Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

The obligatory canned applause to celebrate President Noynoy Aquino’s second year in office will be delivered by the crazed Yellow Gang. They are expected to highlight the visible and quantifiable – though empty and boring – so-called achievements of the government like credit rating, GDP, and investor confidence. The hypnotized herd will probably echo Pnoy’s Big C syndrome which had been the president’s obsession in the past six months: Corona, China, and Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo. Oust Corona in behalf of all hacienderos, challenge China to please Uncle Sam, and prosecute Arroyo to hide his ambivalence on punishing corrupt officials of previous governments.

Meanwhile, the equally obsessive usual suspects will unmask the rotten core of the Aquino presidency. They will match the government’s glowing statistics with damned and damning statistics; they will expose the poisonous and grotesque lies of the Palace Rasputins; and they will ridicule the president’s noxious delusions that he’s the best and most qualified moral person to lead the country.

But what about the rest of the chattering and twittering classes? The skeptical academe? The critical press?

Sadly, there seems to be no serious attempt to challenge or demystify the Aquino mystique. The noise hovers only around Pnoy’s lazy work ethics, poor choice of Cabinet members, sloppy management of the central bureaucracy, and the meddling of his kamag anak in the affairs of Malacanang. Then there’s the constant irritating buzz over the president’s love life and the manufactured stories about his alleged empathy for the common tao.

But lacking or absent is a critical review of Pnoy’s political philosophy. There’s no judgment, critical or otherwise, about the conservative, reactionary, and even the anti-Filipino values that sustain the politics of the president.

What is more nauseating is the smug consensus in the mainstream opinion-making instruments that Pnoy possesses the qualities of a Great Leader. He is christened as the popular King who can perform miraculous deeds in government. Closet apologists insist he is clean, saintly (like his mother), and is not afflicted with the trapo disease of desiring to remain in power beyond 2016.

His flaws are easy to notice but quickly overlooked because of the greater importance placed on his deceptively naive politics. He may be guilty of noynoying but it’s a weakness that is tolerated by the Establishment as long as it doesn’t threaten the power flows and flows of power in society.

We can understand those who truly believe in his character as a person. Even those who got tired and cynical from the bad old days of Ramos, Estrada, and Arroyo can rationalize their quiet support for Pnoy, The Good. But there is no excuse for the muted reaction and ‘uncritical quietism’ of intellectuals while Pnoy and his gang are viciously attacking the fundamental tenets of democracy, including the removal of the hard-won rights of the people.

Some hard-hitting journalists in leading media networks are not even ashamed to hide their incestuous links with the dominant faction of the ruling class as they conspire in the suppression and distortion of the ‘inconvenient truths’ about Pnoy’s bourgeois government.

Pnoy merely revived and rebranded some of the most exploitative and anti-poor programs of his predecessors yet he is praised as an innovator and visionary. PPP is a fancy name for privatization. Green economy is governance by greenwashing. Transparency is sophisticated media manipulation. Human rights, then and now, is only for those who cheer while the president delivers a speech.

But the most unacceptable disregard for History and Reason is the shameful defense of direct American intervention in the country’s domestic politics. It is naked US imperialism but the intellectual gatekeepers refuse to name it for what it really is. The youth should be reminded of the heroic struggle of Filipinos for genuine freedom, which includes the non-renewal of US military bases, but we are miseducating them when we justify the presence of foreign troops in the country. We are diluting the meaning of sovereignty and independent foreign policy.

If Marcos were president today, he would be quickly condemned for parroting the views of the US government. But alas, the people who speak the Truth are the ones being ruthlessly vilified today for spreading anti-Filipino dogmas.

We have reached a dead end. The system it seems has nothing original to offer anymore but a bland revival of failed and illusory programs of the past. The apologists, the intellectuals, and even some of the Survivors are selling nostalgia. Those who benefit from the unequal division of wealth and power in society are conspiring to prevent the emergence of a genuine alternative. They want to preserve the eternal present by breeding a new generation of unthinking, undead creatures. People who have no past, enamored with the digital present, and confused about the distant prosperous future.

Daang Matuwid represents the last desperate attempt of the decaying bourgeois class to prevent the people from recognizing that there’s another Redemption Road. It’s a road which offers no promise of a Yellow Paradise but simply a journey where the people, the poor, are the real masters and bosses up to the final destination.

This noynoying era marks the end of Philippine pre-history.

Related articles:

Perverse transparency
Hourglass politics
Impossible reformism
September 16

One Response to “Dead End and Deadened”

  1. in my humble opinion, i think it has been prearranged. china will bully,the philippines will ask america for help, but then meetings among the representative of the three country were made prior to this. niluto na nila ang resulta nito naayos na ng tatlong bansa. corporate america need cheap products from china, china need the minerals of the disputed islands and the venal government who claims ownership of the island will received consolation in any form.


Leave a Reply