Gloria’s Swan Song Or ‘Version’ Of Warped Reality?
Down to her last two weeks in her widely distrusted reign, we can give GMA the luxury of delivering her swan song and attempt at historical revisionism:
I know much work remains to be done, but I am determined to turn over to a new government a new Philippines, one that is ready for the challenges of bringing the nation to the verge of first world in 20 years. In 1986, after years of martial law, Filipinos reclaimed democracy in the People Power Revolution. Under the leadership of President Corazon Aquino, we reaffirmed our commitment to freedom on a mere stretch of highway with hardly a drop of blood shed or a shot fired in anger.
Nine years ago, on the same highway people rose up again. Time had gratefully erased many memories of that tumultuous moment less than 10 years ago when the nation teetered on political chaos and financial bankruptcy. I did not seek the office of the president in 2001, it was thrust upon me. Rather than shirk from this ominous task, I rolled up my sleeves, determined to turn the Philippines around.
We put the economy first, raised revenues, invested in physical and human infrastructure. These actions have formed the building blocks that would turn around the economy that would deliver 37 quarters of growth even against the headwinds of a global recession. No longer the laggard, the Philippines has been a steady climber in Asia and the world. We have forged new relations with the world. China is now a leading economic partner.
The United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippines to aid our economy and security and Europe and the Muslim world as strong allies of the Philippines. We’ve reached within the affected communities to change the peace paradigm.
We have brought together an amazing international consensus to aid the process from the outside: Japan, Australia, the US, England, the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) nations, Malaysia and so many others now have vested interest in peace in Mindanao. We also set in place a modern election that will change the face of politics in this nation forever.
This writer would rather not dispute the outgoing ‘lady’ President’s assertions but as she takes wholesale credit for where the Philippine economy now stands, these must be said:
• Filipinos numbering sat least 2,500 continue to leave the homeland each day because they don’t have jobs or cannot earn the right wages to keep body and soul together;
• The majority of those who cannot leave survive on about 28 pesos per day, not counting the upper 10 % who are the richest;
• Mindanao remains conflict ridden with the Abu Sayyaf, long declared by Arroyo as just a bandit group, continues to sow terror. These past two weeks the terrorists beheaded six more of their kidnap victims;
• Her government tried to ram through an illegal agreement that would have effectively carved out a state within the Republic;
• The non-ending allegations of graft ridden deals have never been satisfactorily investigated with GMA dismissing them as “political noise”;
• It is the blood, sweat, and tears of the nearly 10-million Filipino overseas workers who have really kept the economy afloat through their foreign currency remittances. Notice how GMA conveniently does not give them credit.
This list can go on and on, and on like the battery-powered rabbit.
But if GMA were not engaging in historical revisionism, she should have used her Freedom Day message to tell the people why her candidate for President lost and the slew her ex-Cabinet officials who ran last May 10 were rejected by voters.