What is disheartening to most Filipinos is that while it is normal for them to castigate their President on issues on which they disagree with him, it is uncommon for a poll survey outfit to focus its rating on Congress as having been most affected by the pork barrel indignation. Everybody knows the diversion of public funds was made operational by the President himself. PNoy cannot set himself apart from that issue that has galvanized our people in condemning the Priority Developmental Assistance Fund. His complicity is apparent by his issuance of the Disbursement Acceleration Program to supplement the largess obtained by members of Congress close to his administration.
The most subtle attempt to deflect the blame from what many suspect as an out-and-out demagogue is Pulse Asia’s latest approval rating of Congress. The more critical are shaking their heads about the motive in including a “rider” giving favorable rating to President Aquino, claiming that he even gained added points. It was to them an insult to their intelligence for if the issue of pork barrel has besmirched the reputation of our public officials, it was most damaging to the President. Indeed, it was a desperate dash to gloss over his culpability.
There is in that latest survey a steep decline in the approval rating of Congress. But it is no secret that Congress has been the beehive of corruption. For Pulse Asia to say it now is to make a mockery of what everybody knows. The ratings show that Aquino came out unscathed despite being identified as the one who led in ransacking the national treasury. Worse, the mainstream media, which the yellow horde managed to control not really by lobby or bribery but by ownership, has conspired in presenting PNoy as innocent.
In fact, when the heat was already turning on him, he dared Congress to impeach him. He said that with confidence but after assuring his minions they would not go hungry despite the avalanche of criticisms against the pork barrel. In other words, he now wants to play the role of an ambivalent defender; that if one would look back is meant to pin the blame on Congress.
The people are gnashing their teeth in anger for he cannot even say he vetoed to disallow a single PDAF appropriation, at least to support his claim of being honest while the rest are not. On the contrary, Malacanang played a crucial role in facilitating the commission of that biggest scam to divert government funds. It was Malacanang that chose who from among its subalterns in Congress would receive, and the NGO where the funds would be placed. In short, he gave clearance and approval for their release through the Department of Budget and Management. It is for this why many were appalled where Pulse Asia got its data in giving President Aquino a six-point gain in his approval rating from 73 percent in June to 79 percent in September.
This clever way of pointing the blame on Congress is too obvious. We know that Congress is occupied mostly by certified political sycophants of the administration. Yet, PNoy now washes his hands like Pontius Pilate dangling the distressing survey that public satisfaction of the performance of the Senate fell to 39 from 53 percent. Its trust score also fell to 36 from 51 percent. The House of Representatives likewise suffered a decline in approval and trust score – from 52 to 37 percent and from 53 to 34 percent, respectively. The mainstream media wasted no time heralding that, so clever that in so doing they could deflect public anger from the grand archon of pork barrel.
In fact, the thrust of Pulse Asia’s latest survey jibes with what presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda called DOM – the act of discrediting, obscuring and misleading. With them doing that squid tactic, they hope to sanitize the President from any liability, even toying with the idea of using his alleged high trust ratings to exonerate him. But even if we take it that the majority of our people still have their trust in him, it would not makes sense because we are guided by laws and not by what we think. For that matter, it would not even prevent the court from convicting him should it find him guilty of violating the Constitution and the penal laws on malversation and bribery.
Rather, his defenses of the DAP are all nonsense for even if the disbursement was not shrouded with secrecy, that shabby reasoning could not make things legal. The mainstream media can never exculpate him following his suggestion of “connecting all the dots.” It was flattery devoid of substance when he said “our media and our people are far too good, far too wise to be grossly and brazenly led to the wrong issue. Plunderers should be taken to account.” PNoy forgot that it is for him to answer by what law did he authorize the release the DAP. It did not even cross his mind that handing to them checks from his own bloated discretionary funds is as illegal as doling out funds without any appropriations.
To be precise, the plunder charge is more fitting to him because he stands as the person who made the commission of the crime possible. The plunderers and thieves he is referring to in the Senate and in Congress can only wait until kingdom to get their share. It is not sufficient for him to point to the opposition as the one who got and stashed the money to their own personal account, but more on the one who authorized the release of the money from the custody of the government.
Maybe PNoy can elude impeachment from his fattened Congress, but he can never run away from the court once he steps down. What he committed is not abrogated once his term of office comes to an end. It is this grim prospect that Mrs. Arroyo and her grinning hecklers all eagerly await.