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Nov 26th
Home Columns Unsolicited Advice Similarities Between Saddam Hussein and Gloria Arroyo
Similarities Between Saddam Hussein and Gloria Arroyo PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Saturday, 03 May 2008 02:04

A Baghdad political scientist described Saddam as the ‘world’s best Vice President—until he became the world’s worst President’ – Aparisim Ghosh


Thus Aparisim Ghosh wrote in his article, “Saddam’s Second Life,” as published in the Time magazine, Jan. 15, 2007, issue. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) was perhaps the Philippines' best Vice President for she was made a member of then President Joseph Estrada’s Cabinet and did her job well. But now it seems that PGMA is following in the footsteps of Saddam Hussein. She has become the Philippines’ most-corrupt and possibly the worst Filipino President.

Then Vice President GMA performed very well under a less-educated and corrupt President Estrada, who was often drunk literally and figuratively with power. Even her father, then Vice President Diosdado Macapagal, was not given a Cabinet post by President Carlos P. Garcia, as he was in the political opposition. As compared to her predecessors, GMA performed well as the country’s second-highest ranking official.


Now PGMA is acting like the way Saddam Hussein (SH) used the military in seizing almost total control of the country – principally by keeping the generals well fed, well paid and extremely happy, even after they retire. She has appointed many of them to Cabinet positions and other senior positions. Some of the retired generals are being appointed by PGMA as ambassadors to head Philippine diplomatic posts abroad.


PGMA’s two sons who are now members of the Philippine House of Representatives are modest versions of President Hussein’s sons. While the Arroyo siblings are not (yet) as ruthless as Uday and Qusay Hussein were, they are behaving as if they are above Philippine law.


PGMA seems to be aping SH in responding with ruthless force to the cries for justice of ethnic minorities like the Kurds. Instead of peace talks and reconciliation, PGMA – on the urging of her generals – is adopting a hard-line policy against Muslim separatists, communist rebels and activists. Perhaps, PGMA wants also to emulate Saddam’s much-vaunted policy, “We do not take prisoners.”


Like SH, PGMA is using the public treasury as her personal bank account. The much-publicized distribution of cash to provincial and congressional officials at the presidential palace by PGMA was similar to what SH did at the height of his power.


Like SH, PGMA has totally “reinvented” the judiciary, so that almost all the salas of judges and justices have become like “moot courts.”


Like SH, it appears that PGMA does not realize the meaning of the idiom, “If there is a beginning, there is an end.” SH clung to power at all costs and risked three wars that devastated his country, so as to remain President of Iraq. SH never knew when to fold up his hands and quit while ahead. But in the end, he was hanged for his crimes.


Ado Paglinawan, a Filipino writer based in Washington, DC, has been saying that “PGMA will leave the presidential palace only in a horizontal position.” Will Mr. Paglinawan’s doomsday forecast come true? # # #


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Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2009 01:01

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