President Benigno Aquino III, the presidential candidate who won the 2010 elections riding on the outpouring of sympathy over the death of his mother, surprised the public with his blunt responses to small to serious cares of the people. The candidate who proclaimed “Kayo ang boss ko” in his inaugural speech has quite a foul mouth, many would find out. The insensitivity only fitting with the haciendero family he was brought up, the cacique, uncaring, callous and naïve, many would say. Read the list below and you be the judge.
1“As long as I don’t violate any laws and I don’t disturb anyone… this is one of my few remaining freedoms.” – February 4, 2014
He said this when health groups expressed concern on his smoking habit and how he should set an example to the country, following the passage of laws Clean Air Act and sin taxes on tobacco products.
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2“In contrast to their previous silence, some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticize, even to the extent that one prelate admonished me to do something about my hair, as if it were a mortal sin. Is it any wonder then, that they see the glass not as half-full, or half-empty, but almost totally empty? Judgment is rendered without an appreciation of the facts.” – January 16, 2015
To give our warmest welcome to the Pope last January 2015, Mr. President found time to lash against the members of the Church who are critical of his policies. Ironically, he delivered this speech in front of hundreds of members of the clergy and the Holy Father himself, Pope Francis.
3“Human rights violations are leftist propaganda.” – October 23, 2012
In a radio interview in Radio New Zealand, instead of presenting solutions on how to stop human rights abuses and giving justice to the victims of past administrations, the President opt to hit leftists for their persistent campaign against extrajudicial killings and human rights violations.
4“Maganda na siguro ang problema na binabanggit na ma-trapik sa EDSA, tama po yan, dahil marami ang nasa kalsada, buhay na buhay ang ating economiya kaysa naman walang trapik sa EDSA…” – June 4, 2014
Traffic is a sign of progress. And should we be thankful? This is how President would like the people to stomach the daily, monstrous traffic in EDSA.
5“There are only two choices: pay a little more for energy, or live with the rotating brownouts” – April 13, 2012
When Mindanao residents complained against rotating brownouts, his solutions were privatization and price hikes. Aquino even added that the people should pay a little more, and that’s the reality of economics.
Since the passage of Energy Power Industry Reform Act, prices of electricity rate surge beyond the capacity of the Filipinos to pay. The distribution and generation of power is controlled by few corporations each has their own capacity to dictate electricity rates.
6“I did not create your problem.” – May 1, 2015
Everyday, more than 6,000 filipinos fly out of the country to seek better opportunities abroad, among them was Mary Jane Veloso who was a victim of human trafficking, used as a drug mule, caught upon entry and sentenced to death in Indonesia. The statement above was Aquino’s reply to the family of Veloso who sought his help.
It could have been his reply to every Filipino who had to endure separation from family, slave-like work and living in a foreign land just to feed their family. Meaning just about every Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) out there. Especially those who came into conflict with the law in the foreign land.
7“10,000 I think is too much, there is emotional trauma involved. They do not have basis.” – November 13, 2013
In an interview in CNN, Aquino denied the 10,000 death toll in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), relegating it to mere imaginings of victims of families and NGOs, while no proper identification and burial was given to the victims.
Aquino also once slammed critics who travelled from Tacloban to slam his administration for criminal negligence after 100 days of Typhoon Yolanda’s landfall.
“Dahil tila naasikaso nilang pumunta dito, puwede naman sigurong maasikaso yung pangkabuhayan nila doon.” – February 19, 2014
8“You did not die, right?” – November 10, 2013
This is his response when a businessman from Eastern Visayas who was even held at gunpoint by some looter, called for the President to act on the situation in Tacloban post-Yolanda: scarce and irregular relief distribution, slow rehabilitation and sluggish housing and livelihood programs.
9“In general, I don’t attend wakes of people I don’t know.” – October 22, 2014
As one of the few Philippine presidents caught with a case that proves his dealings with the US has proven detrimental to Philippine sovereignty, as a father of a nation who lost a child to a foreigner he gave permission to come to the motherland, this was his reply when asked why he could not even show some sympathy to slain transgender woman Jennifer Laude. US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was recently found guilty of homicide.
This statement of his was followed by a barrage of photos of Aquino attending wakes of fallen soldiers “whom he didn’t know” posted in social media.
10“I was misinformed.” – March 9, 2015
Some lawmakers ask for accountability and justice over the Mamasapano encounter, challenging PNoy to admit his inability to call for immediate reinforcement and coordinate among police and military elements in the ground. The encounter, which many speculated he engineered upon the prodding of the US government and without coordination with top-level government and military officials and the MILF who operate the area and with whom the government had a truce, resulted to the death of 69 people and the displacement of thousands of Moros. But that is what he had to say.
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11“It was not on my schedule” – January 29, 2015“Ano gusto nyo gawin ko, kunin natin ang fingerprint ng mga kalaban? Aba madami iyun, para malaman natin sino pumatay sa mga kamag-anak nyo.” – February 20, 2015
The Mamasapano encounter resulted to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who participated in Oplan Wolverine/Exodus. The bodies of the SAF were flown to Manila. But instead of attending the arrival honors for the SAF, heroes and martyrs they were revered, Noynoy opted to attend the inauguration of the new Mitsubishi Motors plant in Laguna. When asked about his absence, that was his short reply.
— aude loco (@afyatic) February 7, 2015
However, former President Fidel V. Ramos attended the Mitsubishi Motors plant inauguration but still made it to the arrival honors of the SAF 44.
12“Ano gusto nyo gawin ko, kunin natin ang fingerprint ng mga kalaban? Aba madami iyun, para malaman natin sino pumatay sa mga kamag-anak nyo.” – February 20, 2015
A deluge of promises were given the families of the SAF 44, especially that the popularity of would be-Liberal Party standardbearer Mar Roxas, then Department of Interior and Local Government secretary was taking a deep plunge. A meeting between Aquino and the SAF 44 families was called, after news that the promises are not coming through even weeks after the death of the SAF 44 leaked to media and after sentiments of him still not facing the SAF 44 families surfaced. When the SAF 44 families asked for the immediate prosecution for the killers of the 44 SAF troopers, Aquino uttered the words above.
13“Kayo ba kapag kunwari itetext nyo friend nyo, ‘Kita tayo sa MOA,’ ganun lang ba kadali sa inyo na pumunta dun?” – February 20, 2015
Widows of slain SAF 44 commandos asked for clarification why reinforcements did not come when he is already aware as early as 7am that the lives of SAF troops were in danger, especially when investigations revealed the Philippine Army troops to be just close by and seemed to have stood down. A soundbyte of what seemed to be the voice of Aquino responding to the question if reinforcements should be sent circulated and the voice said: “negative, negative, stand down.” The answer to the question is crucial to finding out if the SAF 44 had any chance to live but that was his response, and quite irritated was how he was described when he replied.
14“Namatay rin ang tatay ko, alam ko pakiramdam niyo kaya patas na rin tayo ngayon.” – February 20, 2015
He had this to say as a way of laying off more reactions from the SAF 44 families, given where the dialogue was already heading with the way he answered.
15“Papogi lang yan.” – November 23, 2015
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He doused the hopes of the heavily-taxed Filipinos with this statement on the moves in Congress to lower the income tax.
The Philippines has one of the highest income tax rate in all of Asia, reaching to almost a third of the salaries of employees. The difficulty with high income taxes is that the people believe that their money does not go to social services, better infrastructure and national development, specially after the corruption scandals in Aquino’s term: pork barrel, DAP, etc. But instead of looking to the needs of the people, he dismissed the move to lower income taxes as “showing off” and stood against it, as it will lessen government revenues.
And so, you have been had. By Daang Matuwid, no less.