To be right and unpopular is not wrong. But to be wrong and popular is right. Herein lies the wrong conclusion of the national leadership attempting to believe that its unpopularity is because of doing what is right. The truth is that it is unpopular precisely because of its many capital wrong deeds.
It is wrong to say one thing and do exactly another—especially on a serious issue with big national implications. On 30 December 2002 during no less than on Rizal Day, it clearly and loudly said that running for the presidency was out of consideration. Instead, uniting the Filipinos and cleansing the electoral process were its generous and admirable priority agenda.
But lo and behold, on October 2003, it said and did exactly the opposite. The presidential office was decidedly and resolutely pursued and subsequently acquired. The elections thereafter precisely divided and people and they remain divided to this day. The electoral process deeply undermined the integrity of the political process. Attributing to the voice of God the reversal of one’s serious public and official pronouncement would not cut.
It is also wrong to call a high official of the Commission on Elections to greet him with endearing “Hello, Garci?” and say other imprudent things. This was particularly wrong because the said official was but the appointee of the caller. The whole conversation between the appoint power and the appointed official was anything right and proper, neither correct nor upright. And his gross blunder has become a shameful part of Philippine history.
Thus it was that merely saying “I am sorry,” with the right facial expression and consonant intonation did not right the flagrant wrong done. To say one is sorry and thereafter act as it everything were all right—this is not the way of the sincere nor the behavior of someone truly repentant. To say sorry for a wrong deed and thereafter behave like a saint is in effect doubly wrong. This is hypocrisy at its best.
It is wrong to provide for the infamous “Calibrated Preventive Response” against citizens for simply exercising their right to dissent in a supposedly democratic nation. It is further wrong to declare a “State of National Emergency” simply because someone is afraid of justice brought about by truth. It is likewise wrong to order silence on the part of one’s official subordinates who are suspect of violating public trust—especially in terms of malversation of public funds.
Hence, the most recent pitiful satisfaction rating of minus 3 for the national leadership. This is the worst approval grade of an incumbent administration during the post-martial Law era to this date and time.
30 July 2007