Gloria’s SONA version 8

New props…

New statistics…

New scapegoat…

Same old trying-hard-to-emote face…

Same old boring voice…

Unlike the previous years, yesterday I watched and listened to GMA’s SONA  with fascination. Of course I have already anticipated the props…. the AVP on that giant screen, the people from all walks of life that she paraded as if in an exposition of the success of her administration. I knew she would lie, that she would magnify the value of small gains and improvements and deflate the gravity of the problems. But I was curious about how her spin doctors will weave her speech and on whom or what the blame will fall. So I listened with fascination.

Gloria’s message was quite simple… she made unpopular economic policy reforms that made her suffer in the opinion polls, but the country was on its way not only to recovery but to progress at the start of the year unfortunately the world economic crisis and the food crisis swept all the gains like a “giant tsunami” that swept across the globe but fortunately because of her upnpopular reforms our strong economy cushioned the impact of the global crises.

So what she was really saying was don’t blame the rice crisis on me… its a worldwide problem. Don’t blame the rising prices of oil and all other commodities on me… its the state of the world economy. Don’t blame me… in fact thank me because my Presidency saved that nation from the full impact of the world’s problems. I’m sure the traditional politicians will buy that line. I don’t.

Yes. across the globe nations are facing a food crisis and we have been a net importer of rice since the Spanish time. But does that mean that our own rice crisis is not a result of wrong priorities? Countries like Vietnam and Thailand grew from net rice importers to being among Asia’s biggest exporters of rice. Yes the world is facing a food crisis but that doesn’t explain why the Philippines is not self-sufficient in terms of food. We are only affected by the crisis of rice because we import rice from the international market but it does not explain why we have to import rice in the first place.

For decades government sacrificed our agricultural lands in the name of industrialization – converting prime and irrigated agricultural lands  into industrial zones. What was left of our agricultural lands we devoted to export crops to give Japan and the rest of the world their bananas and pineapples for dessert. For decades the government left the farmers to fend for themselves with only a pittance of government support. Government opened our domestic market to allow foreign agricultural products (which  are highly  subsidized and therefore cheap) to compete with our own products. This killed the Filipino farmers who do not even have decent roads to bring their produce to the market.

Mrs. Arroyo. the rice crisis and the food crisis for that matter is not about the worldwide food crisis. It is about our government, yours and those before you neglecting our own agricultural sector. Together with the OFWs, our agricultural sector is what has been saving our economy for decades.

She extolled the VAT as the savior of our economy. Gloria said that the VAT gave government enough resources to subsidize the poor and protect them from the harsh impact of the worldwide economic slowdown. If only our politicians, the President and her family primary among them, will cut their corruption to half, we would have more than enough resources not only for subsidies but for strategic development programs and projects as well. She said P500 million was allocated for access to clean water but that is just 150% bigger than the P200M Chairman Ben Abalos offered  to  Chairman Romulo Neri as bribe in the ZTE scandal? That too is just equal to the P500M fertilizer scam of Jokjok Bolante.

She said she had allocated P3 billion to so that the Ombudsman can go after the thieves in government. Very wisely done indeed. Madame President. I almost forgot you are not under the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. How much did you spend to prevent Congress from impeaching you?

GMA also boasted that her administration has exceeded its targets year after year in the last 7 years in distributing lands under agrarian reform. TRUE! But that is only because your administration targets only 100,000 each year compared to the targets of previous administrations which exceeded yours. By targetting only a mere 100,000 hectares annually for the last 7 years, you succeeded in delaying land distribution and that is the reason why the termination of the Agrarian Reform Fund has overtaken the agrarian reform implementation and is now in limbo. Should the farmers thank you for bringing them into this quagmire?

The State of the Nation Address is an opportunity for the President to share with the nation in general and the two Houses of Congress in particular on the directions that the Executive wishes to lead the country into. It is supposed to guide the legislative branch of government as to the priorities of the present administration so that they too can prioritize legislation to that direction. Yes Madame President, you can paint the State Of the Nation Address whichever way you want. In your administration it is not what your public pronouncements that matter to Congress and your government but how much pork barrel you release for them to make them follow your lead. In today’s Philippines, Madame President, it not not what you publicly declare that matters to Congress but what you wish to hide from the public. For the Congress of the Philippines, the political crisis that you have led us into is a big money-making machine. That is the real state of the nation.

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Instant noodles para sa SONA ni Gloria

“Instant noodles – flavorful, cheap, but nutrition-wise empty – have become the staple food for millions of Filipinos. This summarizes the economic achievement of the Arroyo administration. This also symbolizes the failure of the government’s anti-poverty programs,” Hontiveros said.

According to the Inquirer.net that is how AKBAYAN Representative Risa Hontiveros – Baraquel describes what she expects of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver today at the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate. If I remember right, this is Gloria’s 8th SONA since she was catapulted into power after EDSA II and her fourth SONA since being declared winner of the 2004 Presidential Elections with the help of the great mathematician Mr. Virgilio “Hello Garci” Garcillano and his ilk in the COMELEC.

I do not think Risa was referring to the lifeless delivery of Gloria’s SONA (or any other speech for that matter) when she likened the SONA to “instant noodles” but the lack of substance. When we listen to Gloria deliver her SONA and all the claims she makes one cannot help but wonder if she is talking about the state of the Philippines and not some fictional country.

There are a few things I remember from the last year’s SONA – her mentioning of the opening of Jollibee in Basilan as proof of economic growth in the province; the litany of successes and many of them personal successes of individual Filipinos (si ganun nanalo sa ganitong award sa ganitong bansa, si ganito nanalo sa ganung contest sa ganireng bansa etc.) as proof that the country is doing well. But these are the least of her SONA’s faults.

What I find alarming is that she can be very blatant and shameless in her SONA. I remember her thanking General Palparan for his defense of democracy and human rights. I remember too, that she made special mention of the significance of the CYBER CORRIDOR which we later on learned meant the ZTE deal.

I do not know what boasts Gloria will make in this afternoon’s SONA but I am sure she will boast. She will find a way to devalue the crises our country is facing and inflate the value of her government’s “subsidies” for the poor. She will find a way to put the blame on the skyrocketing of the oil prices and exalt her government’s remedies for the poor. She will find a way to deflate the gravity of the food crisis and extol her dole-outs for the poor. She will find a way to hide the billions that she and her cabal are stealing from the country’s coffers and magnify the significance of the EVAT which is wringing the people dry.

Expect Gloria to scrape every scrap of good news to cover the rottenness of her administration. Expect Gloria bring every props she can carry to Congress to extol her performance… but in the end it will be very difficult to convince the hungry… yes expect her SONA to be flavorful and colorful but bereft of substance and bankrupt in the truth… YAKISONA nga eh.

Swimming against the current

From out of the dust bins of the House of Representatives, the Reproductive Health Bill authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman and 48 other members of the House of Representatives was thrown into the center-stage by the very strong and vocal opposition from no less than the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. The bill was condemned as if it were the carved from the horns of the devil himself. Bishops all over the country, including the handful I admire and respect, issued pastoral statements and mobilized the faithful against it. From out of the storage bins of oblivion the Repro health bill has become a pariah that congressmen and women who will seek re-election in 2010 (a little more than a year from now) will not touch with a ten-foot pole. the President has given in to the pressures of the Catholic Church, co-authors have withdrawn and apologized to the church. With so much anger and condemnation that resulted in so much fear, the last nail had sealed the bills coffin. Rest in peace Reproductive Health Bill.

What saddens me is not really that the bill suffered a sudden death. This is not the first time that it has died. Every beginning of a new Congress a reproductive health bill is filed and every congress the bill is killed. Again what saddens me is not that it died but how it was killed. The Catholic church simply branded the bill as promoting abortion, that was the death sentence. It has been explained time and again that nowhere in the bill can you find a promotion of abortion. But on this issue, the church leaders will only listen to themselves.

What saddens me is the fact that the issues surrounding the need for a reproductive health bill to be enacted – poverty, high population growth, lack of access to health care and affordable medicines, widespread ignorance about reproductive health – were never raised. The death of the bill has left these issues and concerns unanswered and not addressed. What saddens me is that the church has merely used its coercive force to kill the bill and no debate on the merits and the issues ensued.

I stand in awe at the power and clout that the church is displaying nowadays. I just wished they have used the same power, influence and clout to push for the passage of the CARP reform and extension bill in Congress. I just wished that the church made a stand this strong against the corruption and the impunity that it has witnessed under the Arroyo regime.

Swimming against the current is difficult and painful. Once upon a time, a man swam against the currents of his time. He ended up hanging in glory on a cross. He gives us hope. Swim!

Rescinding EO 464

While I was walking with the Sumilao farmers yesterday in what the media has labeled as the “Jericho March” one of the hottest issues of the day is Executive Order 464. This order was issued by Gloria in 2005 to prevent cabinet members and top officials not only of the civil government but also of the military to be dragged into congressional and senate investigations without the expressed authorization of the Thief Chief Executive. Since the “Hello Garci” scandal, EO 464 gave Gloria’s cohorts a safe haven from the inquisitive eyes of the public. EO 464 became Malakanyang’s shield that silences not only the crooks in the cabinet but the decent ones as well (I used to believe Romy Neri was decent). It became a carrot as well as a stick to ensure silence among top government officials accountable to the President. Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani and Col. Alexander Balutan of the Philippine Marines who were court martialled because he testified before the senate during the “Hello Garci” investigations in violation of EO 464.

Yesterday, in her efforts to appease the Catholic Bishops, Gloria gave in and rescinded EO 464. Was it a victory? Will this bring us nearer to the truth in the ZTE-NBN scam and other scandals like the “Hello Garci” and the fertilizer scam (remember Jokjok Bolante?)?

Do you think Gloria will give in just like that? Ain’t this just another calculated move designed to project an image of introducing changes because she has her back on the wall?

For the most part, EO 464 was already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Rescinding an order declared unconstitutional by the highest court of the land is not an act of goodwill. In fact, faking goodwill by rescinding EO 464 make it an act of deception.

Without EO 464, high government officials can now be summoned by congress and the senate to their investigations even without the consent of the president. This will just ensure their appearance but can they be forced to talk much less tell the truth? They still have Executive Privilege to hide behind. The scope of executive privilege is still being debate on. In the case of Romy Neri, the senate can force him to appear before the senate but he will just invoke executive privilege every time they will delve into his communications with the president. We may end up going to the Supreme Court with every question asked to which he will invoke executive privilege, making our search for the truth a constant and slow legal struggle.

We cannot legislate honesty. We cannot abolish dishonesty nor the conspiracy of deception and silence of the Arroyo administration. Honesty is a personal virtue, a virtue abandoned by even the most decent in the Arroyo cabinet. They can even lie under oath and lie in front of millions o Filipinos watching the live coverage of the proceedings (remember Abalos, Manny Gaite, Gen. Razon, Sec. Atienza and the airport gang?).

Gloria and her cohorts have calculated the risks of rescinding EO 464 to fake goodwill to the Catholic bishops. They concluded that taking out EO 464 will not damage their concealment of the truth.

EO 464 has been abolished. Will it bring out the TRUTH?

I still believe the abolition of EO 464 is a hollow and meaningless act. Like the declaration of a state or emergency, it is just a disposable barrier that Gloria created to derail the search for the truth just like the rusty container vans that she uses to block the entrance to the palace.

The Arroyo administration should be taken to task for imposing EO 464 in the first place. Rescinding it after it has been declared unconstitutional to appease the Church and to project an image as is the Arroyo administration is seeking for the truth makes it an act of deceit and a ploy for survival.

Gloria and her highly paid and richly commissioned gang of a$$lickers can shove EO 464 up each other’s A$$ES and consider that their Executive Privilege.

BLOGSWARM: GMA Resign! (join na!)

Dahil Ikaw Gloria ay:

Mandaraya, Magnanakaw, Mandarambong, Kurakot,

Mamamatay-tao,Taksil sa Bayan, Abusado sa Kapangyarihan

at Walang puso para sa Bayan at Taumbayan

RESIGN

JOIN THE BLOGSWARM TO FORCE GLORIA

OUT OF MALAKANYANG

SWARMGLORIA

L A Y A S ! ! !

Mga bloggers na nasa Swarm:

Ang tunay na Madam: Reyna Elena

Foobarph

Taroogs

Maria Clara

Manilenya

GMA Resign

Pedestrian

Etcetera

Uniffors

Ellen

at iba pa…

 

mga kapatid na bloggers, ano pa hinihintay nyo?

P U T A K T I H I N N A !!!

edsa1_2

P.S.: Maki-SWARM na rin bukas ng hapon (Feb. 29, Friday) sa

Makati. JOIN NA!!!

=================================================================

Paliwanag ng Malakanyang… MAKINIG!

Sa isang news article ng Inquirer.net ay sinubukan ng Malakanyang na LIWANAGIN ang kaguluhan ng mga statements nila tungkol sa pag-amin ni GMA sa isang interview ni Joe Taruc ng DZMM na alam nya na may anomalya sa ZTE deal bago ito pirmahan sa China. Binawi kasi ito ng Malakanyang kinabukasan sa pamamagitan ng pagsabing di naman inaamin ni GMA na alam nya ang anomalya. Basahin ang Palace admits Arroyo said ‘anomalya’ in radio interview para sa kabuuang ulat.

Batay sa ulat, sabi ni Sec. Mendoza ng DOTC ay ganire:

It is clear here … so pinag-uusapan lang yung anomalya. Di sinasabi na may anomalya (There is talk about an anomaly. She isn’t saying that there is an anomaly).

O di ba maliwanag ang paliwanag? Naintindihan nyo na? Para sa mga slow at di marunong umintindi ng Filipino at English nagdagdag ng paliwanag si Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. Aniya ay ganire:

“Parang merong insinuation pero di naman sinasabing meron (It’s as if there’s an insinuation, but she isn’t saying there is).”

So MALINAW na ba? Lord, nakakabobo. Hayz. Di vah?

Basta ako malinaw sa akin. Malinaw na bakit dapat ituloy tong BLOGSWARM: GMA Resign!

Look who’s talking (again)

Palace: ‘Respect institution of presidency’. In this Inquirer article the palace is calling its supporters and detractors to respect the presidency and stop calling names like “evil woman” and “bitch.” I find the recent pronouncements of Malacanang funny. It is as if they are grasping at straws to ward off the attacks that it has been getting.

In elementary we were all taught that RESPECT is something you earn and not demand nor buy. Real respect is won by your deeds and actions not by demanding it.

All this noise against Gloria is borne out of deep respect for the “institution of the presidency.” We respect the institution of the presidency so much that we won’t allow someone who cheated her way to victory to occupy that position one more second. We respect the institution of the presidency so much that we do not want it to be used to steal money from the public coffers. We respect it so much that we don’t want that position to be used to trample on the people’s human, civil and democratic rights.

May I ask then if Gloria and her administration respect the institution of the presidency as much as those who are calling for the TRUTH to be bared and those who are calling for her resignation and ouster? If they do then why don’t they stop hiding behind their EO 464 and bare the truth to clean the image of the institution of the presidency?

Again they should be careful what they ask for. People might just heed their call and out of respect for the institution of the presidency decide to remove the gang that pollutes it. To Gloria and her ilk: Respect the institution of the presidency! Vacate it NOW! (when you all go, please take Kabayan Noli with you okey? please please please)

unity walk daw

Look who’s talking

Palace: Search for truth must involve justice, fair play. I am not sure what I felt when I read that statement. I felt like laughing out loud and grab the nearest object and throw it against the wall in disgust. Am I going crazy? All of a sudden, the very people who are too quick to hide behind the “executive privilege” (EO 464) to hide the truth are asking for fair play and justice. They kept hiding behind “executive privilege” despite it being declare unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. They will only keep on exhorting EO 464 and challenge the senators to question it in the Supreme Court at every instance. Now is that what they call justice and fair play?

Last night I also watched in utter disgust at the interview of the grandson of Benjamin “Bukol” Abalos, who in a letter reportedly expressed his hurt feelings over the way De La Salle handled the Lozada issue. The Grade VII boy and his younger sister were interviewed by the media accompanied by their parents. Is Abalos so bereft of defense that he now has to USE his grandchildren for his counter-attack? I respect the feelings of the little children and they have every right to feel the way they do. But to drag them and display them to the media is a different thing. The kid can express his feelings in a letter and make the La Salle brothers know how he feels. But please don’t use the kids for your PR campaign. The kids’ grandfather and their parents are the ones violating their rights. But well. what could you expect from a man who asked for a $130M bribe? Or the man who let Gloria, Mike Arroyo, Garci and their cohorts steal the Presidential Election in 2004 under his guard. Now is this what they call justice and fair play?

The whole top-level government machinery has been used to hide the involvement of the Arroyo family in the ZTE-NBN scam. Cabinet members, the high ranking police officers are lying through their teeth. Now they have the gall to ask for justice and fair play as if they get none. Look who is talking now. You cannot lie and hide and ask for justice and foreplay at the same time guys. When you utter the words justice and fair play, you only succeed in making them sound like COVER UP.

And guys be careful what you ask for because if JUSTICE and FAIR PLAY were the rules of the game you will be out of office and in prison.