On his first day as the country’s top elected official, President Benigno Aquino III sang his favorite Filipino song, Freddie Aguilar’s “Estudyante Blues.”
The 1980s hit goes, “Ako ang nakikita. Ako ang nasisisi. Ako ang laging may kasalanan.” (“Sisi” is a Filipino term for “blame, or accuse”.)
As it turned out, the lyrics of the song rang true as recently, President Aquino was awarded by the government of Indonesia it’s highest state honor, the Bintang Award(pun intended folks; “bintang” is a Filipino term for “blame or accuse”).
The biggest controversies during the Aquino administration which adversely affected the President’s popularity were:
The Manila Hostage Crisis
Not long after President Benigno Aquino III took his oath, in August 2010, eight Hong Kong tourists were killed by a disgruntled former police officer Rolando Mendoza, after a bungled rescue attempt supervised by Aquino himself.
Pres. Aquino was heavily criticized because of this. His lost sense of urgency regarding the matter was picked up by the public. They lambasted Aquino’s slow response to the crisis. Aquino’s inability to apologise to the government of Hong Kong eventually strained ties between the Philippines and Hong Kong.