" I am not a thief". This is what President Aquino told the Nation in his speech last night. Many people, including this writer, were asking themselves what was the big reason behind Aquino's "unexpected" TV appearance. I even thought that Aquino reprised Arroyo's historic TV appearance at the height of the Garci tape controversy when she shed crocodile tears in front of the public.
In Aquino's case, no such tears were shed. Several TV appearances of controversial heads of state flashed before my mind--was Aquino trying to do a Nixon who denied one thing and admitted another at another time? Or he tried to do a Clinton who flatly denied ever being sucked into a controversy inspite of the appearance of a woman who already admitted the affair.
The appearance was made to isolate Aquino from the controversy and picture him as someone who never, ever stole not one cent from the public coffers. Maybe. Maybe he is not involved in big thievery in government.
The problem that Aquino failed to recognize is the public's view that his people are doing the dirty work for him. For the past three years, no big tax evader ever experienced the cold bars of a jail cell. Big-time smugglers are still here.
Reports of Aquino's close associates are having a field day, giving themselves fat bonuses and allowances.
Questions flashed before the public's mind when Aquino made that speech, especially the DAP.
One question--if Aquino is really sincere in fighting corruption, then why the hell are grafters still in his government? No one was jailed for corruption. His close associates are reportedly raking it in, even some are involved with Napoles, in one way or another.
Another question--if Aquino is dead serious in punishing those behind the Napoles caper, then, why not create a truth commission so that the process of justice will be swift? We all know what happened to numerous graft cases filed before the Office of the Ombudsman. They never saw the light of day at the courts.
In a Truth Commission, this case will be treated as special and time will be allotted to it. Thus, justice for the people will be swift.
His strong words rung throughout the archiepelago---" I am dead serious in punishing the guilty here." Strong words indeed. Where is the proof?