Nestor Mata column

When a columnist like Nestor Mata starts quoting me, I guess it's time I really straighten up and take my job more seriously:

No more ‘mystique’!

The ‘Mystique’ that President Noynoy Aquino’s yellow T-shirt wearing image-makers built around him has been blown away in less than 100 days since he took office.

Even the frenzied attempt of his chief mouthpiece to give Aquino a "passing mark" for keeping "on track" his avowed promises on poverty alleviation and abolition of corruption has been dismissed as nothing but words, words, words! Deeds, not words, are what count, as we have always been repeatedly reminded.

It’ll take more than words to convince the people that Aquino has achieved anything at all in such a short time. That worked for the election, but now that he’s president he needs to produce results!

What are Aquino and his political acolytes trying to do? Fool the public? They may have fooled the voters once, but they can’t fool them a second time. The public is older and wiser than what they think!


When Aquino was in New York last week, he tried to do the same verbal trick once more in his maiden address before the 65th General Assembly of the United Nations. It was a speech that a disappointed political commentator, who used to sing paeans to him, called as "quite a little naïve."

An opinionator in another newspaper noted that Aquino, so pretentiously, "lectured the world on how to combat poverty…" and encouraged (his audience) "to harness the energies of dialogue, solidarity and communal responsibility, so that a global people power toward equitable progress may be achieved…My people have shown that, united, nothing is impossible. We called it People Power."

Noynoy, the political observer noted, "definitely is not one for letting facts or reality guide his actions!"

Indeed, Aquino and his speechwriters failed to say, or more likely, were ignorant of the facts that the Asian Development Bank has reported that the number of poor Filipinos increased to 27.6 million, while the World Bank pegged the overall incidence of poverty to an increased 32.9%.

And, sadly, he was not even aware that his own Cabinet official has admitted that the country is not likely to meet a commitment to halve poverty levels by 2015, or just one year before he steps down the presidency in 2016.

Perhaps, to his relief, and that of his retinue of officials led by his foreign affairs secretary, just a handful of delegates present when he delivered (which I described in this column Thursday) his fustian or pretentious and bombastic speech that day.


Oh yes, the day before his UN speech, Aquino received a check for $434 million from the U.S. financed Millenniun Challenge Corporation, which, by the way, was actually negotiated by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Aquino kept quiet when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after handing over that check intended to address poverty in this country, declared, very frankly, "…let’s be very honest here. Too many (Filipinos) feel that they cannot prosper in their own country. Too many of them feel that the elite in business and politics basically call the shots, and there’s not much for someone who’s hardworking, but not connected. Too many of them believe that even if they get the best education they can, that there won’t be an opportunity for them, and so they take that education and help someone else’s economy, even often here in the United States."

The business elite in the President’s official entourage were painfully quiet because they knew that "the elite in business and politics" Hillary referred to, were indeed wrecking the country for many, many decades now.

Strangely, Aquino responded by saying, "In the presidential palace in Manila, there’s a painting titled ‘Blood Compact’ (a masterpiece by Juan Luna). It portrays the first treaty of friendship between a Filipino ruler and the representative of a foreign power."

Quite strange, indeed, because Aquino and his wordsmiths, apparently, didn’t know the historical fact that the "Blood Compact" led to the invasion of our country by the Spanish conquistadors.

And still more strange, Aquino told Clinton that "we are two nations bound by a shared commitment to the same ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

These remarks of the President must have bewildered Hillary, as did Filipino writer Jemy Gatdula, who asked: "What constitution or history book does he and his speechwriters read?"

Yes, indeed, "in politics, as elsewhere, intelligence and virtue are no guarantee of electoral supremacy!" These were the words of Al Gore when he lost the American presidency to Bush the Younger.

How true! Just like Noynoy Aquino, ‘di ba?

If true, then the vaunted Noynoy "mystique" was a mistake, after all!


Quote of the Day … "A leader knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way!" --- Anon.