It began almost like a love affair between the country and its new President. The nine and a half weeks of the Aquino Administration began with a landslide victory that many found difficult to dispute, and ended with a hostage crisis many find difficult to defend. All we know right now of Daang Matuwid is the abstraction: the idealization of a long-term national project began by a President whom we thought can do no wrong. In the first nine and a half weeks, almost everything wrong happened.
Not that Aquino is bad for the country; somehow, the President’s training wheels – led independently in all sorts of different directions at Daang Matuwid – aren’t doing him much of a favor. There is no definitive stand: that the clarion call of unity and inner strength leads precisely nowhere so far.
There was no definitive stand on the issue of land reform, even if President Aquino may have been goaded into making one because of his blood-ties with Hacienda Luisita. There was no definitive stand in the Manila hostage crisis, making it appear that the President has done too little, too late.
I wrote before that the central issue of the Presidency is what gives us the general idea of where we’re going: that we should be united in something before we go anywhere. For President Aquino, it was an abstraction of wang wang, ersatz land reform, and the pressing issues of his diplomatic roles in situations of crisis. It is, so far, a Presidency steeped and schooled in the ways of the ought, missing out on the all-important is: granted that no political problem can be solved overnight, but we can agree, at the very least, on one thing the people, under its own government, should stand for.
Read the rest of the entry at The Marocharim Experience.