Thursday, August 13, 2009

President Arroyo to Her Critics - Screw You!

Somehow, I get the feeling that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is in a “screw you” sort of mode, considering the number of controversies she has been involved in, in the wake of President Cory Aquino’s passing. From her indelicate “no comment” about a personal message for Aquino after going to Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, to the controversy surrounding her selection of the National Artists, to her $20,000 anniversary dinner at Le Cirque, to the revelations about the almost exponential growth of her wealth over the nine years of her Presidency, it appears that Arroyo has thrown caution to the wind, and has thrown down the gauntlet to her foes, as if to say, “What are you going to do about it?”

What can we do about it? The President is immune from suit, so cases of corruption cannot be filed against her. Besides, the Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, the top graftbuster, is Arroyo’s political appointee and classmate of her husband, and has demonstrated that she is not inclined to go after the big fish, especially those allied to the President. Impeachment is also out of the question, as her lapdogs in the House of Representatives have been well-rewarded (paid off) to block any attempt to raise the complaint to the Senate. Even looking to another individual, a la Cory Aquino, is futile, as her political foes are as corrupt as she is.

A co-teacher of mine speculated about the possibility that the motive behind Arroyo’s actions is to provoke violent protest in order for her to declare martial law. If such is truly the case, then Arroyo is playing with very dangerous fire. The Filipino people have been very patient with her, given the fact that there is no one whom we can look to for relief. If Arroyo forces the issue and continues to be embroiled in controversy after controversy, having no one to turn to may not matter anymore, as the powder keg of discontent will simply explode from saturation.

Philippine Commentary


Steven said...

Looking at the PCIJ report on the apparent "exponential growth" of GMA's wealth, I was struck by a couple of items. First, comparison to the wealth growth of former Presidents was made only on the basis of reported wealth, which is really pretty meaningless: we all know that ill-gotten wealth is generally not reported.

Second, PCIJ say: "Arroyo stacked up her stock portfolio even as the global financial crisis sent stock markets tumbling down, and the national economy posted sluggish growth". But if you look at a long-term PSE composite chart, you'll see it dropped as low as 1000 in 2001, and is pushing up toward 3000 now... which means that a straight buy-and-hold investment in a representative basket of local stocks would have yielded... well, just lay the charts side by side and it looks explained.

Of course GMA is presumably corrupt, as are many of those in the opposition whose objection to corruption is primarily that they aren't getting as much of it as they think they should be. We've pretty miuch grown to expect that. And yes, the reporting on GMA's side is lax (if we look at that of her rivals, will we see much difference?). But as a smoking gun it's not terribly impressive.

john marzan said...

if she can steal elections in a brazen manner, she can do anything. unless you don't believe such a thing ever happened.

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

"ostentatious impunity"

baycas2 said...

On Newt’s Law…

Whatever critique is aired, thrown or uttered, a Clark Gable-ish moment always takes place.

’Cause…frankly, Eric, she doesn’t give a damn.

Newt - a small pathetic creature that has a peculiar smell and is worthy of destruction

ArMas said...

"Even looking to another individual, a la Cory Aquino, is futile, as her political foes are as corrupt as she is."

so true..

Anonymous said...

my take: she's trying to desensitize our political senses up to the point of saturation so much so corruption becomes just an order of the day. in which case, we need hecklers to point out that hey, the empress has no clothes--not even if she's walking with her appended future (translation: pekeng hinaharap).