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Sep 24th
Home Columns Unsolicited Advice How President Arroyo Can Obtain Redemption
How President Arroyo Can Obtain Redemption PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Sunday, 24 February 2008 01:05
By Guest Columnist Alfred Alexander Marasigan


Our guest columnist, Alfred Alexander Marasigan of Manila, Philippines, offers a 4-point formula on how President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) can seek, if not obtain, redemption.


Here is Mr. Marasigan’s unsolicited advice to PGMA: Any other President can build the same number of roads, airports, sea ports and even outperform her.

Any other President can get us the same rate of economic growth and even outperform her.

Any other President can modernize our AFP and PNP in order to transform it into an effective and efficient fighting force and even outperform her.

So, you see? There’s not much of anything that PGMA can claim to have done so well or brag about.

The people didn’t support the call for her ouster during the Garci scandal because the people recognized that the same trapos (traditional politicians) are behind that call. The people just don’t want another EDSA (Revolution) to fool them. Not the EDSA 2 itself, because it is still a worthy action. What’s detestable is that the people who have taken over aren’t measuring up to the people’s desires and aspirations.

Secretary Neri’s tag on PGMA (of being an “evil person”) will last until she makes the courageous move to satisfy the people’s call for transparency and justice. The first one of which is punishing the guilty, whoever they may be and not by simply correcting the flaws in our procurement system.

Secretary Neri’s tag plus the Garci scandal and the resounding tales of Mike and Mikey Arroyo’s involvement in smuggling are just solidifying the accusations hurled at PGMA and that of Mr. Neri’s tag on her.

To soften the impact of that tag and the bad image brought about by the number of abuse and corruption implicated on the first family, I suggest these to give PGMA a rallying point to redeem her family’s reputation.

1) Implement the computerization of the election system now so the people can again lay their trust on our election system.

2) Patch up the loopholes that breed corruption in the procurement system, utilization of all government funds and the justice system.

3) Modernization of the AFP and PNP to really turn these into an effective and efficient defenders of the country, so that we can end the rebellion, and have the capacity to control terrorism and crimes effectively.

4) Remove the Pork Barrel Fund so that lawmakers will now focus solely on making laws and that only those who really want to serve the nation will end up in the halls of Congress.

An alternative would be to instead of allocate the fund to all municipal LGUs and then the municipal units will allocate the fund evenly to all barangay units as much as possible. A reasonable fraction maybe allocated for infrastructure development that will benefit the whole municipality and the improvement of basic services.

The governors may have their own share of the CDF and focus on projects that would benefit the entire province like tourism projects and major infrastructure projects.

The Congressmen will have no power or anything on the utilization of these funds. Their only job is to monitor and check for any anomalies.

The Senators’ funds should also be stopped.

If PGMA can satisfy the people that she is implementing these now, then she may gain the rallying point to redeem her family’s reputation.

This will serve as her beneficial legacy to the Filipino people.

At least, her administration can boast of something remarkable that she has done. It is a legacy that she may claim.

But if there’s no clear direction in sight leading to these corrections, then it is the duty of all Filipinos to do their part in reminding the leadership, especially President Arroyo, which we are closely watching and our temper has its limits and that we aren’t ignorant of what’s happening around.


If the leadership remains numb, deaf and blind to the people's voice, then PGMA and all must be reminded that the EDSA spirit was never dead and that it shall take a stand when all legal means are "being subdued" and any hope is lost. # # #

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