A salute to the commander-in-chief-A A +A
By Jun Ledesma
Friday, February 15, 2013
HE IS not only the trail blazer in “daang matuwid,” he has just proven himself to be the true messenger of peace and reconciliation. I must confess that I have always doubted the competence and work ethics of Pres. Noy Aquino, but I have always believed that he is personally averse to corruption which many of our politicians, past and present, are inclined to indulge in.
I have always thought that for as long as he keeps away from the proclivities of many of those who run our government institutions even those with hides as thick as the rhino's would either leave the bureaucracy or follow the way of "daang matuwid."
For let us face it. It is when the tenant at Malacanang deeps his or her fingers in the cookie jar that those in the lower and the upper house and in the judiciary would treat themselves the same way. Since they invented impeachment as a tool to intimidate a corrupt president those in the legislative department had their hay day fleecing the coffers of our country.
Why do you think we had the most corrupt congress during the term of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? Because she lost the moral ascendancy over our congressmen. Very sad indeed because had she kept her nose clean she would have been a very good president.
But because she kept a blind eye on the magma of corruption that bedeviled the executive department and allowed herself to be cowed by the hungry detergents in Congress in the end she landed in jail while her allies sung their way to the bank. Such is the fate that awaits even the mighty.
President Aquino only knows too well what can befall him if that “daang matuwid” becomes a crooked road. But I am confident that he had absorbed lessons from the his two predecessors, enough to warn him that there are still too many crooks along the path of reform waiting for a single opportunity to blackmail him to submission. Fortunately for us, Pnoy is not inclined in the ways of the corrupt. Besides he has a name to protect.
Whatever misgivings I had on President Noy is now giving way to praise and admiration. Not in the figment of my imagination would the highest official of the land step into the main camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Behold our brave President walking right into the MILF enclave to demonstrate his sincerity and resolve to put an end to decades of bloody conflicts and rebellion.
Every step he took was a bold stroke, mightier than what were written in the many pages of peace negotiations documents. His presence and his promise to put an end to the isolation of the Bangsamoro land is actually a covenant likewise with all Mindanaowons that henceforth no part of the region will be any lesser mortals than those of Metro Manila and Luzon.
It is impressive that our economic growth has zoomed to an appreciable and significant levels. Significant in the sense that it came at the time when many economies worldwide had plunged into limbo. I would like to attribute this to Daang Matuwid and his leadership by example.
Politicians who are seeking election or re-election should not claim credit for this because I think that whatever gains our economy earned today, I would attribute this only on the value and moral discipline of Ninoy Aquino alone.
If there is anything I am concerned about is the slow motion of how this economic gains trickle on the lower social strata. What is the relevance of 6.7 growth if 90 percent of the people are still poor? So far there is no perceptible change in the conditions of the poor and extending them the pangtawid pangkabuhayan dole outs is definitely not the solution that should address the social ills that beset the poor.
My take is that against the vigorous growth of our economy is the sluggish implementation of government programs. Here the President ought to look at how his bright boys put action into words and data. The implementation of vertical and horizontal infrastructure projects is still extremely slow. We still have to see some dramatic private-public-partnership projects undertakings.
It looks like the heads of government agencies in-charge are either so scared project estimates and terms and conditions of contracts might not pass scrutiny they have to reevaluate all the nitty-gritties of the projects costs, or, they are painstakingly and inventively looking at how they can make money on each project undertaking.
President PNoy should start looking at his slow performing assets an quickly get rid of them. At this point, he should be reminded that his enemy is no longer his predecessor GMA but some slowpokes inside his own corral.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 15, 2013.