Saturday, December 31, 2011

A ‘Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’ Christmas message


By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star
Jennifer Fulwiler’s TOP 5 REGRETS OF THE DYING posting on the December 12 online edition of the National Catholic Register caught your Chair Wrecker’s attention. Your Chair Wrecker has long been in what is considered life’s pre-departure area — folks awaiting the call to move on to the next life, the eternal one. In the pre-departure area, you hope that your flight will be delayed indefinitely, if not cancelled outright.
Departure is something that we cannot avoid or get away from. It’s not a question of if we will depart from this earth, but when. Death is more certain to hit us than taxes. In some cases, some folks manage to avoid taxes but they’ll not be able to avoid their departure call when it comes. The reality is we are all in the pre-departure area the moment we’re born. Thus, whether you’re in life’s pre-departure area or not, these Top 5 Regrets of the Dying are relevant to all of us.
What are the reported Top 5 Regrets of the Dying? Acquired from collected experiences in a nursing home for the aged, these are:
1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2. “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”
3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
Living a life true to one’s self
We’ve been conditioned to live up to the expectations of others. There are the expectations of our parents — that we become moral, responsible citizens and attain financial security. There are the expectations of our peers and society. In many cases, peer expectations get us into trouble especially when we’re are in the company of troublesome and psychotic peers.
It’s pitiful when a person attains social admiration and the respect from peers — but in the end regrets not having pursued in life what is the clamor of their very soul, mind and heart. Many are trapped in what is called the “Keeping up with the Joneses” mindset. Many even manage to exceed the Joneses but found no feeling of fulfillment or happiness because they pursued a wrong value.
Excessive attention to work
How many people have we seen who have reached old age and expressed regret for having worked too hard and thus have missed the growing years of their children and the best years of their marriage when passions were still high? It was too late for them to realize that one can make money at any age in life but those lost years with our spouses and children pass away with time.
Often the problem is founded on wrong values — putting career at a higher priority over love. Life’s most important objective is love. Wealth is accumulated in order to enhance love. When we work too hard and forget love, we in effect made money the top of our priorities — the means became the ends.
Courage to express one’s self
There are many who would rather remain quiet than express one’s true feelings about a situation or development that affects them. Such mindsets often produce mediocre performers in life. Lacking the courage to express one’s true opinion easily leads to a lack of courage to grasp bold ideas that produce significant changes.
If too many of us lack the courage to express our true feelings, we are prone to being abused and exploited by our leaders. A timid society will encourage tyrants to continue with their transgressions.
Wish to have stayed in touch with friends
This syndrome applies more to the comparatively more socially mobile and less sentimental societies like that of US. It is untypical for Filipinos to be removed from their families and friends. The importance of our friends from way back is seen from the many reunions we want to attend yearly. In old age, many are stunned by the new generation with whom they cannot relate. This is where our friends become very important. They provide us our comfort zone.
Wish to have allowed one’s self to be happier
We often hear this from folks who have chosen a career they didn’t like but dedicated the best years of their lives on it just the same because they wanted to please their parents or spouse. We also hear this from folks who have married spouses not because of love but because of other considerations like career advancement or financial gains.
You might ask why your Chair Wrecker is talking about regrets of folks in the pre-departure area of life at a time like Christmas Day. My answer is simple. If you have a kin or a friend with whom you’ve quarreled, if you have a former associate with whom you’ve had a big row, if there is anyone you have disappointed, hurt or slighted — this is the best time to erase all that.
It is in this season of love when we can best register our sincere message of let bygones be bygones, let’s drop all the hate and feast again in love, goodwill and friendship. It is in this season when we can expect the hardest hearts to melt when a sincere effort is made to relate once again.
These days we tend to be absorbed by the commercialism that has consumed mankind in the 21st century — the same commercialism that erodes our values and leads us to open ourselves to temptations we will find hard to resist.
Discussing the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying helps to make us focus on the values in life that should form our top priorities. This glimpse of the regrets of folks in the pre-departure area should give us pause on how to live the present moment, the only moment we really have. The past is past and we don’t know if we’ll still be around for the future we’re trying to shape.
Your Chair Wrecker wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a bounty of love.
* * *
Chair Wrecker e-mail and website: and

Friday, December 30, 2011

May the force be with you!


By Sara Soliven De Guzman
The Philippine Star
I am happy to see that President Aquino is taking his campaign on corruption very seriously. The only way he can put a stop to this problem is to clean house and clear all obstacles in his path that may be a stumbling block to his actions.
In the past year since he took the oath of office, all his moves have been choked, making him very ineffective. Now it seems to be a matter of life or death for him and for DOJ Secretary De Lima. They seem to be “going for the kill”. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Anything should be good as long as it is for the interest of the people. So please continue to do everything to protect the people and to protect our nation.
You know after so much anarchy, after too much chaos and disruption of government policies, after uncontrolled corruption and euphoria, the new President has spoken and taken his stand. He must continue to be guided with the promise he gave to the people. Until we see his promise fulfilled will we be able to see the break of a new dawn.
With his renewed strength and vitality, the President is showing us that he has balls. That he is not a wimp. Continue to stand your ground, the straight and fearless way, and in the end you will be able to straighten up everything. Just like Lee Kwan Yew.
Lee Kwan Yew managed to transform Singapore’s economy while maintaining tight political control over the country. In fact, Singapore’s government can best be described as a “soft” authoritarian regime. Maybe this was what Corona meant when he described P-Noy as being a dictator. I think he did not use the right description and words. At this point it’s too early to accuse P-Noy of being a dictator for that matter. Of course P-Noy can easily be that but not right now and I think not in the future because democracy was what his parents had fought for all this time. He will probably maintain firmness and develop strict controls to make this country run on proper and more legal grounds following the rule of law and order. And by doing so, he will be able to achieve economic growth while retaining political stability and control.
You have started the ball rolling, Mr. President. You must be very careful of all your moves. You must also be able to control your people. If you falter in any way, you will lose this momentum. May the force be with you!
* * *
This is a difficult time for our country. Perhaps the day of reckoning is at hand. The signs and elements of the crisis we are now facing is slowly eating up our nation. But we should be reminded that politics shouldn’t rule our land. We must continuously develop our economy by being more productive citizens. We must strengthen our identity by fostering our culture and heritage.
Commercialization has invaded our lives so much so that everything and everyone seems to have a price. The worst and perhaps the most significant of all these is the decadence of our political institutions. Trust and confidence in our leaders is at its lowest. And now it seems the looming Constitutional crisis has become a reality.
Today, the Supreme Court is besieged. It is in an unlikely position fending off accusations left and right putting the SC’s integrity and credibility in question. Should Chief Justice Corona take the path of honor and resign from office or should he stay and defend the integrity of the highest court of the land?
Remember those who play with fire are likely to end up in flames. And eventually, God forbid, the wrath of the people will rise up and swallow them all. We do not want war. We want peace.
Our President is surely in high spirits these days after the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona. You got what you wanted, Mr. President. I pray that God continues to guide you in your work for the good of the country.
Indeed, it has truly become a clash of the titans in the real sense of the word. Corona has broken his silence and chosen to go head-on in defending himself and proving his innocence of all the accusations. He has finally reached the end of the line and has nowhere else to go but face the reality that the President will not stop at all cost until he is out of the Supreme Court. The sequence of events reminds me of the case of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.
* * *
As Christmas draws near, I can’t help but wonder how could we celebrate this joyous occasion when we seem to be surrounded by so much anger, hatred, indifference, dishonesty, distrust, and greed.
Advent is a season of preparation. It should be a time to thank God for the coming of Jesus Christ and celebrate His presence among us today through the Spirit. God loves us and wants us to share that love. But right now, the way we live and do things is not God-centered. We have forgotten the reason why God sent His only Son to the world. This is to save us from sin. The evil that we see around us has caused senseless loss of lives and inequality among men. We need to change our ways.
Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year-old event in history. It symbolizes our spiritual journey. It is calling to mind our faith in God and the hope of eternal life. God is enough. It is only when we find God that we can become sufficient.
During this Christmas ‘holy day’, let us find our way back to God. We need to be reborn. Let’s take some time out from all the parties and shopping to look into our hearts. And hopefully, some spiritual transformation will take place in each of us.
And amidst our jubilation let us pray and remember our brothers and sisters in Mindanao who perished during the recent typhoon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SC violates own ruling


‘Delicadeza should have prevailed on Renato Corona to reject the appointment.’
IN junking the midnight appointments of President Carlos P. Garcia, the Supreme Court ruled “when a nation embarks on electing its leadership, our Constitution, laws, judicial and historical precedents all emphasize that incumbents must be barred from abusing their powers to give themselves or their partisans undue advantage, thwart the public will, or harass by means of maliciously-motivated appointments.”
Garcia was a lameduck President when he made the midnight appointments in the sense that Diosdado Macapagal had been proclaimed winner in the previous national elections.
I can remember that Garcia appointed Dominador B. Aytona, his secretary of finance as governor of the Central Bank a day or two before Macapagal was to take his oath as the newly elected President.
The Supreme Court further declared in those infamous midnight appointments “it is common sense to believe that after the proclamation of the election of President Macapagal, his (Garcia’s) was no more than a ‘care-taker’ administration. He was duty bound to prepare for the orderly transfer of authority the incoming President, and he should not do acts which he ought to know, would embarrass or obstruct the policies of his successor.”
The present Supreme Court and then President Gloria Arroyo must have known about this precedent. But then they found a way of skirting or reversing it. The Court ruled that the President can make appointments to the Judiciary during a period prohibited by the Constitution.
In effect, the Court reversed a previous ruling but thought that the appointment of Renato C. Corona as Chief Justice, sits with the Constitution and the laws because the majority of the magistrates, presumably yielding to the pressures of Gloria Arroyo, allowed her to make the appointment.
In a very large sense, the present Court reversed itself but sanctified the act using the doctrine that the appointment during the prohibited period is valid because the Court ruled so.
The impeachment complaint explains “(And yet) then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo decided to ignore all past (sic) precedents, including the one established by her own father, President Diosdado Macapagal, in order to appoint a Chief Justice when by any measure – the history of the Court as shown by the delicadeza of former Chief Justice Manuel Moran; the landmark case of Aytona, the 1987 Constitution itself; and the Nov. 9, 1998 en banc resolution. voiding President Ramos midnight judicial appointments – such an appointment was viewed as dangerous and inimical to authentic democracies.”
Delicadeza should have prevailed on Renato Corona to reject the appointment.
The Court, yielding to pressures from Gloria Arroyo, interpreted the Constitutional prohibition against appointments during a national election period, precisely to facilitate the appointment of Mr. Corona as Head Magistrate.
It must be clear to all, however, that Mr. Corona did not participate in the deliberations that made his appointment possible. It must similarly be emphasized that the ruling was collegial although it was penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.
There is truth, however, to the allegations in the complaint that “Faced with a vacancy in the position of Chief Justice she (Gloria Arroyo) then went one step further and conspired with (respondent) Corona to maneuver his appointment as Chief Justice: breaking precedents established by her own father which premised midnight appointments as malicious interference in the ability of a newly-elected president to have a free hand in fulfilling his mandate.”
Circumstantial as it may seem, the whole dispute was created by the retirement of then Chief Justice Reynato Puno. The flaw is in the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution.
The “lapse in judgment” was not asking Mr. Puno to retire long before the period of prohibition.
If Chief Justice Puno had retired say in January or February of 2010, and Gloria Arroyo immediately appointed Renato Corona as the successor, there would be no question whatsoever about the legitimacy of her decision.
The lapse forced the Supreme Court to make a ruling which is presumed to sit with the Constitution. But it does not seem to sit with the minds of the people who now demand – through their representatives – that Chief Justice Corona be impeached.
Most critical in this dispute is the question of whether or not the people through the House of Representatives shall close their eyes to the fact that the Supreme Court made the ruling, not in defense of the Constitution, but for the personal benefit of Gloria Arroyo and Mr. Renato Corona.
If the ruling that does not sit with the Charter or with the minds of the people is to be tolerated, this country may expect that all cases involving Gloria Arroyo will be decided in her favor by the present Court.
It must be emphasized that majority of the Court, all appointed by Gloria Arroyo will retire long after President Aquino steps down on June 30, 2016.
In other words, if Chief Justice Renato Corona is not convicted in the impeachment trial, Gloria Arroyo will have the Court in her pocket for the next six or so years or up to the time the successor of President Aquino is elected.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CJ Corona’s answer to impeachment complaint

Chief Justice Renato Corona has asked the Senate to outrightly dismiss the impeachment complaint filed against him by the House of Representatives. In his answer filed on Monday, he asked for “the outright dismissal of the ‘Verified Impeachment Complaint,’ for failing to meet the requirements of the Constitution, or that the Impeachment Court enter a judgment of acquittal for all the Articles of Impeachment.”
Click here for Corona’s answer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The storms of 2011

By Karl Allan Barlaan and Christian Cardiente

Manila Standard Today
The year 2011 was stormy. It ended like it began, only with greater intensity.
January set the pace and the country has never slowed down since.
According to the 5 January news bulletin of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, nearly half-a-million persons were displaced due to continuous rains. There were floods and landslides in many parts of Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 527 villages in 19 provinces were affected. The death toll stood at 25.
By 23 January, the death toll rose to 68 with 26 others still missing. Almost 2 million were affected and nearly a month’s rain had caused damage to P1.78 billion worth of infrastructure, agriculture, and private property.
At the height of the calamity, while 2 million Filipinos were displaced from their homes, it was reported that President Benigno Aquino III bought himself a P4.5 million 2007 Porsche sports car.
The President defended himself against criticisms. The luxury vehicle was purchased “third-hand” from his own pocket—to help him relax and aid in his decision-making.
A March 2011 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey would later say that 48 percent of Filipinos disapproved of the Chief Executive’s purchase—“not a good example for a President of a country like the Philippines,” a majority of the respondents said.
In July, two months after the survey, Mr. Aquino would sell the car—not due to public opinion he would insist, but out of “security concerns.”
On 16 January, Aquino appointed election lawyer Sixto Brillantes as Chairman of the Commission on Elections. Brillantes’ appointment would prove pivotal to the events of the coming year.
On 27 January, former Armed Force of the Philippines comptroller Lt. Col. George Rabusa took to the Senate floor and revealed how former military chiefs received millions from public funds as “pabaon” (send-off money) upon their retirement from the service—among them, former AFP Chief-of-Staff Angelo Reyes, who had served under the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo.
February: Drawing the (war) line
February started without pretension. On its very first day, former Commission on Audit Heidi Mendoza testified on a similar controversy of graft in the military before the House of Representatives Justice committee.
Mendoza, while detailing how military officials siphoned funds off public coffers, also talked about the plea bargain agreement that had downgraded from plunder to direct bribery, the charge against another former military comptroller, Carlos Garcia. One of those supposedly responsible in the plea bargain was then-Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. She at that time was facing two impeachment complaints in Congress, though not including the said issue.
The auditor’s exposé arguably added to the public’s disfavor of the already-unpopular former Ombudsman.
Mr. Aquino would later name Mendoza COA commissioner, in April.
A week later, on 7 February, Angelo Reyes committed suicide amid graft charges related to the AFP fund scam.
But while the perceived hunt against Arroyo allies ensued, the law seemed lax on one particular Aquino ally.
On 03 February, the Court of Appeals dismissed charges against Sen. Panfilo Lacson who was accused of masterminding the murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbit.
Lacson, who had then been in hiding for nearly a year, would resurface in late March.
Marching with the numbers
There were two earthquakes in March, a magnitude 5.2 in Ilocos Norte (10 March) and 5.8 in Metro Manila (21 March), though the bigger display of force—man-made or natural—during that month was that of the Executive’s influence over its allies in the Legislature.
On 21 March, Aquino allies impeached Ombudsman Gutierrez by an overwhelming majority of 212 against 4. It was the second for any of the country’s officials but would not be the last for the year.
Previously defiant, the impeachment would cause Gutierrez’s resignation in May.
Two hundred votes may have been sufficient to impeach the Ombudsman, but 200 signatures on a resolution supporting the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani did not suffice to change the President’s mind —that honor will not be afforded his family’s traditional nemesis, not under his watch, said Mr. Aquino.
The said resolution was not heard of again.
Debates on the postponement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections were also at their most intense in March. It would be an issue, like all others, to be decided by Congress in favor of the Palace.
April: Catching Capone
On 07 April, the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed a P78.35 million tax evasion suit against Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and wife, Ma. Angela.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares denied that the Arroyos were being singled out though the Bureau’s Web site boasted of how it has pulled an “Al Capone” on corrupt government officials. The “Al Capone” strategy was first outlined by Mr. Aquino himself during the 106th anniversary of the agency.
Mikey Arroyo joined others accused of tax evasion—including a celebrity director, retired generals, past and present government officials—most of whom observers opined were in one way or another related to, connected with, or appointed by the former President.
Merci-less May
The Aquino administration was finally rid of Merceditas Gutierrez by May but once more had to deal with another tropical storm, Bebeng.
By the second week of May, 35 had died from Bebeng while the country sustained damages estimated at P1.37 billion. Also affected were nearly 500,000 people in 12 provinces, mostly from the Bicol region.
In May, Aquino’s friend and Bureau of Corrections chief Ernesto Diokno was at the receiving end of criticism when on the 8th, former Gov. Antonio Leviste, convicted of homicide, was found in Makati—outside of his Muntinlupa prison cell.
Diokno would later resign his post because of the controversy.
Jolly in June
Tropical storm Falcon hit the country in June but with relatively less impact. According to statistics from the NDRRMC, it affected 69,000 families from Metro Manila, and Regions 3, 4, and 5.
On 30 June, Mr. Aquino signed Republic Act 10153 synchronizing elections in ARMM with the May 2013 national mid-term elections. The law also provided him with the power to appoint officers-in-charge in the region.
The new ARMM was later questioned before the Supreme Court but passed the test of constitutionality in October by a vote of 8 against 7.
June 30 likewise marked the President’s first year in office. In a speech that once more focused on allegations of graft and abuse against the former administration, Mr. Aquino announced that his government had “done fairly well this year.”
July: trading punches
On 05 July, the Office of the Ombudsman ordered an investigation into Arroyo’s alleged participation in the 2004 fertilizer fund scam.
On 20 July, former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol claimed that Arroyo benefited from wide-scale electoral fraud in 2004. The Comelec commissioner would later say that Fernando Poe Jr. had won the 2004 presidential election.
On 25 July, during his second state-of-the-nation address, the President announced former Supreme Court justice Conchita Carpio Morales as the new Ombudsman.
In the same speech, Mr. Aquino once more harped on the “wang wang” mentality —the culture of abuse and impunity among government officials—which his administration had sought to eradicate.
Earlier, the House minority House Reolution 1419 seeking an inquiry into government’s failure to impose sanctions on Mr. Aquino’s KKK—“Kaibigan, Kaklase, and Kabarilan (friends, classmates, and shooting buddies). Cited in the list of “errant functionaries” were Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Ricardo Puno, Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and Bureau of Corrections chief Ernesto Diokno.
No charges were filed against Puno on the bungled Luneta hostage incident; Torres on the Stradcom issue, despite the recommendations from an independent investigating committee and the Justice Department respectively; Purisima, for failing to file income tax returns in 2007 and 2008; and Diokno, on the uncovered living-out-prisoners anomaly, claimed the minority.
In the Senate’s august halls
While Mr. Aquino’s allies were supposedly spared the rod, the onslaught against allies and family of Arroyo continued in August.
On 12 August, former first gentleman Mike Arroyo was summoned to the Senate in connection with the sale of second-hand helicopters—his, allegedly—passed off as brand new units to the Philippine National Police. He did not attend, his lawyers claimed, due to health reasons.
He would be, in November, found liable for graft charges by a fact-finding panel of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Earlier on 03 August, Juan Miguel Zubiri resigned from the Senate, pre-empting the decision on Koko Pimentel’s four-year-old electoral protest against him. Pimentel was proclaimed Senator, replacing Zubiri, on 11 August.
The events would rekindle interest on allegations of poll fraud on the 2007 and even 2004 elections.
On 09 August, the Justice Department issued a watchlist order against Gloria Arroyo in connection with plunder charges filed against her.
The next day, the former President underwent a 12-hour surgery to fix the dislodged titanium implant on her spine.
On 24 August, the Comelec reopened investigations on the “Hello Garci” scandal.
September storms
On September 15, Pulse Asia released the results of its August-September surveys. Aquino’s approval rating stood firm at a high 77 percent and his trust rating remained stable at 75 percent.
Taking into account, among others, issues of electoral fraud and graft being investigated by administration allies in the legislature, the survey appeared to confirm the public’s approval towards Mr. Aquino’s seeming onslaught against the previous administration.
On 19 September, former election supervisors from Mindanao, Lilian Radam and Yogies Martirizar, submitted sworn statements implicating former Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos in electoral fraud to favor Arroyo’s senatorial candidates duing the 2007 elections.
While attacks on the previous administration continued, twin typhoons Pedring and Quiel also struck the Philippines in September.
Together they accounted for nearly P10 billion in damage to infrastructure and agriculture, with the latter sustaining most of the damage at more than P8 billion. Three million people were affected, most of whom were from Central Luzon. The death toll stood at 77—66 from Pedring and 10 from Quiel.
It was the second time in 2011 that two tropical storms had hit the country almost simultaneously. In July, Juaning and Kabayan combined for a death toll of 70 while displacing nearly a million.
October: Laying the predicate
President Aquino was at the defensive in early October for convening the NDRRMC only five days after Pedring and Quiel had devastated Luzon. He was criticized for having prioritized attendance in the Asean 100 Leadership Forum and the anniversary celebration of McDonald’s Philippines a few days prior.
Attention, however, soon shifted back to Arroyo.
On 17 October, after investigations in the Senate were concluded, Sen. Koko Pimentel filed criminal charges against the Arroyo couple in connection with the supposed rigging of the 2007 senatorial elections.
Ten days after, on 27 October, the DOJ issued a second watchlist order against Arroyo relevant to the then-ongoing joing DOJ-Comelec panel on the charge of electoral fraud.
November’s three-day blitz
On 15 November, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the Justice Department’s watchlist order against the Arroyos. The couple were, however, still prevented from leaving the country upon orders by the Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
On 18 November, the Comelec en banc voted in favor of the DOJ-Comelec joint panel’s recommendations. On the same day it filed criminal charges of electoral sabotage against Arroyo before the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Probable cause was determined by the Pasay RTC on the same day. The warrant of arrest against the former president was issued and served, also on the same day.
On 21 November, Arroyo’s petition for hospital arrest was granted.
December: like January, only much worse
The juggernaut against Arroyo and perceived allies continued in December.
On 12 December, 188 Congressmen —in a caucus exclusively among members of the majority—signed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona. On the same day, without deliberation or debate, the Articles of Impeachment were transmitted to the Senate.
Next year, the Senate will convene as an impeachment court to try to Chief Justice.
But before the administration and its supporters could even celebrate, a tropical storm once more hit the nation. Sendong struck causing damage to the tune of P1 billion—as of last estimates. The bigger tragedy is that the typhoon also took a thousand lives.
And the President did find time to celebrate after all—at his security group’s Christmas party, sharing laughs with an actress—while countless mourned.
The events of December 2011, sums up the whole of 2011. In matters of governance, even at the start of the year—purchasing a luxury sports car while 2 million Filipinos were displaced from their homes—Mr. Aquino always managed to find himself in the eye of the storm.
But he has weathered it all, immovably popular and trustworthy to the majority despite his shortcomings and insensitivity, perceived or otherwise.
In politics, he stirs up a tempest. He is the eye of the storm, never blinking, gaze obsessively intent on bringing his foes to their knees.