TO LIGHT A FIRE
Recounting basically the same horror stories cited by Patricia Evangelista on events which recently besetted and besotted our nation, former Justice of the Supreme Court, Isagani A. Cruz unlike his half-century-or-more younger Daily Inquirer colleague’s cynical tone, nevertheless concluded his New Year’s first Separate Opinion article, with clear optimism by invoking “the blessing of Almighty God”.
It is Ms. Evangelista’s cloying yet understandable cynicism about our nation’s future, which young Senator Noynoy Aquino and his think-tank supporters such as Philippine Star columnist William M. Esposo, should take note of very seriously.
Yes, it is a highly probable fact that somewhere around at least 40% of our voters, about a third of whom are of the same age-generation as Patricia Evangelista, presently agree with Mr. Esposo that it should be “Noy or Never” on May 11, 2010. That 40% is indeed a significant plurality which even at this early stage of the pre-election period, might be sufficient to propel Senator Aquino to the Philippine presidency this coming May 11, assuming that NP candidate Manny Villar’s recent rally in the latest opinion surveys will not be sustained.
But for those of us of an older generation such as former Justice Isagani A. Cruz, who like me is perhaps also ambivalent about or at least NOT AGAINST a Noynoy Aquino presidency, my concern is NOT about his NOT WINNING on May 11, 2010…
My main concern about Senator Aquino is about AFTER his winning the presidency yet FAILING THEREAFTER to validate the hopes of oft-disappointed young idealists like Patricia Evangelista.
Thus my REAL FEARS of his possible simple FAILURE or even gross BETRAYAL of those hopes and “dreams” of some 40% of our voting population who have presently put their TRUST in Noynoy Aquino’s perceived honesty and integrity, have little to do with his relative lack of hands-on executive experience. For I would have the very same fears if Manuel Villar and even more so if Erap Estrada were ahead in the opinion polls.
In fact Senator Aquino’s campaign for the Presidency thus far has been handled, presumably under his overall leadership, far more competently than his political rivals have expected, despite Aquino’s rejection of BIG MONEY contributions because of the usual strings attached to it. There is apparently a reasonably cohesive working relationship between the old Liberal Party survivors with their recent balimbing recruits, and the various volunteer groups led by simon-pure personalities from civil society, and with all of them submitting themselves to the leadership of the Senator. Albeit it may be only thus far, considering that Senator Aquino is still ostensibly the frontrunner in the surveys.
And so let us suppose that Benigno C. Aquino III is elected President of the
But will such an initial and seemingly self-accomplished Noynoy Aquino success in leadership by being elected President continue for another six years in terms of not just a normally effective national GOVERNANCE but a never-before-seen but NECESSARY MORAL LEADERSHIP? Will he be able therefore to gather together and inspire better than did his mother circa 1986 and Fidel V. Ramos circa 1992, an A-TEAM of at least a THOUSAND NEW honest AND competent co-leaders and colleagues in government throughout those next six years, to form a) a cohesive and competent Cabinet, b) allies in the House of Representatives and the Senate to support his legislative agenda, and c) many others in the Civil Service competent and trustworthy enough to clean up and streamline the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Department of Education, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the very start? For the real “dream” about Noynoy Aquino is not merely about his becoming a better President than the present one, which should not be too difficult, but for him to be a GREAT President.
And so above all, how will he accomplish the absolutely necessary radical moral conversion of those abovecited Top 1000 co-leaders and associates including HIMSELF, PLUS at least another one hundred thousand mid-level bureaucrats and frontliners in those key agencies including the COMELEC, the judiciary, the Coast Guard, the DPWH, and the members of BOTH COVENS in Congress (NO PUN untended!), plus hundreds of other agencies which directly dispense justice and other essential services for our people especially to the poor? And where will he get honest and competent replacements for those to be booted out, quick enough and smoothly enough without fanning a nationwide rebellion of the MOST CORRUPT and intransigent government employees who are expected to defend their cash-cow SINECURES perhaps with their very lives?
And lastly, how fast will he acquire the Solomonic wisdom to adjudicate internal controversies on wide ranging and complex matters of law, economics, education, foreign affairs, the environment, job creation, reproductive health, peace and order, as well as the resilience to absorb all the stresses and strains from all the above while burdened by the expected FIERCE infighting for political and financial spoils among his closest allies, friends and relatives, AND, still have the gumption to fend off the political attacks and continuing personal defamation from the various groups among the new opposition? I hasten to add however that neither Manny Villar, nor Erap Estrada would necessarily do any better (to say the least) under those same circumstances, given the usual TRAPO type of leadership they have demonstrated in the past. Not even Cory Aquino herself nor Fidel V. Ramos, much less Ferdinand Marcos and PGMA who all went through their respective post-election gauntlets, were able to prevent the Philippines from SLIDING DOWN and being overtaken, just on ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE and good governance alone, one after the other by Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and now even by Vietnam.
Yes dear Chair Wrecker and your kindred spirits of good will, on those terms I agree with you but with a slight twist: NOY et al or NEVER AGAIN!
Patricia Evangelista therefore, may be justified in her cynicism considering the fact that our corruption blighted nation has to pass like a wounded camel through a needle’s eye just to survive for the next six years, REGARDLESS of who our President may be.
To the twelve apostles who in shock asked for Our Lord’s explanation upon hearing His “camel through the needle’s eye” reply to the rich young man seeking His guidance in reaching heaven (Matthew 19: 20-26), Christ’s answer was that what is impossible to man does NOT apply to God for whom “all things are possible”. Thus Solomon (for a while), Ignatius of Loyola, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and many other true believers, albeit highly exceptional cases, succeeded by God’s grace even beyond their own imagination, in the governance of their respective- institutions and above all, in the moral/spiritual conversion of their own selves, even without any previous executive experience and in the face of seemingly impossible odds…. And so by the same God’s grace with the help of at least tens of thousands of his real friends and supporters, is I believe, the ONLY WAY Benigno C. Aquino III will become a truly great President/Chief Executive of the
Thus I thank former Justice of the Supreme Court, Isagani A. Cruz for the last phrase in his January 3, 2010 Separate Opinion in the Philippine Daily Inquirer – “under the blessing of Almighty God”. For it leads to the only feasible and realistic solution of the many gargantuan and Aegean stable type of complex problems facing our people, the vast majority of whom are Catholics and/or Christians.
For if God Our Father Almighty and our Christian Faith are irrelevant to our nation’s prospects of rising from the pits the present and previous administrations have brought us to, then there would be NO COMPELLING REASON for objecting to any CPP-NPA scheme to have Joma Sison or Satur Ocampo as our next President anytime soon.
And almost certainly if Noynoy Aquino is elected President this year but FLUNKS thereafter, Mar Roxas would become the next hopelessly sacrificial candidate of the Liberal Party, just like the Gibo Teodoro of today. And the young generation of talented idealists like Patricia Evangelista will have become even more cynical vis-a-vis all political reform possibilities.
And so we could have, if not Joma Sison, a re-invented General Hermogenes Esperon as dictator, or else a President Jinggoy Estrada, or a new CON-ASS generated new Constitution, soon begetting a Prime Minister Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with Matt Defensor or even Danilo Suarez as her puppet ceremonial President, together with Agnes Devanadera or even Mirriam Defensor Santiago as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court with all of them acting as Defensores Gloriae. Take your pitiful pick….
And so, would that Senator Noynoy Aquino or whoever is elected as our next President, will re-read and take to heart the Biblical advice which the late Jaime Cardinal Sin caused to be engraved at the EDSA Shrine soon after those historic days in February of 1986. It is the same advice given during a private appearance by God, Yahweh Himself, to Solomon after begging God during the dedication ceremonies for the
“I have heard your prayer. I choose this house to be the place where sacrifices are to be offered to me. When I close the skies and there is no rain, when I command the locust to devour the land, when I send an epidemic among my people, and my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and look for me, and turn from their wicked ways, then I MYSELF YAHWEH will hear from Heaven and forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:12-14)
EDUARDO B. OLAGUER
Catholic Xybrspace Apostolate of the