By BENJIE OLIVEROS
When Benigno Aquino III centered his presidential campaign on his slogan “Kung walang korap, walang mahirap,” nobody thought that his government would do just that. Worse, not only does the Aquino government appear to be single-mindedly focusing its efforts on its “anti-corruption” campaign. It’s anti-corruption campaign itself appears to be focused entirely on the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona. This was revealed when President Aquino declared that the removal of Chief Justice Corona is the key to his anti-corruption campaign. Talk about single-mindedness.
Nothing seems to be happening to the Aquino government except the impeachment. President Aquino’s attention seems to be focused entirely on the impeachment proceedings and in taking potshots at Chief Justice Corona. Even corporate media seems to fall into this trap. Look at the headlines of all major news agencies, it is all about the impeachment proceedings.
It’s as if there is no economic crisis to solve, no worsening unemployment and hunger, no spikes in the prices of oil, and consequently, that of basic goods and services, no landlessness, no problems in housing and lack of social services. The only news that seem to compete for the government and the media’s attention are the disasters such as floods and earthquakes.
However, there are a lot of urgent issues that the Aquino government should address.
What is the Aquino government doing in terms of job generation and improving the lives of the working people? What is the Aquino government doing about the worsening problem of landlessness? The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of his mother Cory’s administration had been criticized for not having effectively addressed the problem of landlessness. But The CARP-ER or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms is even worse as it has nothing to report.
What is the Aquino government doing to address the spikes in pump prices of oil and in the prices of basic goods and services, except to say that these are justified and they cannot do anything about it? What is the Aquino government doing to better prepare for disasters and reduce the people’s vulnerabilities, to enable the people to adapt and to increase their disaster preparedness? What is it doing to address the deteriorated and still deteriorating state of the country’s environment? What is the government doing about the dismal state of the country’s education and health systems? What is the government doing about the housing crisis that besets the poor majority?
What is the Aquino government doing to address the roots of the armed conflict? What is the Aquino government doing to end the impunity in human rights violations and killings of activists and journalists? What is it doing to achieve justice for the victims and their families? What is the government doing to assert the country’s sovereignty? What is it doing to address the problem of corruption under the current administration? Surely, the problem of corruption did not end with the replacement of the Arroyo administration.
These serious and urgent concerns and issues could not be addressed by an anti-corruption campaign alone. Nor could it be solved with the removal of Chief Justice Corona.
The Aquino government appears to be focusing its energies too much on the impeachment process to the detriment of addressing the other and more serious problems and issues besetting the country. Is this single-mindedness on the part of the Aquino administration? Or did the order of the Supreme Court to distribute the land of Hacienda Luisita to the farm workers anger President Aquino so much that he could not think of anything else but to have Chief Justice Corona removed? Or is the whole impeachment process meant to show to the Filipino people that the Aquino government is doing something to address the country’s problems while diverting the attention of the Filipino people from their poverty and worsening conditions?