Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Was It A Non-Event?

On June 10, I had gone home early. It had been a long week for everyone at work and that Friday was winding down and everyone chose to relax a bit. As we left the office, the radio was in frantic blaze, a Sammy Ong was going on air. He had the alleged wiretapped recording of President Arroyo and a Commission of Elections official and in that conversation, they had cheated during the elections.

In that hour--- all eyes and ears were hooked. It could spark another transition in government. For days, we have had reports from our network of informants (it is important to keep abreast of these events as they could prove useful in business), both formal and informal and no one at work, could believe that power brokers were in the move again. And the event of June 10 was proving confirmation from the grapevine.

Then the press conference came to an end. Yet there was nothing that came out of it. No new revelation, neither was any recording played. Nothing, nada, zilch, a whole afternoon of crap and we had wasted time listening to nothing but hot air.

Sammy Ong did not reveal anything substantial. He didn't reveal anything at all. It was the ultimate fatal move of who ever had devised this series of events--- from the Jueteng issue to this. Conspiracy theorists would say, there is a Clear and Present Danger to the Arroyo Administration.

Some political pundits are saying, there is a growing pressure similar to what had happened to President Estrada prior to his ouster from power. But I do not feel it is the same neither could be compared to that event or to the Watergate scandal.

Yes, there is a growing problem in the Philippines. National Economic Development Authority statistics prove the health of the economy. It is not great. Though if you ask the President, the performance was spectacular.

To the man on the street, he does not care whether or not the GDP was so-and-so. He simply does not care and does not care to understand. What he cares about is the buying power of his money. He wants to buy more with what little he has. He wants comfortable living with the little hard work he has done.

Yes, the Philippines is not a perfect place. It has lots of economic problems. It has a lot of cultural problems. It has loads of political problems. It has myriad of problems.

No one man, no one woman can change all of it over night. Yet we each have to realize that it is not through miracles that a country can be turned around, it is through years and years of hardwork and perseverance that economic resiliency works.

Hard work pays off. Our leaders must make our people realize this. And our people must come to grip with it. Yet as the challenges of the times are in, our government must likewise change the way it does business, and it can only be done when leaders, lead.

Sammy Ong's testimony is hot air in the wind. It has given our politicians and the media, more reason to breathe air, fume about nothing and plan their various bids for power and wealth.

Last Saturday and throughout the long Independence Day Weekend, as a stand off at the San Carlos Seminary continued, the malls were filled, the movie houses had long lines. And how do I know this? Because my brother, my cousins and I were among those people. Between the four of us, we had visited the theaters three times, in four nights. And as everyone had an extra day to recharge, our team from the office congregated at one of our project sites, which incidentally is a golf course (and likewise filled with avid golfers), and had a very productive time (and no we didn't get a chance to play golf). It was business as usual and for everybody else, rest as usual.

Does this mean our people are apathetic to all this as some pundits are saying? No it doesn't. Because in spite of having fun, we kept our ears open for news or developments, no one was frantic over it as the media or those behind this would have hoped. The problem was, there really isn't anything to get alarmed or excited about. Sammy Ong didn't tell us anything new. His press conference did not reveal anything nobody knew to be new. It was a non-event that was a disruption to an otherwise long weekend of relaxation.

Does this mean, the polls are wrong? That the people so love President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and that they believe her to be the victor of 2004? No one doubts the quality of her mind or how religiously and tirelessly she works for the people. It is read incorrectly. What the negative result of the various polls are saying, isn't that the people don't like the President. .

What they are saying is this: Mrs. President (who is the face of the government and every other politician in the country, pro-administration or not), we are having a hard time everyday, when will we see your promise of prosperity?

What is it that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo needs to do? She needs to lead more--- she has to make people see that the road to prosperity isn't an easy path. It has to be done through hard work.

Are we saying that none of these issues hoisted upon the president and her family are not true? No we are not saying this. For all her faults and her family's, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is doing a bit of her share, at least and until someone else comes along to bring in a better alternative, she has a job.

As Susan Roces had gleamed (and people applaud her sanity), her insight is right on target, “nothing could be gained from all this”. It will not put food in our people's table. It will not make our economy more vibrant and neither will we ensure prosperity for future generations of Filipinos.

Most people have read Sammy Ong and the message he brings to be hot air right now. If Sammy Ong and the people behind all this have evidence, and if they think this will help the country then by all means, bring it to the proper forum otherwise, shut the hell up and let the Philippines get back on its feet.

I hope we (the people, the media, the politicians, the military, everybody) can understand. We can argue semantics, debate issues of morality all day but the even greater task we have to complete is building economic vitality for our people. Work! Work! Work! We have waited too long, don't you think?


Jon Limjap said...

Great post Cocoy. I think the opposition has gone too far. They indeed need to tell people to work hard and stop blaming the government for all the problems in their lives, but most of them think that way too anyway.

cocoy said...

thanks jon!

yeah, its a cultural thing. sad really.

but i think the main thing is that our leaders should lead and not just follow polls. maybe then we can inspire more people to have a positive work ethic.