REMEMBERING ONE OF ARROYO'S STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESSES

(As Pres Aquino delivers his SONA today, I am reposting this article I wrote after Arroyo's 2008 SONA.)

THE REAL STATE OF THE NATION

Just as we expected, The Queen delivered a canard about her Queendom. Life is dandy, the future is rosy, she is a brave Queen, she has been slaying dragons derailing the progress of her Queendom and still managed to make it a paradise for her subjects.

Hounded by a very low credibility problem, she presented to the Filipino nation a handful of people who used to be thirsty until their cups were filled from spouts coming from the spring she created. There were those people who found jobs after receiving training. There were peasants whose station in life rose a few inches higher with loans. If you ask me, dragging those people to the halls of Congress was a pathetic attempt at proving the popularity of her programs. It was too hard-sell. And it did not work because now the masses are asking why she chose to bestow food on the tables of only a few.

This is a country with more or less 89M people. If she improved the lives of half of the population, we would have given her a pat on the back. But if benefits from her harvests trickled down to only a minute segment of the masses, she ought to cover her face in shame. Her very poor neighbors in Malacanang did not have a share in the pie she claims to have cooked for the masses. If you cannot see the poverty right over your fence, how can you see poverty in the countryside? She is a failure and worse, she does not enjoy a shred of public trust as the latest surveys show. She inflicted her illegitimate reign on the masses for too long. It is way past the time to face the music. This is not Japan so it is too much to expect her to resort to "hara-kiri." She should start looking toward the direction of the exit instead of concocting the elixir that will extend her stay in Malacanang beyond 2010. That is what leaders with moral compunction do. But let us not forget that she commandeered her way to the most sought-after swivel chair in the country employing means way beyond Niccholo Machiavelli's imagination. Morality is not her cup of tea.

We do not need counter-statistics to show the real state of the nation. Simply pay a short visit to any field office of the National Statistics Office or the Department of Foreign Affairs. There you can witness unusually thick crowds of people queuing to obtain passports or copies of th
eir birth certificates, a requirement for passport issuance. Before The Queen usurped the throne with a telephone call, crowds in those offices were not as multitudinous. The smell of despair was not as pungent. The atmosphere was not as funereal.

What do the queues tell us about the state of the nation? They tell us that more people are now pushed to the edge and are ready to embrace what family-oriented Filipinos would shun doing - leave their families, even infant children in so many cases, for jobs abroad. Otherwise, the alternative is hunger. And those people in the crowd are not even assured of jobs overseas. Their faces are those of desperation, hands clutching a delicate thread of hope.

You can also tell the state of the nation from the multitude that flocked during the most recent Feast of the Black Nazarene. This year's Quiapo horde was unprecedented. Obviously, the masses are already at their wits' end and they have to hang on to faith - faith in redemption from hunger via contact with a 400-year wood from Spain. Under The Queen's reign, not only votes in presidential elections and money from the public coffers are stolen. Even perspective has been robbed from the masses by the starvation she fostered.

Really, there is no need to go into statistics to have a deep grasp of the state of the nation. Numbers have a way of confusing the issues and eventually masking ineptitude, inequities, and the reality of poverty. But let me take The Queen on the economic growth she gloated about. Sure, there was an increase in the gross national product. But this is why she has more to account to the masses for. In spite of this growth, food became more inaccessible for them. Which means that the growth benefited only the usual ones- the feudal lords, the multinational companies, the national bourgeois- who make up a very small number but control the nation's wealth. The Queen's reign only widened the already wide gap between the wretched and the over-blest. In other words, she only exacerbated the root of poverty in the Queendom.

And who is she to profess a bleeding heart for the poor? She spent P300M in public money for a junket to America to have an audience with the frontrunners in the US presidential elections (Obama, realizing perhaps that he is just a presidential candidate, did not accommodate her into his hectic schedule) while the country was being ravaged by Typhoon Frank. By golly, she was already selling the Philippines even if she was not sure who the buyer should be. And when she came back, she did not spend P300M to aid the typhoon victims.

The state of the nation is that it is a nation mired in despair with an illegitimate Queen who is the errand girl of the oligarchs, the slave of the bourgeois, the clerk of neoliberalism. This country needs her like it needs a hole in the head. She reminds me of Scar who stole Simba's throne in the movie "The Lion King."

Fairy tales are fine but only innocent children and retards believe them.


But again, it was an innocent child who saw a naked emperor  in  his "new clothes."
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