August 16, 2009 in editorials
Read that again. That is not what the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino said when he was about to embark on his return home which ended tragically in an airport tarmac 26 years ago.
This parody is what is circulating in the virtual social network as an expression of the peoples’ disgust over those expensive dinners of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her entourage in a recent trip abroad while the nation was mourning the death of the late President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.
Malacanang spokespersons have dismissed all these criticisms of the Presidential entourage’s lavish eating habit as just “too much,” even going to the offensive by pointing out the various “sins” of the mass media itself — a classic case of the “bearer of the bad news” being blamed for the bad news.
This comes at a time when people are dying due to natural and man-made causes and the Filipino people are being told repeatedly by their leaders to tighten their belt because of the economic and financial crisis.
Some observers attribute this kind of conduct among our leaders to the death of delicadeza or propriety, behaving in utter contempt of norms of conduct expected from leaders who are supposed to set the example, not by words alone, but by deeds especially.
Thus a sense of betrayal sets in, particularly when elegant words but boorish behavior emanates from the same source. The ties that bind the led and the leader is broken, and whatever protestations to the contrary sound shallow, if not empty.
This is where the Arroyo administration now finds itself – a moral and political isolation from the people whom it has repeatedly abused by empty pledges and promises in almost all fronts of national life over the past eight years or so. No wonder, then, that whenever Malacañang says something, people tend to expect the opposite, or suspend belief for their own health.
The callousness of GMA and her cohorts in the face of the people’s poverty and suffering underlines the sad detachment of the present crop of national leaders from the very people who entrusted them the fate and future of the nation. Or, as many suspect, GMA did not really win the people’s endorsement and thus she is behaving the way she is doing now.
And to rub it in, we are facing the prospect of her being in power not only for ten years, that is, if her allies in Congress succeeds in pushing through with Con-Ass before the 2010 elections.
Whatever happens, we will have to contend with a leadership that is so isolated and detached from the people that it is quite capable of doing whatever it pleases to keep itself in power and satisfy its insatiable desire for wealth and extravagance.
And, if the people complain that they are hungry, GMA can always, in the manner of Queen Marie Antoniette, tell her subalterns to “Let them eat cake!”
Those memorable words cost the queen her head at the guillotine. # nordis.net