The 9th Sona must be carefully read and understood as there are more to its audio-visual hypnotic effect. In doing so, we are able to see some hardly observable flaws, but flaws nonetheless.
If we are to call a spade a spade, to some degree, the tone and text of the 9th Sona might come as rather un-presidential although the sense of confidence of Her Excellency is viral for the patronizing assembly. The cycles of applause were historic – more than 125 all in all – which pulled the time longer to finish than it should. It took more than 60 minutes.
GMA did not have to bother carrying the first names when she addressed the Senate President, the House Speaker, the Vice President, the Former President, and the Chief Justice by just their family names and the Ambassadors as an ordinary collective. At the very least, they deserve the customary salutatory courtesies of being addressed as “Excellencies”. But that have set the mood of what she is about to open like a mystery box.
Then, she went straight to the point, no rituals. But essentially, her first official statement is this – “I did not become president to be popular.” This carries the poster against all those surveys that cast her in consistently negative trust and performance ratings – reliably true or not. The consistency in this kind of official belief is really laudable.
To make that statemental foundation quite firm, she has to say that under then President Diosdado Macapagal, RP comes next to Japan. And that, she, as now president herself, wants this country ready for the first world in 20 years – though not being clear if all of her 9 years are already counted. Subliminally, it is a naked expression of a desire to organize a strong RP Team, Inc. – beyond 2010. And her rabid supporters might just press the green button.
Then, proceeding to state, scholarly-like, are the key reforms that center around economics after having advanced the myth that RP has weathered the global crises in food, fuel, finance and the economy as if the same were not the usual – ‘every bureaucrat’s parochial claim’. And quite braggingly, did GMA not say this in reference to the resilience of her economy – “Good news for our people, bad news for our critics …”?
Rightly so, reforms such as those that were exhaustively enumerated within that more than an hour valedictory were generally perceived to be factual or coming from authoritative source. Economist Winnie Monsod at least validates the data to be official and similar with her own.
Partly, some of the statements are what any bureaucrat would have said without fear of being at error. What is clear is that without the new tax revenues, however unpopular, nothing could have stimulated concerns in education, agriculture, housing, entrepreneurship, food supply and healthcare. But to say that healthcare insurance has covered 86% of the population certainly resists truth-hood, wouldn’t it?
But GMA did not fail to raise the mystery blanket which made her detractors all the more confused whether indeed, she will push for charter change toward her publicly-perceived game-plan to become the Prime Minister under a parliamentary government. Such statements that sort of carry mischief in them are these:
“Some say that after this SONA, it will be politics. Sorry, but there’s more work …” And what does that kind of ambiguous statement really imply? It means that anything can be under ‘construction’ up until official term closes at 12 noon on that appointed day in future history. From the language of the heretic, it means something big is afloat.
And this other one runs naughty notion of a kind of ‘fear factor’ for somebody stepping down but clearly facing the unkind attacks of her critics in the legal front in a post-GMA scenario, or let me quote: “At the end of this speech, I shall step down from this stage … but not from the Presidency.” It sends ripples, doesn’t it?
For GMA, though ending official term on June 30, 2010 next year is saying this: “A year is a long time.” And even if she in fact did say – “I never expressed the desire to extend beyond my term” – still again, this is misleading. What then if Congress compels her to be the next head of state in a parliamentary set up? No critic can fault her, can he?
It escapes comprehension how, from out of the blues, a Department of ICT is being proposed simply on account of the fact that the BPO has been the only industry that deceivingly resisted the global economic crunch – with profits of $6 billion and a work force of about 600,000.
The roll call of some unknown personages as the model beneficiary for every program of government is really very interesting considering that the average claim of beneficiaries range from 700,000 to a million people. Thus, it is tantamount to making theoretical generalizations from a singular specimen or instance. Thus, facts & figures as they may have been presented must be subjected to validation. – (First of two parts)