It's difficult for Filipinos to believe in the President's call for "tuwid na daan" (straight road) when he himself doesn't observe it.
When asked about the controversy involving his political adviser, Ronald Llamas, who was witnessed buying pirated DVDs by a reporter from Bandila, President Noynoy Aquino said that Llamas could've been just "passing by". President Aquino also said that the issue involving Llamas was not his priority.
Of course, Llamas was already involved in a previous controversy, when his bodyguards, who figured in a car accident in Quezon City, were caught with a high-powered assault rifle; Llamas, though, was not present during that time. Even then, President Aquino was not concerned about his adviser, and police eventually cleared Llamas but charged his bodyguards with illegal possession of firearms.
However, in this case, Llamas was caught red-handed buying P2,000 worth of pirated DVDs, and yet the President decides to look the other way. What's infuriating about this is that he's pulling all the stops in trying to nail down former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, but when it's one of his own people, the President doesn't even lift a finger.
Admittedly, buying pirated DVDs in this country is not a crime; in the Inquirer news story about Llamas' purchase, Optical Media Board chairman Ronnie Ricketts concedes that "the government could not do anything about it when someone—even a Palace
official—buys pirated DVDs because the country’s antipiracy law imposes
no penalty on the customer." However, Llamas' actions sets a bad example for an administration whose main pillar is fighting against corruption. The President's apparent abetting of Llamas sends the wrong message to the people.
More than ever, the favoritism being played by the President is a rude awakening for the millions who voted for him, expecting that he would do what he can in fighting corruption. Like the pigs in George Orwell's "Animal Farm", the President is no better than the corrupt administration that he espouses to punish.
If the President has any sense of propriety, he should ask Llamas to step down and appoint someone who is more conscious of following the "tuwid na daan". In fact, Llamas shouldn't wait for that, and simply resign, to spare his boss any further embarassment.