Summing Up The Arroyo ‘Presidency’
Outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is days away from relinquishing the presidency to Senator Noynoy Aquno.
She will predictably use her last Independence Day speed on the 12th to give her valedictory.
ABS-CBN’s RG Cruz scored an exclusive with Mrs. Arroyo last week. Here’s a partial transcript of her assertions:
I have no regrets. (No regrets at all?) I don’t want to focus on negatives, so, in fact, rather than talking about regrets, I like to give thanks for the opportunity to serve the Philippines.
When I became president, I set out to focus on the economy, and I believe I’ve put the economy at the primacy of the country, and that includes the need for education. And it’s important we focus and work hard to keep our sights on the future. And the focus on economy is there, and I think it should remain there.
I feel gratified and it only dramatizes that indeed, the primacy of economics is very strong in the life of the nation. This 7.3 [percent] growth [rate] is the climax of what we did to put economy first and the sacrifice we made to put all the physical and human infrastructure to allow us to make manufacturing revive, big growth in exports, all that had to be done to make necessary sacrifices to make revenue. But, as a result, we have 9 years of uninterrupted growth, and even in the midst of recession, we put the Philippines in the map in call center and BPO [business process outsourcing] industries. We changed the skyline of Metro Manila with all the modern skyscrapers, and at the same time, we also developed the provinces, connected the nation from North, South, East, West through ro-ro [Roll-on/roll-off] transportation system.
I like my presidency to be known as the time we stabilized the economy, modernized the economy and created new opportunities for the people. Modernizing country also includes modernizing electoral system which was beating the odds,” said Mrs. Arroyo of her achievements in 9 years.
I don’t what to focus on personalities. I have no…I don’t give unsolicited advice, I just wish my successor all the success.
(About the accusations of wrongdoings from detractors)
Of course, I wish they’d go beyond destructive politics and delve into what could be good for the future of the country, the programs we can do.
(The recent automated elections)
That’s a very good start, I’m glad we were able to, in the last 2 minutes, achieve that odds. That’s the biggest contribution so far to the reform of the political system. That will do more for our political system, do more to modernize the country than any change of person. I am happy that we’re able to modernize the electoral system, the real victor of a modernized system is the Filipino people.
I’m the same person, just older, a little wiser. I have a strong belief in the Filipino people, strong faith in God, and I believe the economy is the most important that we have to attend to as leader of Philippines.
(Asked where she sees herself years from now, the country’s 14th president)
Still working for the country.
I will miss being with people all over the country, but I look forward to being with my constituents in Pampanga.
(About her critics)
Destructive politics of critics who offer no alternatives on policies just destructive political noise.
To the next leaders)
They should try to develop a strong middle class, good education and develop entrepreneurial spirits.
(Her working philosophy as President)
It’s a sacrifice, but it’s the right thing to do for the people. As president, my father tells me: you do not become a president to enjoy, you become president to make sacrifices for people and to suffer it may be, and I did for the people.”
“I care. I care about the housewife who has to care about her children and carry the burden of raising children. I care about farmers who feed their family and nation. I care about students who hope that after graduation, he’ll have a job in country as well as opportunities. I care about the ‘padre de familia’ [head of the family] who does not have regular work. I care about OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] whose fame is spread all over the world, and sends money back home for the family. I care about those affected by the global crisis. I care.
One can even agree that GMA herself has no regrets.
But most respectfully, Ma’am, WE DO.
We regret that we nurtured thoughts of reform when you abbreviated the term of President Estrada.
Your wholesale assertion that life has become better for Filipinos is a BIG LIE.
Your stonewalling of investigations into the truth about the parade of anomalies attributed to you and your lackeys, and your widely criticized violations of your sworn duty to uphold the Constitution give lie to your smug smile about your vaunted achievements.
Filipinos working tirelessly here, and abroad, are the true achievers and architects of sustained growth of the economy.
Filipinos who turned out fearlessly last May 10 rejected your loyalists and clones at the polls and vouchsafed the survival of our democracy.
A sampling of past posts about the Arroyo regime: