Rizalist Radio has this MP3 of a soundbite from yesterday's speech which has become all the rage and derision on AM Talk Shows this morning. Also from radio coverage of the President's speech today at the national heroes cemetery in Fort Bonifacio about one hour ago: Libingan ng mga Bayani MP3. President Arroyo quotes Ecclesiastes on the Anniversary of Edsa People Power I. I think of all the heroes beneath her feet and within earshot of these words...all those patriots, all those martyrs, her captive audience for a few minutes more in the delusion of heroism. You're headed for F-Minus in History, Ma'm. Ominously, the very first guest on Eli Saludar's show right after the President's speech was aired was Ka Roger Rosal of the NPA, who was being coy, but loves the titillating suggestion that the Magdalo/Oakwood soldiers are now under their mind-bending influence. Are they? It's an important question I am currently exploring...Strange how Lt. San Juan was caught in 20 days or so, while this fugitive spokesman of the terrorist NPA has been wanted for 20 years and is a daily presence on Philippine AM radio--which reaches into every jeepney and
MOCKERY OF FOES AND ALLIES ALIKE But Mrs. Arroyo mocked both erstwhile foes and allies alike during her speech at FOCAP yesterday. First by saying she "would not curtsy" to those who are telling and retelling each other about their heroic roles in the 1986 People Power overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos. I guess that would include folks like Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Frank Drilon, Dinky Soliman, Jovito Salonga, and the rest of the Civil Society personalities, organizations, and other forces that helped to expel Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001, elevating then Vice President Arroyo to the Presidency. These were her erstwhile allies, most of whom are now calling upon her to resign, along with a broad coalition of Philippine Society.
Pres. Arroyo also erased the Edsa 3 claimed by Joseph Estrada and his hard core supporters. She said, "The world embraced EDSA 1 in 1986. The world tolerated EDSA 2 in 2001. The world will not forgive an EDSA 3 but instead would condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable." As if May 1, 2001 never actually happened! Though that event revealed how so-called People Power can indeed turn into a violent mob and did not results in a regme change, Edsa 3 has already happened, excuse me.
Pres. Arroyo said she had three areas of focus in year 2006: (1) the economy; (2) the war on terrorism; and (3) Charter Change initiatives. (something for everybody, something for America, something for the political Mafias)
On the economy, the real story is overseas Filipinos, who last year sent home 700 billion pesos (12 billion dollars), hard-earned in America (50% of the total), Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and a hundred other countries. Curiously, the President was crowing about her Value Added Tax "reform" and how useful it will be to feed the poor, build them housing and schools, etc. Yet in more formal surroundings the VAT is supposed to take care of the huge fiscal deficit that only feeds the Congressional Pork Barrel of her allies. How true it is that something that starts as deficit reduction ends us increasing the deficit!
On terrorism this insipid and dishonest claim by Pres. Arroyo: ~"...We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our allies in the world in the fight against global terrorism, and so the world has stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the fight against political destabilization..."
What an atrocious double falsehood. President Arroyo stood "shoulder to shoulder" with whom ??? The truth is she negotiated with, and then capitulated to hooded Iraqi terrorists holding Angelo de la Cruz hostage??? Then she pulled out the small Philippine humanitarian contingent from Iraq upon the demand of the kidnappers, and to prevent being blamed should the hostage have been killed. It was a selfish act of imagined political self-preservation, for Filipinos it turned out were glad at the result but not at the self-serving manner that their President had done it. The freedom of Angelo de la Cruz came at a high price. The ransom paid was the Philippines' word of honor to its allies in the Coalition of the Willing. As for the reciprocation of those allies on the matter of her domestic political woes, I'm sure those allies know internal political struggles are really none of their business --except for the common danger this failed and heedless President IS to everybody.
On charter change, I stll believe the President is insincere about Chacha and is just throwing it into the mix this year as a kind of "bandwidth-killer" in Congress to help drown out the drum-beating for a second, better-executed impeachment attempt at midyear. It will keep Jose de Venecia and his moral midgets happily dreaming about becoming forefathers in a new French Eurostyle Parliament, and improve their vocabulary for the verbal jousting with the Opposition come Impeachment time in July, when the Constitution once more opens shop to see if Rule of Law can be put in the service of democratic regime change.
Gloriagate's Gordian Knot has tied the government up in a paralyzing case of gridlock with the issuance of Executive Order No. 464 late last year to save Secretary Norberto Gonzalez from the clutches of the evil, over-investigative Senate. As a consequence of this veritable gag order on government officials down to the lowest janitor, the 2006 national budget has not been passed. The Legislature can't get any information or testimony from the officials who are collectively asking for a TRILLION pesos from the people this year, a 12% increase over 2004-2005 eerily equal to the recently imposed Value Added Tax. Today, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the Senate's petition to have E.O. 464 declared unconstitutional. Senator Joker Arroyo, ironically the Chief Prosecutor in Erap's trial, (who walked out only to have GMA walk in), is the lead counsel and plaintiff before the High Court. It's Arroyo vs. Arroyo with Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban in betwixt.