Despite my misgivings I decided to listen to the Station of the Nation Address of President Benigno S. Aquino Let go of the past. Unite. Forgive and forget so we can move forward as a people.” I find this unacceptable. Shall we simply forgive and forget the ten years that were taken from us? Do we simply forgive and forget the farmers who piled up massive debts because of a government that insisted on importing rice, while we could have reinvested in them and their farmlands instead? Shall we forgive and forget the family of the police officer who died while trying to defend himself against guns with nothing but a nightstick?
Shall we forgive and forget the orphans of the 57 victims of the massacre in Maguindanao? Will their loved ones be brought back to life by forgiving and forgetting? Do we forgive and forget everything that was ever done to us, to sink us into a rotten state? Do we forgive and forget to return to the former status quo? My response: Forgiveness is possible; forgetting is not. If offenders go unpunished, society’s future suffering is guaranteed.”
People are just starting to pick up their jaws that dropped during the SONA 2014. The Yolanda survivors who didn’t see the President’s troops quickly rescuing them starting the day after the supertyphoon hit them with the terror of a thousand Dementors.
The entrepreneurs who were waiting to hear about more conducive rules, maybe even just half as conducive as those for the President’s Big Business friends and foreign banks. The professionals who want an end to the Tax Collectors’ war of shame against them, and a moratorium on crazy tax rules that restrict their professional growth.
Those looking for work but cannot find any. Their numbers grew this year, by the way, according to the government.The farmers and farmworkers, like those in Hacienda Luisita, who wait for the enforcement of court orders on land distribution and farm support so they could help ensure food security.
The scholars in UP waiting for a reprieve from a 50 percent tuition fee increase. The consumers who expected an investigation into the highest power rate hike in history and solutions to unexplained rotating brownouts. The supporters of domestic tourism who wanted to hear reductions in terminal usage fees and a full audit of earlier collections, and the rollback in fuel surcharges.
The advocates of foreign tourists who would like to see better airports and the removal of travel taxes. The Freedom of Information advocates who have been waiting for 21 years for a law that gives flesh to the constitutional right to information.
The anti-corruption advocates who wanted a full, peso-by-peso, un-doctored disclosure of the sources and proceeds of presidential pork barrel amounting P237.5 billion. The meteorologist in PAGASA and the teacher in the most far-flung barrios who were asking pleading for a much-deserved salary increase. Many other were waiting for “transformative” news. But they got none.
After calling critics “evil”, the President and his more popular sister wept.The people were stunned into a silence of disbelief: Behold, the most powerful man in the country who controls all the machinery and funds of government. Behold, someone who would have a state pension on top of his haciendero family’s immense wealth (with land as big as Makati and Pasig combined!) to comfortably go back to. Behold the “servant” and the “chosen one”.
We didn’t hear the millions of jaws crashing to the ground because the pork barrel-loving hordes clapped 85 times, and the media was busy checking who wore who.
Throughout his entire speech that he capped with a tear or two, the haciendero President Noynoy Aquino stunned the disappointed, frustrated, disenchanted nation by practically saying:
I’m not just the hero here. I’m the victim here, not you.