The unity thing

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Unity’s the theme of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inauguration, and its companion, reconciliation, the mantra of the new-old administration.

Although these are buzzwords rarely meant, the call for both is nevertheless meaningful. It implies recognition of a state of division serious enough to worry the Arroyo administration, and which it hopes it can paper over to prevent the destabilization that’s widely predicted could happen in the aftermath of the May 10 elections. Continue reading

Reinventing Arroyo

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Congress in joint session proclaimed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Noli de Castro President and Vice President of the Philippines at dawn the other day. It was the end of a process whose outcome, for all the debate that went on in the last three weeks, was anyway predestined by the overwhelming numbers of the administration coalition.

Not all is over except the shouting, however. There is little proof of fraud vast enough to affect the outcome of the presidential and vice presidential elections. But Mrs. Arroyo and de Castro will nevertheless take their seats under a cloud of doubt as to their mandate. Unless Mrs. Arroyo plays her cards right, any hope for stability in the next six years will be futile. Continue reading

Iraqis first, Americans last

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George W. Bush, says a New York Times editorial, should apologize to the American people for making them believe that Saddam Hussein had links with the terrorist network Al Qaeda, which the United States says was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks.

As if the rest of the world didn

EDSA and other quick fixes

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President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s claim that the May 10 elections have restored the power of the ballot as an instrument of democratic change, in contrast to the “power of the street,” was as specious and wishful as her claim that the same elections would lead to unity, poverty alleviation, and progress.

What is more likely is that what happened in the May elections has not only undermined the ballot as the major instrument of regime change in this country. It might have also strengthened faith not only in People Power but also in other extra-constitutional options including coups, uprisings, riots and the like. These possibilities seriously undermine the possibility of the unity, much less the progress, Mrs. Arroyo alluded to in her Independence Day speech last Saturday. Continue reading