Call A Spade a Spade

I think our President should express his opinion.

I refer to the question of whether ex-President Marcos should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani as a national hero.

When presented with the issue, P-Noy deferred the matter to VP Binay. He is conflicted, he says,  given his family’s history with Mr. Marcos.

What if Mr. Binay should, in an unlikely act of political suicide, decide to accord Mr. Marcos a hero’s burial? Will Pres. Aquino simply shrug his shoulders and accept the verdict as just one of those things, like why Lady Gaga dresses weird?

It is absurd.

Here we have the President presiding over the 25th Anniversary of the overthrow of Mr. Marcos and yet he is mum whether the latter is a hero? What part of being a dictator is unclear? The subtlety of this position evades me.

P-Noy is being asked to declare on the issue not as the son of his parents but as leader of this nation. He keeps thinking of himself as the former.

Perhaps it is “delicadeza”.

Perhaps he thinks it would look proper if he abstained from answering a question the response to which is known to 95 million Filipinos.

Perhaps he feels Jojo should take the flak, be the one not invited to the Marcos family dinners.

Perhaps he does not want to offend the sensibilities of the Ilocanos, that it would be so politically incorrect.

Whatever, it plays fake or worse, it plays timid.

The nation wants its President to speak his mind. That is why we elected him, because we trusted his judgment, because we wanted him to call a spade a spade, because we expected him, well, to lead.

Which he is, frustratingly, wont to do.

A British Prime Minister once said, “The people are marching. I better follow”. P-Noy just wants to follow.

In deciding whether the Philippines should attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, rather than stand up to the principles for which his father died and his mother ran for office, he chose the path of least resistance, lumping us with Sudan, Yemen, Iran and such other human rights loving nations.

In vacillating whether to accord Angie Reyes a full military burial, he was presented with a fait accompli by his armed forces.

In deferring the matter of Mr. Marcos’ burial to his VP, the President is abdicating his leadership to a subaltern.

Determining whether ex-President Marcos is a national hero is, one would think, an easy question.  Most two year-olds know the answer.

What is worrisome is if P-Noy is struggling with the easy questions, what happens when he gets to the hard ones, like dismissing corrupt and/or inept friends in Government or correcting erring business and political supporters?

In contrast Sen. Bongbong Marcos is unconcerned about speaking his mind. In a display of bravado which would have made his old man proud, Bongbong pronounced that we did this nation a disservice by unseating his father, that the Philippines would otherwise by now be another Singapore.

George Will once said: “ Do not speak unless you can improve on silence”. This maxim might apply to Sen. Marcos. Coming as his comment did on the anniversary of People Power, it is an important reminder of why EDSA happened and why 25 years later we are still celebrating it.

Returning to the matter of Ferdinand’s status, we are puzzled why P-Noy should equivocate and not state the obvious: That, speaking kindly and with all due respect to the family, Mr. Marcos by any stretch of the imagination does not meet the standard for a national hero.

Why, Mr. President, are you obfuscating? Are you afraid of offending someone, of making the wrong decision, of losing your poll ratings?

Seventy eight percent of the country trusts you so they really would like to know what you think.

Answering an obvious question is possibly trifling  but it is the little things that sometimes matter, like telling your wife, occasionally, you love her.

We want you, Mr. President, to articulate our collective consciousness, to affirm your supposed convictions.

You will at times come out on the wrong side but that is fine. Yours, after all, is a difficult job.

All we ask is that you take charge, that you make studied judgments, and that you stand for certain principles.

On everything else we will be there for you.



About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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5 Responses to Call A Spade a Spade

  1. frank says:

    Leo, you have a wonderful way with words. Well-written and to the point. I think that the Filipino public knew what they were getting with P-Noy. Open confrontation goes against the grain, so why not equivocate and hope the issue goes away. Regards, frank

  2. Crissie Camara Santayana says:

    Hi Leo,
    I absolutely agree with your views; that’s why I never ever believed in him! My motto was anyone but Noy2. That was my campaign motto which got my hubby really irritated.
    Oh thanks so much for getting me into the TRX fitness regimen; I absolutely love it and believe in it. I got my daughter into in too! Wonderful! Thanks again!

  3. Thoughtrift says:

    Call a Wimp a Wimp.

  4. steksnikliu says:

    i do not believe a president is required to speak his mind just because he is the president of 95 million people –
    unless he wants to.
    in the case of marcos’ question of a hero’s burial – which essentially is listless pondering considering the oogles of other more pressing issues hounding us as a people more relevant to the common man’s existence (or subsistence – unless of course this is farthest from matters of true concern of characters of your liking) – should remain the concern of marcos’ family whose clear desire is to preserve his remains in an expensive airconditioned incubator. it is not for our country to decide. nor should it be a president’s mandate to indulge in politically coerced postulation.
    the marcoses do not have any desire to bury him at all.
    we therefore should likewise neither bury the memory of his dictatorship at all.
    we are either a thankless society or a thinkless one.
    but it helps to blab for some.
    for thus if it may indeed be “… a question the response to which is known to 95 million Filipinos” why does anyone even bother to ask.
    to be frustrated with him when he doesn’t speak his mind … well, it is a choice one predisposes himself to be defragmented in – not a general concern really.
    lets instead congeal our concerns collectively to real mind-boggling concerns on what we can do to better our fellowman’s plight instead on marcos mania meanderings’
    “we elected him because we trusted his judgement”.
    really now. seems grossly misplaced musings there, i think.
    and yes, it IS absurd – that the subtlety of his position evades you sir.
    although i am very clear on your stand: “on everything else you will be there” for him.
    except for the word “trust” of course. nowhere near it with him or for him will you be.
    and also when he is “obfuscating”.
    uhmm … Thoughtrift did say it aptly “call a Wimp a Wimp.” … must be an avid fan of yours huh …

  5. Maru Rodriguez says:

    Finally, someone I agree with. I thought nobody saw politics the way I did… thanks for putting into words – beautifully, at that – what I can only hrmmph about.

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