Economic news was the dominant theme yesterday, with the credit rating firms telegraphing their intention to take a hard look at the economic prospects of the country and possibly deem them negative. The Peso didn’t get affected as much as many expected, although in the bond market, the one-year bond was basically abandoned by bidders, which one colleague tells me indicates bankers aren’t looking at the Philippines beyond a six month period.
Today, the President has announced she has a new Finance Secretary, Gary Teves, who, by all accounts, is a good guy. Meanwhile, the Senate will resume its merry hearings today while Garcellano has until tomorrow to appear in the House.
Meanwhile, Joseph Estrada’s trial has resumed, with questions concerning economic sabotage by his enemies. Newbreak reports that the Vice-President was intensely lobbied and sounded out by different groups last week; and it unveils the proposed composition of a junta (I know for a fact Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. declined to participate in any such thing).
The pundit round-up for today has Jess Sison saying the President’s troubles are far from over; Ellen Tordesillas says the President is, indeed, clutching at straws; Lito Banayo adds to the chorus and wails that the President is prolonging the agony; Federico Pascual points out what a lucky survivor the President is, and that the United States may have had a role in her troubles;Emil Jurado says that obviously, the tipping point wasn’t reached; Anding Roces, on the other hand, praises the bishops; Bel Cunanan is all praises, too, and chirps we should all calm down; Dong Puno says the cabinet members that quit weren’t traitors to the President, but are pretty lousy at politics; Conrado de Quiros thinks they’re pretty lousy, period; Alex Magno apologizes for assuming the President was a goner, and says it was a lapse in judgment and that he’s sorry; Domini Torevillas speaks up for the Vice-President; Chin Wong wants people to refocus on computerizing elections; finally, Connie Veneracion looks forward and begins discussions on parliamentarism that can’t be hijacked by vested interests.
In the blogosphere, Punzi suspects the Palace has unleashed its agents on the blogosphere; Jove Francisco says the cabinet members who quit are losing the public relations war, but not because of bias on the part of the press; Tina Panganiban-Perez says her network isn’t biased, and reacts to the bishops; Newsstand has two entries on why he thinks the Papal Nuncio neither scolded nor influenced the bishops. AlternNation believes the bishops were right to scold the press for misinterpreting their statements.