Friday, January 28, 2011

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Philippine President Noynoy Aquino and US President Barack Obama seem to be both placed into a political test tube for national leadership of their respective countries at the opening of this year 2011. The test is how to pilot their ships of state safely amidst a raging storm of crises after crises.

Just recently the shooting of twenty people in Arizona that killed a Federal Judge and five other innocent civilians and seriously injured an incumbent Democratic Congresswoman from that state shocked the White House. In an interview before the media, President Obama sounded like Rodney King, the big black guy beaten with clubs by Los Angeles policemen during a traffic incident, begging, “why can’t we not get along.”

On top of the mounting deficit in the American budget and the huge foreign debt caused by the financial collapse of leading American institutions, Obama’s expensive health care reform law is poised to be repealed by the incoming Republican Congress. He failed to solve the unemployment crisis as he promised to do during the campaign and opted to “kowtow” in the political sense as well as in the literal sense before foreign leaders like Japanese Emperor Hirohito, Chinese leader Hu, Jintao, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his sidekick, Russian President Medvedev. Majority of Americans who voted for him now feel that Obama is just all talk, and no walk.

On the Philippine front, the son of the late former President Aquino, who also came to power in the aftermath of her mother’s death and burial, is being besieged by a crisis of violence, deaths, massacres, acquittal of convicted rapists and murderers, release of accused plunderers of the Filipino people’s money, and signs of possible terrorist acts with using incendiary explosive device( I.E.D.) which is a standard tool of terrorists and suicide bombers in Iraq.

At the height of all these serious threats to peace and order, the Philippine media chose to focus on the bachelor president driving his luxury car perhaps to pick up another new date. Majority of the Filipinos who elected him now feel that he is more of a talker than a doer. Or perhaps he just moves too slowly to respond to crises as perceived by many as a sign of weak leadership. Even the reputable Washington-based American thinktank, Heritage Foundation, recently gave him a poor rating in leadership.

So what can we say now about these two political phenomena, Barack Obama and Noynoy, to whom their nations fully rest their hopes for a better future via a cry for change. Let me say this “God works in mysterious ways.”


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