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Jan 27th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency Why Tony Abaya Doesn’t Know Presidential Politics: End of the Road for PGMA (A Fearless Forecast)
Why Tony Abaya Doesn’t Know Presidential Politics: End of the Road for PGMA (A Fearless Forecast) PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 17 May 2008 11:47

Filipino writer Tony Abaya has been telling readers both online and in his Standard Today column about his forecast that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA) would do her best to extend her term. He said that “President Arroyo is planning to remain in power beyond 2010 – by doing a Vladimir Putin.” I say that Mr. Abaya does not know presidential politics and history. His forecast, therefore, has no basis in fact, especially from the historical perspective.

To read again Mr. Abaya’s column, “Prelude to 2010,” please go to:

Tony Abaya Is Wrong: PGMA Cannot Stay in Power Beyond June 2010


Readers may compare Mr. Abaya’s prediction to this writer’s analysis, as posted in this article,

GMA Will Never Be Able to Prolong Her Rule Beyond June 30, 2010, or Declare Martial Law


Here is my fearless forecast: June 30, 2010 (or even sooner) is the end of the political road for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her family. And when she goes, the public – with the support, activism and advocacy of the Overseas-Filipino communities – will hound her and her family to the ends of the earth and get back all what they have enriched themselves at the expense of the Filipino people.


My bases for the said fearless forecast are premised on the comparison between then President Ferdinand E. Marcos (PFEM) at the height of his power in September 1972 and PGMA, as of today:


1.)               Up to the declaration of martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, PFEM could not be faulted with (or tied to) any financial scandal unlike PGMA, who is up her “short neck” (sic) in financial indignities, irregularities and innuendoes (to borrow the joke of a Filipino-American pundit).


Editor’s Note: The joke says that the scandals reach only the neck of the diminutive President because she is standing on the shoulders of her giant of a husband.

 2.)               PFEM never experienced any coup d’etat from December 30, 1965, when he began his presidency up to Feb. 25, 1986, when the EDSA Revolution happened and deposed him. Therefore, for almost 21 years, PFEM was in complete control of the Philippine military, as he was a decorated World War II hero. On the other hand, PGMA, who probably wore only a uniform of a girl scout in her entire life, has already faced two outright military revolts (and counting . . .?).


Editor's Note: The EDSA Revolution could not have happened without the active or tacit approval of the military-industrial complex of the United States, as per this analysis: The 1986 EDSA Revolution Was Part of the “Reagan Revolution”


<!--[i       3.)     When PFEM declared martial law in September 1972, the Philippines was self-sufficient in rice and other food staples while PGMA has turned now the homeland into the world’s biggest importer of rice. In fact, the Philippines was a modest exporter of rice during the Marcos regime.


4.)               During the Marcos years (up to December 1972), the communist rebellion was non-existent and the Muslims (despite the so-called “Jabida” scandal) were relatively peaceful. Nowadays, the Arroyo Dispensation is facing security threats from the right (military coups) to the left (communist rebellion), sandwiched in between the Muslim uprisings.


5.)               PFEM ruled a country of roughly 60-million while PGMA is saddled with an exploding population of 92-million and counting . . .  This meant that PFEM had fewer social problems to address while PGMA is literally and figuratively sitting on a social volcano that is about to erupt, if not explode violently. PFEM had ample resources to provide social services, as his administration was fiscally sound, the government having almost zero domestic borrowings. PGMA is presiding over the biggest foreign and domestic borrowings in the history of the Philippines. The current negotiations of the Arroyo Dispensation with China alone call for more-than $38-billion (spelled with a B) in new development loans, many of which have been termed as scandalous by quite a few Philippine senators.


6.)               In spite of declaring martial law in September 1972, PFEM protected the members of the Filipino Fourth Estate. If the great memory of Chicago-based veteran journalist, Joseph G. Lariosa, serves him right, there were approximately 57 members of the Filipino press who were killed while in the performance of their duties during the 21-year-long reign of PFEM. Compare the number of Filipino journalists and broadcasters killed (more-than 50 to date and counting, according to Mr. Lariosa) during the 8-year rule of PGMA and people will conclude probably that PFEM respected more the “freedom of the press” than the current occupant of Malacañang (Presidential) Palace. Besides, PFEM and the Marcos Family never filed a libel case against Filipino journalists, so as to muzzle them. First Gentleman Arroyo filed on behalf of the First Family libel cases against 50 journalists (although he had them dismissed later). It now appears that PFEM was a better friend of the Filipino press than ALL his successors combined.


In the final analysis, PFEM, whom the Macapagal clan detested so much for defeating then reelectionist President Diosdado Macapagal (the father of PGMA), appears to have achieved more progress for the Filipino people that his immediate predecessor and so far his four successors COLLECTIVELY have done. And speaking of corruption, PFEM now appears to be a saint than PGMA, Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos or Joseph Ejercito Estrada.


Yes, Filipino presidential historians would someday write the truth about the Marcos era and the Arroyo period. Ferdinand E. Marcos now appears to have been really a giant of a leader while Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would probably be considered a midget of a President (pun intended). # # #

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 11:12

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