did not prepare for such responsibility as a senator nor fulfill the responsibility of a man of that position, as evidenced by the lack of bills he authored or even co-sponsored. If ever he becomes chief executive, will he have a strong stand on political and social issues, such as the RH Bill and Agrarian Reform? Will he have the upper hand in high-level governmental decisions, or simply delegate such matters to his supporters/advisers? From the beginning of his bid to the presidency, we are already being assured that Noynoy will be a president SANS conviction and duty. I can already imagine what Noynoy would do if faced with pressing exigencies or any kind of challenges to his position. Maybe, invoke the name of his parents, just like what he does in his pre-campaign period adverts and utter the words “ituloy and laban” all over and over again.
Though for many people, these are not enough to make them think otherwise. They cite Noynoy’s integrity and clean record as reasons for their support. They think that a candidate’s uprightness and incorruptibility is a big factor in support of his presidency, as a president of that kind will make a powerful front against graft and corruption. Yet sadly, for the most part, an upright and honest president WILL NEVER BE enough. It would be useless if your leader is accountable but your members are not, and the perfect example would be that of his own mother Cory Aquino’s experience. Graft and corruption cannot be annihilated by empty promises, flawless candidate profiles, or congressional inquiries but only through a show of uncompromising and persistent action and attention of all sectors of society. A problem of the grandest scale and consisting of a lot people needs a solution of an equal mettle as well. And it is highly doubt that that effort can be properly spearheaded by Noynoy, who is yet to prove himself as a capable leader.
Family ties, a high sense of morality, and appeals to emotion are not valid to either put Noynoy on the top or make him a candidate to the presidency. A candidate’s political achievements, his stand on important social issues, idealism, and resolute remain paramount in deciding who would occupy the most powerful and important position in the country. He/she should also consider excluding a candidate of a whimsical and vacillating character to his/her list of considerations, as squeamishness has long delayed our efforts in genuine reform of our politics. And by intrepidly using his name as a platform, Noynoy is actually promoting the bane of traditionalist dynastic politics–which is ultimately unconstitutional and undemocratic. He is no different to those corrupt and derided politicians who always call upon their fathers and uncles and mothers in order to win (and cheat) the hearts of the people.
Noynoy, it doesn’t mean that if your parents are heroes, you’re a hero as well. You could only inherit their name, their riches, and possibly their fame. But never their heroicness.