A reality check on A Prayer for Noynoy

A certain Fr Roberto P Reyes of a certain "Kubol Pagasa" (presumably some kind of organisation or "movement") composed a "prayer for Noynoy" which was published on the "Letters" section of the Inquirer.net.

I thought I'd provide some thoughts on the matter...

But when President-elect Noynoy Aquino was proclaimed, visible not only in the halls of Congress but most especially outside were energy and passion. Noynoy’s advent as the new president seems to augur better times or at the very least, signal the end of a dark chapter in our nation’s life.

A dark chapter, if we recall that was heralded in by (1) the second major ocho-ocho "revolution" in 2001 that illegally deposed legitimately-elected President Joseph Estrada. It was a "revolution" supported to the tune of c. 2 million Filipinos. This "dark chapter" was further endorsed by a Congress of duly-elected representatives of the people who in 2005, overturned a bid to impeach Arroyo. That's your "dark chapter" for you -- an age that merely reflected the people who subjected themselves to it.

Darkness comes from the gods of greed and selfishness. Thus, we pray that Noynoy will be an examplar of selflessness and generosity.

Na-ah. Darkness comes from people. Let's not skirt the issue of the role of personal responsibility here and put up the false idol of "gods" to excuse ourselves from the what we reaped that we now sow.

Darkness comes from ambition or attachment to power. We pray that Noynoy will reflect, pray and discern well and practice that important legacy of his Jesuit mentors—detachment.

Guess again. Perhaps Noynoy is tops when it comes to displaying form. But when it comes to applying substance, well, put it this way: any schmoe can go on a "retreat".

Darkness comes from compromise which really is moral cowardice or the inability to choose right from wrong, good from evil. I pray that Noynoy will always be brave, unflinching in his commitment to what is true, just and good.

Unflinching? Noynoy is already in the process of a massive Media-instigated flinch to end all flinches as the Yellow Army go on a concerted damage control effort to downplay public expectations made on the basis of all the hollow-headed slogans he dished out during his campaign.

Darkness comes from shallow as well as vicious propaganda that does not hesitate to lie, exaggerate and distort the truth to the advantage of its source. We pray that Noynoy will always speak out the truth no matter how unpopular and inconvenient, that he will hold his ground and not fear his detractors. The truth, his strength, our strength, will always set us free.

I doubt it. Noynoy won on a wave of popular sentiment. He gave the people what they wanted to hear. As President he will most likely continue this beholdenness to popularity. His "strength" comes more from popularity than from any deep and consistent set of real personal principles from which true conviction can be built upon.

Darkness comes from a hardened and stubborn system preserved and promoted by an entire culture of traditional politics represented by countless officials and employees of government. We pray that Noynoy may stand strong and firm before the system and its minions and remain mindful of its usual marginalized and disenfranchised victims, his poor kababayans.

Guess again. Noynoy Aquino and his Kamaganak Inc not only embody traditional politics but traditional nepotistic business as well. Perhaps he is standing "strong and firm before the system and its minions" of the other camp. But the reality is that he himself relies on his own camp of minions and traditional systems of brokering power and money.

This will not be easy. It will take sacrifice, which Noynoy’s parents knew well. It will take a lot of prayer and silence which, he very well said, will remind him that he does not know everything, which will always make him seek and led by God. It is clear from what he said, on the day he was proclaimed president-elect, how he sees the importance of humble leadership—one with an open mind and a listening heart.

Again, a reference to his parents. But that's nothing new. The real point to be highlighted here is the ironic mention of "sacrifice" which to be quite frank, Noynoy seems to lack any capacity for. A bachelor at 50, a man who uses tobacco as a confidence crutch, and a man who is renowned for his shooting himself on the foot with his own words, Noynoy needs a good lesson in restraint and reflection before he can even presume to fancy himself as a man of "sacrifice".

And an "open mind and a listening heart"? Give us a break Padre. I don't know where you get your "clarity" from because the only thing clear here as evident in the glibness with which he treated a Japanese reporter is the infantile lack of consideration and people skills he consistently exhibits.

This is our prayer not only for Noynoy but for all of us. Let us fight the darkness that has engulfed and possessed the passing Arroyo administration. May Noynoy and all of us always seek, find and live the light. Amen.

Indeed, we need to say a prayer for ourselves. A people continue to vote the same sorts of bozos to represent their interests in government election in and election out need all the prayers they can get.


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