Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The President's SONA

By far, I have no hang ups about listening to the President's SONA. Certainly, those that had opted for a boycott and supposedly marched in front of national television must have been soaked after getting caught in the wrath of typhoon Glenda. Surely, as respectable sectoral Congressmen, now sporting very sporty luxury vehicles, they can just easily run back to their automobiles and have a change of clothes beside or at the back of their drivers.

The SONA of Pres. Arroyo could not have been more irritating for her enemies, as much as it was pleasant for her allies. I wonder what the international diplomatic community (some seated beside Manny Pacquiao, were thinking at that moment?)

Reiterating the decentralization and charter change proposals over and over, would make a large number of people here and abroad think that the President and this country would soon be on the road to reform, howsoever the opponents of government may think otherwise.

There is every reason for the administration and the President herself to gloat over the success of the delivery of the SONA, despite that her critics are caterwauling: "Where is her legislative agenda? That is what SONA is supposed to be all about!"

The presidential bait would have had to be funds, money, no less. The 2007 elections is just around the bend. Those that would need the administration's blessings would soon be seen getting nearer and nearer the pot. And Pres. Arroyo will not give an inch like getting far away from that same pot for long periods. She will move heaven and earth not to let that pot out of her sight. And as for her own statements during the SONA, ad lib or speechwriter stuff, she confirmed that she would be giving priority to those people who have steadfastly been loyal to her despite the odds.

At the end of it, the true measure of a successful reopening of the Congress and the delivery of that state of the nation address, will be the manner in which pending vital legislation will be finally passed like the Budget, the Anti-Terror Bill, possibly a 20-year Education Modernization Act and an entire Education Code of the Philippines to supplant the former Magna Carta, and a science and technology and international trading bill -- which would be extremely crucial to the country, if only the President and her economic advisers truly know what it is they are doing.

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