The more time it takes for the De Lima Commission to finish its investigation on the botched August 23 hostage crisis, the more harm this incident does on the Aquino administration. The endless finger-pointing, the fake breast-beating and the refusal of Aquino's Cabinet men to take the responsibility and tender their irrevocable resignation letters have all been criticized largely as signs of weakness on the part of the President.
Fact is, this hostage taking crisis which ended in a tragedy last August 23, has turned the tables against this government. The hostage taker has taken the entire country hostaged.
IN just one incident, the government of President Aquino has been effectively weakened. Worse, it did not take an armed or concerted effort on the part of the president's traditional enemies to actually weaken his government. Aquino's government is slowly self-destructing or in the minds of some analysts, self-destabilizing.
This is a very bad sign.
A weak government is helpless against the strong lobbying power of entreprises, be it legal or illegal. A slowly destabilizing government will again, fail in its mission to rid itself of the scourge of graft and corruption, just like what happened to the previous regime. And a weaker still government will not be as effective in protecting the very welfare of the People it vowed to help improve its condition.
Worse, a government which loses its moral standi lies naked in the eyes of its enemies, vulnerable and ready to be defeated any single time.
Shortly after the hostage crisis, the issue was weak leadership. Now, the issues have taken another form, and it is now the moral ascendancy or should I say, the moral leadership of this administration that is being questioned.
The issue on who will tender his resignation first is not a political issue. It is a moral issue. And when a government is now being accused of abandoning its earlier promises of growth through moral recovery, this is a sign not just of a weak political leadership but of a slowly eroding public trust on the capability of this government to effectively discern what are the right things to do when faced with extremely difficult situations.
If this administration loses its moral standing, how will it then face the grafters of the former regime? What right would it have to demand reparations from the years of neglect and thievery of the past dispensation when it now stands accused of being unable to dispense a moral judgment over a very simple issue such as this?
President Aquino should at least show sincerity by doing what his mother, the former President Cory Aquino did.
During the first few days of her administration, a rift ensued between her and his former defense secretary Juan Ponce-Enrile.
Enrile, at the time, perceived as a strong man and hero of EDSA, questioned the very credibility and competence of the first Aquino administration.
When push comes to shove, Aquino did the politically unthinkable---she fired Enrile. I still remember that photo of Enrile going down the steps of Malacanang.
Aquino's act was not just a political act but a moral one. She was defending the fledgling democracy which was being questioned at that time, for its moral ascendancy.
Now, will the son follow the footsteps of his great mother? Mr. President, it is now time for you to address this domestic issue before you leave for the United States.
Again, let the People tell their desires:
1. For you to fire Undersecretary Rico Puno for incompetence and conflict of interest. (He is a gun runner or a supplier of arms and ammo. Why would you appoint somebody who has a commercial interests in the police force as your DILG undersecretary?)
2. Fire Ricky Carandang and Sonny Coloma and replace them with more competent communication managers to handle your information needs.
We rest our case.