Populism past P-Noy

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    “KAYO ANG boss ko.”

    To that declaration made in his inaugural address, President Aquino has steadfastly held. By far doing nothing that will displease his people, indeed, subjugating himself to their will.

    At least, that which the unscientific sampling of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol says is the prevailing thought of the greater majority, and/or that which the Social Weather Station periodically proffers as the real sentiments of the Filipino people.

    No matter Teddy Boy Locsin’s derogation of survey results as “the breadth of ignorance out there,” Aquino – his decision-making leads us to believe – adheres to the doctrine of vox populi, vox dei. Of God speaking through his people, and therefore Aquino could do no wrong in following them.

    So it is with that solid conviction – of heeding the voice of the Filipino people – that Aquino defied the Supreme Court TRO and dropped the bar on the fleeing – if only to seek medical treatment abroad – Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    So it is with that that unshakeable faith – of him doing the will of the Filipino people – that Aquino caused – and his Liberal party effected – the impeachment of GMA-appointed Chief Justice Renato Corona.

    Subscribing to the popular will. That may well be the mission statement of the Aquino administration. So, isn’t that the very core of democratic tradition? Of government by, of, and for the people. Aye, the very pith of democracy itself. 

    How dare now of Senator Joker Arroyo insinuating Marcosian tendencies in  Aquino’s style of governance and (dis)respect for the rule of law?

    The Joker said so much when he called President Aquino “intolerant of any kind of dissent, any kind of disagreement with what the government does.”

    And practically idiotized P-Noy thus: “He doesn’t understand what government is. He thinks that good intentions justify doing anything. He doesn’t understand the workings of the Constitution.”

    Too bad, ignorance is no ground for impeachment.

    Aquino’s populist leanings do indeed remind us of Marcos, putting himself in the very mould the dictator crafted of the Filipino politico: “populist, personalist and individualist.”

    Yeah, Marcos used the populist platform to arrogate unto himself the sovereign will of the Filipino people in order for him to fight certain evils besieging them, the oligarchy and the communist insurgency, most notably.

    As Aquino is now banking on his popularity to wage war against the judiciary and the sickly, if not truly sick, GMA.     

    As the once popular Marcos went down in infamy, so the still popular Aquino should take stock, at this early, of the impermanence of popularity, of the ephemerality of celebrity. 

    As the erudite Chief Justice Reynato Puno put it during one celebration of Ethics Day at the Philippine National Police: “…the great truths – whether religious truths, moral truths or political truths – are not determined by popularity vote, because oftentimes the majority rests only on what is momentarily delightful or what is pleasantly pleasurable.”

    Aquino may well heed too that English scholar and theologian of the 8th century, Alcuin saying: “And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is very close to madness.”                

    Surely, no voice of God obtained in such “riotousness…close to madness.” Nor in that which Locsin called the “breadth of ignorance out there.”

    Something for Aquino to ponder. In his sober moments, if ever he could be detoxed of the exhilarating whiff of popularity.

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