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Aug 13th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency Saving the Presidency and the Philippine President from Herself (Part II)
Saving the Presidency and the Philippine President from Herself (Part II) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Sunday, 18 November 2007 06:01

We have to save Gloria Arroyo from herself.

                                                       – Max V. Soliven

There is a growing consensus among Overseas Filipinos that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – no matter how many alleged corruption cases and human-rights abuses her Administration supposedly committed or tolerated – must serve out her term, unless she is removed from office by constitutional means.

In short, many Overseas Filipinos, especially Filipino Americans and Filipino citizens in the United States like this writer, are of the opinion that preserving and protecting the Philippine Constitution, despite its flaws, legal warts and all, is preferable to another EDSA-type of a revolution.

The reality is that the Philippine President and her Cabinet cannot be faulted alone for all the country’s problems. And neither can she and her Dispensation solve alone all the ills that confront the Philippine socioeconomic and governmental institutions. Corruption and all abuses can be traced to the system, which is flawed. Impeachment would not succeed in removing President Arroyo because she retains the loyalty, friendship and canine-like devotion of an overwhelming majority of the members of the House of Representatives.

The much-hyped EDSA Revolution in 1986 made governance in the Philippines from bad to worse. In fact, many individuals now claim that on an overall assessment, things – including civil rights – were a lot better under President Marcos than under President Aquino. Proof? Please read again this writer’s article, “Not Getting Mad at, But Getting Even With, Tita Cory” at this link

The same can be said for EDSA Dos. There was only a change in the person of the President but the corrupt system continued, with all the abuses going unabated, if not on an increased level.

Perhaps the country must listen to reformers like Dr. Jose Abueva and his Kalayaan College’s proposed Charter Changes (that can be found at this link

Perhaps we must put into action the advice of the much-missed dean and doyen of the Filipino Fourth Estate, Max V. Soliven, of “saving Gloria Arroyo from herself.” How?

Perhaps all the friends and supporters of the President – from her childhood friends, school classmates, religious mentors and confessors, present and past Cabinet members and law-abiding kin – must sweet-talk her into leaving a long-lasting legacy to the homeland.

As I have written in 2003 and republished this year, “Even Presidents Write Their Own Eulogy,” at this link

President Arroyo knows the Tagalog adage, “Pag may simula, may katapusan.” Everything comes to an end. The President has the means, the authority and the power to make sure that history will remember her presidency by following my and Mr. Soliven’s unsolicited advice, to wit (as updated):

                QUOTE. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has the opportunity to "write" the best eulogy for herself. She has the momentous opportunity that can lionize her presidency. She can announce that she will not prolong her leadership by categorically stating in writing that she will not be Prime Minister if the country chooses the parliamentary system. In fact, she can ask that the proposed new constitution bar former Presidents and their immediate relatives from even aspiring to become the Prime Minister. She can use wisely the remaining years and months of her tenure in changing for the better the political and socioeconomic systems of the country. She can use the powers and prestige of the presidency in making sure that the proposed constitutional-convention election and the May 2010 national and local elections are the first to be held without scandal. The said coming elections can be held – if President Arroyo so decides – as the true historic electoral contests in the country where the proverbial gold, guns, goons and cheating will not prevail. Mrs. Arroyo can grab this historic opportunity. She can choose to be remembered in history as the President who revived the integrity and prestige of Philippine suffrage. She can opt to leave the Office of the President in June 2010 with so many honors and decency that those who will aspire to follow her will be forced to follow her “Gold Standard.” UNQUOTE.

To read the next article in this series, please click on this link,

President Arroyo Does Not Really Get It

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 00:45

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