It's the truth, liar
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-01-17

What’s interesting in the recently released essay of detained former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) titled “It’s the economy, student” is not what it said but what it inadvertently reveals about her. Her chosen title takes off from candidate Bill Clinton’s campaign line against President George H. Bush — It’s the economy, stupid.

Pretending to be a comparative review between the country’s economic performance under her and President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) - GMA’s paper is more of a summary of the unsubstantiated issues that P-Noy haters and critics have been spreading. One wonders if they inspired her to use these issues or it was she who fed them these.

She wrote: “It is in poverty that we find the material roots of the problem of corruption — because the political system based on patronage — and ultimately, corruption to support patronage — is made possible only by the large gap between the rich and the poor.” Never mind the awful syntax — GMA has some nerve to talk about corruption as if it did not flourish during her 9 years in office, as if her tenure didn’t rank as one of the most corrupt in the perception of majority of Filipinos.

She added: “This will persist until and unless we enlarge the economic pie. Unfortunately, the present Administration has chosen to turn the problem upside down, anchoring their entire development strategy on one simplistic slogan: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” If there is no corruption, there is no poverty — this is a proposition that also tells us that the undeniable persistence of poverty to this day therefore means the continuation of corruption under this Administration”

If GMA was aiming to erode P-Noy’s over 70 percent support base, especially those who are supporting his initiatives to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Rene Corona and hold the GMA regime accountable for all its sins — then she should write a better paper that Filipinos will believe. What she wrote is so far removed from what Filipinos and the world think of the Philippines under P-Noy.

On the very first month of her administration, there were already corruption scandals rocking it. In the 19 months that P-Noy has been in Malacañang, he and his cabinet have not been linked to a corruption scandal. It was during her term when the biggest scandals rocked the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), even forcing one of her favorite generals — Angelo Reyes — to commit suicide. Under P-Noy, an AFP Chief of Staff named Oban retired after setting in place system reforms that will prevent future shenanigans and went home without any baon (retiree’s big cash windfall culled illegally). GMA’s generals who didn’t have the inclination to commit suicide are now facing prosecution.

GMA’s paper reflects the lies that many of us have come to associate with her. She talks about economic conditions by highlighting figures out of context, like our slower economic growth under the P-Noy administration. If she’s a capable economist, then how come she didn’t clarify that our present economic track is largely influenced by external developments beyond our control as well as effects of the forces of nature — the economic turmoil in the US and Europe, the Middle East crisis that’s causing higher oil prices, the drop in OFW (overseas Filipino worker) remittances, and severe weather disasters related to climate change that undermine agriculture productivity.

The P-Noy administration is being hit for its supposed poor track record in bringing foreign investors. The lack of foreign investors is not due to lack of interest in us but the effects of the economic problems in the US and Europe, which are causing many big multinational firms to consolidate. Companies in the process of consolidating would normally defer their expansion plans. Unappreciated are the investments made by local businessmen that more than made up for the lack of foreign investors — even better because local businessmen keep their profits here, not so with the multinational firms.
Tito Joaquin Bernas and the others supporting GMA have tried to peddle the simplistic notion that the economy is deteriorating because P-Noy is allocating too much time, political will and capital to jail the big crooks and reform the judiciary into being an independent and clean judiciary. They sounded as if Secretaries Cesar Purisima, Babes Singson, Rene Almendras and Greg Domingo have ceased meeting with P-Noy on their respective programs for stimulating economic growth.

That we’re still tracking growth should be appreciated in the light of how other economies, stock markets and currencies in Europe have been very unstable. Our peso has been stable at P43 to P 44 to a US dollar — no doubt supported by the fiscal planning and spending of the P-Noy administration. Our stock market has breached previous high marks. Bloomberg calls us as the economy to watch. HSBC Research in a recent report is forecasting that we will overtake 27 countries and place 16th as the world’s largest economy by 2050.

More important than these optimistic foreign assessments, Filipinos have reversed from the cynicism of the GMA years and are now optimistic and confident about attaining a better future under this current president — P-Noy — whom they trust. You cannot move a country forward unless there’s the people’s trust and confidence in their leaders.

* * *

  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

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo