Benigno Aquino III has done it before: lamented the “negativity” of his critics as well as that of the Philippine press and media. “Negativity” and “negativism” have been an even more noticeable part of his public vocabulary in recent times, together with their supposed opposites, “optimism” and “being positive.”
About Benigno Aquino III’s declaration in a TV5 interview that he would “listen to his bosses,” we can either (1) assume that it was his demure way of saying that he will indeed seek a second term, or (2) dismiss it as merely an attempt to allay the fears of his Liberal Party mates that, without him, they would have no winnable candidate in 2016 and would have to face the chilling prospect of not having anyone of their own in Malacañang for six years. In either case, it has triggered a contentious debate that could lead to consequences Mr. Aquino may not have anticipated.
Promoted to major general by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Jovito Palparan echoed in 2009 her declaration that she wanted Republic Act 1700, the Anti-Subversion Act, “revived,” although the proper word should have been “exhumed,” RA 1700 having been long dead.
Then President Fidel Ramos signed Republic Act 7636, which repealed RA 1700, on September 22, 1992. When Arroyo and Palparan expressed their wish, the Anti-Subversion Act had been dead for nearly two decades.
If eight out of 145 crimes have been solved, and in most cases no thanks to you, should you be crowing about it? Eight out of 145 is about three percent of the total cases of journalists and media workers killed in this country, but the Philippine National Police (PNP) nevertheless thinks that that shameful record is to its credit.
The PNP also insists that “only” 48 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since 1986, on the argument—which Aquino administration spokespersons cite as well—that some of those killed were “only” drivers and other media workers, while others were not journalists, and were killed for various non-work related reasons.
Among the supposed accomplishments he crowed about were the decline in the crime rate and the improved peace and order situation—claims that are at least as outlandish as the allegation that economic growth and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have benefitted the poor.
On the very same day that Benigno Aquino III was delivering his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), 23 men and women were killed in Sulu in an ambush by suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen, while up and down the archipelago, murders hold-ups and rapes were going on unabated, no thanks to his favored and favorite creatures in this earthly paradise, the Philippine National Police and the military.