Sticking to the script

Marking the 113th anniversary of the Philippine declaration of independence, President Aquino used the solemn occasion to highlight the fulfillment of his campaign pledge to rid the country of corruption.

Speaking at the ancestral mansion of Emilio Aguinaldo, the revolutionary leader in Kawit, Cavite, who became the first Philippine president, PNoy said that he would end the cycle of corruption that has added to the suffering of Filipinos living below the poverty line. At the shrine of Jose Rizal in Luneta, the president rhetorically asked whether indeed the national artist would still have been willing to lay down his life to free his country if he were alive today.

At the Vin d’honneur in Malacanang Palace, PNoy affirmed to everyone there that just as his parents dedicated their lives to the restoration of freedom and the rebuilding of democracy, he would dedicate his to bring about a more prosperous and progressive country.

In all these speeches, the president appeared to be “sticking to the script” that was laid down during his election campaign of fighting poverty by eradicating corruption. The president was indeed most presidential when he stuck to the high road in this way pointing to modest achievements in his first year of having stopped questionable contracts and compensation practices in government agencies and companies.

It was through his spokeswoman Abigail Valte that we learned that this involved some $23 million or over P1 billion in spending at the public works department and from Budget Sec Butch Abad we found out that GOCC’s were able to produce $686 million or P29.5 billion worth of savings this year. Part of these savings went to housing of soldiers in Bulacan province.

It appears therefore that the president seems fully convinced that the path he has chosen of reducing waste in government will lead to greater capacity on the government’s part to raise social spending and bring down the incidence of poverty. The example he cites was the reduction of rice importation to less than half of the previous year’s 2.5 million tons and the funding of the conditional cash transfers program benefiting indigent families.

Perhaps where PNoy appeared less presidential and deviated from the script somewhat was when he addressed criticisms from the opposition accusing him of living the “high life” by his enjoyment of “wine, women and song” or “fast cars and girls”. The president’s response that he had done nothing illegal seemed to mimic the former US president Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky affair or the more contemporary case of New York Cong Weiner who admitted to flirting with several women via Twitter.

Aside from this, one other possible inaccuracy in his speeches was when he pointed out that the savings made by his government through the close scrutiny of its infrastructure and loan contracts were re-allocated to social programs. The first year of his presidency has indeed seen a slowdown of government capital expenditure and interest payments, but the growth in its spending for social programs resulting from this has yet to be seen.

Indeed the first few months of this year saw the rise of hunger, unemployment and poverty along with a rapid slowdown in growth. Perhaps this inconvenient truth was what was left out in all the speeches. However, PNoy did admit that the challenges of improving living conditions still remained, and that he was committed to address them during the remainder of his presidency.

The more important question however is whether the formula he has set out to follow will indeed produce the sort of growth and jobs that it promises to deliver or whether the script needs to change at some point.

Doy Santos aka The Cusp

Doy Santos is an international development consultant who shuttles between Australia and the Philippines. He maintains a blog called The Cusp: A discussion of new thinking, new schools of thought and fresh ideas on public policy (www.thecusponline.org) and tweets as @thecusponline. He holds a Master in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines and an MS in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Bert

    If the political opposition can only managed to accuse the sitting president of the crime of dating girls and nothing else then the people will be quite comfortable with that and the country will surely have a good possibility of moving forward.

    Other presidents have been accused of stealing the people’s money, killings, cheating, graft and corruptions, etc., and look where they took us…the country is in the rut.

    • UP nn grad

      See… doesn’t it make you happy to hear that the other-dude’s and duddette’s can only say “get-out-of-there” using RH or Porsche-//-dating-girls as their reasons? Doesn’t it make you happy that so far, there are no millions-of-pesos graft being charged against Noyi-Noy, his uncle or sisters or his BFF’s?

      Then you can say “… ayun lang? So why do some people say “pareho-lang”, hindi pa naman tutoo iyong pareho-lang, ano ba kayo, mga hunghang? .

  • GabbyD

    ” I make these arguments on presidential conduct not necessarily because I personally hold these positions, but because I know that many voters out there do.”

    on the one hand i can respect this line of thinking. BUT…

    at some point, you have to take a stand on whether these demands MATTER, or are factually accurate.

    you have to take a stand on whether this stand MAKES SENSE.

    so, is there a REAL PROBLEM HERE? if there ISN’T, dont you have a responsibility to correct people? to inform them that their biases are NOT CORRECT?

    • GabbyD

      for example, if people started believing that masturbation makes you blind. would u write:

      “some people believe that masturbation makes you blind. therefore, it behooves the president, if he wishes to keep his eyesight, to come clean about his masturbation behavior — if only to keep people from being distracted by this issue”

      would that be a valid critique?

      at some point, this line of thinking leads to “the earth is flat – opinions differ on shape of the earth” type analysis.

    • GabbyD, the question here is what impact the president’s personal affairs might have on his political affairs and on his ability to lead. Now towards that end I have been trying to articulate some risks. These are associated with people’s assessments of him (rightly or wrongly) over the conduct of his affairs.

      Let me say first of all that the president deserves our sympathies. He has obviously made a personal lifestyle decision and from his point of view is merely being true to himself.

      Perhaps, but there will be those that will disapprove of his decision and behavior on moral grounds (I personally don’t). Rightly or wrongly, he will be seen unfavorably by some. Well, you might say so what? That doesn’t affect his ability to perform (no pun intended), except that it will affect his standing in the community and could potentially affect his ability to govern (although in our macho culture, there might actually be a plus side to it). So you might assess this risk as not too serious.

      But for another group, they might see in the president’s inability to forge meaningful, lasting, intimate relationships a character trait that weakens his brand as a leader. In the modern age, people expect their leaders to be able to emotionally connect, empathize, be vulnerable when the occasion calls for it. For example, the Luneta hostage drama and the president’s stoic handling of it infuriated the Chinese. This did cost the country dearly in terms of tourism revenue and stirred a diplomatic row with China. Again rightly or wrongly, some people might find it difficult to follow someone who is unable to make a personal connection with them. That is just the nature of the job these days, so it does have an impact on his ability to lead the country after all.

      The other risks have to do with personal safety, time management, etc.

      So serial monogamy I don’t oppose for the president on moral (some would say libidinal) grounds. It is more on the second personal developmental aspect (relating to his work-related abilities as a leader) that perhaps the president should be wary of exposing his personal affairs too much. It is not a question of what is right or wrong (morally), but what is good or bad (practically) for his presidency at this point when the affairs of his government are at such a critical stage. The mere fact that it has become a cause of distraction is reason enough to tamp things down…for a while at least.

    • GabbyD

      “But for another group, they might see in the president’s inability to forge meaningful, lasting, intimate relationships a character trait that weakens his brand as a leader.’

      for this group, IF you dont agree with them, IF they are wrong, why continue to valid their arguments?

      you mentioned machismo culture. it exists. but does that mean its a valid argument? does that mean machismo is correct? just because something exists, that doesnt mean we should accept it as factually true!

      that line of reasoning will ultimately lead you astray. again, “opinons differ on shape of the earth” type analysis does not one any favors.

      if you think being single has NOTHING TO DO WITH LEADERSHIP, go ahead and explain that to people who believe otherwise.

      _______________________

      now as to your substantive points which i think you actually believe has merit:
      1) showing vulnerability — this has NOTHING to do with having a relationship. that has something to do with his PR skills — completely different art.

      2) talking about his personal affairs.
      i think this is fine. you dont like it.

      but this is a preference issue. you dont like it, in the same way you dont like going to musicals, or watching rom-coms (this is my example; you may like those things).

      thats fine. but this doesnt mean he cant do the job. or that this matters.

      i have yet to hear an argument that says his dating leads to any real effects on his job. personal safety? whats that? he might get aids? he’s dating an assasin?

      let me close by a movie analogy: have you seen the american president? michael douglas?

      that film makes the SAME CASE i’m making here. people made his dating life an issue, so it became an issue.

      when it became an issue, he spoke about it. when he spoke about it, he said, “hey, this is not an issue. lets talk about solving REAL PROBLEMS”.

  • J_ag

    http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=66&articleId=696212

    Does PNoy understand the systemic and structural imbalances between national income and domestic income?

    In a speech on an auspicious occasion he dwells on his personal travails with perception of his single life and his Porsche.

    What a country?

  • GabbyD

    cusp,

    since you brought it up, i’m so curious:
    “I don’t think it is a question of what is permissible for a bachelor to do, but what is appropriate for the president. I think as a symbol of the country and his cause, people respect his decision to remain single, but they want to see him at least being able to commit to a long-term relationship and not necessarily “play the field” like a profligate playboy. It goes to character I believe.”

    i’m a huge fan of sex and the city. and one of the themes of that show (not the movies, the movies sucked) is that being single isnt inferior to being in a relationship.

    whats wrong with playing the field? from what you wrote, you are implying that, private people CAN do it, BUT they should NOT do it, because they wont have “character”.

    why not?

    are you associating this phrase to infidelity? i can assure you that that phrase isnt about cheating.

    • I would use the PM of Australia as an example. She’s the first female head of the Federal government. She also happens to be an atheist, single and “living in sin” with the “first bloke”. Although her government is not that popular at the moment, it is not really attributed to the fact that she is not married or in a de facto relationship.

      Over the long weekend (Queen’s birthday), the show 60 minutes devoted a segment on the couple, which I believe was part of a charm offensive in response to focus groups that indicated people were genuinely interested to know more about their relationship.

      The fact that she is in a committed relationship with someone means that she is able to focus on her duties, have someone to accompany her on official engagements, and lean on when times are tough, etc. It isn’t about adhering to some moral code or anything like that. I think it has more to do with practicalities of holding the most important public office in the land.

      Now I am not suggesting here for PNoy to bring a girlfriend to live with him in Malacanang. I think Filipinos are not yet prepared for that. What I am suggesting is that if he chooses to see multiple women in quick succession that he do so discreetly. He keeps saying he doesn’t want his personal life to be the subject of public debate, yet he keeps bringing it up at solemn occasions no less.

      Independence Day shouldn’t be about him and his love life. It ought to be about the nation, and how it has survived. The orderly handover of power should have been cause for celebration, but it didn’t fit the script in terms of the characterization of the previous administration as evil or the political partisan points the administration wanted to score. It shouldn’t be about that in my opinion.

      • UP nn grad

        Agree with Doy. Presi-Noy is among the quickest-on-the-draw to raise his bachelorhood as a subject matter (he did it in APEC, too) I guess so the media gets entertained.

        • UP nn grad

          Presi-Noy quickly puts up his own strawman, then he proceeds to chop it down. Good technique.

      • manuelbuencamino

        “The fact that she is in a committed relationship with someone means that she is able to focus on her duties, have someone to accompany her on official engagements, and lean on when times are tough, etc.”

        Doy, you are assuming that there is an equal sign between a committed relationship and good governance.

        However, I don’t agree that your equation can be applied universally. It is parochial. As such you cannot use it as a general rule.

    • GabbyD

      ah, so its not about “character” then.

      if the issue is about “time mgt” then i dont know what to say… these requirements you mention here….: “committed relationship with someone means that she is able to focus on her duties, have someone to accompany her on official engagements, and lean on when times are tough…”

      …may be handled by different people in different ways.

      i know of many single people who are stellar at their jobs, and lean on various people for support.

      having a GF/BF is only one way of dealing with the problems of life. it need not affect one’s professional life, thats for sure.

      parenthetical –this is also one of the themes of sex and the city, which is esp problematic for women. relationship vs work — which is more important? is there really a trade-off?

      • Look there is no question that it is very lonely at the top, and that we expect our leaders to be centered enough so that they can handle the ups and downs of public office without resorting to some sort of childish behavior.

        If indeed the president’s way of coping with the stress of his position is to ride fast and fancy cars and have a night on the town with different women (I have lost track of the number he has dated in the last six months or so), then it does say something about him as an individual.

        I don’t know whether you would associate it with a character flaw or not. All I am saying is that it does pose unique challenges for someone in his distinguished position to have such predilections.

      • GabbyD

        ok. so it is about “character”.

        ok. lets get to the heart of it. what exactly do you mean by: “If indeed the president’s way of coping with the stress of his position is …, then it does say something about him as an individual.”

        what DOES it say about him as an individual? lets talk straight…

        what are the unique challenges of having such predelictions? lay out your assumptions openly, so we know what you are really fearful of.

        let me begin: is this about sex? you are saying — married people have sex and single people … dont? really?

        married people may not have sex too- theres no guarantee.

      • Don’t be silly, GabbyD, this isn’t about chastity or abstinence before marriage, please!

        No, I think perhaps it’s about horses for courses on the one hand. But if the president is on this unusual course, being a bachelor, then it presents some unique challenges politically, socially and culturally.

        Cory turned to prayer and writing poetry as a way of releasing tension for example. Erap had his drinking pals and mistresses. Ramos had his tobacco. PNoy unloads a few rounds in the firing range or has a night out on the town. I guess the problem with his predilections is that they aren’t that private, like painting or gardening. They are really quite public, so it poses unique security risks as well as political risks.

      • GabbyD

        alam mo cusp, nalilito na ako.

        sabi mo its about character. then its about time mgt. then its character again…. now its about security risks…

        ano ba tlga?

        i’m the one being silly here?

        security risk? diyos ko… what exactly do you mean?

        i think you are grasping at straws here.

        but yes, i think if you say “to each his own”, then that would be what ive been saying for HOURS NOW.

        to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing INFERIOR about being single. nothing you have said so far — security risks notwithstanding! 🙂 — have been a valid argument.

        • KG

          example of unnecessary risk:
          PNOY’s PSG biting the dust when Pnoy decides to optimize the speed of his sports car.

          • GabbyD

            oh, we’re talking about his dating.

            sabi ni cusp security risk daw…

            i can imagine a risk akin to a bond film… he’d date this mysterious girl, who is an undercover spy?

            i doubt that is what cusp means, tho for the life of me, i dont know what he’s talking about, that doesnt border on ludicrous.

          • KG

            ok ,so lets put that under cover spy date on the passenger seat.oh, forget it.

        • What I am saying is that while it is not for me to judge him, certain elements in our society will find certain activities unbecoming or inappropriate for a head of state despite them being permissible.

          It therefore falls on his judgement and discretion how he chooses to conduct and manage his private affairs. It therefore goes to character. And while being single does not necessarily create a handicap, it does nonetheless present certain unique challenges.

          • GabbyD

            whoa! “certain elements in our society will find certain activities unbecoming or inappropriate for a head of state despite them being permissible.”

            dont pass this on to anonymous “certain elements”.

            you were the one who wrote: ” I think as a symbol of the country and his cause, people respect his decision to remain single, but they want to see him at least being able to commit to a long-term relationship and not necessarily “play the field” like a profligate playboy. It goes to character I believe.””

            btw, “i” means “you”. you said this. not certain elements.

            its ok to change your mind, to back away from your original comment if you feel that way.

            also, others can read between the lines?

            hmmm, let me ask the “others” (is this like LOST?)…

            what is cusp talking about? he doesnt want to spell it out and he says its obvious…

            is it:
            a) character?
            b) time mgt?
            c) someone to lean on?
            d) security risk?
            e)none?

            well, others???

            PS: i’m being purposefully silly here. i was curious about your position.

            i think you are the only one that can clear this up, if you want to.

          • You are purposefully bating me, I think, for sport!

            Anyway, all’s fair. What I guess I have been trying to get at is that it does not lift the president’s stature to have this running commentary on his love life.

            It certainly is a distraction from his narrative. Instead of talking about his plans and vision for the country, he is reduced to defending himself against tirades from the House opposition, elements from the Church and just plain citizens who find his behavior a bit less than presidential.

  • UP nn grad

    Did Presi-Noynoy even mention job-creation during the Independence Day ceremonies?

    and it is unclear (to me) if the projects were cancelled, or if the projects were just delayed. Delaying a project does not mean that money has been saved, just that the expense streams are pushed off to a later quarter.

    And then, there are penalty-costs to delayed projects. I saw an item about a delayed project that has already cost Pilipinas a sum — P180million. “Yes, cancel the project” was the recommendation from the now-gone DOTC-chief. NEDA has just said “… no, not that fast, there are errors in the DOTC analysis.”

    • UP nn grad

      For now, though, Presi-Noynoy is in fact president, having won 56% of the votes in the prior elections. And he had always mouthed the “… walang korap, walang mahirap” slogan — so at least he is wishy-wishy-wishy on that one and Pilipinas has to wish him well (just stay with 1987 constitution — No jackboot-on-the-throat of those teeeny-bit malcontents or media-hungry KSP’s who keep harping on KKK ). Democracy — ganuon lang iyon.

    • UP nn grad, in fairness the president did talk about job generation when he talked about how overseas workers in the Middle East now had an opportunity of finding work once they returned. How true that is has to be determined though.

      • UP nn grad

        He did do that — but I didn’t see a slogan-line or a detail-line about creating jobs for the unemployed.

        The more I think of this, the more I think putting K-12 emphasis on kindergarten is lopsided focus. Get some things started for “K’s”, yes, but spend just as much or even more on the current high-school students so more of them get jobs as they enter the job market.

        • manuelbuencamino

          ay UP slogan lang pala ang hinahanap mo. Kung sanagay I can understand your need. How about “It’s simple really” as the great benigno always says?

  • manuelbuencamino

    1.The script as you call it is his program of governance.

    2. How did you see Clinton and Weiner in his reaction to the criticisms of the opposition accusing him of living the “high life” by his enjoyment of “wine, women and song” or “fast cars and girls”?

    What has the president done along those lines that he needs to lie about? Is he supposed to remain celibate? Is he not allowed to buy a Porsche out of his own money? What’s the problem?

    • GabbyD

      yes, the clinton and weiner analogy here is misplaced. there was no lying on the part of pnoy.

    • UP nn grad

      Is the accusation “…living the high life…”?

      I thought the accusation was “…spending too little hours — pabandying-bandying lang — for such an important job.”

    • The analogy is with respect to their response, which was that they did nothing illegal. That’s where it ends. I was not equating what Clinton and Weiner had done to what PNoy had done.

      Why did the president have to use the solemn occasion to answer such questions in the first place? As his propagandist De Quiros even pointed out, not doing illegal acts is setting the bar too low since they wanted this president to show a contrast as stark as night and day with respect to the previous one.

      I don’t think it is a question of what is permissible for a bachelor to do, but what is appropriate for the president. I think as a symbol of the country and his cause, people respect his decision to remain single, but they want to see him at least being able to commit to a long-term relationship and not necessarily “play the field” like a profligate playboy. It goes to character I believe.

      • GabbyD

        i think whether he is single or not is entirely his business.

        i certainly didnt vote for him coz of his relationships, or lack thereof.

        but i can accept that other people want him to be married. i dont think there is evidence anywhere that the fact that he’s single is hurting him.

        but this is definitely a political issue. so time and surveys will tell if most people actually give a sh_t (as opposed to some online elites).

        ______________

        are you talking about this part of this speech? “At kung sa tingin ng iba ay napakalaking kasalanan ang aking panliligaw habang binata naman ako, segunda-manong sasakyan gamit ang sarili kong pera, o miski ang pagkanta na kung minsan ay sintunado, wala pong problema sa akin iyan. Ang mahalaga sa akin—ang mahalaga sa taumbayan—ay resulta: hindi pagpapapogi, hindi headline, at mas lalong hindi ang pagkapit sa kapangyarihan.”

        this is hardly “high life”, “fast cars and girls”. get some perspective people.

      • Look, I didn’t say people expect him to be married. I just said they would prefer to see their president to be in a stable relationship. That is why during the campaign those in their 30s and 40s (usually that means married and raising kids) showed the lowest levels of support for his candidacy.

        And as to whether buying an expensive sports car is or isn’t considered living a high life depends on your station in life. Certainly for majority of Filipinos it would be.

        • UP nn grad

          My guess is that the 30’s and 40’s would be less concerned about Noynoy’s chasing-down-elusive-girls and that the age-bracket would be more concerned about jobs for themselves and having better jobs 5 years from now. In other words, the age-cohort saw thru Presi-Noy’s lack of plan for job-creation for Pinoys in Pinas.

        • That’s valid too, UP nn grad. But one cannot also discount their likely perceptions that a bachelor would understand very little of their concerns with respect to the cost of raising a family. Jobs and cost of living are two sides of the same coin.

          • UP nn grad

            that one — Presi-Noy shallowness of understanding of cost of raising a family —- agreed.

      • GabbyD

        whats the difference, practically speaking, of “being married” and “being in a stable long-term relationship”

        at some point, the only difference is recognition under the law. does this matter?

        oprah and steadman — does it matter if they actually get married? sign a form?

        this is why i used the phrase “being married”, and being in a stable relationship is practically the same.

        actually, i think it would matter, but in the OPPOSITE way you are thinking.

        if someone is in a stable unmarried relationship, this begs the question of why that is. why not just get married? this would be more curious.

        hence, speaking about people including politicians, being in a long-term relationship WITHOUT MARRIAGE is more of a problem; i fully expect that people prefer/expect people to be married that to have a long-term girlfriend of 10 years.

        • People who refuse to get married either hold the institution of marriage in such high regard that they want to be very sure before entering it, or they don’t feel the institution is worth investing in anymore.

          For those in the lesbian and gay community who have been campaigning to be given the right to marry, it’s about society giving due recognition to their contribution to the community and including them. They want to change the impression that being gay means living a profligate life on the fringes of society.

          They don’t want to perpetuate the stereotype in other words. The same applies to bachelors. Some individuals for example are not meant to be hitched, but that doesn’t mean they are out there living a hipster swinging lifestyle. Perhaps this is partly why the president’s love life is being so closely attended to by the media.

          • manuelbuencamino

            hipster swinging lifestyle?

            Is that what you call dating different women?

        • UP nn grad

          Huge difference, being in a steady relationship and being married. Should one of the partners be dying, the other one has no say on what to do. The other partner — not married — can even be barred from entering the hospital (the hospital will need to do the barring else they can get sued for…. you got it…. non-compliance with the law)..

          Two unmarried people a relationship should skip thinking of a vacation to see the pyramids of Egypt — Especially, avoid Saudi Arabia // forget thinking to see the archaeological ruins of Iran. The risk — getting jailed for violating local laws.

          • GabbyD

            kaya nga, the ONLY difference is recognition under the law.

            that may be a big deal.

            but between the people involved, there is no difference.

      • manuelbuencamino

        “I don’t think it is a question of what is permissible for a bachelor to do, but what is appropriate for the president.I think as a symbol of the country and his cause, people respect his decision to remain single, but they want to see him at least being able to commit to a long-term relationship and not necessarily “play the field” like a profligate playboy.”

        Joskopo Doy, you turned into a manang.

        If I recall correctly, he promised good governance, not celibacy. So as along as he delivers on his promise he can fuck his brains out for all I care.

        • That’s the problem when you campaign on a light v darkness narrative. You basically are setting yourself up to a higher moral standard.

          How does this help him achieve his goals if he is left to defend himself on such frivolous issues? No I don’t think you can fault ordinary folks for thinking the way they do about the matter.

          Btw when the president says that what matters are results, I hope that he actually can produce them. As UP nn grad points out, the fact that you did not spend on projects does not constitute savings. In fact you do end up spending even more on penalty fees by delaying them. So I fear that even on delivering on his promises, the president has a weak case.

          • manuelbuencamino

            Doy, high moral standards with regards to governance. Horizontal moral standards are not included. Sus naman.

          • UP nn grad

            Allow for the possibility it is a shell-game. Presi-Noynoy calls attention to his own strawman — “living high style” — so he can answer that question (he himself raised) so he avoids questions about the penalty-costs when he delays construction projects… or worse… is he taking away from Project-A (school buildings) to give to Projecvt-B (housing for soldiers)?

          • GabbyD

            up, he never said that.

            YOU are the one raising the straw man.

          • UP nn grd

            Never said what??

            Presi-Noy never said he is getting annoyed that people are asking about his Porsche or his love life, or Presi-Noy has never said that he is getting annoyed about people asking if he has frozen school-building construction funds to shift to soldier-housing construction?

            Has anyone asked about the shell-game rural-projects lose ? You think Presi-Noynoy would ask the question to himself while microphones or TV cameras are rolling?

            Presi-Noy can’t be that naive, he would not broach the idea of the rural-funds losing/funds-getting-frozen// why on earth would he want to bring up the topic. Not Presi-Noynoy, not anyone of Malacanang or malacanang hacks would raise the topic.

            Now.. vvvVVVVrrrOOOOO-OOOMMM horizontal governance, easy pickings. Maybe later he’ll comment about the USA travel advisory (or maybe not).

            ———————————
            When will Presi-noy release the frozen rural-projects funds? If he releases them, no savings, just expenses postponed. If he moves the money for a racetrack vvvRRROOOMM-vvrrOOOM, where is the racetrack?

          • GabbyD

            wow…”Presi-Noynoy calls attention to his own strawman — “living high style” — so he can answer that question (he himself raised)”

            noynoy never claimed the high life. in fact, its only the critics who characterize it as thus. and KEEP calling it thus, without any sense of proportion.

            thats called making something a big deal, when it isnt. in the indep speech, he’s reacting to that.

        • I also wonder if it were Kris instead of Noynoy who occupied the presidency, and seeing a different man every month whether you would still be taking the same cavalier attitude toward her.

          Somehow this kind of behavior is ok if it is done by a man, not a lady.

          • manuelbuencamino

            Uy Doy, talaga naman manang ka na nga.

            If Kris did it, then the same rule applies: fulfill your pledges and go ahead and fuck whoever you want, specially if it makes you perform your job better.

        • As for celibacy, I wasn’t saying that the president needed to be celibate. He just needs to put the brakes on his dating life a bit. Being linked to too many women might be good for his macho image, but it doesn’t give off the impression that he is serious at his job.

          “While you were sleeping” the first three quarters of his presidency showed dismal results for the government.

          • manuelbuencamino

            So you weren’t asking the president to be celibate. All you want is for him to control his libido.

            So do you want to say exactly how many women are allowed, how often, simultaneous or sequential?

            Let’s hear your brakes squeal!

          • UP nn grad

            “.. while Presi-Noynoy was sleeping”… the country was under-performing. that’s bad enough.

            “…While Presi-Noynoy was sleeping around”? Was he? He was chasing, did he score?

          • UP nn grad

            That’s a big assumption, doy… that Presi-Noynoy chasing around is the same as Presi-Noynoy sleeping around. You got rumors to substantiate that?

          • UP nn grad

            so is the issue “…the country is underperforming”? Is this the issue?

            Pilipinas underperforming… baka pag 2016, naunahan pa ng Vietnam ang Pilipinas at pag 2016, naririyan din ang Bangladesh.

            Masaklap naman kung ibang karera ang ina-atupag ni Presi-Noynoy …. vvv-rrrrOOOOMMMM-vvrrrOOOMMM . Kaya nga niyang iwanan ang kaniyang PSG security detail, ang liit na bagay iyon.

            Ubod na nakakahiya kung 2016, mas napag-iwanan ang Pilipinas.

        • MB, I make these arguments on presidential conduct not necessarily because I personally hold these positions, but because I know that many voters out there do. And if you label these views the way you have, then you are really offending those people out there, not me.

          We can either say a different set of rules apply to the rulers and people of high stature (as in they can do whatever they want due to their wealth and power), or we can ask our rulers to at least appear to observe the same rules that apply to their subjects and show some restraint.

          I was asking for the latter. You say that’s too much to ask, too old fashioned, and we should just allow the rulers to do what they want with abandon. Well perhaps that is a bit old fashioned of me, but that is just the way I am.

          • manuelbuencamino

            seriously Doy, you have to unshackle yourself from that mentality. And it’s not too old fashioned. Jefferson was screwing his slaves and nobody made a fuss about it. There was no fuss when Philippine presidents did it, except until estrada came around. FVR was even elected despite stories about a mistress and a bastard son.

            seriously Doy, there is no equation.

          • manuelbuencamino

            ” I make these arguments on presidential conduct not necessarily because I personally hold these positions, but because I know that many voters out there do.”

            Ows! Doy, if you don’t hold those views personally, meaning you disagree with them, then why are you propagating them even defending them?

          • I guess that’s just me and my middle class values speaking. Excuse me, sir Manuel, I didn’t mean to step on your coattails!

          • Yes of course, you have just affirmed my point: different rules apply when you’re on top (now there’s a euphemism there somewhere!).

          • manuelbuencamino

            different rules apply when you’re on top (now there’s a euphemism there somewhere!).

            Your rules, and the people you claim to speak for.

            Others think that a little tolerance saves you from sweating over the irrelevant.