When President Noynoy Aquino or PNoy assumed office in 2010, he vowed to eradicate the so-called Wang-Wang mentality in government through his much ballyhooed Tuwid na Daan.
But recently, a lowly policeman found himself in the hot seat and the target of vengeful actions by the entire forces of government when he unwittingly blocked the presidential convoy.
Unfortunately, what was entirely missed in that incident was the question why should the president have priority over other roads users, especially private citizens like you and me. For is it not our democratic bedrock principle that no one is above the law?
Of course, we make way for emergencies and other similar situations. But what if PNoy were even just out for a date?
If we recall, PNoy himself promised that we the citizenry, ang taong bayan, would be his Boss. Indeed, while he doesn't use blazing sirens for his convoy, the fact that he still forces his way through by shoving aside other road users betrays essentially the same Wang-Wang mentality.
In short, why should we the Boss make way for the Public Servant?
Precisely, it is the job of the president and his agencies to make sure that traffic goes smooth for everyone. A laborer in a jeepney on his way to work undeniably has equal rights to arriving at his destination on time as the president for his engagements. Indeed, if at all, it should be the president who should give way being the public servant. Furthermore, if there are bottlenecks in traffic, that is principally the responsibility of government that he heads.
Another Wang-Wang mentality that prevails in PNoy's government is the ban by his alter ego of personal follow-up of pending cases. As I wrote here a few weeks back, if you go to that department and tell the gate guards that you wanted to follow-up a case, you would immediately be told that that is not allowed anymore. And they would not let you in.
So, there goes to the wayside our right to access to justice. Not to mention our constitutional right to the speedy resolution of cases.
Ironically, this department that bans personal follow-up is the Department of Justice and its head, the Secretary of Justice is now even eyeing the post of Chief Justice.
Wang-Wang culture is also still embedded within PNoy's government as revealed in the long delays in the resolution of administrative cases. And to hide this systemic plague in executive justice, the president has been wont to point the finger to the other branch of government, that is, the judiciary. He has forgotten that the most important and overriding part of his oath of office as president is "to do justice to every man."
In fine, as PNoy makes his third state of the nation address, it is unfortunate that in reality, it's Wang-Wang pa rin.