The Bombs Are Going Off But Where Is The President? (UPDATED)
Where is Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?
We ask this question now in the face of the terror bombing campaign that’s been unleashed by forces unknown in Mindanao with the bloody Sunday blast in Cotabato City now followed by two more explosions in Jolo, Sulu and Iligan City in Lanao.
They came just minutes after Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro was assuring DZMM radio that “Filipinos have no reason to panic or fear a declaration of emergency rule or martial law.”
He told news anchor Ted Failon that in the aftermath of the Cotabato incident “what would probably be more effective is a localized emergency declaration like the one done in Sulu by governor Abdusakur Tan several months ago as troops pursued the Abu Sayyaf.”
Mr. Teodoro is probably correct but this morning’s bombings in Jolo and Iligan cities deepen the security problems police authorities have.
What’s curious is President Arroyo herself has not been seen in public since she stayed for two days at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City on June 30 for what Malacañang said was “a self-imposed quarantine” after a 13-day foreign travel, in line with swine-flu control guidelines of the Department of Health.
She has since reportedly returned to her official residence in Malacanang but “her self quarantine will continue until Sunday and is expected to return to work on Monday, July 13,” according to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.
I’d like to agree but the chief executive’s media, and national security advisers must understand that the continued absence of Mrs. Arroyo is not good.
Note that in the face of the bombings in Mindanao, Malacanang says she’ll still be leaving next Tuesday to attend the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Egypt.
Between the mishandling of the story leaks about the President’s breast implants and biopsies done on cysts in her groin and chest, she has become the butt of jokes instead of being the object of sympathy.
Where indeed in the President?
Just hours after post this article, Mrs. Arroyo surfaced at the Executive Office Building to speak at a meeting, shedding her trademark blue attire for a first-ever all-white pant suit.
No explanation was given for the unannounced end of her anti-flu self quarantine.
The back-to-business projection was obvioiusly itended to reaffirm Palace assertions that Mrs. Attoyo “is in the pink of health” with no mention beng made of the breast implant revelation brouhaha.
This is a good sign.
The expection now is the troubles in Mindanao will be addressed head-on by the President.