Wherever we are in the political spectrum, it cannot be denied that 2011 was a year defined politically by President Benigno Aquino III. It was the year which started with some nervousness from the people themselves who elected him to power. The question, of course, was his competence for presidency.
The first six months of his term was a so-so period when the newness to the post showed itself in various ways: his anti-poverty policies were at one time termed simplistic, his handling of the Luneta incident termed amateurish, and his various Executive Orders termed legally weak. However, it was a genuine learning curve that the people accepted.
Going into 2011, the nervousness was beginning to show–with the surveys showing a downward spiral. Though still high, it would seem to reach a critical level by end-2011. Opposition and critics had a field day feasting on an “amateur president” presiding over a “student council” of a cabinet. There were attempts to stir up trouble in the military and the hack media made a killing from the funders of destabilization.
All for naught. At the end of 2011, the surveys showed the President regaining the high level of popular support that won him the landslide in 2010. Now, his programs are holding their ground, particularly the pledge to combat corruption and prosecute the “big fishes” of the Arroyo administration who figured in major cases in the past decade. GMA and Abalos are in jail, Palparan is on the run, Gutierrez is out of the Ombudsman office, and SC Chief Justice Corona has been impeached.
It is not a coincidence that people have high hopes for the new year, a high 95% according to SWS survey. It is the expectation for better governance and a better life in the coming year under the Aquino government.
2011 was the year Aquino proved his political will, backed up by a huge popular support from the sovereign people. The entire spectrum of political forces in the country has taken note of it and are acting accordingly. 2012 will prove whether he knows how to wield the awesome power of his political position in the greater interests of the whole nation and people.
2012 will be an interesting political year.