Today President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver her State of the Nation Address. It was the concept of “super regions” that spinned so much among her last year’s themes after her other hit on bankang papel on her SONA seven years ago. Now we are guessing what’s cooking up in the minds of her speechwriters and propagadandists for today’s menu.
They might have risen early today and throng around the President in making last-hour revision of her SONA considering the collapse of the peace talks between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front. Missing this theme in today’s SONA can portray the President like she’s building a castle for the Republic out of the sand.
Malacanang sounded off yesterday that there was nothing to expect for her speech today. What when the Batasang Pambansa has just been refurbished by millions-worth facelift in giving her a red carpet treatment. Maybe the speechwriters and propagandists just wanted to douse cooler water to a pent-up situation generated by giving much hoopla about the President’s eighth SONA that will be delivered amidst rising fuel prices, a rice crisis and persistent allegations of corruption. It also follows a week when the President gained the infamous distinction of being the most unpopular leader since the Marcos dictatorship was dismantled in 1986.
We expect a highlight of her “Katas ng VAT” program that smells political goodies for her allies that controlled the Lower House and a roaring applause or a standing ovation for that theme is a good possibility for the salivating congressmen used up with the pork barrel. “Katas ng VAT” has a national touch that even Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley can partake via Daneco’s P500 credit memo by next month which could benefit a half of its poor member-consumers.
For our province and Mindanao, we wish the President to go straight to her specific prescription to lower the prices of rice, perhaps order for the arrest of hoarders and smugglers in the rice cartel as specific, doable solution rather than drumbeating of the long-range and tiresome solutions like agricultural modernization, hybrid seeds, irrigation etc. Such specific action can contribute to the bigger problem of the rice shortage and insufficiency in Mindanao as well as give her a good glimpse for her audience which include the ever-lambasting militants.
We could not wish the President to call for a particular solution on how to stop increases of oil prices like a contra statement to oil deregulation since she has lately been dangling her patronage via this “Katas ng VAT”. But for the Mindanaoans concerned on peace, we expect her a categorical directive for the government negotiators to go back to negotiating table and leave those already settled issues relating the Moro ancestral homeland, or better still, ask the Congress before her to immediately pass a law for the holding of the plebiscite for the inclusion of 700 other barangays to the Moroland aside from the ARMM.
After all the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity could be created without resorting to a Charter Change (Cha-cha). Lest, we forget she should never utter a word about Cha-Cha in her SONA today at the risk of getting more foes than friends. For such could further sink her popularity to a bottomless pit. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com