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When Has A Leader Become A Lame Duck?

July 21, 2008
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The open encyclopedia Wikipedia defines the political term lame duck as it applying to a politician, particularly to a sitting, elected leader, or legislative body whose term in office is running out with no option or prospect of the political entity staying in power after the legally mandated term, or cannot be ‘returned’ to the same post for another term. There is also a game where the operative aspect is the certainty that the player will lose.

Perhaps this is even akin to the Filipino game phrase ‘perdigana’ where the player who gets all of his chess or checker-board chip ‘eaten up’ up first actually wins, as in winning the game by losing it.

We note this because of the scenario now playing out in the tug of war between the government and the never-lose oil companies, basking in the unregulated, free-market-forces-driven oil industry.

Over the weekend, diesel prices were rolled back by P1.50 per liter, thanks supposedly to the power of presidential persuasion. In fact, even administration critics grudgingly gave a thumbs up sign to Malacanang.

But wait, now the news is that on Saturday, diesel prices will go up by a full three pesos per liter, fully erasing the earlier price cut and putting P1.50 on top!

That’s showing us who’s boss, right?

Another disturbing manifestation of the increasing ‘lame duck-ness’ of the government of the day is the supposed “breakthrough” in the Mindanao peace talks.

We only need to closely read the not-too-fine print too realize the emrgence of the term ‘Bangsamoro juridical entity’ in the equation with the sleight-of-hand expansion of the Autonomous Area of Muslim Mindanao to include Palawan and the oil-deposit-rich areas of North Cotabato and the famed Liguasan marsh.

We hope someone will immediately correct us if we are wrong, but Palawan being put within the ARMM means the natural gas field of Malampaya comiing under control of that Bangsa Moto juridical entity, along with the Liguasan area which is also believed to hold massive natural gas reserves within its bowels.

Also ask anyone familiar with Cotabato and you’ll be told how diesel-like substances actually seep out of the ground in some areas.

So are we seeing here the actual price that is being paid for peace in that area of Mindanao?

Is the government of the day displaying political will, bending backwards, or breaking its back?

When a duck quacks, walks, and limps, like a lame duck, then maybe it is!

(Cross posted in FilipinoVoices.com)

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