The now famous Porsche spiel had me laughing and wincing at the same time. But that was before former UP Law dean Raul Pangalangan dissected the whole issue in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
I agree with many of the points raised by Dean Pangalangan especially that the Noynoy presidency for all intents and purposes is a "symbol presidency". The Porsche spiel is a cruise missile that is targeted with smart accuracy at the center of the Noynoy symbol. And I have no one to blame but the bachelor president himself.
The fact is that there are several nations that are headed by symbols. For example, Queen Elizabeth II reigns as a symbol of unity over Great Britain. And like Noynoy, she has lots of untainted money and can afford to buy what her heart desires. But to the surprise of non-Britons, in the 1970s she was reported to have gone around Buckingham Palace, switching off the lights. She wanted to save on electric bills. And her kids spent their babyhood days in nurseries with the thermostat kept low! This was in the late 1970s and I remember my mom and aunts asking why the Queen, a woman of so much wealth and privilege, needed to save on electric bills!
The Queen knows she has to maintain the esteem of her subjects but she knows all too well that becoming too common would displease her subjects too. (The British recoil with horror in contemplating their Monarch to be like her Scandinavian relatives, cycling to the Royal Palace!) Her subjects want to see her wear the crown, ride in the Royal Carriage but they also want that she shouldn't be extravagant. For the more than 60 years she has reigned she has maintained this precarious balance.
The Japanese have a "symbol Emperor" and he carries no money although the Imperial Household Agency has managed the Imperial family's finances quite well. The Emperor can afford to buy a new limo if he wanted to but this would require the approval of the Prime Minister and the Diet who will obviously choose a Japanese make. The Emperor like the Queen of England, has to maintain the respect of his subjects.
And this is why Noynoy has no sense what it means to be a symbol. He is just a symbol for fighting corruption and he has to maintain that. The success or failure of his rule will be measured only on that and nothing else. Even if he bought his third hand Porsche with his own money, he has to take into consideration the situation that his Bosses are in.
The Porsche spiel really is all about the Boss!
And the spiel is a masterpiece of propaganda. If Herr Doktor Goebbles were around to hand in the best (and damaging) in propaganda awards, this Juana Change spiel has a chance of getting the award. I have studied Nazi propaganda and Juana Change's Porsche spiel can match or even surpass anything the Propaganda Ministry ever dished out. Not even the satirical material made during Mrs Arroyo presidency can match. The material on GMA's presidency focuses on her being vertically challenged. But she having been a college professor in an earlier incarnation, is likely to have been inured by such stuff.
In contrast the Noynoy subalterns are not inured (or even immune!). The "pikon" expression and retort of Sec. Ricky Carandang is enough proof that the spiel had inflicted the most damage.
And Noynoy Aquino is not even a year into his job!