What is a broken record? It is a disparaging term for someone who repeats a statement over and over without any variation whatsoever. How about a one-trick pony? It describes a person, again disparagingly, who is really very good at doing only one thing. What happens if you put the two together? You get someone who keeps repeating a statement over and over, yet that is the only thing he knows how to do.
We need not look far for an example of a one-trick pony who sounds like a broken record. President Benigno Aquino III (PNoy) demonstrated that he has been and will be that for a long time to come during his speech at the commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy’s class of 2012 last month. You can read the full transcript in the following links in the original Filipino text, or in the translated English version
Once you get through the speech, you will realize that he just did the same thing over and over again; making references to his mother’s “saintly” qualities while taking potshots at his political enemies. The cadets, being respectful of the commander-in-chief, sat down quietly throughout the whole tirade. However, if the circumstances were a bit different, and if I were a part of the audience, I would have raised the following points:
Excuse me, Mr. President. If it has to come to the situation that these AFP soldiers of ours have to take bribes from illegal loggers just to let them through, then it means that your people at the DENR were not doing their job properly in the first place!
Excuse me, Mr. President. Your mother may not have been involved in taking money from national coffers herself, but she idly stood by and did nothing while her buddies did. So much for being clean; she is complicit to that wrongdoing by allowing it to even happen.
Excuse me, Mr. President. Maybe you should have told those cadets instead, that you’re sending them out to battle, and most likely to die, at the hands of the very enemies of the state that you have allegedly been sleeping with.
Excuse me, Mr. President. The PMA has an honor code; your clan apparently does not. Maybe you should also be telling these cadets that you condone military adventurism among their ranks. Do try to remember Danilo Lim and Antonio Trillanes, who is now one of your most rabid attack dogs in the Senate.
Excuse me, Mr. President. The military emphasizes results over excuses. Stop making them. You do not blame the lack of progress on the presence of your “enemies”. You march on in spite of it. This is what real men do.
Excuse me, Mr. President. You may have made a bit of good on your promise to modernize the AFP and to give them housing, but have you asked whether the housing is really what they need? Now that military confrontations within the region are looming, do you actually think that we stand a chance?
On a side note, the PMA class of 2012 is called Bagwis. By itself it refers to the eagle’s wings in Philippine folk tales. However, in their context it also is an acronym: “Bagong Kawal Nag-iisang Lakas” – a new force with united strength. Will this ever apply to us as Filipinos in the future?
Now that it is graduation season in virtually the whole Philippines, some of them are sure to take on PNoy as their guest speaker. I pity the poor souls who will have to sit down and listen to him rant. They will undoubtedly be more mature than he ever has been.
Maybe PNoy, ever showcasing the grand unoriginality of the Pinoy, will be attempting to take a cue from John F. Kennedy but alter the message to suit his own whims:
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for my family!”