Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Politics Talking

Well, the Philippines has a new president again.

President Gloria Arroyo was sworn in as the country's 14th chief executive in sunny Cebu City today after several months of political battles that had a river of blood running in between newspaper articles. Does that mean she now has the political legitimacy that she was never perceived to have in her first three years as president? Only time will tell.

Of course, the political opposition wasn't having none of that. Small groups out to show how brave they really were popped in and out of the radar of local authorities who were out to quash any little gathering that did not have the proper rally permit. Meanwhile, opposition leaders licked their wounds and wondered where they went wrong backing a movie star as standardbearer. Ask a stupid question...

Of course, while this was happening, Metro Manila and the rest of the northern archipelago of the country was being lashed by Typhoon "Igme" as strong winds and fierce rains prematurely ended the lives of young umbrellas everywhere.

In other words, everything is just about normal here in Typhoon Country.

In commemoration of the inauguration, I present a couple of mildly fanciful theories that I've come up with as a result of working in an online newspaper office:

1. Ever wonder where former Marikina mayor and currently embattled head of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chief Bayani Fernando went during the national elections? So do I.

But I figure he'll be around, being GMA's go-to guy to handle the chaotic situation of the metropolitan. After all, he did try to sort out the snarled doom-and-gloom hell that is the traffic in the capital (though whether or not he succeeded is another matter).

And let's face it: Fernando will be staying around for some time because he does such a wonderful job being a lightning rod and diverting some of the anger pointed at the President with his controversial (and crazy) traffic schemes.

2. It's all part of Senator Panfilo Lacson's plan to lose as presidential candidate in the May national polls.

Think about it: Lacson, being identified as the police flunky of deposed President Joseph Estrada, becomes an opposition senator and goes on a running gun-battle with the Arroyo administration. He then splits from the opposition when he isn't selected as their standardbearer in the May elections and becomes an independent candidate.

Amidst the counting of votes and the cries of 'electoral fraud', he then becomes a calm voice as the rest of his former contemporaries are caught with their pants down dreaming of an easy win. This earns him some brownie points with the public and thus, gains some respectability as he finishes his remaining term as senator.

Maybe after six years, another try at the presidency? Maybe...

That's all for the moment though before anything else, let me quote Eric Gamalinda in his exceptional book, The Empire of Memory:

This is a land both fact and fiction, where generations leave no trace of themselves and everything is constantly wiped out by clockwork destruction: typhoon, tsunami, earthquake, drought. Because of this we have no memory of ourselves: we remember only the last deluge, the last seismic upheaval.

Wala lang.

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