Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How come no one believes her?

As the politicians look eagerly towards 2010, walang kamatayan cha-cha still hounds the nation. The FSGO and even Church leaders continue to warn against the political legerdemain a supposedly lame duck Gloria would yet spin. Nograles and Villafuerte just can’t lay cha-cha in the coffin, they have to keep it warm, these political necrophiliacs. And the congressmen could always be joined by a few actors and absentees in the Senate, to produce the magic number 197, three-fourths of Congress combined, and then throw the issue to a Supreme Court which by May will have been packed by more of the Glorianic majority, minus Puno, Carpio, Morales, Ynares-Santiago, and perhaps Quisumbing. Ten versus five, the cha-cha conspirators keep making tabs.
But palace apologists keep making assurances that political life in Malacanang would cease for their boss woman after June 30, 2010. Her new press secretary, Cerge Remonde said recently that speculations about Mrs. Arroyo extending her term “were the handiwork of destabilizers to fuel anger against the President and her administration”.
“We are appealing for an end to the intrigues and call on all sectors to work with the government in moving the nation forward,” he added. How come no one believes him? Even explanations by palace insiders that “Gloria just does not want to be a lame duck in the last year of her presidency, that’s why there are these deft political maneuvers”, fail to convince.
The Senate sounds smug, and its president Juan Ponce Enrile, says the Senate already considered the cha-cha initiative a “non-issue”, because they would certainly thumb it down. He said it would be a waste of time to push for cha-cha even only for amending its economic provisions. He observed that “just now everyone is already scattered all over the Philippines,” referring to politicians preparing for the 2010 elections.
But Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz remains unconvinced despite the assurances. According to the good bishop, MalacaƱang is committed to cha-cha regardless of the consequences. And he points out to the palace capture of the Congress of the Bought, plus the “collegial” alliance of the high tribunal, as reasons for his scepticism.
“Charter change is not a mere option for the national leadership. It has long since become an urgent imperative,” Cruz said.
How indeed can anyone believe the assurances coming from the camp of someone who before the monument of Rizal pledged in 2002 not to run any longer, “in order to end the divisiveness of the nation”, only to divide it insufferably after cheating her way to election in 2004? What word from Gloria Macapagal Arroyo can anyone reasonably trust?
When she learned that Chief Justice Reynato Puno would lead civil society and religious leaders in launching a “moral force” on March 27, and rally the people behind a crusade against the venal corruption that has metastasized all over her government, she tried to steal the thunder by issuing an administrative order directing all agency heads to launch “moral” renewal. But everybody ignored her gall. Many in media did not even bother to print the obvious lie she was peddling.
Because no one believes her spoken word, on top of the abysmally aberrant manner she has misgoverned the nation, there have been several attempts to throw her off her throne. Only the “reliability” of her bought generals has kept her there, and the patience of a timid population who do not seem to care about country, preferring instead the silence of resigned hopelessness.
A friend remarked in a round-table discussion early 2008, that there will never be an end to the “destabilization” Gloria keeps mouthing as threat to her regime. “Maski pa malapit na ang 2010 , the possibility of her being removed from power via non-electoral means will still exist”, he stressed against our then opinion that “pag-pasok ng 2009, election fever takes over”.
It seems to me now that he was prescient. First, in early 2008, one did not expect the financial crisis to be this severe. Joblessness and misery will haunt the land in 2009 till 2010. Second, Gloria and her ilk cannot seem to just let go. It’s not only the power and the pelf, it’s also a fear of judicial retribution. Look at the long line of cabinet and sub-cabinet allies who now want to run as senators or congressmen, even Genuino of Pagcor. The name of their game is protection through the “immunity” provided by electoral mandate. Third, more and more are convinced that elections the way we have it, will not produce the kind of alternative leader that the nation needs, that the system still sucks no matter who the players are, and in any case, the system will not allow even a good player to succeed.
And now comes another proof that the woman, already eight years, one month and two days in power, still feels insecure that she might not get to finish the one year, four months, and four days remaining in her stolen term. For why stand at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, whilst commemorating the first Edsa, and say that “the world will not forgive an Edsa III, but it will instead condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable”? Is there a nagging fear that as she pushes her political envelope in the months to come, whilst her touted economic gains are washed away by joblessness and heightened poverty, her people might suddenly erupt in rage against her cheating, lying and stealing mis-governance?
She has gumption, this boss woman of crooks, to even predict how the world would react should another popular uprising occur. Is the world stage her last card? Does she think world leaders would save her, should something like that materialize? Hah!
The world, my dears, will not give a damn. Just as world leaders do not give a damn, even a hoot or care, about what Gloria Macapagal Arroyo says wherever she traipses in her perennial lilliputian misadventures in the world stage. Some of the same world leaders she inflicts her presence upon, including neighbours in Asean and Asia, would even cheer quietly in their tea rooms, should these benighted people finally muster the courage to throw her out. And that is the truth.
They are so enmeshed in their own problems, including the America she visits all so often, enduring the obvious snubs and indignities. And its new president has enough sense of righteousness as to be associated with the leader we suffer. Already, while President Obama signalled the significance of Southeast Asia by directing her Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to make it her first destination, breaking the usual tradition of visits first to Europe or the troubled Middle East, the Philippines was pointedly excluded. She went to South Korea, Japan, China and Indonesia. So near the Philippines, yet so far from his ken of vision. We do not matter. Period.
We do not matter any more because of the abysmal depths to which we have been sunk by a decade of bad government. And the leader who has inflicted herself upon us by virtue of a mistaken Edsa II uprising, a mistake because we rewarded someone most unworthy with our destiny, is certainly not someone the world will defend, should another uprising happen, people-powered or otherwise. Not the European Union, not the United States, not Japan, not Australia, not Malaysia or Singapore or Thailand, not Indonesia or Brunei. Why, not even “her” China. They would just let us be.
Gloria is not a Cory. It is as simple as that.
Sureour businessmen will be fidgety at the start, while foreign business would not even sit up and take notice. After all, they are in no mood to invest anything at the moment anyhow, so what the hell does it matter? If the new government after this abomination should mercifully be clean, purposive and reformist, the whole world will start taking notice. And if the new leaders should be the opposite of this woman, and could steer this country clearly in the right directions, with righteousness as governing standard, then the whole world will cheer as we, the benighted, will deliriously celebrate.
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Joke of the week, courtesy of Ric Tan, FSGO stalwart and former PDIC president invited by Nograles to dinner to meet Legacy’s Celso de los Angeles --- DOF Secretary Gary Teves, testified before the Senate that as soon as he received the WB-INT report on the graft-ridden system at the DPWH, he had the same delivered posthaste to Merceditas Gutierrez, without reading.

Says Ric, “Gary should be the Postmaster-General. He is best suited for that job”.