Wag-the-dog presidency

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President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address next week will be a quintessential wag-the-dog speech. The hustle and bustle in the past several weeks of hurling charges against officials of the past administration were all about getting the tail to start wagging for the Sona, so Mr. Aquino can claim that he has done something in his first year in office. The accusations were so rushed in fact, that included in the charge sheets were people who helped Mr. Aquino get elected.

The moralistic tuwid-na-daan storm troopers have even stooped as low as to offer freedom to Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the accused in the massacre of 58 human beings, as long as he concocts charges against the former president and her other officials. That this is simply a wag-the-dog (i.e., media) operation has been disclosed in reports that it is Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang who have been lobbying for Ampatuan’s “Plan B.”

With the crime situation getting out of control so that even dentists—yes, dentists—are now cowering in fear in their clinics, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, the Cabinet secretary in charge of the police, has been spending his time coaching a crooked Comelec official on what kind of mud to throw against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Mr. Aquino himself has been busy meeting with DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman who he thinks knows what other mud to throw at his predecessor.

Consider our country’s situation, what Mr. Aquino has done so far, and we can expect what he will say next week.

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