Noynoy’s presidential style

Posted: June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Was it yesterday or the day before that President Noynoy Aquino visited Cotabato City to ‘inspect’ the flood waters in Maguindanao?

President Noynoy Aquino

In the process, President Noynoy managed to disappoint a number of stakeholders.  Former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., noted that the President merely commented on the vast swathes of water lilies clogging the Rio Grande.  Pimentel said that people in Maguindanao have been suffering from floods for about a month and they expected more from the chief executive.

Former Sen. Nene Pimentel

Some local officials were outspoken in their criticism of the President and Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani declared that the national government has not lifted a finger to assist his city.  Guiani claimed that the the relief goods distributed by President Noynoy were from the stores of Cotabato City.  Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda dutifully called Guiani a liar although more knowledgeable observers noted that Guiani’s alignment with the powerful Ampatuan family may be the reason why assistance will not be coursed through him.

Mayor Japal Guiani

Following the Cotabat0 city incident, another event immediately ensued that raises serious concerns regarding Noynoy’s work style.  Normally, if a chief executive is dissatisfied with a subordinate, he talks to the latter privately.  He may either upbraid or fire the subordinate.

However, this isn’t what President Noynoy did.  In a speech at the 113th anniversary celebrations of the Department of Public Works and Highways, he said that there were two or three cabinet members who he’d rather not deal with.   

He was quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “[E]very time I see them, I immediately think, what bad news do they have for me”?

I do not see the wisdom or necessity of the presidential remarks.  Is he so beholden to the three that he had to embarrass them to either quit or shape up?  But wasn’t he elected principally because he was the son of his parents?

Does he think that the function of a cabinet member is to bring only good news to his ear?

President Noynoy Aquino is about to complete a year in office and many, including this observer, think that he has yet to clearly enunciate what his administration intends to accomplish.  On TV yesterday, Secretary Sonny Coloma kept on alluding to a Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that will be unveiled soon, which promises inclusive economic growth.

Former Sen. Pimentel opined that Aquino wasted one year in office and that he has to “buckle down to serious work”.

I raise questions whether he can indeed buckle down to work.

His prior record as legislator strongly suggest that he was an under-achiever.  The work of a chief executive is obviously more demanding than that of a legislator. 

The usual incentive for an incumbent president to do best is absent since Noynoy is barred by the Constitution from seeking a second term.  The concern for a good legacy is a weaker compulsion than the desire to be re-elected.

Indeed, what can make him give his best from now on?


  1. ldmatba says:

    Sir Bong, this is Layl Matba, a rather nondescript student you had in IPE.

    The 2011-2016 PDP is at

    Indeed, Sir, he may have EO 43 which supposedly charts an elaboration of his Social Contract. But he is too obsessed with his tuwid na daan. He is so obsessed with avoiding corruption that even government spending was low, affecting Q1 GDP. He must realize that we need more than a road paved with virtue. We need roads paved with cement–infrastructure and other projects that will move Asia’s laggard!

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