Gloria Aeterna

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 00:00
page 2

Certainly, the country's own politicians have done little to disabuse the public. The second factor accounting for President Arroyo's impunity is that her foes have been weak,indecisive and disunited. They have repeatedly paid her the compliment of underestimating her. Just before he invaded Poland, Hitler supposedly reassured his generals: "I have seen our enemies. They are worms." Arroyo would understand the attitude.

What's tragic is that the qualities she's displayed the last nine years -- the thickfaced determination, the flouting of the constitution, the insidious employment of executive powers -- all these could have been used to institute change, reform institutions, fight corruption, level the elite-dominated economy. But there has been no performance legitimacy, no trade-off. The truth is, with overseas remittances now accounting for 12 per cent of GDP, it is Filipinos themselves who are keeping their economy afloat

Instead, Arroyo's governance has set a unique standard of leadership by example -- if by "example" you mean congressmen from one of the Philippines' poorest district splurging on expensive dinners in New York.

The President has turned patronage politics and the distribution of largesse into a policy. Arguably, this client-patron relationship is the foundation of most politics, but it's also a step backwards when it comes to building a nation, whatever that means at this point.

In 1987, the people who drew up the Constitution, with the memory of the despot Marcos still fresh in their minds, went out of their way to draw up a charter that would limit the Presiden'ts powers. Instead, 23 years later, the country has one of the most abusive chief executives ever.

Here is a President who's blocked off the normal processes of this alleged democracy: paid off local government officials, suborned the Congress, packed the judiciary and the civil service, kept the armed forces at her beck and call.

According to one supporter, President Arroyo will be better appreciated out of power. But nobody should rule out the possibility that at the end of this year Arroyo will still be on top.

It wouldn't be the first time Filipinos have seen it: a leader who suffers the delusion that, having stayed in power for so long, the position is his or her private property.

Nobody should envision Gloria Arroyo leaving Malacañang Palace until a moving crew comes in and forcibly carries her out, possibly along with a Palace table leg to which her teeth are firmly clamped on.

Will she reign, in Handel's words and as Marcos tried to do, forever and ever? Clearly, Arroyo has set the bar high.

She owes her invulnerability to a public that's indifferent to being governed by an administration for whom travesty is the best policy.

The only thing she might pay attention to is hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in protest. Your move, Filipino people.


Who me?

Comments

Submitted by Eileen Arboleda... (not verified) on
... This is an old issue but still has relevance to what is going on at present. The past election taught us that if the people are united we can help our leaders in crashing corruption. If we see that our current president is veering away from his promises we should speak our minds out as it is the only way we can remind him that the future of our country lies not on the advice of his chosen 'friends' but on what is right for the people in general. We need a strong leadership ; one who is not afraid to be unpopular at times. We need a president who chooses the welfare of the majority and not just a chosen few. He should also listen to dissenting opinions because they too have points worth contemplating of/about. This must be our way to show support and how much we care for our motherland... why? because no matter how popular he is, he too is not perfect.

Submitted by Lucas (not verified) on
pati mga kabataan nyoagn na sinasabi natin na pagasa ng ating bayan ay nababayaran na rin. kahit alam nilang mali ang kanilang ginagawa basta may pera, kahit kinabukasan nila ipagpapalit sa kakaramput na perang makukuha nila sa eleksyon. kasi nakikita nila ang mga magulang nila na binibenta ang mga boto mgkapera lang. dito sa bayan namin, kahit nakikita ng tao ang mga ginagawa ng ibang mga pulitiko lalo na ang kasalukuyang nakaupo sa local positions dito sa pagadian city, walang nglakas loob na magsumbong kasi natatakot sila sa kung anong pwedeng mangyari sa kanila. araw araw tinitipon ang mga tao hindi lang dito sa city pati na rin sa mga katabing mga lungsod sa zamboanga del sur, tinitipon nila ang mga tao kunwari ino orient nila kung paano gawin ang automated election pero sa kalagitnaan ng discussion, namimigay na sila ng mga leaflets na carbonized tapos may mga pangalan ng mga candidato na dapat iboto daw nila..tapos sasabihin ng mga ng organize ng pagtitipon na to na dapat straight vote daw ang gagawin ng mga tao doon pa sa building kung saan ng oopisina ang mayor namin dito sa pagadian ginagawa ang ganitong pagtitipon .ginagawa nilang tanga ang mga tao dito pero walang nglakas loob na mgsumbong kasi takot sa pwedeng mangyari ang automated machine naman sa tingin ko hindi pa tayo 100% handa kasi may mga tao pa din na hindi naiintindihan kung ano ang automated machine na gagamitin sa election at wala naman ng.oorient lalo na sa mga rural areas dito sa amin at lalo na yong mga matatanda na pwede pang bumoto

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