Advocacy Mindanow: An emotional president PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 11:55

BY Jess Dureza

 

When President Aquino choked a bit trying hard to hold back tears towards the end of his SONA last Monday,  he was obviously emotion-filled. Contrary to what critics say, I think it was normal and spontaneous.  He is human just like you and me. And  he succeeded in  putting a check to it but not  before  it was  noticed by a whole nation watching. If not for the TV cameras zooming in on presidential sister Kris and the other Aquino sisters who were also shedding tears  in the gallery,  it would have been no big deal.

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END IS NEAR —   His emotions got the better of him when he recalled his late  parents, Ninoy and Cory,  and that  he did his best to continue their legacies — with acceptance  that his end was  near as president, with about less than 24 more months left. And beleaguered in all fronts with  his survey results  now plummeting  due to recent setbacks and missteps. It sounded to me like a “swan song”, saying an early goodbye.   I don’t blame him for feeling bad. But he should not also bedrudge the Pinoys for it. This trend happens to all previous presidents when the end is near. They become lameducks and P-noy is  no exception. How he will handle this is what is crucial.

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SAVE THOSE TEARS  — Of all presidents I have seen (some I personally served) this is the first time I saw a head of state becoming  emotional  while facing the whole nation.  FVR was able to rein in his   volatile temper with a smiling facial veneer  when in public, although we could see his jaw tighten in some difficult  instances.  GMA managed adroitly her Hello Garci  “I’m sorry” speil, although the infamous  “Hyatt 10” still abandoned ship nonetheless.   ERAP  kept his jovial self for the public while unceremoniously removed and imprisoned. Yes, presidents should be made of sterner stuff. They need emotional strength not only in confronting challenges  while in office but most important when they are no longer in office as the floodgates of accountability and responsibility shall then  be wide open. The way President Aquino exacted these standards on others ( like GMA, JPE, Senators Bong and Jinggoy, etc)  during his watch, he should likewise measure up to them  after 2016. He must steel himself when that time comes.  So save those tears for now,  Mr. President.

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INKs VS CATHOLICS? — I was amused reading some heated exchanges in the social media,  obviously between a few  Catholics and INKs as a result  of  what the  INK head said when  he mentioned  about the “dwindling” Catholic church during its centennial celebration. The Iglesia church is  homegrown and has gathered its millions of flock far and wide all over the globe, but retaining the distinct Filipino way of faith and nationalism.     There is really no reason for this enmity  if we listen to   the way His Holiness Pope Francis had been conducting his papacy:  ecumenism and unity are hallmarks. We can all be one. Let’s all be one!

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RENEGOTIATION — I’m glad to know that the GPH and MILF panels are holding  a   marathon 10-day meeting in Davao City  to take a 2nd look ( aka “renegotiate” ) at what was signed and crafted that did not pass the constitutional review of Malacanang.  The Supreme Court ruling on the DAP was a reality check for all those who thought the Constitution could be malleable and flexible enough to accommodate the “borderline” issues on constitutionality in the CAB and the draft BBL. ( I thought we learned lessons from the failed  MOA-AD!) It also disabused the minds of all, especially among the MILF leaders  that what Malacanang wants, it can get.  That trust has been eroded.  That confidence is no longer there so it is prudent to mitigate the risks and   do some readjustments  while we still can.

My unsolicited advice is: a) for the MILF to consider changes with an open mind instead of digging in and proclaiming that  what was signed was cast in stone and no longer subject to renegotiation;  b) for the GPH to first own up and acknowledge its mistake of making the MILF believe that what was already signed was good and okay and who   gave false and misleading  assurances that the unamended  Constitution was flexible enough, only to change gears at the last minute; and c) get the stakeholders on board in the renegotiation.

One final word:  If there are persons on either side who cannot accept these parameters, I now  strongly advise them to stand aside, resign and be not in the way in the difficult   search  for  that still elusive formula for peace. Someone has to take the bullet!