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Aug 19th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency Saving the Philippine President from Herself (Part I)
Saving the Philippine President from Herself (Part I) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Monday, 05 November 2007 02:47

We have to save Gloria Arroyo from herself.

Max V. Soliven, then the dean and doyen of Filipino columnists, told a group of Filipino-American writers, including Ernie Delfin (his host) and this editor, the bold statement, as quoted above. This was said during Mr. Soliven’s last visit to Southern California, before he died in Japan.

The Philippine Star’s columnist Babe Romualdez also mentioned Mr. Soliven’s statement in a recent article: "GMA’s problem has been, more often than not, herself. She seems to have the knack for alienating allies or people who have worked for her, the most recent of whom is Speaker Joe de Venecia and ‘The Firm’ particularly Pancho Villaraza, who have now turned against her. I remember what Max Soliven used to tell me: ‘We have to save Gloria from herself!’"

In short, what Mr. Soliven said was probably a takeoff from the American cartoon character, Pogo, who said, "We have met the enemy and the enemy is us."

Yes, it appears that President Arroyo’s worst enemy is herself.

This writer has penned several articles that consisted of "unsolicited advices" meant for President Arroyo and other Filipino national leaders. In this web site’s "Philippine Presidency" section, I have written articles meant to help "save" the Arroyo Dispensation because by helping her, we help save the country from more scandals and controversies. Some of the articles are:

"Harry Truman: A Lesson for the Philippine Presidency."

"What Phil Mickelson and President Arroyo Have in Common."

"Even Presidents Write Their Own Eulogy." In this essay, I wrote: "I said the many blunders, ‘sins’ or omissions of the previous Presidents could be attributed to their failure to ask themselves: ‘What would Philippine history record of this particular decision?’ I told Senator Pimentel (who was at that time planning to run for President in 2004) that I intended to remind him the lessons of Philippine and world history if asked to write a presidential speech or work on a policy -- if he became the President. And make the presidential decision based not only on sound values but also with the idea of ‘making history.’"

There are also articles in the section about President Ramon Magsaysay and other Filipino Chief Executives, including anecdotes about the "Philippine Presidential Wit and Humor." To view the section, please go to

The group of Filipino activists in America (to which I belong) does not seek the removal of President Arroyo. It will be much better for the homeland if there is an orderly transition from the Arroyo presidency to a new President elected in 2010. But our group has been trying to tell the Philippine President to save her presidency by making sure that history and presidential historians would someday be kind to her legacy. In fact, this writer delivered that message twice to the Philippine Cabinet Sec. Ric Saludo during his visit at the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles. On both occasions, Secretary Saludo gave to us, the writers, during the press conference his private e-mail address, which we later found to be not valid.

To argue, therefore, from the viewpoint of Mr. Soliven and even Pogo, the cartoon character, only President Arroyo can save herself and in so doing, save also the Philippines from becoming the Asian version of Yugoslavia (that I termed "IOUgoslavia"). To read my essays about "IOUgoslavia," please go to


We will discuss the lesson of President Diosdado Macapagal in a coming installment of this series of essays. And how then President Macapagal failed to write for himself what could probably be the best presidential eulogy. We will also talk about the possible case of "Like father, like daughter?"

Editor's Note: To read Part II of this series, please go to:

Saving the Presidency and the Philippine President from Herself (Part II)

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 11:19

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