A Critique on P-Noy’s Inaugural
The much-awaited inaugural speech took all of 23 minutes, not 15 not 8 as earlier reported. No one knew it will be largely in Pilipino from start to finish except for one overarching punch line, “There can be no reconciliation, without justice” – that will be long remembered, not to say a tall order for the lady chairperson of the Commission of Human Rights to heed as the President’s expressed marching order.
The inaugural is rather simple. It was delivered in the dialect by design such that it will not escape everyone’s plain understanding except for the Diplomatic Corps. It may have been read from a teleprompter or one flowing from Noy’s memory. Not a single issue espoused has been technical. There was nothing anecdotal that one must think every message came from the heart.
Let us grant that Noy’s policy framework revolves around his campaign promise as couched in his “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”. And this breathed in his speech as when he says: “walang lamangan, walang padrino, walang tong, walang wangwang, walang magnanakaw, walang lagay”. In fact, P-Noy enjoined everyone as when he says, “tayo na sa tuwid na landas”.
Now, let me comment as a student in public administration.
Apparently, Noy had in mind a change or overhaul in the following agencies of government, to wit:
1. BIR and the Bureau of Customs to increase its tax collection.
2. PhilHealth to improve health services within the next 3 years
3. AFP and PNP to be beefed up to cope with doubling population
4. DFA, POEA, OWWA to respond to the plight or gripes of OFWs
5. Truth Commission to be headed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide to shed light on still unanswered issues
Quite clearly, Noy wants more classrooms for school children. Top in his agenda is a review of ‘midnight appointments’. He upholds the right of information on matters of public concern. Furthermore, he wants a program for farmers like the notion of trading centers in a way not visited by scams or infested by middlemen. He wants emergency employment in local communities. P-Noy rightly espoused that the ‘government is an enabler’ (Holmes). But there ought to be a leveled-playing field that can likewise induce investment. He vowed that government will be sincere in its dealings with the people in Mindanao.
The overall tone of P-Noy’s cool inaugural is about self-pride, call it amor propio if you may. This means there is a familiar sociological explanation to this behaviorist’s ire. He is proud son of Ninoy who gave life for democracy and Cory who must have preserved it likewise. And that Noy feels he is blest with this legacy such that it behooves upon him to do this task to its fullest potential for the next generation to bequeath. Noy did not fail to make as his battle cry the pessimistic notion that Filipinos have been doomed to suffer by a government deaf and dumb to their needs and aspirations. Sounds patriotic, doesn’t it?
And cleverly, P-Noy proclaims that his day of inauguration is redemption day for all of us. It bears watching how Noy will walk the tightrope until he is clear enough on how he will in fact address the more important problem of a gaping fiscal or budgetary sinkhole. We have to think that the whole notion of good governance will be another ritual of lip service.
To say the people are P-Noy’s ‘boss’ from whom he takes orders is purely populist propagandist’s construct. It can soon step into the void of empty rhetoric. Pray not. (END)