POSTSCRIPT / August 14 2014 / Thursday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Opinion Columnist

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Steep dive of Noy rating irreversible?

STEEP DIVE: The people’s satisfaction with the administration of President Noynoy Aquino continues to fall — from 66 percent in June 2013 to just 29 percent in June 2014, or 37 percentage points lost in just one year.

An average of .08 points vanished each day of his presidency this year. The decline could become irreversible considering the absence of any impact effort to arrest the downtrend.

With Aquino’s rating dropping precipitously to 29 percent last June, the lowest since he became president, it could hover at alarming single-digit levels by the time the presidential election campaign kicks off in 2016.

The survey findings of the Social Weather Stations show the slide in the administration’s rating: 66 percent in June 2013; 52 percent in September 2013; 51 percent in December 2013; 45 percent in March 2014; and 29 percent in June 2014.

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ABANDON SHIP: This early, one can almost see the rats jumping off the listing yellow ship. Soon, supposed allies in the Congress and the local governments would start distancing themselves from Malacañang.

Continuing to buy their support would become so costly that a reluctant president, especially after being deprived of PDAF and DAP pork, may start wondering if paying off these opportunists was worth it.

Even business moguls who contribute to chosen parties and candidates can be expected to now think twice before taking out their check books when Liberal Party gofers come soliciting funds for the election campaign.

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DEADWOOD: President Aquino has enough problems shoring up his own poll standing he better stop worrying also about the failure of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to improve his chances in case he runs as LP presidential bet.

It is actually a reciprocal situation. The administration’s poor survey showing is degrading the value of an endorsement by President Aquino of his anointed successor.

Still, if only for his own mental health, the President should let go of Roxas and other LP deadwood hanging like an albatross around his neck. Instead of helping improve the administration’s satisfaction rating, they have been dragging it down.

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CALMING FEARS: Malacañang is whistling in the dark in an effort to calm its own fears.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the political strength of President Aquino could not be underestimated. According to him, people were looking forward to his anointing a presidential candidate.

He seemed to have missed the detail that the Aquino administration has been receiving declining survey scores in all geographic areas and across socio-economic classes. The cancer, if we may call it that, has been metastasizing from the urban centers to the rest of the country.

The surveys this year show that dissatisfaction has been growing: June 2013, 9 percent; September 2013, 15 percent; December 2013, 19 percent; March 2014, 20 percent; and June 2014, 26 percent.

Through the same period same year, satisfaction has waned from a high of 75 percent in June 2013 to a low of 56 percent in June 2014.

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REBIRTH: What is a “people reborn”? To answer this, we reproduce below an item from Zenit.org, a Catholic news agency giving a view of the world as seen from Rome. It reported:

During the homily of his morning Mass at his residence, Pope Francis proposed three marks of a “people reborn,” which characterized the early Christian community.

At Casa Santa Marta, the Holy Father said the Christian community should be characterized by interior unity, witness of Christ, and care of its members.

He spoke of the “rebirth from on high” in the Holy Spirit, who gave life to the first group of “new Christians” when “they still didn’t have that name.”

“They had one heart and mind,” the Pope said. “Peace. A community in peace. This means that in this community there was no room for gossip, envy, calumnies, defamation. Peace. Forgiveness: ‘Love covered everything.’”

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ATTITUDE: Francis stressed the importance of Christians’ attitudes: “Are they meek, humble? Do they vie for power between each other in that community? Are there envious quarrels? Is there gossip? [Then] they are not on the path of Jesus Christ. This feature is so important, so important, because the devil always tries to divide us. He is the father of division.”

Pope Francis recognized that problems existed even for the first Christians.

He recalled “the infighting, the doctrinal struggles, power struggles.”

As an example of this he pointed to the widows who complained of a lack of assistance so that the Apostles “had to create deacons.”

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THE POOR: Pope Francis proposed a reflection for today’s Christian communities: “Does this community give witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Does this parish, this community, this diocese really believe that Jesus Christ is Risen?”

The Bishop of Rome said the third characteristic from which we can measure the life of a Christian community is “the poor.”

“First, what’s your attitude or the attitude of this community toward the poor?” he asked. “Second, is this community poor? Poor in heart, poor in spirit? Or does it place its trust in riches? In power?”

“Harmony, witness, poverty and care for the poor. This is what Jesus explained to Nicodemus: This comes from above. Because the only one who can do this is the Holy Spirit,” the Pope concluded.

“This is the work of the Spirit. The Church is built up by the Spirit. The Spirit creates unity. The Spirit leads us to witness. The Spirit makes us poor, because He is our wealth and leads us to care for the poor.”

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of August 14, 2014)

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