President Benigno Aquino is due to make a 10-minute address to the nation tonight between 6:30 to 7:30.
The subject of his short statement from Malacanang is unclear, with speculations that he might try to defuse mounting public anger over large-scale misuse of taxpayers’ money, i.e. PDAF, DAP, questionable large bonuses of some officials or even a major revamp of his key officials.
Whatever subject he is tackling tonight, certain things are now clear as daylight:
First. While he repeatedly vows to fight graft and corruption, it appears that he lacks enough guts and courage to confront and curb large-scale corruption.
Second. For inexplicable reasons, he doesn’t want to eliminate completely all forms of “pork barrel” or discretionary spending by both the legislative and executive branches of the government despite Commission on Audit and other reports which show that large amounts of taxpayers’ money is lost in these discretionary expenditures.
Third. His unwillingness to sack officials embroiled in different controversies or perceived to be incompetent raises a big question mark in his commitment to his reform agenda and pledge to provide better governance than Gloria Arroyo’s notoriously corrupt government.
Fourth. The Philippines now faces a leadership crisis as more and more people doubts Aquino’s ability to lead an administration that will pursue consistently “daang matuwid” (straight path) and provide good governance.
Fifth. Unless Aquino gets bolder and more audacious in fighting graft and sacking incompetent and graft-tainted officials, public discontent will rise further and the country is likely to see more political turbulence.