Season’s Greetings 2006

The political year ends in confusion for the President’s forces even as it also ends on a despondent note for everyone else. Is the plan a May referendum? Labor lauds a wage increase for the year end; Capital closes the year on a somber note because of it. But it only affects those earning minimum wage.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has this in its “Philippines at a Glance, 2007-08”:

The authority of the president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, remains fragile. During the past year she has survived demands for her resignation, an impeachment bid by the opposition, allegations of vote-rigging and a reported coup attempt.

Her hold on power is increasingly dependent on the support of the military. Congress (the legislature) is discussing options for constitutional reform.

The budget deficit will shrink in 2007-08. Private consumption will continue to be the main driver of GDP growth, which will slow from an estimated 5.6% in 2006 to 5.5% in 2007 and 5.3% in 2008. Annual consumer price inflation will average 5% in 2007-08. Buoyant remittances from Filipinos working overseas will ensure that the current account remains in surplus.

The Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is in a precarious position. In the past year she has survived a coup attempt, allegations of vote-rigging and an opposition attempt to unseat her.

Restiveness within the lower ranks of the military remains a concern, and opposition-led street demonstrations could lead to her ouster in a “people’s power” revolution. Despite this, the president has retained the support of the top ranks of the military.

The possibility of her sudden overthrow cannot be ruled out, but, unless a credible alternative government emerges, Ms Macapagal Arroyo should be able to survive as president until the end of her term in 2010.

Maitet Diokno-Pascual and Clarence Pascual examine economic prospects for the country, too.

Overseas, Andres Oppenheimer in a year ender says Latin America is shifting Right, not Left. History Unfolding points to a useful chart summarizing the year that was for Iraq: and a columnist who says Arab politicians are different: they tell the truth in public, but lie in private.

In the blogosphere, Holiday notes (annoying and good things) from [email protected]. Holiday viewing courtesy of Now What, Cat?

Whispers in the Loggia points to Misa de Gallo as not only a Philippine, but global Filipino, phenomenon. At home, village idiot savant marvels at Mass attendance.

Morofilm looks at the holidays from a Muslim and Davaoeño’s point of view.

The Professional Heckler gives the world the best of his lists, including his most famous list of all.

This blog is going on vacation for the holidays. There really isn’t any need to agonize over vacations. Unless something earth-shattering happens, I’ll see you all after the New Year. Thank you for reading, for sharing your thoughts, for arguing with me and each other, for staying informed and keeping involved.

For everyone, a message from One Voice:

Season’s Greetings to all!

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

90 thoughts on “Season’s Greetings 2006

  1. the question oppenheimer avoided is the measurement of anti american feelings in latin america. in latin america, right and left are measured in terms of pro or anti americanism. free market ideologies etc. are really no guide when it comes to gauging the politics of the poor. they make no distinction between petro dollar and free market economies as long as they get a taste of the blessings of either or both/

  2. Greetings to one and all!

    “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,”

  3. What’s right and what’s wrong with Gloria Arroyo’s economic policies that in spite of higher GNP more Filipinos are hungry?

    While ‘good’ economic indicators may show that the economy is stable and accelerating, ‘bad’ human development indicators are signs that the economy is on the wrong road, accelerating towards disaster.

    Gloria Arroyo’s ‘Dagdag-bawas’ economics: Borrow more, pay more debts, tax more; spend less for food, less for school, less for health.

    Gloria Arroyo’s ‘Pass-on’ Fiscal Crisis Management: Through more and higher taxes, the national government’s fiscal crisis is passed-on to family-households who now suffer from severe fiscal crisis that they have less for food and education.

    Gloria Arroyo’s ‘Instant noodles’ economics: Artificial economic-indicator enhancers, foreign-interest/monopoly status quo preservatives, attractively packaged but without real ‘nutritional value’.

    Gloria Arroyo’s ‘Fire sale’ economics: Patrimony at a bargain, opening up for grabs large-scale mining concessions, on-going gold/mineral mining operations at full-blast, tons of gold ores shipped out, unaccounted for, un-taxed.

    Gloria Arroyo’s ‘Red tide’ economics: China-Phil bilateral trade agreements – Communist China investments/loans/’grants’ for mining concessions, prime agricultural lands, control over strategic projects (Northrail, oil exploration, power gen, etc.)

    Gloria Arroyo’s ‘Toxic’ economics: The JPEPA – caregivers for toxic wastes exchange deal – best illustrates the hidden cost and harm of Gloria Arroyo’s multi/bilateral deals.

    Gloria Arroyo’s economic policies are unsustainable because they are inherently ‘toxic’ the long-term cumulative effect of which is fatal to many Filipinos and, if allowed to ‘succeed’, disastrous for the economy as a whole.

    May 2003, with a year to go, analysts speculate if GMA will survive until the 2004 elections. I suggested (broadcast emailed to columnists) then that the bigger question was how would the country survive GMA, in what condition would the country be by then? Now we ask, “Will GMA survive until 2010?” Again, I suggest, the bigger question is, “Will the country, will the Filipinos survive GMA?” (btw How many Filipinos died due to hunger, sickness, man-made, human-induced and natural disasters, aside from common crime and political killings, since GMA took over as acting-turned-cheating president? Record high? )

  4. Congratulations to all on being Time’s person of the year.

    Have a glorious New Year…. The two phrases that will that will drive the near future is “global liquidity” and “asset appreciation”, God Help us all!!!
    “There are expected to be 100 million bloggers worldwide by the middle of 2007, which is why none will be like Franklin or Paine.” George Will

    “The fact that Stengel included Williams’s essay proves that Stengel’s Time has what 99.9 percent of the Web’s content lacks: seriousness.” George Will

  5. Manolo, I am primarily a lurker nowadays. But here’s wishing you the best.

    Malipayong pasko ug masanagong bag-ong tuig!

  6. Manolo,

    Maligayang Pasko at Masaganang Bagong Taon sa iyo at sa iyong kamag-anakan!

    Here’s to the best of Christmas as we look forward to a better, hopefully, Gloria-less 2007!


  7. “The possibility of her sudden overthrow cannot be ruled out, but, unless a credible alternative government emerges, Ms Macapagal Arroyo should be able to survive as president until the end of her term in 2010.”

    From Mike Arroyo, Gabby Claudio, to the rest of the Glorialets, I can bet my bottom dollar that they thought of this possibility, and now it very clear why Noli de Castro was the one chosen to be her VP.

  8. A Holy Christmas and a more prosperous (GMA notwithstanding) New Year to all of you and your loved ones.

  9. To all the “Persons of the Year” in our community . . .


    (And for the New Year, pls don’t forget to make adjustment to your resume to reflect TIME’s recognition . . . hehehe. . . hohoho)

  10. MLQ3 and everyone: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Ramadan, Joyous Kwanzaa! Peace and goodwill to all!

  11. Maligayang Pasko, Manolo. Nakakatuwa, yung christmas column mo tungkol sa pagbabasang muli kay Rizal at rediscovery ng kanyang katuwa-tuwang pagsulat. Nagkataong tungkol rin dun yung nasulat ko nung isang araw. Mukhang nauuso uli ang pagbasa kay Rizal ngayong panahon na naghahanap tayo ng kasagutan. Hehehe.

    Nakakatuwa rin yung Christmas column ni Sir Conrad, malapit rin sa theme ng Christmas post ko. Hahaha!

  12. wala bang fruit cake?

    Meow Christmas to all, the left and the right,hold them up high, the extreme and the conservative, the prons and cons,
    the black and the white…the yin and the yang.

    Wala bang cafe?

  13. Maligayang Pasko At Masaganang Bagong Taon sa lahat lalung -lalo na po kay kabayang mlq3.Harinawa ay magkaroon tayo ng matahimik at masaganang bansa sa darating na taon at sa mga susunod pa.

  14. A Merry Christmas to all because She failed to postpone Christmas. Am not greeting everyone a Happy New Year yet, though. She may yet get to postpone it.

    My New Year’s wish… Gloria in Exitus Deus!

  15. Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon !!!

    My New Year’s Wish

    1. GMA’s OUSTER
    2. More Opposition to win in SENATE and the HOUSE
    3. That we would elect Man of Principle specially at
    the house of Representatives
    4. The DEFEAT of TRAPO’s like JDV, Defensor, Pichay
    Ermita and the Lakas Party of THIEVES
    5. Gabriel Claudio’s defeat

  16. Ako ang simula …. ng Pagbabago

    One Knock-Out punch straight into GLORIA’s Face will
    do it … because honestly GMA is the MAJOR PROBLEM

    Her OUSTER will be a start of a BETTER PHILIPPINES …

  17. i refuse to have a merry christmas while that lady sits. freedom and justice, after all, have no red-letter day.

    but grant me one wish, if you please? can like minded people please refuse to refer to her as the president. the power of words. each time it is used, it affirms her status wrongfully acquired.

    until all the questions are answered. he removal starts when we believe in word and deed that she is not deserving of the title.

    thank you.

  18. Worried… unfortunately for your wish, GMA in the eyes of the entire world — from barangays in Tondo or Bohol or Marinduque, to include San Francisco, Beijing, the Vatican and Nigeria — GMA is the president of the Republic of the Philippines. Because she was declared the winner of the last presidential election, because GMA sits in Malacanang and because she has not been removed from the office of the presidency either by military coup or impeachment, GMA is the president of the Republic of the Philippines.





  20. worried… a major reason from starting with the acceptance that GMA is the sitting President of the Philippines is that it — recognition of reality — changes your strategy. Your feelings — that she is a pretender — does not change, while your actions are completely affected by her status. You can’t ignore her nor ostracize her — she’s in Malacanang while you and the few other oust-GMA-actors are not. If you want foreign money to oust a sitting Philippine president, you don’t go to US-of-A nor Australia… you can go to the Arabs (who will trade you their dollars if you relinquish to their brethren a larger piece of land in Southern Philippines). You can to go Europe (to individuals, not to governments), but the support you get is not because “GMA cheated” but your European friends want to get to Bush by ousting GMA. You can go to the United Nations, but only to that office for media protection and not to the General Assembly nor to the UN offices for environment, Trade, Labor Law, etcetera. You can hold prayer rallies and the Vatican will join in prayer for human dignity and human rights but not in oust-GMA posturings. You can wheel and deal with a few Philippine generals and colonels, at your risk.
    Lastly, you can vote, and encourage many others to vote as PACQUIAO says — support only the opposition this May2007 — so that GMA impeachment becomes a stronger possibility.

  21. UPn student,

    if we see our filipino world only according to the eyes of distant observers, we will always end up pandering to other people’s interests. I do agree with you, from a realist perspective, that the impeachment is a great goal and the participation of our populace is paramaount. it is a strategy worth the time and the effort.

    however, i cannot accept that the only means to win a victory for our people, for justice, and all that is relatively good in this country, is to wait for some other country’s approval. as long as she continues to reinforce her belief that she is a legitimate elected officer, we continue to empower her. thus, while it seems like a good concession to accept her “declaration” as legitimate if only to draw up a decent strategy, it will also reinforce the belief in our people that any one can keep government power as long as they can railroad a declaration of victory. it will reinforce the congressional belief that they can say simply say “noted” to every reasonable objection for the sake of winning that god damn declaration. that, is what got us here.

    this is not just about finding a new government. it is an opportunity to subtly change our people’s character. we can do that now if we show our anger not only against an illegitimate government, but against all forms of tyrannical subterfuge. we must not accept her as president, regardless of what other nations believe. if we must, we petition other governments to see our government the way the filipino does. but first we must find out how exactly we as filipinos see it.

    any other time, a name is just a name. but these dread times, the evil that we fight finds strength in the very words that we take for granted. the barrios of our country have enough sense to know the true nature of our government. sadly, they are economically indisposed to battle it. just because the government stands, does not mean the people are behind it. or that they accept it. even as we speak, the people who fight for these people and these values are becoming victims of a duckshoot.

    the least we can do for ourselves in these days of duplicity and fearmongering is to take stock, gather courage and sense, and refuse to call people in government what it is not.

    and not have a merry christmas.

  22. worried, thanks for that. i agree that the least we can do is to remind Gloria that she is a fake. With your statement above:

    …this is not just about finding a new government. it is an opportunity to subtly change our people’s character…

    i see that you get it.

  23. worried… “…to refuse to call people in government what she is not” is not a game plan, and without a game plan, then what you have is a dream, not an objective. A dream is well and good, just be mindful that without a game plan, Jan 1/2010 will probably arrive with your nightmare named GMA still in Malacanang.

  24. worried… Here are my fifty-cents worth of ideas — a few possible action-items (some better than dasal-dasal while some may get a person in trouble) that a Filipino can take to demonstrate “…we must not accept her as president”:
    – fund-raising and pavement-pounding to support one’s favorite Opposition-group;
    – campaign for one’s top three or four favorite Opposition-candidates; campaign against 2 or 3 pro-GMA candidates;
    – do not pay taxes to the Philippine government;
    – civil disobedience… placard-demonstrations in front of Quiapo Church;
    – letter-writing campaign to the current Pope, to Mainland China, United Nations, Saudi Arabia and Syria, Thailand and Malaysia;
    – moan and groan;
    – understand better how the Philippine Constitution works;
    – help one or two class-E families (in the assumption that with fuller stomachs and healthier bodies, said families can better understand “the new society”);
    – define what “the new society” means; define which aspects of the current Filipino character needs to be changed;
    – vote for the opposition, encourage neighbors and friends (and enemies) to vote the opposition;
    – volunteer one’s time at a local public school to propagandize the teachers and students on “the new society”;
    – fact-finding : identify what friends and neighbors and workmates perceive to be weaknesses in the Filipino character and note which ones allow tyrannical subterfuge to thrive;
    – fact-finding : identify reasons that people support GMA, and devise appropriate propaganda to discredit said reasons;
    – prayers to the heavens plus letters to the CBCP, INC, El Shaddai in regards “the new society”;
    – lay some groundwork for Edsa-4.
    – know 5 good reasons to vote for your favorite Opposition-candidate (and one reason why not)… pound the pavement and campaign hard for said Candidate;

  25. My “best idea” for now, in recognition that one cannot do it alone, is the following:
    — To identify 3 or 4 Opposition-groups and vet each one. [Find top 4 reasons you agree with them; the top 2 reasons you disagree.]
    — Decide on a single Opposition-group that best matches your beliefs and goals.
    — Throw your support behind this group (despite any wart you may find), and stay committed to the group (support fund-raising and pavement-pounding) for the next 9 months at least.
    “Be a conscientious follower….”, not a lonely leader… from now thru August 2007 at least.

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