In front of a burning house, a group of people will be found carrying pails of water in an effort to put off the fire. Unfortunately, not far will be a group larger than the former, already speculating who started the fire.
It has been a habit among us Filipinos to point fingers before trying to solve the problem.
Similarly, contemporary Philippine politics has gone to be a blame game. True, someone has to be held culpable for any misfortune. That makes criticisms called for especially since this country has a liberal democracy, and the voices of the people are integral to the growth of political discourse and government accountability. However, criticisms and demands are not always reasonable.
The past 30 days were not good to us. We had to face the music after the Philippine National Police botched the rescue of the Hong Kong nationals in the Quirino Grandstand hostage. We had to witness the Supreme Court deciding a mediation panel for Hacienda Luisita, trying to forge a solution for that long-standing land battle. There is also an ongoing discourse on the plausibility of legalizing divorce and requiring sex education.
In the diversity of these issues, ironically, the people expect only one man to be on top of all things─newly elected Pres. Noynoy Aquino.
The Aquino administration has not even reached its 100th day yet, but the president is already under scrutiny of the public, with criticisms bordering on questioning his capability to become president.
For one, was the hostage-taking tragedy really only Aquino’s fault? Perhaps he could have done more. Perhaps he failed to do what he had to do, and we can criticize him for those reasons but we can’t criticize him for all the misfortunes and disappointments that struck the country at the infancy of his presidency.
Noynoy is not God. He will not be able to respond to all our concerns at the same time. He cannot be omnipresent.
When many issues begin surfacing, he has to choose where to concentrate. Right now, he should focus on the aftermath of the hostage-taking: its effect on tourism, our status in the international community and the overhaul of the police force. While he has work to do, we have some thinking to do as well.
Running a country does not rest on a one man team. Although Noynoy is president, we cannot always point the mistakes of others to him just because he is the leader. It is only but expected for any president to deputize individuals.
It is one thing for Noynoy to take responsibility for his deputies’ mistakes, which is something that he really should do, but it is another for Filipinos to force it down his throat.
We must realize that Noynoy is just simply starting as a president, and he is starting after an administration that failed to render service to the Filipino people. The previous presidency accumulated a lot of trash for Noynoy to clean up. We know we can’t have automatic results; impatience will not help.
It is true that Aquino owes his supporters, but they also owe it to him that they back him up. Quit complaining for no good reason. That’s the man you voted for. When you supported him, you should have known that he will not be able to perfect the presidency in less than a year, much less in a hundred days.
Criticisms against him will not help; he needs all support he can have. He did not need the people only during the election. He needs his supporters more now.
Those who did not support Aquino during the elections, as citizens, also owe this country to respect the results of this democratic process. They can and should complain, but for the right reasons like clamor for better leadership, not for the perverse gratification of belittling the president they did not vote for.
Criticisms do not help when they are not well thought of; they only make the solutions for the problem unclear. Labeling the president, or any other leader concerned, incompetent does not do this country any good.
Aquino failed the first major test of his presidency, and there is no excuse for the number people who died on that fateful day of Aug. 23. He has a lot of catching up to do. We do too.
We should not forget that while he’s solving this problem, and he should, our other concerns and wishes have to wait.