Why P-Noy wants a second term

By Perry Diaz

Will there be another one in 2016?

Will there be another one in 2016?

In his attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to eradicate corruption and poverty, President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III may have violated the Constitution. In his zeal to continue his “reforms” beyond the six-year term he was elected, he wants to amend the Constitution to allow the president to run for re-election. In his desire to leave a lasting legacy, he may have overstepped his presidential authority.

And with two years left in his presidency, P-Noy is running out of time. Poverty is still rising, reforms are going around in circles, and the legacy he wanted to be remembered by is turning out to be a mirage — an illusion of a corruption-free and economically progressive society where everybody would have a roof over their heads and food on the table. Yet, the economy is sizzling or at least that’s what the economic “experts” were saying. Oh where, oh where then did P-Noy go wrong? Suddenly, P-Noy’s “matuwid na daan” (straight path) had detoured to nowhere.

One may say that P-Noy is just human who is prone to make mistakes just like everybody. But he is not just like everybody; he is the leader of 100 million Filipinos. The Filipino people – whom he calls “boss” — do not expect him to be perfect; but they expected him to rectify his mistakes and solve their problems. But instead of correcting his mistakes, he denies making them. And instead of fixing the problems, he digs in.

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

When he was asked why he’d like to stay longer in his job, his response was surreal. He said that he was now amenable to amend the Constitution to allow him to run for a second term to ensure that the “era of reform” he began would continue beyond his six-year term. He said that he remembers that he’s only good for one fixed term of six years – that’s what his mom Cory’s 1987 Constitution says – but he felt the need to listen to his “bosses,” the people. Makes one wonder if he’s hearing voices.

Many believe that the real reason for his attempt to overstay in his job was his running battle with the Supreme Court. He needs to exact vengeance upon them for all the “defeats” he suffered from the Supreme Court’s high-handed exercise of what P-Noy perceives as “limitless power.” He believes that the justices had used it to push back his “reforms.” But what reforms was he talking about?

Real reforms

FOI-Rally.2The three reforms that I believe are the most important are: 1) Freedom of Information (FOI) that is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution; (2) Anti-dynasty, which, too, is enshrined in the Constitution; and (3) Repeal of the bank secrecy law and the Foreign Currency Deposit Act (FCDA) that have provided “safe haven” for corrupt officials to hide their ill-gotten wealth. These are the reforms that must be instituted.

But after four years of chest-thumping bravura and declaring that corrupt officials’ days are numbered and that “heads will roll,” P-Noy has yet to convict a high-level government official for corruption. Nada… Zilch… Zero.

But he was able to impeach and convict former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, not for corruption but for omitting required financial information from his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), which every high public official has to file every year. For that omission, the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, found him guilty of betrayal of public trust.

Hacienda Luisita

Jinggoy drops a bombshell

Jinggoy drops a bombshell

Then, on September 25, 2013, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada dropped a bombshell on the Senate floor when he delivered a privilege speech claiming that the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona were each given an additional P50 million in discretionary funds from Malacanang. It became seemingly apparent then that P-Noy had used every trick to remove Corona. Why? Well, the hottest topic that many people had been talking about vis-à-vis the Corona impeachment was “Hacienda Luisita.” Indeed, many are of the opinion that Corona was instrumental in influencing the Supreme Court justices to vote for the dismemberment of Hacienda Luisita.

It was a big blow to the Cojuangcos (P-Noy’s maternal side) who had been doing everything they could to keep the property intact. It did not come then as a surprise when then-President Cory Cojuangco Aquino, P-Noy’s mother, issued an executive order that modified the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to include a provision for Stock Distribution Option (SDO), a clause that allows landowners to give farmers shares of stock in a corporation in lieu of giving them land. Consequently, Hacienda Luisita was incorporated to avail of SDO; thus, avoiding distributing land to the farmers.

On November 22, 2011, the Supreme Court ordered the total distribution of Hacienda Luisita Inc (HLI) land to more than 6,000 farmer-beneficiaries. On April 24, 2012, the Supreme Court, voting 14-0, reiterated that ruling.

The bizarre way in which Corona was impeached and convicted and the anomalous disbursement of discretionary funds to the 20 senators who voted to convict Corona lend credence to talks about P-Noy’s undeclared war against the Supreme Court, whose recent unanimous rulings that declared PDAF and DAP unconstitutional were just too much for P-Noy to bear.

Aquino Court

P-Noy and Sereno

P-Noy and Sereno

P-Noy and Leonen

P-Noy and Leonen

So now, P-Noy wants to stay another six years, which would ensure that every Supreme Court justice he appoints shall be loyal to him. A case in point was his appointment of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, which P-Noy exerted extraordinary pressure upon the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to make sure that Jardeleza was on the short list.

If P-Noy were to run and win a second term, he wouldn’t leave the presidency until June 30, 2022. Thirteen of the 14 associate justices would have retired by then. The only two who’d still be around are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who will retire in 2030 and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen in 2032. By the time P-Noy finishes his second term, all 15 Supreme Court justices would have been appointed by him, which brings up the question: Would an “Aquino Court” protect P-Noy from criminal charges once he sheds his presidential immunity?

Is that why P-Noy wants a second term?


3 Responses. Have your say.

  1. pat talens says:

    At the beginning of his term, I would consider myself a stronger believer and advocate to President Aquino—-expecting from him transformations in a country awash in culture of corruptions in almost all sectors of society and government, awaiting from him resolutions to high-profile crimes such as Ampatuan massacres, Arroyo’s (and cronies’) alleged pillage of the country’s wealth during her term, etc, and even more so, anticipating his proactive leadership to remedy massive poverty being experienced by his “bosses”. But of course I am very disappointed. It is crystal-clear why I am so disappointed with this reactive and weak President, just to think of the Ampatuans and still unresolved Arroyo plunder cases (involving the generals, the ZTE, PCSO, fertilizer, airplanes/helo purchase corruptions, etc).

    My final turning point to my complete reversal in perspective to President Aquino is because, not of the uncovering of the PDAP or DAP but, of his displayed natural character and unacceptable leadership in the aftermath of the world-historic Yolanda hurricane. He was a weak, apathetic, and disorganized leader. He was a “awol” Commander-in-Chief who failed to immediately show and bring semblance of union and kinship with his ravaged people. Even to date, this is very obvious and glaring.

    Indeed until now (a year almost past the catastrophe), enormous swath areas remain unrehabilated wherein so many live in subhuman conditions and destroyed roads and infrastructures, and countless remain hungry and very poor and in subhuman shelters. Here, inspite of billions of donations from private individuals, celebrities, organizations,and foreign governments. And here, has President Aquino been here lately or recently, checking on the victims (like a great general checking on his downed soldiers?) Here, President Aquino truly failed to grasp the opportunity that he was a caring, insightful leader—but he was surely not. These countless pitiful Yolanda victims and their continuing unrehabilated areas are immediate near term reminders why I believe President Aquino must not be allowed to have another term. He does not deserve it; he is not the right leader to a very complicated Philippines. pat talens

  2. perry says:

    hi perry,

    This article sounds very different from its erstwhile tone when you were attacking me for my views of presidential candidate Benigno Simeon Aquino III in 2010. By now you seem to be enlightened somewhat that my warnings to the Filipino electorate against electing a village idiot would bring our country to this present “surreal” situation, to borrow your word.

    Actually I do not need to be vindicated because my two arguments were staring people to their eyes: first, for twelve years as a legislator, BS did not author a single bill. That was twelve years as congressman and three as senator. This is of public record.and second, Jaime Bulatao’s psychiatric findings of the boy when he was still in school show that he has serious challenge that disqualifies him for the position. While this document has been denied by the Aquinos, his performance as toy president forms much of the recorded consequences of the disease when ignored.

    Thus my proverbial conclusion – you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip.

    The insanity first broke loose when BS had to handle the Luneta situation just a few months after he swore into office. A suicidal policeman hostaged Chinese visitors inside a tourist bus. No formal report of the incident has ever been published and my hunch is that most of the fatalities were hit by bullets coming from the SWAT team outside the bus and not from the hostage taker.

    Much of what has happened to this day reeks of an insane and expectedly lawless individual ruling over 100 million people who are now being idiotized into accepting a second term to further metastasize the social “ebola” that he carries. Lets mention a few – the impeachment of a chief justice, the passing of a reproductive health law, the reckless license in expanding the PDAF and legislating the DAP by executive fiat, the Comprehensive Bangsamoro Agreement that almost sparked a war between the Philippines and Malaysia, the “Enhanced” Bases Agreement that exceeded even the defunct Mutual Bases Agreement that ended its term during the Estrada administration, ad infinitum.

    A congressional committee ruled yesterday that three impeachment charges against BS Aquino are sufficient in form. The process continues.

    But for the meantime, civil society has already launched the National Transformation Council that can influence a coup d’etat or fuel a revolution in case the BS impeachment is defeated. There already exists a critical mass in the country, of wide and rainbow origin, that is readying to remove the pinhead from his office by whatever means possible and effect not the succession of more fools like Binay, Drilon, Belmonte or Sereno, but a system change to restore our government into a pro-active order for the benefit of the people and the common good.

    We can all eventually bury our hatchets because we have already buried the fool that attempted to lead us all into his “Daang Matuwid” straight to hell after taking control of our country since July 2010.

    We are counting on your support.

    Ado Paglinawan
    (Sent by email)

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