Vintage GMA dishes bovine ordure at the UN
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-10-04
If Filipinos are already appalled at the extent that Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) can mouth falsehoods, well she just outdid herself when she spoke before the UN General Assembly last Friday.

"The Philippines is the most democratic country in our region. We have no tolerance for human rights violations at home or abroad," Madame Arroyo proudly told the UN General Assembly.

Come again, did I hear you say that we're the "most democratic country in our region" Madame Arroyo? Would you call this country "most democratic" in the wake of your many attempts at despotic rule with the issuance of decrees such as Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR), PP 1017 and EO 464? Just where do you get off, Madame Arroyo, claiming to be "most democratic" after having promulgated all those anti-democratic decrees?

Between Madame Arroyo and her spouse, they've tried the limits of the freedom of free assembly (CPR) and free speech (PP 1017 and those 43 libel cases filed by the First Gentleman against journalists). And so how can she now say that we are the "most democratic" country in our region?

Excuse me, but did we also hear you say that "We have no tolerance for human rights violations at home" as if all those 886 (as of the latest count) murdered unarmed political activists simply committed suicide? Wasn't your regime cited by the UN Rapporteur, Philip Alston, who came here to look into those murders of unarmed political activists? Didn't Alston hold your military — which you head as Commander-in-Chief — accountable for those killings?

And if it is not bad enough that Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo postures as a champion of democracy before the UN General Assembly — she even had the gall and the temerity to preach democracy to Myanmar's military tyrants. Where does one de facto dictatorial regime get off preaching democracy to another dictatorial regime?

"This is the time for Myanmar to return to democracy and release Aung San Suu Kyi," Madame Arroyo hypocritically announced before the UN General Assembly. Now does that not sound like Madonna preaching chastity to Paris Hilton?

Really, where does Madame Arroyo get off asking the Myanmar despots to release Aung San Suu Kyi when her own military has not even accounted for the abduction of Jonas Burgos despite unmistakable evidence linking them to the crime?

Between Madame Arroyo and those tyrants in Myanmar, at least those Myanmar generals do not parade themselves as a democratic regime and they do not lecture other tyrants and autocrats about democracy. Between Madame Arroyo and the Myanmar generals, at least in Myanmar they are openly identified as a military regime unlike Madame Arroyo who passes her government off as democratic.

I remember that when the disgraced US President Richard Nixon needed a big morale and image boost, he would stage a foreign trip and perorate before a world audience. This recent trip to the US of Madame Arroyo is very similar to Nixon’s diversionary tactics.

The selection of clips that portray greetings from her former Georgetown University classmate Bill Clinton and the hurrahs from US businessmen have the hallmarks of events engineering by an expensive international public relations firm. Are we to believe the endorsement of Clinton, the philanderer who claimed that he did not have sex with Monica Lewinski?

From Clinton, the video clips segue to praises coming from businessmen, who just happen to be the easiest people to get endorsements from. Businessmen care about their businesses and will extend courtesies to a country, a leader or a particular government which hosts their enterprises.

Big business and the military were often in bed together in many of those Latin American countries that were enamored with caudillo rule during the 1970s. Businessmen like status quo and are the least likely to clamor for change which will lead to temporary or even long-term instability.

Did we not have enough of Madame Arroyo's usual cacophony of yes men in the local business community — most prominent of which is Donald Dee who I understand has now been rewarded with an ambassadorship? We should not be surprised if the Arroyo regime is now able to muster a similar group of US businessmen who are willing to heap praises on her?

The truth is big business is most comfortable dealing with dictators rather than the branches of a democratic government. Big business loves to deal one-on-one, eyeball-to-eyeball with just one decision maker. Business is much simpler that way. Their objective, we must remember, is to make a profit and not really to create an equitable society.

Many of those big businessmen who actively supported the Oust-Marcos-Movement in the 1980s did so because their businesses were threatened by Marcos crony capitalism. Many of them are now comfortably in bed with Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a Marcos wannabe.

Like the Good Lord said: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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