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The Prayerful Outgoing President

April 4, 2010

These next two days are important for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

She’s marking her final Easter Sunday as President of the Republic.
It must then be safe to assume that this is her most prayerful Easter Message, specially as she spent the entire Semana Santa with the ailing First Gentleman:

As we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ in our hearts today, let us unite as a nation and collectively work toward a new future for our country—a future rich with hope and possibilities for every one of us, a future illuminated by the blessing of the Lord. As we celebrate Easter Sunday, we must reflect on the message in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. May this wonderful story of our Lord’s triumph over death inspire us again with the endless verities of our faith.

Well said, Madam President.

But as this writer and other Filipinos reflect on you appeal for unity, it’s not easy to think about why and how our society has become so divided across political lines, and more disturbingly along economic lines.

We are deeply divided along political lines not only in the context of Filipino communists and Muslims seeking to either secede from the Republic or to overthrow what they see as a highly dysfunctional democratic system where the poor only become poorer and the rich become richer.

We are divided by how the controversies that are the hallmark of your presidency have been covered up if not stone-walled with truth as the battered casualty.

Mrs. President, these must surely be troubling for you given that you’ve been in power for practically a decade – a reign whose length is exceeded  only by the strong –arm rule of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

I lived through that regime hypocritically tagged by FM’s spinmeisters as a constitutional authoritarianism.

But that’s a past we can no longer undo.

In your case, Filipinos are developing sores as they itch to see your tenure over and done with.

Gift them, if you will, by marking your 63rd birthday tomorrow by declaring that you indeed will leave Malacacang on June 30.

And given how Filipinos can’t do anything to prevent your entry into the 15th Congress as Representative of the 2nd District of Pampanga, can you please at least try be a reformist, non-obstructionist lawmaker?

We also realize you may actually be chosen Speaker.

Please, pretty please, don’t use that exalted post to hold the next legimately elected President hostage.

Happy Easter, and Happy Birthday po.

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