Posts Tagged ‘arroyo’s last SONA’

the SONA after – estrada says its ARROYONOMICS, bishop says macro is not down to earth reality

July 29, 2009 1 comment

sttange bedfellows — a convicted criminal and a bishop of the  catholic church. but that is what happened – erap estrada and bishop lagdameo of the CBCP said the same thing.

erap just had it sexier with a new word – arroyonomics.

Estrada said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s claims of economic gains in her Monday’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) were “fiction,” charging that she “either lied or was gravely mistaken.”

“Arroyonomics is a kind of economics that is out of touch with reality and real facts,” Estrada said in a statement.

bishop lagdameo has this to say. not as sexy as estrada’s “arroyonomics” but with more details.

“The state of the nation should also be looked at from the experiences and eyes of the remaining millions who are still suffering from hunger, illiteracy, unemployment, homelessness and sickness,” said Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“This would balance the picture,” Lagdameo said. “They were outside the SONA site.”

The Jaro archbishop said that Ms Arroyo spoke of macro-level “statistics which most do not understand.”

Macro not micro

“But the macro is not always reflective of the micro. Therefore, the state of the nation must also consider the millions who make up the micro-level and are missed in the statistics,” Lagdameo said.


estrada and lagdameo are making good points here. on the same day of the SONA, SWS released the latest hunger data where it said a high number of filipinos continue to experience hunger and has increased from previous. (click here: on the day of arroyo’s SONA 2009 – SWS survey release – hunger rose, 3 points to all time record high hunger)

arroyo’s tactical error in her SONA 2009- the 4% we remember, the 96% we don’t

July 28, 2009 2 comments

SONA 2009 is arroyo’s last as president. in many things last, specially in speeches, you normally want it to be your best. these are the last words that your audience will hear from you and that gives you the energy to make it the most memorable.

being the last words also makes you want to enumerate what you have stood for and yes, your accomplishments. accomplishments specially for a public office is very important as they are what you were elected to do in the first place. an office such as the presidency also transcends and goes beyond the execution part of the presidency as that office also defines the principles and beliefs that a nation adapts.

in arroyo’s last SONA has failed in these things. well, she did achieve in getting images in our minds but they are of the wrong kind. and that comes from what we think is a grave tactical error in the writing of the speech.

look at the newspapers and watch the tv news and the overwhelming last take-away and what is most talked about are two things : (a) she did not categorically say she will step down in 2010 and (b) her tirades and attacks on key opposition figures.

the tragedy is that those are two of three components of the speech. in terms of weight, those two items acount for probably less than 4% of all the words in her speech  and yet here we are the morning after and that is all we are talking about.

those are the only two things we now remember and want to discuss, we did not at all pay attention nor do we remember that part of her speech that accounts for at least 96% of all the words she said – her accomplishments and achievements.

including those 4% in her speech is gross tactical error not only for the nation but more importantly from her point of view her legacy.

this ending of term speech will play a significant part in defining arroyo’s legacy as president. a big part of her legacy will that be of a president who ends her term in bitterness against those who oppose her and a presidency unable to control itself and getting pleasure in attacking her critics.

what makes that even more telling is that the critics she attacked are supposedly from the minority, a very small portion of the political landscape. one is a convicted criminal, the other a leader in congress removed from power and a senator who cussed his way into history. surely given the credentials of the critics she attacked is no match to her position as president and her huge accomplishments.

attacking these minor players belonging to the political minority showed the presidency which we are supposed to hold high stooping down to the gutter just to get some puny pot shots in. the magnitude of the attack, the stature from wher it came from and the targets has pushed the presidency of this country into a heap of toxic waste.

arroyo has been accused repeatedly of not respecting institutions and those we hold dear as a nation, this one is one more example of that. arroyo tarnished her own position, the presidency.

 of all things said in her SONA, there was one thing everyone was waiting for and that was something she did not say categorically – that she will step down from power in 2010 when her term expires.

instead of categorically saying she will step down as cory aquino said in her own last SONA, arroyo gave us wordsmithing of vagueness that had a back door wide open.

arroyo did not say she will step down from power in 2010, all she gave us was this line: “I have never expressed desire to extend myself beyond my term.”

the unsaid on the topic of her plans after 2010 is that she might relent to a clamor from others for her to extend herself beyond her term. it does smell of a set-up.

arroyo has been completely silent on actions in congress on cha-cha always saying they are not involved in the efforts and that these are being done independently by them. according to her spokespersons the they are keeping their hands off and yet she has not categorically told them not to pursue it.

of course none of that we believe. we have witnessed this presidency many times over telling lies about its intent and actions. we know that in this administration words said are not exactly actions executed. and the more dangerous part – words unsaid are the actions done.

there is irony there. in fact irony is all over the place in this country of ours. we now have the leftists and militants seemingly providing us with moral direction while the rightists and the government are providing us with lies and out of moral if not illegal actions.

that is where arroyo’s legacy will sit – the 4% that we remember and the 96% that was said that we chose not to listen to. the morning after is one hell of a ride.

arroyo turns SONA 2009 into a 2010 election campaign speech

July 27, 2009 4 comments

As the campaign unfolds and the candidates take to the airwaves, I ask them to talk more about how they will build up the nation rather than tear down their opponents. Our candidates must understand the complexities of our government and what it takes to move the country forward. Give the electorate real choices and not just sweet talk….

these are good words, specially on the side of asking election opponents talking about how to build the nation rather than tear down opponents. 

and yet, arroyo takes a jab at mar roxas one of the leading presidentiable candidates:

To those who want to be President, this advice: If you want something done, do it hard, do it well. Don’t pussyfoot. Just do it. Don’t say bad words in public.

and another jab at erap estrada, also a declared “undeclared” presidentiable who is also one of the leaders  in the polls:

I am falsely accused, without proof, of using my office for personal profit. Many of those who accuse me of it have lifestyles and spending habits that make them walking proofs of that crime….

We can read their frustrations. They had the chance to serve this good country and they blew it by serving themselves….

Those who live in glass houses should cast no stones. Those who should be in jail should not threaten it, especially if they have been there….

this one is a reference to jose de veencia. it is also  another arroyo tactic that has been done many times over – turn things around:

The noisiest critics of constitutional reform tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-Cha when they thought they could take advantage of a shift in the form of government. Now that they feel they cannot benefit from it, they oppose it.

the lighting fast push for con-ass and several attempts at cha-cha speaks of arroyo wanting to benefit from its success not to mention it is widely believed cha-cha is being done for the purpose of arroyo extending her grip on power.

we have a SONA where arroyo says political candidates should stay on talks on building the country and refrain from putting each other down. and yet in this same SONA, she actually attacks 2 leading opposition presidentiables.

combine that attack on leading opposition presidentiables with hiding behind on who benefits with cha-cha plus  no categorical declaration that she will step down from power in 2010 leads you to conclude she has political ambitions beyond 2010.

this SONA is  more than a SONA, it is an election campaign speech.



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on the day of arroyo’s SONA 2009 – SWS survey release – hunger rose, 3 points to all time record high hunger

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

on the day that president gloria macapagal arroyo delivered her  SONA 2009, her last SONA, the SWS releases new and most recent data on their hunger survey.

it is ironic on the day the president talked about glowing achievements in the economy and welfare of the people, the people themselves spoke and said hunger rose to 20.3%, just 3 points lower than all time record high or 3.7 million families.

we can just connect the dots.


27 July 2009

Second Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey:
Hunger rises to 20.3% of families;
Moderate Hunger is 16.0%, Severe Hunger is 4.3%

Social Weather Stations

The Second Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey, fielded over June 19-22, 2009, found the proportion of families experiencing involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months rising to 20.3% or an estimated 3.7 million families, from 15.5% or an estimated 2.9 million families in the previous quarter.

The new Hunger figure is just 3 points lower than the record-high 23.7% (or estimated 4.3 million families) in December 2008, and is 8 points above the ten-year average of 12.8% [Chart 1, Table 1].

Hunger has consistently been in double-digits for five years, since June 2004.

The SWS measure of Hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of anything to eat.

President Arroyo’s SONA 2009 full transcript

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

On Arroyo’s State Of The Nation Address, this is the state of nation’s mind

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

in today’s State Of  The Nation Address of president gloria macapagal arroyo, the state of the nation’s mind is that of high mistrust and a much bigger dose of skepticism.

cardinal gaudencio rosales, the archibishop of manila, the highest in the catholic church’s heirarchy in the philippines sums it up very well – “tell the truth”.

for a bishop to tell that to the president of the country speaks volumes. in normal times with a normal presidency, the truth is a given and something that need not be told to the highest elective position of the country to speak.

the SONA would have been a time to celebrate achievements of the past and a time to generate excitement for the future. SONAs do not only speak of past achievements but what are the plans and programs for the future that builds on the past.

and that is where the problem lie. this is a presidency that does not have a stellar past. if anything, it is quite the opposite. this is a presidency plagued by scandals, missteps, lies that have been found out and a huge does of in-denial.

while we know it is unrealistic to expect a perfect presidency, what we expect is a presidency that owns up to errors and weaknesses and measure to correct them and improve upon.

that is not the arroyo presidency. this is a presidency who will never, ever own up to errors, mistakes or weaknesses. it is a presidency who likes to talk and in fact boast only of the good and the great even if we all know they are not true.

lies is the foundation of this presidency, from the grand to the trivial. the latest trivial lie of which is on arroyo’s breast implants. these small and huge lies have contributed to the skepticism we have harbored and percolated over the years.

this poisonous brew shows up everywhere – a presidency that has gotten dismal results in performance and trust ratings quarter to quarter of opinion polls across many years.

the mind of the nation was not as poisoned as it is now. but what is that we can do? the poison was there for us to see and shoved into our minds by arroyo herself. and that is what is the state of mind of the nation on this day of state of the nation address of arroyo – a hunger for truth.  



Bishop to Arroyo: ‘Just tell the truth’
Talk about accomplishments, mistakes

By Norman Bordadora, Tonette Orejas, Chito A. Fuentes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:40:00 07/27/2009

MANILA, Philippines—Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales Sunday asked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to tell the true state of the nation when she delivers her address before a joint session of Congress Monday afternoon.

Rosales said Ms Arroyo should tell the truth not only about her accomplishments but also about her mistakes as her term ends next year, the CBCP news website reported Sunday.

“She (has) also done something good, and people will not take it against her if she mentions them,” Rosales was quoted as saying.

“Next year will be different, that’s why she has to tell what is true—that’s what people want to hear,” he added.

University of the Philippines professor Randy David and Sen. Francis Escudero also urged Ms Arroyo to tell the people the real score in her State of the Nation Address (SONA), her ninth since she took power in 2001.

“But perhaps, the usual boasting will be done again,” David said, calling on Filipinos to scrutinize Ms Arroyo’s supposed achievements on the economic front.‘Just-tell-the-truth’


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Arroyo-Obama Meeting – first visit by an southeast asian leader a mistake says Washington Times. Political cover for troubled Arroyo administration.

July 26, 2009 1 comment

The Washington Times

Sunday, July 26, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama the sanitizer

Somebody at the National Security Council dropped the ball. On Thursday, President Obama is welcoming Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the White House for his presidency’s first visit by a Southeast Asian leader. The choice of Mrs. Arroyo for this honor was a mistake because Mr. Obama is being used to give political cover for the Philippine president’s troubles back home.

Mrs. Arroyo’s domestic political position is precarious. A poll released June 8 by the Pulse Asia polling firm pegged Mrs. Arroyo’s public approval at only 26 percent. Street demonstrations against her are routine and growing in size. These protests are in response to a dubious mandate following a dirty 2004 election and numerous allegations of corruption against her family and administration. Her husband, Mike Arroyo, has left the country and used doctors’ notes to say he is too ill to obey court summons related to corruption charges.

The Philippines has become less free during Mrs. Arroyo’s 10-year presidency. According to Freedom House, “Corruption is extensive throughout the Philippine state apparatus, from the lowest to the highest levels. Bribes and extortion seem to be a regular element of the complex connections among bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen, the press and the public.” In Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, the Philippines ranked 141st out of 180 nations on a list in which No. 1 is the least corrupt. The level of Philippine corruption is tied with Iran and Yemen and worse than in dodgy places such as Libya and Nigeria.

The corruption problem is affecting Manila’s relationship with other allies. A senior Philippine official told The Washington Times that German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent Mrs. Arroyo an ultimatum last month that Berlin-Manila ties are at risk if the Philippines doesn’t pay $60 million owed to the German government for Manila’s new international airport. The Philippine government seized the airport and refused to pay a German company — which is partly owned by the German state — for its construction after revelations that the contract allegedly was laden with millions in bribes and kickbacks.

There are also serious human-rights abuses in the archipelago. According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, “The Philippines ranks sixth worldwide among countries that fail to prosecute cases of journalists killed for their work.” Between 1992 and 2008, at least 34 journalists were murdered in the Philippines; there were convictions in only three of these cases. Four more members of the press were killed this June alone. Opposition voices regularly disappear as well.

On top of all this are machinations by Mrs. Arroyo to cling to power by setting aside next May’s presidential election. The president and her allies are pushing to amend the Philippine constitution to change the current U.S.-style presidential system into a parliamentary system whereby Mrs. Arroyo could serve as prime minister. This would allow her to circumvent the presidential term limit which prevents her from staying in office. This move, incidentally, is similar to the strategy strongman Ferdinand Marcos used to stay in power after declaring martial law in 1972.

The relationship between Washington and Manila is an old and important one. After the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American war in 1898, the Philippine islands were a U.S. colony for half a century and have remained a close ally in the six decades since independence was granted in 1946. The current Visiting Forces Agreement between the two countries allows U.S. troops on Philippine soil to help in the war on terrorism and to assist the Philippines with its fight against Islamic insurrection in the southern islands.

But the nation should be differentiated from its lame-duck leader. Welcoming Mrs. Arroyo to the White House only validates her troubled rule.

gloria macapagal arroyo’s SONA 2009 in pictures

July 26, 2009 6 comments

how much truth will arroyo’s SONA 2009 have? will we be dazzled with huge claims to achievements? or will it be just speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil all over again? arroyo’s speeches often always misses the point or hides the truth be it in half or the whole truth.

malacanang has said cha-cha will be tackled. if that is true, then that is just half the truth we want. the other half is what are the plans of arroyo after 2010? or is that the evil part that we will not see, not hear and not be spoken?


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9 Years Of Arroyo As President – A Review Of Arroyo’s Presidency

July 26, 2009 Leave a comment

we are opening a new page in this blog where we will post reviews and opinions on the presidency of gloria macapagal arroyo.

we expect to get a lot of these types of reviews as arroyo delivers her last SONA on monday and takes on the last year of her presidency.


these articles so far are all coming from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. we like to commend  PDI for publishing such a comprehensive review of arroyo’s presidency. we will be posting other reviews from other sources as they become available.

Will SONA 2009 Be Turned Into A Con-Ass? The Filipino Soul We All Have Lost

July 21, 2009 2 comments

4 Senators skipping Arroyo’s last Sona

By Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:22:00 07/19/2009

MANILA, Philippines — Not wanting to waste their time or simply trying to dodge attempts of their counterparts in the House of Representatives to pursue Charter change, at least four senators said they were skipping President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s last State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 27.

And with a week to go before the Sona, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said Speaker Prospero Nograles assured him that congressmen would not pull a fast one on senators by convening the constituent assembly after Arroyo’s annual report to the nation.

Warning of chaos, Zubiri conceded that a senators’ walkout would be the least of Arroyo’s problems if the House called for a constituent assembly to tackle Charter change after the Sona.

“I spoke to Speaker Nograles and he said this will not happen. He even said it would be political suicide for him if this happened,” Zubiri said over dzBB radio.

He said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had vowed to immediately close the Senate session there.

“So I don’t think they will dare to make such a brazen attempt at amending the Constitution,” Zubiri said.

Saying he was no longer an officer in the Senate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, the former majority leader, said he would not attend the Sona as “it was no longer my duty to represent the Senate in the proceedings.”

“Besides if some hard-headed Con-ass (constituent assembly) proponents get tempted to railroad an illegal Cha-cha (Charter change) during the session, then they have one less senator available for a Moro-moro (charade),” Pangilinan said in a text message.

read in full here:

senators, men and women of high intelligence, highly educated, people of worth and value,  from anyone of them can be the future president of the country – thinking the SONA might be turned into a con-ass  (constituent assembly) speaks so eloquently of the country’s state of the nation.

president arroyo will deliver her last SONA in a few days time. this is delivered under a joint session of congress and the senate. the senators, all of them have, said in no uncertain terms that they  will not support and attend  a constituent assembly meant to amend the constitution. the senators have thought of congress getting one on them and might turn the SONA into a con-ass.

we are a very divided country and a divide that is drawn out of mistrust of each other, even among leaders of the country, men and women of substance and intelligence. honor and respect is suspect even among these people who are supposed to be the country’s highest and most powerful leaders. they are supposed to be the most honorable men and women  in the country and yet the senators cannot seem to give that to the leadership of congress.

for the senators to even think that it is possible for the congressmen to do it in itself speaks volume of the kind of people that the senators think the congressmen are. we cannot blame the senators. the congressmen have done it before in approving con-ass. if they did it once, their honor thrown out, they can do it again.

that is what this country has been made into. we have lost our souls and our dignity. institutions have been raped and shattered. the country’s leaders in congress have shown us that everything and anything can be done regardless of tradition, what is right and what is honorable.

we need a change of leadership fast. we need to revive our souls.

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