If there was any way I wanted the SONA to be written and delivered, I would want it to be that of today’s SONA. It was a fighting SONA, loudly ringing of the truth that this government had done for the past nine years, which is caring for the economy and business.
President Gloria Arroyo, for the first time, addressed her critics, and at the same time talked proudly of her accomplishments. She should be.
- The Philippines has the strongest, sustained and continued growth in GDP. Jobs created by BPOs, IT investors have benefited as well the taxi drivers and the vendors.
- While the world is in crisis, Philippines is weathering it because of the strong economic policies, though unpopular they may be. Investing in the country has never been fair and investment friendly as before. I know because I work for a multinational company, and I know how dismissive government agencies had been before.
- Good infrastructure such as nautical highways and expressways and highways, airports that are of international standards. Can you remember a time before today when Filipinos traveled, visited, and started exploring the country? One of my projects is a directory of Philippine destinations, and in one of our studies, we found out that many of our tourists lately are Filipinos themselves.
- The easy movement of goods and people as well as giving the people the capacity to earn, have made this country stand the economic and political crises.
I couldn’t help nodding my head in agreement on these points:
The noisiest critics of constitutional reform tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-Cha when they thought they could take advantage of a shift in the form of government. Now that they feel they cannot benefit from it, they oppose it.
As the campaign unfolds and the candidates take to the airwaves, I ask them to talk more about how they will build up the nation rather than tear down their opponents. Give the electorate real choices and not just sweet talk.
This is my wish, too.
I say to them: do not tell us what we all know, that democracy can be threatened. Tell us what you will do when it is attacked.
To titillate even more his critics, she went:
At the end of this speech I shall step down from this stage, but not from the Presidency. My term does not end until next year. Until then, I will fight for the ordinary Filipino. The nation comes first. There is much to do as head of state – to the very last day.
I am sad that many opposition Senators did not attend. It does not speak well of the kind of statesmen that we have. I believe it is their duty to hear the SONA in Congress. Sen. Biazon put it well when he said that he was there because it was his duty to be there, although he might not agree with what President Arroyo was saying.
In the U.S., during Bush’s unpopularity, when Bush delivered his SONA, the democrats were there, stayed on, and listened. Never mind if the democrats didn’t approve of Bush’s policies or give his governance a thumbs up.
Here in the Philippines, those on the other side, as expected said that GMA did not portray the true state state of the nation, and that in no categorical terms did GMA say that she would be stepping down in 2010/2011. Well, isn’t it sentido comon?
I wish everyone of us had been vigilant of the changes that the country underwent in the last nine years, that is if everyone was able to tune out the political noise.
In the end, it’s anybody’s interpretation, depending on which side are you, and how open minded you are.
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Look for managerial expertise
Today, Independence Day, is a good time to think about the qualities of the person we will vote for to be our next president. The recent two part ANC Leadership Forum should have provided clues on what to expect with each of the candidates. Unfortunately, neither of the two episodes got wide exposure. The other problem has to do with the danger of falling in love with the more telegenic and media savvy candidate.
Indeed, that seems to be the problem with the Filipino electorate. It is easy to get the ordinary voter infatuated with a candidate because of personality and other non important attributes. It is easy for the Pinoy voter to get taken by empty promises coming from a candidate with media sex appeal. That’s at the root of our problems.
That’s one reason why both Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Chiz Escudero are among the leading contenders even if they are the least qualified. Neither of the two from Danding Cojuangco’s NPC has significant managerial experience. Neither Loren nor Chiz has the track record to assure us they can run the massive bureaucracy called the Philippine government. We should learn from our experience with Gloria Magtatagal Arroyo. As such, all they can offer are promises. Ampaw is a good way to describe Loren and Chiz, which makes them ideal for the vested interests operating the NPC.
Here’s Note #1.
Current Events, Elections 2010, Philippines | Comments
Elections 2010, Philippines, Politics | Comments
NewsStand by John Nery
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 18, 2009
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escuder enjoys a reputation for political eloquence, and as I have written before on other occasions, his mellifluous monotone” can prove highly effective. But as his answers at the recent ABS-CBN-sponsored “leadership forum” at the Ateneo de Manila showed, he also uses it in Orwelllian fashion. That is to say, he sometimes uses his gift of gab to conceal thought, not to reveal it.
One example: To the question about personal heroes (Which historical person living or dead do you most admire?), Escudero said, None. His answer (in mellifluously monotonous Filipino, and readily available on his website) started in this wise: “Ilang ulit nang tinanong sa akin yan, “matagal ko nang pinag-isipan ngunit wala akong maisip ni-isa.” My translation: “I’ve been asked that many times and have thought about it a long tiem, but I can’t think of anyone.” He went on to say: “Dahil para sa akin walang iisang kumakatawan at nagtataglay nang lahat ng katangiang kapupuri-puri. [Because for me, there is no one who embodies and symbolizes all that is worthy of praise.]”
This is passing strange. The question was not Who is perfect? but Who do you look up to?
Escudero proceeded to state that perhaps what we ought to do is to choose what is admirable in our historical figures (“mga magagandang ginawa ng mga personalidad sa kasaysayan”) and avoid mistakes. But that was the point of the question, wasn’t it? Give the Filipino people an idea of who you consider admirable. Escudero then wrapped up his two-minute answer with an appeal to imagination: Imagine a person with all these qualities, he said. “Iyon siguro, hindi man totoong tao, ang dapat natin tingalain. [Maybe that is the one, though not a real person, we should look up to.]”
Pure drivel. I think in avoiding the true question, Escudero is betraying the anxiety of influence. As I’ve written before (the first time, I think was in 2005), Escudero strikes me as the acceptable face of the Marcos restoration. Here’s a thought in search of a consensus. Perhaps Escudero declined answer the real question because the people may not be ready to hear him profess any admiration for the late dictator.