By Renato Beato
Like many of you, I was initially enchanted by the Cory Magic and entertained the notion that a Noynoy Aquino presidency would be a great step towards restoring order, honesty, and decency to Philippine governance. Change for the better was finally at hand, I thought with unqualified optimism!
During the past few months of the presidential election campaign, however, it began to painfully dawn on me that perhaps the Liberal Party had bet on the wrong horse by drafting Noynoy Aquino to be its presidential candidate. This was because telltale signs of his unfitness for the country's highest public office started to come in trickles—at first only in polite whispers or in little TV images or sound bites, so to speak. But now, I think you will agree with me, his evident daftness is now an open secret.
My suspicions actually dated back to September 2009 when I came across Noynoy Aquino's self-serving, revisionist claims of heroism in his Senate website. Listen to his unabashed lie long before he was drafted as presidential candidate by his party: "The defense of democracy nearly cost Noynoy his life. He was almost killed during the military coup against President Aquino in 1990 when he met retreating rouge soldiers at the front gates of Malacañang. Three of his bodyguards died while he suffered five bullet wounds. A bullet is still embedded in his neck." It seemed to me strange that despite the fact that it was public knowledge that he and his bodyguards were plain ambushed with no opportunity at all to fight back, Noynoy would contrive to give the false impression that he actually engaged those soldiers by meeting them headlong—and "in defense of democracy" at that! (Sensibly, his handlers have since removed this lie from his Senate website, but I can send you a copy if you wish.)
Anyway, I thought that this was just an isolated, harmless fib by someone who was still in the process of establishing his own self-worth. But last March 14, in a sidebar story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I found proof positive—and a very painful, demoralizing one at that!—that the man whom you and I want to be Philippine president is not only a habitual prevaricator but someone with the mind of a small child or an adolescent with a very low IQ.
Lest you think that this is just another poisoned concoction from the other political camps, I will be quoting extensively from the Inquirer report about his interview during a break in Noynoy's campaign sortie in Surigao City. I must assure you that I wanted to be as dispassionate and objective as possible in reading the Inquirer's account of the interview; I even entertained the notion that the reporter probably just wanted to be nastily cute by contriving absurd questions for Noynoy to answer, or perhaps had just made up a lampoon story for the Inquirer's funny section.
After reading the interview story, however, there was no mistaking the fact that Noynoy's sense of understanding things is very poor indeed! To even very simple questions, he reacts like a petulant spoiled brat who will concoct just about any nonsense in his mind just to reassure himself of his superiority to anybody. I really find it weird, but he has begun to believe that he is Superman! I now therefore find it unthinkable that the Aquino family and Noynoy's political handlers—and you and I as well—could have ever entertained the notion of propelling this person to be president and chief executive of the Philippines? What were we thinking?