MANILA - Less talk, fewer mistakes. President Aquino should be advised to talk less -- or get better people to give him sound communication advice, a political analyst said Thursday.
University of the Philippines Political Science Prof. Clarita Carlos said Aquino made an error in judgement when he asked Filipinos to wear yellow ribbons to show their support for his administration.
She described Aquino's call for support as "pathetic."
"If he is serious and I think he was, then otherwise he would not have articulated it, then it's rather pathetic," Carlos told ANC Prime Time. "We have trivialized our politics so much and now, we are talking about colors and linking them with some political ideology. It's really pathetic."
"That's the problem when we oversimplify things. We think that slogans or colors of ribbons, they represent something, and they don't," she said.
"Maybe that is an error of judgment in his part to ask the ordinary Filipino to rally behind the administration but we are saying, we are taking the higher ground and we are rallying behind principles," she said, in response to the reaction of some to wear the flag's colors instead of Aquino's yellow ribbon.
She believes the Palace is on the defensive with regard to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which was partially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Carlos said the President needs better counsel. "Maybe they should advise him to talk less. Maybe he should have better communication advisers."
She said the Philippines can't be compared to the US wherein colors represent clear ideological divides.
"I don't think we can even compare ourselves to the US where (there is a) clear divide between the so called conservatives and the the so-called liberals. The reds and the blues are there," she explained.
"I think there was some naiveté on the part of the administration that they think we are stupid people and we would accept such simple explanation," Carlos added, regarding Aquino's call for the wearing of yellow ribbons.
Carlos said the Aquino administration could have used DAP funds more productively.
"I just visited the laboratories of the NBI and you know what I saw there, instead of using glass beakers, they're using Gatorade bottles, for God's sakes," she said.
"If you're telling me that you're getting the savings of these agencies and you're using them for some reasons, NBI is a good reason to put money in," Carlos said.
However, she said the Aquino administration may survive the controversy. "We have such short memories. They've had many faux pas. I'm sure later we would not remember them."
She said people may only remember Aquino for his voice "that would [put] people to sleep."
Political symbols are very important in any politics of any nation.
But whether wearing these political symbols will be translated into political actions or in the 2016 elections, we don't know, she said.