Historic moment for PNoy-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
PRESIDENT Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is not a speaker in the mold of politicians of old like Ferdinand Marcos, Jovito Salonga or Aquilino Pimentel Jr. He talks in monotone and is not measured, meaning he spews words the way a machinegun spits out bullets. He is not easy to listen to. You have to strain your ears to appreciate the import of his words.
He didn’t sound better during the campaign period in the 2010 presidential elections, when rival candidates and their supporters had a field day labeling him as a misfit, even autistic. But three years into his presidency, we seem to have gotten the hang of his speaking style even as he himself improved, though only a bit.
The President spoke in Monday’s signing of the Bangsamoro framework agreement by the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It was a historic moment, and watching him on TV made me wonder if people’s grasp of the significance of the event would have been enhanced had Apo Ferdie delivered the speech.
Then again, a president without Aquino’s integrity wouldn’t have been given a chance to speak in a ceremony like that because such occasion (the signing) wouldn’t have happened. Bringing Muslim rebel leaders to the negotiating table is already difficult as it is. Having them sign an agreement, even if only a framework yet, more so.
Both sides must be convinced of each others’ sincerity to pursue peace for the talks to move forward. And PNoy has oodles of that.
Now the effort to achieve peace, relative peace I may stress, in Mindanao will move to its more difficult phase. The ability of the Aquino administration to steer the process to its desired end will be severely tested. But unlike former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her failed Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) also with the MILF, PNoy enters this phase armed with his rule’s high approval rating.
Despite attempts by his detractors to paint a bleak picture of his presidency, an act consistent with their negative labeling of him during the 2010 campaign period, Aquino is still the right president to see the peace efforts through. Even his political opponents know that going against a popular president is akin to banging their heads on a wall.
The signing of the Bangsamoro framework agreement has opened the possibility of us finally seeing the ushering in of the hoped for peace in that part of Mindanao. Because of that, it is once again possible to talk of that island fulfilling its promise. Imagine what a peaceful Mindanao can offer in terms of potentials for investors to grab.
Of course, there’s still a long way to go before we can be sure that peace has finally arrived in the “Land of Promise.” Even then, I posted this in my Facebook account yesterday: “If PNoy succeeds in pushing the Bangsamoro peace pact through, sagpa na adtong nagsigeg claim nga si Noynoy way nahimo (Noynoying), bogo, retarded ug uban pang klase sa pagpanaot.”
The Noynoy Aquino presidency will be fully judged only after he finishes his term in 2016, I know that. But even if the actual peace pact, not only the framework, won’t eventually be signed, the Aquino administration can insist that at least it tried. I am sure that, with that alone, history will favorably judge PNoy.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2012.