The Lure of the Siren

First you will come to the Sirens 

who enchant all who come near them.

If any one unwarily draws in too close 

and hears the singing of the Sirens,

his wife and children 

will never welcome him home again,

for they sit in a green field 

and warble him to death 

with the sweetness of their song. 

There is a great heap 

of dead men’s bones lying all around, 

with the flesh still rotting off them.«

-The Odyssey-

She bathes herself in controversy for she seems to enjoy the smell of dried ink on paper bearing her name and proclaiming her latest shenanigans.  She makes outrageous proclamations in public that have tainted the family name, and when the media frenzy gets too much she hides behind the myth of the Aquino name.  A few years back, she proclaimed on a televised interview that she had contacted STD from a former lover.  Public opinion was divided: some praised her for staying true to herself in an industry where make-up and fake hair hide the real person underneath, while some cast stones at her for having loose morals of a woman who was supposed to come from a good and religious family.

Now that her older brother is about to take office as the fifteenth president of the Philippine republic, Kris Aquino’s influence has stretched far into the corners of the Executive and Legislative branches of the government.  First, there were talks of a Joey de Leon appointment for the Optical Media Board (OMB) post.  Then followed a string of names, all showbiz personalities who were staunch supporters of Noynoy during the campaign:  from Boy Abunda the Bff, to Ogie the Pogi, to Dingdong Dantes, and finally, Leah Navarro.  In a culture that places importance on Utang na Loob, the Aquinos are now about to give the devil his due, while the common man watches from the side as the oligarchs start to rip what little garb this country is left with.  It happened during Cory’s time, and it will happen again during the son’s time.

Kris, with her continuous meddling in the affairs of the state, is starting to resemble the mythical sirens of Greek mythology.  “The Sirens,” writes Bulfinch, “were sea nymphs who had the power of charming by their song all who heard them, so that the unhappy mariners were irresistibly impelled to cast themselves into the sea to their destruction.”  Huge crowds gathered around her during the political sorties, eager to hear promises of a better life.  Now that securing the presidency for Noynoy has been accomplished, Kris has turned her attention on securing the seat for Senate President for the Liberal Party’s Senator Kiko Pangilinan.  The Daily Tribune reports that “…the presidential sister was said to have promised choice committee chairmanships to them, in exchange for their vote in favor of Pangilinan.  The presidential sister is into influence-peddling, and in the case of Estrada, sources said that senator was supposedly offered the retention of his current position as President pro tempore while Revilla was said to have been assured of retaining his committee on public works and highways as well as public services.  Lapid was allegedly promised to be retained as chairman of the committee on sports, games and amusement, while detained Sen. Trillanes has been promised freedom to attend the Senate hearings in exchange for his vote for Pangilinan.”  Beware of the lure of the siren.

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Kris’ life is an open book: who hasn’t heard of her affairs as she jumped from the arms of one married man to another and bore a child out of wedlock?  Her married life is laced with controversy, as well:  there were whispers of affairs of husband James Yap.  But all these are forgivable, and frankly, none of the public’s business.  If Kris makes a mess out of her privileged life, it will not deplete the country’s natural resources, nor will it make the stock market crash.  Her supposed involvement and influence in Noynoy’s decisions, however, are a different story.  

The Aquinos have a tendency to sweeten their family name with tales of heroism and religious devotion.  In a country desperate for a new breed of leaders whose hands have not been dirtied by corruption, the Aquinos rode on their famous last name and their mother’s death to secure the votes.  But wait, isn’t that a form of corruption too?  To take advantage of their parents’ legacies and a recent death in the family does not speak too well of the son and daughters

 of “heroes”.

But last May’s election is already history.  Noynoy has already been elected President and for the next six years he will be the leader of this small speck of land on this part of the world.  I’m crossing my fingers that his sister’s meddling will not be his downfall.  That she will not be the Siren “who enchants those who come near them, only to leave a great heap of dead men’s bones lying all around, with the flesh still rotting off them.”

First published on Blogger on 6/23/10 at 5:13 AM PDT
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