HERE is a quote by Nelson Mandela, a modern-day leader who could have easily continued governing his country with the all-out backing of his people. But he made good his commitment to be President of South Africa for only one term. The South Africans were more than willing to have their savior from the apartheid rule stay several years more, or perhaps even Mandela’s lifetime. After all, their Constitution does not have provision that expressly prohibits an incumbent from running for reelection.
According to the South African leader, “When you are at the top, be careful with the monster called PRIDE. Pride will make you look down on people who haven’t attained your level of success. When you are at the bottom, be careful with the monster called BITTERNESS. Bitterness makes you jealous and think that other people are the reason you haven’t made it. When you are on the way to the top, be careful with the monster called GREED. Greed will make you impatient and make you steal or seek shortcuts. When you are on your way down, be careful with the monster called DISPAIR. Despair will make you think it is all over. Yet there is still hope.”
Mandela died a few years after he went back to private life. But one indelible hallmark of his leadership is his having lived every aspect of his quote till the end. So, he may have died over two decades ago but his memory lives on all by itself and not with the aid of expert history re-writers or allowing his name in to be used in a necropolitics game to paint a picture of human perfection in the hope that a saintly appreciation of a departed political leader can rub in on the feat of some aspiring or come-backing politicians.
This situation is exactly what the opposition is trying to build on the death of the late former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. But unlike Mandela’s case in PNoy’s death saga it is the opposition and its supporters who are exerting all efforts to paint the late former President as the epitome of leadership in the Philippines.
And this the opposition cannot deny because no less than one of their highest leaders in Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has personally admitted in a media interview which was posted in the social media platform Facebook, that the opposition is hoping that PNoy’s death would influence the outcome of the 2022 election in favor of the opposition candidates. Drilon though, admitted that the outcome they are hoping for depends on how the opposition would effectively capitalize on Noynoy’s demise.
Personally however, we subscribe to the thinking of some people that the late former national leader was really a humble and simple person. That he may have thought he had done well for his country and people during his term not thinking that negative repercussions of some of his decisions could come arise in the long term primarily because of changing global politics. That Noynoy may have thought that the men and women working with him were all like him and were beyond temptation for their self-interest. For certain they were the ones who made PNoy decide on things and adopt actions that were later to lead him and his administration to the road to perdition. In other words the late former President, in every crossroads he arrived at in his administration’s journey, may have taken the wrong direction. No, not because it was the right direction he personally have thought to be, but because he was made to believe it was on the advice of the men and women around him who may have their own selfish agenda. And these men and women in his circle may also be the ones with the loudest cries in his wake and the most vocal appreciation of his good deeds but are the most silent of the former president’s unfortunate actions that they may have strongly influenced on him.
Indeed it is most unfortunate for the late former President that he is not anymore around to discern who his true friends are and who are only acting to be his friends because he is no longer around to confront them.
Yes, in the opposition’s efforts to build its advantage over the administration using Noynoy’s death as vehicle it is also betraying their true character. What with their blatant comparison of Noynoy’s governance to that of the sitting President?
Some of them are twisting truth to create fiction if only to sell their idea that their would-be candidates are having the qualities of the departed former President.
If only to flesh a statement in the context of Mandela’s quote to describe the ongoing efforts of the opposition, may be this is worth a read, “If the opposition or the administration’s critics are thinking that they are on their way up because of PNoy’s death, think again.” They might be overdoing in capitalizing on the late former leader’s death. The opposition might end up compromising its own strategy.
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