Simply Noynoy

Lawyer Homobono Adaza thinks there is a need to teach Noynoy Aquino how to run the bureaucracy.  The fast-talking lawyer-cum-agitator is even launching a new book on governance. He thinks this will help provide the president a better perspective in politics, and perhaps learn from his wisdom.

It would really be interesting to read Bono Adaza’s new book, now that the President is his primary target reader. But I don’t think he would be credible enough to Mr. Aquino, having read his  much-publicized book he released at the start of the presidential campaign that was very critical of Noynoy and the Aquino family and all other presidential candidates, except for defeated presidential candidate Manuel Villar.

When I met him last week, Bono admitted he really erred in praising Mr. Villar. But that is understandable. Bono had always been loyal to the late Vice President Salvador Laurel, who as supposed to be the president and chairman emeritus of the Nacionalista Party, which Mr. Villar later inherited at least for election purposes.

Surely , the President can learn a few things from Bono. But it would also be proper for Bono to learn from President Noynoy a few lessons on humility in politics.

He may not have the best and brightest people in government,  but Mr. Aquino’s main advantage as a leader is his decency  despite the power in his hand. In fact, it was natural for the  President  that when he visited New York, the preferred a quick meal  in a  hotdog stand, which is actually a must-thing-to-do for a tourist, and perhaps for the visiting president.

Yet to his critics that was  a cheap political gimmick if only to emphasize that unlike his predecessor, President  Noynoy would not  lavishly abuse his power.  What was unnatural for Noynoy, if I may say, was his sleek finely tailored–  and obviously expensive —  business suit. Nothing more.

When his mother the late President Corazon Aquino was still  president, the presidential  guards had no choice but to follow him to Mendiola near Malacanang, just because he preferred taking out a hamburger and soda at McDonalds, not the  food being prepared by palace chefs.

Noynoy never really enjoyed a sophisticated lifestyle. His close friends, who have obviously benefitted from their camaraderie since most  of them are now in government, can attest to that.

Like Bono,. some of his friends should also learn from President Noynoy.

Take the case of Rico Puno, not the singer, but the beleaguered undersecretary of interior and local government. True, Puno belongs to a different breed of a family that had become so deeply rooted in the bureaucracy in the previous administration. At this early, he is facing a lot of criticism for his embarrassing handling of the hostage-drama crisis, and his alleged link to the jueteng operators.

Puno has declared that he would tender his “courtesy” resignation once Mr. Aquino returns from his US trip, but the President already indicated that he wouldn’t want his friend to quit his post.

If he were really Mr. Aquino’s true friend, Puno would have tendered his  irrevocable resignation while he clears his name. That would prove that he had no interest in jueteng and is ready to face charges that he had mismanaged the hostage crisis unless Puno wants to prove that he is one of the new untouchables in government. That would really be embarrassing to the President, his friend. Hoy/Joel Paredes


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