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Byline: Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
"Pnoy the Magician" in bright yellow. This was how activists depicted President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino in effigy in last Monday's annual State of the Nation street demonstration. They were proven prescient in more ways than one as soon as Mr. Aquino started delivering his SONA that turned out to be vintage smoke-and-mirrors demagoguery.
Rather than lead the people to an understanding of the true state of the nation, his seemingly straightforward rhetoric was used instead to conjure illusions and deceive not unlike the way a magician uses optical illusions to create believability while actually performing tricks.
The main trick is to continue to appear as the harbinger of the "change that people can believe in" that worked well enough to get Mr. Aquino elected.
However, despite the effort to make the Aquino regime appear poised to undertake far-reaching reforms in government, in the economy, in resolving armed conflicts, and even in turning around public sentiment from pessimism to hopefulness, cynicism to unity, and cooperation, Mr. …