AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR
By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star
Easily the biggest event in 2010 in the life of our nation was the ascendancy of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III (P-Noy). It’s the biggest event of 2010 because his ascendancy had immediately positively transformed our country.
From the deep and dangerous public cynicism of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) nine-year regime, P-Noy changed our national mood to one of hope and optimism which the reliable survey firms have tracked and confirmed. From a situation where most of us felt excluded in the GMA regime, P-Noy reintegrated us as stakeholders of his government and even treats us as his Bosses.
P-Noy’s inauguration was more than enough to restore investor confidence in the Philippines. The stock market had boomed. Investors are coming to the Philippines to set up shop — P5.4 billion dollars in investments have already poured in. Over 43,000 new jobs have been added. We’ve already overtaken India in the outsourcing game. The image of an honest and straight talking Chief Executive had triggered this transformation. Even if P-Noy had not yet instituted any real reforms, the usually wary investors have placed their bets on the Philippines on the mere trustworthiness of the presidential character.
A good friend of your Chair Wrecker, a friendship dating back to our high school days, had shared how he made a big positive reversal in the stock market. From being down by P300 million before P-Noy became president — he realized a profit of P200 million barely a month after P-Noy became president. That was a P500 million swing for my friend.
Oh, don’t ask me please for information on just how much money he had at play in the local bourse. Don’t even think of asking for my friend’s name. Misfortune had overtaken several folks for having much less in their pockets.
My friend was so overjoyed that he asked me to relay to P-Noy how he had already been handsomely rewarded for supporting his campaign. Not that he supported P-Noy to ask for a position or a concession but he was greatly elated just the same to be so richly rewarded. These days, he shares a pittance of his stock market hoard by treating us to some of the finest feasts that the TLC (Travel and Living Channel) and AFC (Asian Food Channel) would just love to cover.
Before the passing of President Cory C. Aquino catapulted then Senator Noynoy Aquino to center stage in the 2010 presidential election, we Filipinos were somewhat confined to selecting the so-called lesser evil among the top presidential candidates. We had sunk so low in national morale. Hunger stalked our land like it never did before. Going into the 2010 elections, we had very little faith in our leaders and our future already.
The Aquino factor — undeniably the most powerful political brand in the country today — changed all that. Senator Noy offered a clear positive alternative to the electorate. His genuine reluctance to run for president all the more intensified the public clamor. His unassuming, straightforward personality generated public confidence that transparency and truth will be hallmarks of a second Aquino presidency.
When we consider the enormous challenges our country faces from within and without — it’s easy to think that the P-Noy ascendancy was another gift of the Almighty to the Filipino people. To be able to set things right in our country – improve health and education standards, provide jobs that pay living wages, end decades of Communist and Muslim rebellions, and steer clear of a looming US and China conflict — only a Chief Executive occupying the moral and political high ground that P-Noy is on can accomplish the mission.
P-Noy has to aspire to be a great president — not just be a good president. Anything less than a great president with the transformational qualities of Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Deng Hsiao Ping of China can arrest our country’s slide and set us on the sustainable course to self sufficiency, self reliance and real sovereignty.
It will be impossible for P-Noy to attain that greatness though if his people will not impose a similar standard upon themselves as stakeholders and his Bosses. More than the greatness of Ho Chi Minh, it is the greatness of the Vietnamese people that enabled an Indo-China country like Vietnam to defeat France and the US, one after the other. Filipinos must be willing and able to make similar sacrifices like the Vietnamese if we are to save our country and secure the future of our posterity.
Distraction, more than the discredited Opposition led by GMA, is what will derail P-Noy and us Filipinos from attaining our big goal. Disunity is the greatest distraction of all. It is our disunity that condemned us to become a basket case in Asia when we used to be the second best economy in 1965.
We as a nation must psyche ourselves that poverty, ignorance, exploitation, foreign domination, selfishness and greed are our biggest enemies — not our fellow Filipinos. Only her patriotic sons and daughters can save our motherland but not when they’re busy fighting among themselves.
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Chair Wrecker e-mail and website: email@example.com and www.chairwrecker