SONA And The Presidential Enemies
The morning after Pres. Arroyo’s 9th and supposedly last SONA coffee shop habitués, kanto umpukans and barber shop ‘ analysts are guffawing, and ruminating about how Gloria Macapagal Attoyo went ballistic loose before the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Her fighting stance aside, the equally major story was about what did NOT happen: the session being ‘ambushed’ to convoke a Constituent Assembly.
She did not mention her targets by name but the crowds, and those referred to certainly knew they were ‘it’.
They are frightened by their own shadows. I was able to resolve these military crises with the ordinary powers of my office. My critics call it dictatorship. I call it determination. We know it as strong government,
But In the face of attempted coups I never declared martial law, though they are running scared as if I did. In truth, what they are really afraid of is their weakness in the face of this self-imagined threat.
We can read their frustrations. They had the chance to serve this good country and they blew it by serving themselves. Those who live in glass houses should cast no stones. Those who should be in jail should not threaten it, especially if they have been there.
The noisiest critics of constitutional reform tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-cha (Charter change) 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.
To those who want to be President, this advice: If you really want something done, just to do it. Do it hard. Do it well. Don’t pussyfoot. Don’t pander. And don’t say bad words in public.
Mrs. Arroyo was obviously referring to former president Joseph Estrada, former Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr. and Sen. Mar Roxas in that order.
Hindi ko pinapansin ang mga ganyang banat. Ang pinapansin ko ay ang hinaing ng ating mga kababayan [I’m not concerned about tirades like that. What I’m concerned about is the plight of our countrymen].
Ang gusto ko lang naman ay maging abot-kaya ang presyo ng mga gamot para sa ating mga kababayan [All I want is to make the prices of medicine affordable for our countrymen].
Gawin na lang niya ang trabaho niya na pababain ang presyo ng gamot [She should do her job to bring down prices of medicine].
I loop off this post with quotes from Speaker Prospero Nograles who gave this response to ABS-CBN’s Tony Velasquez who asked him why the President was not categorical about leaving office next year:
I have been sentenced as one of her closest allies and she has never told me she wants to extend her term.
I don’t know how more explicit you want a president to be. You don’t have to make the obvious vulgar.
The onus will now be on Mrs. Arroyo and Mr. Nograles to ‘prove’ their detractors right.
Over at FilipinoVoices.com a vigorous debate is starting up courtesy of my good friend and co-contributor Patricio Mangubat: