Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Arroyo visions

If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still stuck “visioning” at this stage of her presidency, then no one should wonder why the Philippines is going kaput. That essential process should have taken place as early as when she was a senator if, as her adulators claim, she is a true visionary.

But if we are noticing despotic turns in her body language (or “accidental” language), maybe visioning at this point is still apropos, because that means after seven years of reign, the second longest in Philippine history, she is just really warming up.

The “hallmarks of modern society” - to be built on a runaway national debt - in Arroyo’s 2007 State of the Nation Address looked more like a Hitlerian delusion the late Manila mayor Antonio Villegas had caught in Ferdinand Marcos’ own dubious pipedream. Villegas saw the handwriting on the wall when Marcos, supposedly on the final leg of his political career, had stepped up the building of roads, bridges and other physical infrastructures as the exit door stares right smack at him.

Watch these too.

First the myopic aforethought: “I haven’t thought that far ahead,” President Arroyo told Reuter on June 12 when asked what she’s planning at the end of her term.

That economy of vision has been measured, obviously.

Then the improvident teaser last week at Subic: “Who knows? I may run for Congress in my hometown.”

Despite being constitutionally term-limited by 2010, Arroyo could retain all her presidential powers as congressional allies, the majority, re-envisage a parliamentary system via a charter change that may allow her to run as member of the parliament representing her hometown and consequently become the prime minister.

Now the royal punch line of the SONA 2007: “From where I sit, I can tell you, a President is always as strong as she wants to be.”

Like a queen, Arroyo could conceive resorting to the exercise of draconian executive and military powers under the present constitution upon a claim that the national security is under threat.

Those telltales should not be underestimated at all. Not when coming from one with a Marcosian instinct.

What vision? Maybe a tunnel vision.