«

»

Jul 25

SONA hangover

The blogosphere was abuzz during and after the State of the Nation address (billed by the Press Secretary’s office, modestly, as the longest and first interactive and high-tech SONA). You can watch it or read it.

The reactions of young bloggers ran the gamut from admiring to dismayed.

Students like Waypoint to sudden death, or the present’s just a pleasant interuption to the past and anne_17 had to watch it because of school requirements (and seem mostly bored). Sarcasm makes the World go round… and pearlpaopao listened (the former hopes it’s not just promises, the latter found it informative, while qtme was more skeptical). Twenty-One believes it’s better to work together to correct the administration’s shortcomings.

Others, like princesstala, attended one of the rallies. Some, like My Suite, watched cable.
Punzi gave a running account. Peryodistang Pinoy weighed in with her (highly informed, I must say) reactions. Alleba Politics reacted, too. Genocider believes the problem is not the President, but the people who surround her. Nagsusulat Lamang reacts in a pithy manner. Hope springs eternal in Comelec AKO (despite initial skepticism). Bunker Chronicles makes a provocative comparison to how Saddam Hussein gained power. In withoutwax, there’s a pretty thorough commentary, too (the speech, the blogger says, had vision).

(A report from General Santos City was intriguing: supposedly, the mayor expressed opposition to the mega regions scheme, saying it would only add to red tape. I hope the Mindanao media looks into this. So far, there’s this from MindaNews.)

Jove Francisco gives an eyewitness reaction (good observations on the audience in the Batasan).

My reaction to the SONA:

1. Two campaigns have begun. The first, for amendments to be approved in a referendum (immediately after the speech, the drum-beating began); the second, the 2007 elections (Neil Cruz on Viewpoint surprised me when he asserted it’s likely that more than 79 opposition members of the House will be elected).
2. It was a division of the spoils.
3. It was the Mother of All Pork Barrel Speeches.
4. It is, however, proof of something we don’t pause often enough to recognize. Regardless f what the President does, or doesn’t do, things move on their own. Many of the plans and projects announced aren’t the fruits of the President’s hard work, or leadership, it’s the result of continuous meetings between national and local officials, elected representatives and members of the bureaucracy. Some of these projects began when the administration was new; others date back to previous administrations; some were identified and mapped out long ago, but it is only now that they have been given the green light.
5. Therefore, much of what was announced would have happened, regardless of who is President; but there are definitely many officials happy that they have been given a curtain call, and that regardless of her motives, the importance of those plans has been recognized.
6. We should rename the Batasan Pambansa the Kroll Opera House. Not even Ferdinand Marcos indulged in such public displays of legislative sycophancy. Or double-speak. As Torn & Frayed points out, she condemnded killings then praised to the skies the number one suspect.

Foreign commentary: Thaksin and Arroyo, two thick-faced devils, on top for now (in The Nation of Thailand).

69 comments

3 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. Marian Villanueva

    The SONA is a well-crafted production number. Ok..give her production people so much credit. High-tech effect and all that. But in the end, the bottom line will still be, is “what’s on the pudding.?” GMA thought she had made the filipinos proud. Ok. Fine. Let’s give this lunatic of a woman think that we are so proud of her. Anyway, sayang lang ang galit. There is a time for everything. What comes around, goes around. It will be just be an exercise in futility to do otherwise. Lahat ng pala, nasa loob ng Batasan. Hay! such gullible people. And for what? They’re all ready to sell their soul to the devil. And to think yung mga props nya, what’s her into? these are honest people who made the country proud. Aray ko! I was really hoping for thunder and lightning….I’d rather listen to the production of Mr. Arcaya on Ted and Korina’s program. There’s a lot of sense there.

    The 2nd round of impeachment? well, even if the opposition won’t win over this one, the mere fact that all sectors are already filing impeachment one after another, geez! kakahiya na talaga yon. Kapal na lang ng mukha that she can stomach to stay in Malacanang when it’s glaring that majority of the Filipinos don’t like her anymore. As in sick and tired of her already.

    Oh well, she’s not given the name glue-ria for nothing.

  2. Carl

    cvj, thank you for admitting that the 1987 constitution is flawed. It is precisely the challenge in making a new constitution to rectify those flaws. Not just the way its skewed in traditional politicians’ favor, but the way its skewed towards Imperial Manila.

    I haven’t read your Legion’s proposed constitution, so I cannot comment on it. I do not know if you are taking that version as the conclusive word on a new constitution, but I’m sure there are more proposals and ideas out there. Keep an open mind.

  3. paeng

    wawa naman yung Senate kung i-vilify, e yung Senate Minority Floor Leader naman yung nagsulat ng batas na nagpalakas sa mga local government na pinagmamalaki ngayon ni GMA. kaya nga naging autopilot ang local govs dahil sa Local Government Code ni Pimentel.

    natawa ako sa sinabi ng isang estudyante ko. hindi daw State of the Nation address knudi HalluciNation address daw napanood niya. :p

  4. mlq3

    carl, cjv and i have long been discussing here the changes that might be beneficial. but i think you should recall that this is the first constitution since 1899 that has made provincial autonomy and devolution state policy. i’ve heard quite a few local officials say, in fact, that combined with the local government code (the new one) we already have the skeleton for an authentic kind of federalism, but the code hasn’t been fully implemented. others (like me) are very open to federalism but not under the present proposed collection of changes.

  5. Carl

    mlq3, inasmuch as I respect your position, wouldn’t holding off charter change lead to procrastination and eventual abandonment?

    We always get so spooked by mistrust that inertia seems preferable to getting the task done. When FVR first broached the idea, it was rejected because his motives were suspect. When Erap tried to float his proposal, it was once again met by skepticism.

    I doubt if we will ever find the perfect state of affairs wherein to conduct charter change. It may take someone tenacious and pugnacious enough to push charter change through. Not perhaps the ideal circumstance for many, but the people will eventually accept it, especially if there is improvement in their lives.

  6. cvj

    It would take more than tenacious and pugnacious attempts to justify Charter Change. The people have rejected previous attempts because they were made for self-serving reasons. The same holds true especially today. Charter Change has to be justified on its own merits and One Voice has clearly articulated why the current proposed changes are peripheral to the real economic and social issues that matter. Lives would definitely be improved with GMA’s Charter change but the improvement would go to the traditional politicians and not to the majority.

  7. Phil Cruz

    This Charter Change issue is all about Trust and Credibility. If there were High Trust, High Credibility for this administration, this issue would be a non-issue.

  8. tagabukid

    phil: and if this administration is sensitive enough to the sentiments of the majority of the people it has already dropped this issue and instead tackle the pressing problems of unemployment, education, health, etc; and the budget for the info campaign for the chacha to help fund the socio-economic projects.

  9. mrabello

    Just caught JDV grinning from ear to ear(you get the picture)on Dong Puno’s Viewpoints.

    He(deVenecia) jubilantly referred to a poll from PulseAsia indicating an increase in those favoring charter change.

    These are heady days for the empire.

  10. jina - the dreamer -

    dropping by.

    You know, all I can think about the 6th GMA SONA right now is that it’s probably full of lies.

    Come on.

    Wonderful words and promises, yes…

    But they will all go to waste once you don’t keep them.

    So why waste your time saying that?

    0_o

    Link me,anyone.

    Or rather, tag.

  11. mlq3

    Carl, sorry i’ve only gotten to respond now. My view is as follows.

    The country is in need of confidence-building measures. Since everyone is perceived as selfish, what would help disprove that?

    There is wide agreement that the Constitution needs to be reexamined. Will it be done in an inclusive way, that inspires confidence?

    Obviously I think the way it’s being done, does not. The administration opened at least two fronts, to see which would work. Personally, I am a presidentialist and a bicameralist, but I do think Federalism is the genuinely exciting and progressive proposal. I don’t think the current scheme fosters genuine Federalism -it is more interested in a unicameral parliament to divorce the politicians from wrestling with the problem of an undereducated electorate they can’t control.

    However, if, for example, all the current proposals had been put on the table, with some modicum of self-sacrifice on the part of its proponents, it might fly. For example, remove term limits? Sure, but not with regards to those currently in office. Parliamentary? If the people want it and agree to it, sure: but Ramos for one made political sense when he said now, and not later, and the President if she really wants it, should make a sacrifice and go whole hog and not try a neither here nor there staggering along until 2010. I can understand why, after the President rejected his scheme, Ramos got grumpy.

    One administration supporter told me he himself wondered why the President didn’t just call for a convention since he’s sure she could pack it. Marcos, after all, bribed the 1971 Convention. It only shows how basically self-serving and cosmetic the changes the President wants, are.

    So discussions can and do take place. I’ve tried to do my part to point out the things that are helpful to discuss. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to say Constitutional change is the way forward, when the means being used are backwards and only erode confidence and foster division.

  12. Carl

    mlq3, as long as channels remain open, there is a chance for this country to arrive at some common ground. The roots of mistrust are deep and expansive at the moment, but perhaps a time will come when more meaningful dialogue is possible. Despite differences, we all have share a stake in a common welfare.

  13. mlq3

    Carl, I actually think in many ways, the consensus is there. The debate is how change will take place, not if. I do think there remains a sharp division over Federalism but it’s over semantics: for example, as I’ve mentioned, there are those who believe it’s all there in the local government code; others want it expressed constitutionally. I’ve expressed elsewhere in this blog that when it comes to presidential vs. parliamentary, the presidential system is only viable if we institute run-off elections (I think restoring the two party system is impractical and a step backward); if no one wants to take the bold step of run-off elections to ensure presidents begin their term with unquestionable majorities, then parliamentary is better than what we have now: but where did a national electorate ever surrender that right? The parliamentarists can’t answer me on that.

    Now I think that whether parliamentary or presidential, a bicameral system is healthier: I’d go as far as reexamining the Senate and either electing senators by region, or reserving one seat for Muslims, another for tribal minorities, and a third for overseas Filipinos (OFW representation in the House would be too diluted). A unicameral parliament if done the way the Palace wants it, will erode confidence in the state further, and may hold off trouble for a while, but intensify the reckoning later on.

    I also think certain punitive (or preventive) amendments would boost confidence across all classes: say a prohibition on anyone related to anyone who has served in elected office for the past century holding office for the next twenty years; or simply a one term limit for any office holder, meaning you run for one office but can never run for any other office ever again. Desperate times? Desperate measures. But then it’s perhaps impractical but that’s how I view it: it would genuinely democratize our country if a professional could say, take a sabbatical for a term, serve, then go back to earning a proper living (or raise salaries: in today’s pesos, my grandfather earned approx. 12 million a year in salary as president; Magsaysay, almost 7 million per annum as President: in the Commonwealth, the lowest pay grade janitor earned the equivalent, in today’s pesos, of about 8,000 a month). See my column on this subject:

    http://www.inq7.net/opi/2004/mar/15/opi_mlquezoncol-1.htm

    Then again, Carl, I also believe that if the President honestly felt she did nothing wrong, she would have either submitted to impeachment, or simply called for a referendum on her rule, and pledged to accept the results.

  14. Carl

    Thank you for explaining your views, mlq3. Despite some differences in ideas, I believe there is enough basis to reach a consensus. Your ideas on run-off elections are now being expressed by President Vicente Fox of Mexico, after witnessing the divisive Presidential elections they recently held.

    While I personally favor a unicameral system, your thoughts on a regional composition for the Senate (plus the inclusion of some critical sectors of our society) deserve consideration.

    Although some may argue that there are enough measures in the local government code to ensure autonomy of the regions from the seat of government, it is obvious that not enough is being done.

    The seat of government has to devolve much more power and funds. That could be painful for some vested interests who have properties and businesses near the seat of government which are prospering because most of the country’s resources are being lavished at the center of power. That attitude of entitlement belongs to another era and it should be banished. That is a colonial legacy handed down from the Spanish period. Even in Spain itself, the idea of a strong centralized government has undergone much change. Modern Spain is now composed of progressive and vibrant regions, quite independent from Madrid.

    Sacrifices have to be made and mindsets have to be transformed. We all have to realize that we can’t have our cake and eat it too. Compromises cannot be avoided. The final product may not be to everybody’s liking, but the majority will go along if they see that benefits are spread out.

  15. ice gurl

    Well all i can say about the SONA of our beloved President Arroyo is that she deliver her SONA to the public bold, fiery and spontaneously!!! Chill guys 😛

  16. pon

    watever glory!

  17. Charilou Amarillo

    wala kaming paki kong ano man ang sinabi niya because sanay na kami sa mga pangako na laging napapako..how can she stomach to stay in malacanyang?? is she insane? shame on her!!!!!!!!she’s ridiculous!!!!!!!! maituturing ba nating maunlad ang ating bansa?????????? sa panahon palang ni kupong kupong ay developing na tayo hangang ngayon ba naman na panahon na tayo ni glue-ria wer still glued on the state of poverty nakakasawa na palagi nalang ganito……….all we wanted is the hyperwage theory……..

  18. nashee

    well i think gloria really did a good job aztig ang speech. pero parang bumuo siya ng sariling mundo? nililito lang tyo which is reality and which is fantacy. nga pala tlga bng dapat puro positive assessment ang marinig sa SONA tanong lang..

  19. christine

    wla lng

  20. micHIEL toni madrigal

    My reaction to the SONA:

    1. Two campaigns have begun. The first, for amendments to be approved in a referendum (immediately after the speech, the drum-beating began); the second, the 2007 elections (Neil Cruz on Viewpoint surprised me when he asserted it’s likely that more than 79 opposition members of the House will be elected).
    2. It was a division of the spoils.
    3. It was the Mother of All Pork Barrel Speeches.
    4. It is, however, proof of something we don’t pause often enough to recognize. Regardless f what the President does, or doesn’t do, things move on their own. Many of the plans and projects announced aren’t the fruits of the President’s hard work, or leadership, it’s the result of continuous meetings between national and local officials, elected representatives and members of the bureaucracy. Some of these projects began when the administration was new; others date back to previous administrations; some were identified and mapped out long ago, but it is only now that they have been given the green light.
    5. Therefore, much of what was announced would have happened, regardless of who is President; but there are definitely many officials happy that they have been given a curtain call, and that regardless of her motives, the importance of those plans has been recognized.
    6. We should rename the Batasan Pambansa the Kroll Opera House. Not even Ferdinand Marcos indulged in such public displays of legislative sycophancy. Or double-speak. As Torn & Frayed points out, she condemnded killings then praised to the skies the number one suspect.

Fetch more comments

  1. Circus Master « crash pad

    […] This I got from mlq3’s commenter Phil Cruz. It pretty much summarized yesterday’s show. […]

  2. But is there a built loader 2 for the 5.5G?

    Ttyfscker: Albany Kentucky?…

    With looped its 00.2. My dream job is to be self unemployed….

Leave a Reply