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Doy Laurel in history

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Today’s version of democracy seems to be more conducive to trade liberalization, an unfair economic setup that benefits only imperialist powers such as the US and China. Never smaller economies such as the one we have. Democracy is like a dinner plate in which to put capitalist grub on. It only fosters gobble-ization. That is why I no longer support it.

But back in the days when Martial Law was the golden calf, democracy must have probably been the best antidote to that era’s political strife. It was, in a way, excusable, an adhesive bandage sort of thing, just to stop the nation from bleeding further. Salvador “Doy” Laurel et al. realized that when they organized the United Democratic Opposition, later to be known as the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO), at the onset of the 80s. UNIDO served as the catalyst to the political upheavals during the crucial first half of that decade. It later chose Doy to be its standard bearer to challenge strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 polls. Eventually, however, the reins of the lead war horse was given to recently widowed Corazón “Cory” Aquino.

And the rest, as they always say, is history.

Since then, the nation has been celebrating the victory of democracy every 25th of February, the day Marcos stepped down from Washington’s satellite office which we all know as the Malacañang Palace. Commemorations here, there, and everywhere, toasting the personalities involved—both the self-proclaimed and the wannabes—in Marcos’s downfall, and all that Pinoy hullabaloo we all get from the media all the time the EDSA People Power crops up on our calendars. Sin, Aquino, Marcos, Enrile. These are the familiar names we always hear every February 25. We could just use their initials and come up with SAME to keep it short and simple.

But what of the others? What of Doy the artist and genuine statesman? What happened to UNIDO? Why are they rarely discussed in an important historical event such as the one we’re commemorating today? Unbeknownst to many, the Laurel-led UNIDO was the sole opposition force to defy the Marcos regime when the dictator’s main rival, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, left for the US in 1980 for his heart bypass. The proceeding videos (shown last week in Global News Network‘s Republika ni Érik Espina) provide some answers coming from Doy’s grandchildren: José L. Delgado IV and rock artist Nicole L. Asensio:

ESPINA: Do you ever wonder why his name isn’t in the history books as it should be?

DELGADO: My personal opinion is because the winners write history. The winners are the ones who have a final say as to what is put inside the history books.

Right on, hitting the proverbial nail on its head. But Nicole pretty much sums up why their grandfather and UNIDO are rarely discussed, if at all, in history classes and other EDSA-Revolution-related topics: media is controlled.

That strong statement rattled the host a little, provoking him to say that she’s been saying so many things already. Fodder for conspiracy theorists, one might say (guilty much?). However, the term conspiracy theory was originally meant for those who secretly conspire to accomplish something vile before that term was made synonymous to Jerry-Fletcher type characters. But enough of that. The Laurel cousins’ matter-of-factly statements have now invoked a lot of questions. Who controls the media? And why the cold-shoulder treatment given to Doy? Is it because he opposed Marcos out of  principle rather than on a personal level (they were very good friends before the Martial Law years)? Or is it because the powers-that-be could simply not stomach another potential headache, something that they never experienced with the yellow crowd (whose heroine, by the way, once called Doy a “lañgao” or “fly”)?

If you will ask me, I’d prefer an artist, an idealist, a statesman, a writer over a politician to lead this country. A philosopher king, as Plato would have it. Because a life focused on politics tends to debase the mind. But the arts refine the soul and the celestial spheres.

*******

Have I said too much as well? Because of the foregoing, I am now inclined to publish Bongbong Marcos’s EDSA People Power Revolution statement published a few hours ago in his official Facebook fan page (because the content simply makes pure sense):

Good evening Facebook friends!

It’s that time of the year again (EDSA 1 Anniversary) which, as time goes by, must get more confusing for those that were too young to appreciate history in the making. There’s been a lot of talk about “historical revisionism” as of late, and the need to “get the story ‘right’ for future generations.” As to who holds the “complete and accurate story”, perhaps, belongs to one or two protagonists no longer alive, or a historian that is yet to be born. There is a scramble from many sides to validate their respective points of view through books, documentary films, theatre, TV ”specials” (propaganda) with their endless re-runs, and all kinds of media. I have often stated that a complete and accurate picture of events leading up to EDSA 1 will only be possible when passions have died down and vested interests, political expediencies, and propaganda machineries, are no longer present.

Additionally, there is another way of propagating one’s version of history and that is through legislation, thus, including it in the annals of the State’s statutes that are usually archived in protected government buildings, and classified as “official” for future historians to take note of. In today’s world, they may be stored, too, in some internet “cloud,” either in government computer servers or in a third party cloud provider’s data center.

Recently, a bill was ratified by Congress called the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013″ which among other things, grants compensation to the victims of human rights violations during Martial Law up to 1986. In as far as compensating human rights victims is concerned, I, personally, have no problem with that. As a legislator, I did not participate in the discussions and deliberations on the bill knowing very well the futility of my views being heard without people presuming me biased. Some parts of the bill, nevertheless, are by themselves reasonable and more importantly, are fittingly imbued with compassion. However, it begs some questions to be asked: what about the other human rights victims of the last 27 years? Why did the legislators have a mind to address the human rights issue selectively? Why differentiate between a person tortured in the 70s and one tortured in the 90s? By default, the victims of human rights violations from 1987 onward get nothing in compensation for the atrocities they suffered solely because they happened under another administration. To treat their situations with less concern and sympathy is blatantly and cruelly discriminatory and unjust. The bill also ignored the soldiers of the Republic that were captured, tortured, and pitilessly killed by insurgents during the same period that the bill covers — 1972 to 1986. Wives of brave soldiers were widowed at very young ages and their children, made fatherless. The legitimate human rights victims during Martial Law deserve the compensation they will get but why should the other likewise legitimate human rights victims not deserve it, too? Do not these “tradpols” sense the weariness of our people when listening to the same voices pontificate from their podiums blind, by choice, to the fact that their audience are still mired in poverty, joblessness, and privation? And that their only wish is for their lives to improve as was promised to them 27 long years ago and still, they wait. These same politicians are wont to cover up the fact that nothing much has changed since 1986 and they do this by resurrecting old bugaboos, and reviving hackneyed and over-used excuses and scapegoats. The fact is, twenty-seven years later, the chasm between the rich and the poor has widened, and poverty has become more widespread.

Moreover, for those that make the lame comparison between the Martial Law years and the Holocaust, they could be offending the Jews without knowing it with their lack of sensitivity and plenty of nincompoopery. There are Generals and other high ranking officers of the AFP during the 70′s who are still alive today. They can correct me if I’m wrong on whether they implemented and enforced, as heads of their respective commands in the AFP, a state-sponsored, systematic mass execution akin to the holocaust where ten million people were killed in gas chambers and by starvation.

The “freedom fighters”, both the self proclaimed and the wannabes, will say we have a liberated press today and I, too, join them in celebrating “freedom of the press”, and I hasten to add, that should include the Internet. Yet, strangely enough, the Philippines has only recently been called “the most dangerous country, not at war, to live in for a journalist”. This was never the case at anytime up to 1986; so, though we may have a free press today, the extraordinarily high number of murdered journalists that gave us the notorious label of “most dangerous” as aforementioned above, occurred many years after 1986 and the killings have continued unabated to this day. Again, these victims, from the ranks of media no less, have not been given the attention they deserve.

Conclusively, the obvious and glaring question is: what about the tens of thousands of human rights victims of the post Marcos era — the last twenty seven years? That question is like an “elephant in the room” that some politicians, the typically glib, sanctimonious, and self righteous, pretend not to see. In addressing only the human rights violations from 1972 to 1986, a total of 14 years, and ignoring the thousands of documented violations that were committed in the last 27 years (that’s double the number of years covered by the bill), what emerges from that is a writing on the wall that screams: POLITICS. The people have seen twenty seven years go by with no substantial changes in their lives; in fact, millions have had to leave their families to seek work abroad. More politics is the last thing they need from their leaders.

The level of politics in this country has become such that when I ran for Senator some three years ago, there were a few that vigorously campaigned against my election, urging the people to make sure that I would not be elected or we would again be placed under Martial Law. Firstly, I ran for Senator and not for President; and secondly, the act of declaring Martial Law is not genetic in nature. There is a saying that goes: “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” You can add to that: “though it could be both”.

Either way, I have chosen to ignore such attacks coming from politicians, the “tradpol” types and those that will use this law to reinvent themselves as “freedom fighters against tyranny”. I will continue to focus on ways to unify our country, specially among our youth, and help in creating a more egalitarian society, and a developed and inclusive economy — a goal that is simple, yet formidable and daunting, but achievable. Last year’s GDP was a significant improvement over the dismal year before, and we should commend the administration for that. My unsolicited advice, though, is that job creation and ways of attracting more FDIs should be undertaken incessantly and relentlessly and if we can manage significant progress in both, then we can look forward to a sustainable year-after-year growth that will be felt by everyone; and that it be “felt by everyone” is the crucial and essential metric. We need that 6.6% GDP to trickle down. Enough of the politics that divide us,the “blame game” that delays us, and the excuses that derail us. The people are sick and tired of it, the young are baffled by, and frustrated with it; and ultimately, it does not put food on the plates of the hungry nor does it create jobs. So I hope this 27th anniversary not be again a celebration of polarization or division. It’s time to focus, move forward, and get things done as one indivisible nation. Maraming salamat pô. ¡Mabuhay ang Filipino!

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

“History belongs to the youth, the
largest and most idealistic and energetic segment of our
population.”

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It was a terrorist attack in EDSA

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These motherless scoundrels (when I say motherless scoundrels, I mean terrorists) love birthday surprises. Strange and sick.

I have no doubt that yesterday’s bus bombing at EDSA was a terrorist attack (besides, the police already confirmed that an improvised explosive device destroyed the bus and the innocent civilians it was carrying). And what “perfect” timing: the 78th birth anniversary of PNoy’s mom.

MANILA, Philippines—“Who is responsible? At this point all we can say is speculation,” President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday night as he also disclosed that all intelligence agencies were in the process of identifying those behind the EDSA bombing that killed four (actually, the death toll climbed to five already when one of the victims succumbed to blast wounds at a hospital this morning —Pepito—), two instantly, and injured 14 others.

The bomb placed under the seat in the middle of a passenger bus driven by a man ironically named Maximo Peligro went off just before 2 p.m. on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) near the north gate of the upscale Forbes Park subdivision in Makati City.
The blast blew a huge hole on the right side of the northbound Newman Goldliner plying the Baclaran-SM Fairview route.

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said the explosion was so powerful that it punched a hole in a nearby concrete fence.

“It appears that it was a big bomb that exploded but we’re still determining what kind of bomb,” said the Makati police chief, Senior Supt. Froilan Bonifacio.

The explosion shattered the windows of the air-conditioned bus (Plate No. TXJ-710), which was approaching the loading bay on EDSA and Metro Rail Transit station on Gil Puyat (formerly Buendía) Avenue.

Police said the sixth row on the right side of the bus sustained massive damage.

Remember that more than a decade ago, motherless scoundrels from the South (when I say motherless scoundrels from the South, I mean the Abu Sayyaf) beheaded two of their helpless hostages as a “birthday gift” to then President Erap. Downright sick.

Oh yeah, I accuse (besides, they also bombed a bus near the same area in 2005).

Similarities, similarities.

Inquirer.net provides more details about this cowardly act. Like all of you, all I can do is speculate. Es fácil hacer acusaciones, pero nunca ha sido fácil destruir a estos terroristas del sur.

Arroyo took away the “gloria” of EDSA

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This one came straight from the horse’s mouth.

In the Inquirer.net newstory below, GMA herself admits that the spirit of the original EDSA revolution is gone. But no, she should not lay the blame on anyone else. Not on the ordinary Filipino on the street. Not on the elite. And not on her political rivals.

Her rogue administration is the reason. I thought she’s smart enough to know that. Well, yeah. She is. That’s why she made another clever remark about “glorious revolutions” and all that colorful jazz…

It’s all the same to me even if one is an anti-Erap or not… Arroyo took away the gloria of EDSA. Plain and simple arithmetic.

Arroyo: Glory of EDSA I gone
Says People Power now partisan

Claiming that the “Glorious Revolution” had deteriorated into partisanship over the years, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Thursday made her final appearance as the nation’s leader at ceremonies commemorating the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Ms Arroyo led officials in raising the flag at the People Power Monument on EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) in Quezon City, which kicked off the day’s activities to mark the 24th anniversary of the uprising that ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and installed Corazón “Cory” Aquino as the President.

“The Philippines has come a long way since 1986. We regained our freedom and our national pride, but somewhere along the way we became complacent. People Power gained a partisan meaning that started to divide the nation once more,” Ms Arroyo said in her speech.

Thursday was Ms Arroyo’s last appearance at the EDSA I anniversary because her term ends on June 30.

It better be her last appearance because she has a penchant for lying. Remember the time when she promised a few years back that she won’t run again for the presidency?

2009 Filipino Of The Year — The Filipino People!

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In just a few hours, 2009 will end. A new year shall arrive. And I thought what better way to end 2009 than by honoring the country’s most respected individual or group, particularly those who made headlines, gained prominence, and brought honors for the motherland. I believe it’s also a good idea to do this every year. So allow me to make it a tradition, my humble way of honoring annually the best that this country has to offer.

The award for the 2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR goes to none other than — THE FILIPINO PEOPLE!

2009 Filipino of the Year Award goes to the whole Filipino nation! Take a bow, paisanos!

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS have many candidates for this humble award.

First off on top of the list is our 1986 EDSA heroine, the late President María Corazón S. Cojuangco vda. de Aquino, popularly known as Cory Aquino, who passed away last August 1. Her imminent death due to colon cancer brought back the so-called “Cory Magic” (the phenomenon which toppled the Marcos dictatorship) to the Filipinos and paved the way for the sudden and unexpected rise of her quiescent son, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Noynoy took advantage of this Cory Magic and ran for the presidency. Right now, he is on top of the surveys for the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections.

We also have Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiáo, champion athlete, number one pound-for-pound boxer, and a political wannabe. His recent victory over Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto last 14 November 2009 eventually made him the first boxer in history to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions, prompting famous and legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum to declare that “Pacquiáo is the greatest boxer I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all, including Ali, Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard.” Even boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is terrified to square it off against Pacman. But all this stardom might disadvantage him once he rejoins the dirty world of politics next year.

Efren Gerónimo Peñaflorida, Jr. is another breakthrough. The founder of Dynamic Teen Company won recognition last November 22 when he was named as the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year for his commendable “pushcart classroom” (he calls it Kariton Klasrum) aimed at educating poor children and to keep them away from the corruption of the streets.

Of course, YouTube sensation Charmaine Clarice “Charice” Pempengco shouldn’t be left out. The petite singing sensation from San Pedro, La Laguna earned the admiration of millions of people who saw her astounding vocal exhibitions on the internet. More importantly, she gained fame in the US, the entertainment capital of the world, via The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show (even Oprah was teary-eyed). Many singing legends in the US took notice of her talent, particularly Celine Dion (they even sang together in a New York City concert!). There were also reports claiming that Charice would have been included in Michael Jackson’s This Is It series of concerts had it not for the King of Pop’s untimely demise.

The abovementioned Filipinos have brought honor and pride to the Filipino race. It is of course worthy to honor each and every one of them as this year’s Filipino of the Year.

However, I just couldn’t ignore the Filipino people as a whole.

Yes, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS would like to declare the whole Filipino Nation as this year’s winner of the 2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR Award. And this is because of the immense outpouring of support that they gave to their fellow Filipinos who were victimized by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

It was during these troubling moments when the Filipino Nation’s sense of intestinal fortitude –not to mention unity– was tested yet again. Metro Manila was crippled by massive and destructive flash floods never before seen in its history. Seventy five percent of the nation’s capital –including surrounding provinces– was inundated by floodwaters, displacing thousands of families and killing scores of unsuspecting people. Typhoon Ondoy’s backlash continued weeks and even months after the killer floods. But the Filipinos’ unique spirit of bayanihan reigned supreme. Everybody –regardless of social standing, religious belief, race, or political inclinations– helped out in the tragedy by donating food, clothing, money for temporary shelter, basic necessities, etc. Political rivalries were ignored for the sake of the victims. The rich showed that not all of them are stingy and greedy. Even celebrities were seen wallowing in the floodwaters to assist those who were stuck in the water. Individual and private donors were always visible in evacuation centers. Every one made their share.

It is times like these which makes me feel so damn proud to be a Filipino!!!

To the Filipino Nation, take a bow. You are God’s precious race!

See you again next year for FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES‘ and ALAS FILIPINAS‘ choice for 2010 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR!

May everybody have an exciting New Year’s Eve!

Noynoy & Mar vs the Evil Empire: Who Else Will Join The THIRD PARTY?

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Mar Roxas III & Noynoy Aquino III: the 'THIRD' Party!

Mar Roxas III & Noynoy Aquino III: the 'THIRD' Party!

He’s not a trapo after all.

In a shocking development, Senator Mar Roxas III announced that he’s backing out from the presidential race to support fellow Liberal Party member Noynoy Aquino III. The announcement was made yesterday during a conference held at the historic Club Filipino (were Noynoy’s mom Corazón Aquino took her oath as President of the Philippines way back in 1986):

“Today I am announcing my support for the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino for president in 2010,” Roxas told Liberal Party members and supporters.

“Noy has made it clear to me that he wants to carry the torch of leadership,” he said. “I do this (step aside) for unity in support of change and that means that somebody must make a sacrifice. It must be me.”

The two “Thirds” (they both share ‘III’ at the end of their respective last names) are a force to reckon with, perhaps the perfect tandem to possibly halt ousted President Joseph Estrada’s plans of backing out from the most anticipated presidential election in recent history.

Erap has been vocal these past few weeks, saying that the only reason for him not to run for the presidency is when the opposition fields only a single candidate.

As of this writing, Makati Mayor Jejomar Bínay and Senator Manuel Villar, both from the opposition, are yet to make a final statement whether or not they would support Noynoy or still pursue their political ambitions. But Erap said that he’ll still woo other presidentiables from the opposition to unite and fight whoever Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will anoint.

It will be remembered that in the 2004 presidential elections, the massive electorate who sided with the opposition were divided between Pánfilo “Ping” Lacson and legendary icon (Erap’s bestfriend) Fernando Poe, Jr. Both were well-loved and supported by the masses. But since the votes were divided between the two of them, the results proved to be disastrous: Ping ended up second to FPJ’s votes while the latter was blatantly cheated all the way to high heavens.

Noynoy is still hesitant whether or not he should run. But with Mar Roxas’ stirring announcement (quite possibly he’ll run as Noynoy’s Vice President), that could possibly be the nail in the coffin for Noynoy’s decision-making. Besides, Mar has already spent millions of pesos with all those television advertisement of his. It’s not that easy to back out from the presidency especially when millions have already been spent, and Noynoy knows this. Besides, with the recent passing of her “icon of democracy” mom (not to mention the recent Ninoy Aquino holiday last August 21), this is the perfect time for him to ride on the heels of the so-called “Cory Magic”. It’s back, still fresh, still strong, still sporting the bright yellow in the minds of the populace. All he has to do is to keep it burning, to keep the momentum going.

Hopefully this time, the opposition will learn from mistakes of the past. It’s still September — plenty of time to THINK.

Who else will join the Third Party?

One Angry SONA

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Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (in a fuschia-colored terno designed by Inno Sotto) delivering a rancorous SONA.

Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (in a fuschia-colored terno designed by Inno Sotto) delivering a rancorous SONA.

“The state of our nation is a strong economy. Good news for our people, bad news for our critics.”

Arguably that was the strongest line from yesterday’s hour-long State of the Nation Address (SONA) which was delivered by Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

As a trained economist, Arroyo has always strived to be known as an economic workhorse. And so she peppered her 9th (and supposedly last) SONA with fabulous figures of economic growth that, many will say, are too good to be true. Therefore, the SONA was applauded 124 times this year (as against last year’s 104 and 2007’s 103 — in itself a feat!).

Her SONA, however, wasn’t all talk about development and a “strong economy.” Since it comes but once a year, she made it an opportunity to fireback at her political foes and critics.

While a strong downpour outside the Batasang Pambansâ disappointed thousands of anti-Arroyo protesters, she made sour slights and indirect hints against those who have been heavily criticizing her presidency. But the unfortunate unnamed receivers of Arroyo’s rancorous remarks were pretty obvious.

In one instance, Arroyo declared:

Our efforts prodded the pharmaceutical companies to come up with low-cost generics and brands like RiteMed. I supported the tough version of the House of the Cheaper Medicine law over the weak version of my critics. The result: the drug companies volunteered to bring down drug prices, slashing by half the prices of 16 drugs. Thank you, Congressmen Cúa, Álvarez, Birón and Locsín.

Pursuant to law, we are placing other drugs under a maximum retail price. To those who want to be President, this advice: If you really want something done, just do it. Do it hard, do it well. Don’t pussyfoot. Don’t pander. And don’t say bad words in public.

It is widely known that Arroyo has been at odds against Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas over the issue of cheaper medicines. Whatever their disagreement over the said issue, they certainly didn’t jive because last December, an angry Mar Roxas unleashed perhaps the most unparliamentary remark –a foul language at that– ever heard in the history of the Philippine Senate as a negative reaction towards Arroyo’s stance on cheaper medicines. And so on her SONA, Arroyo retaliated quite hilariously with a funny-sounding Brit verb that is rarely used nowadays: pussyfoot

What in the world does pussyfoot mean? The following definition is fromhttp://dictionary.reference.com:

puss-y-foot [poo s-ee-foot] verb, noun, plural -foots.
–verb (used without object)

1. to go or move in a stealthy or cautious manner.
2. to act cautiously or timidly, as if afraid to commit oneself on a point at issue

Arroyo even thanked Congressmen Junie Cúa, Antonio Álvarez, Ferjenel Birón and Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsín, Jr., without acknowledging Roxas who was, in the first place the staunchest advocate of passing a cheaper medicines law.

The next victim of Arroyo’s seething anger was friend-turned-nemesis, former House Speaker José de Venecia, Jr.:

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.

It’s interesting to note that in previous SONAs, Joe de V have had his palms all red due to numerous applauses he gave to his ex-friend.

Finally, Arroyo left no kind words unannounced for her bitter rival, President Joseph “Erap” Estrada:

I am falsely accused, without proof, of using my position for personal profit. Many who accuse me 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.

Arroyo was all smiles all throughout the controversial SONA. And those smiles weren’t just because she was declaring good news to her constituents, but because finally she was able to garner some payback time against those who have been attacking her left and right these previous months.

Yesterday’s weather and Arroyo. Both were on the same mood.

Regrettably, this angry SONA of hers began with a solemn prayer (for former President Corazón Aquino who is currently battling colon cancer). It’s quite ironic to begin an event with a prayer and then follow it up with a barrage of attacks against critics and rivals, not to mention questionable claims of economic progress.

Questionable. Because, you see — have all these proud declarations of development trickled down to a massive hungry populace?

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