Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Front Page
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events
Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Is GMA planning a come-back?

Ninfa Leonardia

So it’s almost a done deal. The Parliament of China is set – or may have decided by this time – to give their incumbent president, Xi Jinping, power to head the country indefinitely. This means that he will be their president for as long as he lives, or until he himself decides to give up. Unbelievably, there are also some dissenters, but their voices are not likely to be heard since the numbers have it. Also, their history does not show any example of any communist being disapproved.

***

Aside from the awesome powers he will enjoy, he will also be the chairman of everything, that is, of all agencies and government offices. Which means absolute powers over the country, a situation presidents and rulers of all other countries will envy him for. That is, if they, too have dictatorial inclinations. Just imagine what chance oppositionists will have with 2,958 of the 3,000 members of the NPC, or National Peoples Congress, in favor of the move. At least we can pray that this does not give ideas to people in power in our own country.

***

Well, let the Chinese people deal with their own political system while we continue to hope and pray that we will always stick to our own democratic system, even if sometimes we also get disappointed in it. Remember what our first president, Manuel L. Quezon, said that had influenced the American Congress to set a date for the independence of our country? Stung by criticisms about our people’s capacity to govern themselves, Quezon told the Americans “I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos, than one like heaven by the Americans!”

***

Well, some believe Quezon would have had to eat his own words had he lived long enough to see the mess some of the leaders who followed him had made of his beloved country. But somehow we have gotten through, although, until now, we cannot still be sure if we are being “run like hell” or “run like heaven” these days. Suffice it to say that, at least, we are still having elections, we can criticize our officials although we did have a taste of hell when people suspected or accused of being into drugs as pushers, traders or users were being swatted down like flies in the extra-judicial killing days.

***

Of course the threats to feed the Human Rights people from the United Nations to the crocodiles do not make us sound like hell, because, as his voluble over-speaking spokesperson says, most of the time the President is only joking. And of course the UN people, especially Duterte’s bête noire, Agnes Callamard is not one to flinch from such remarks. She will recall that the same person had also said he will fatten the sharks in Manila Bay with the bodies of drug lords and traffickers, but the sharks have not tasted even one so far.

***

In the meantime studies are now going on about the proposed federal constitution that is the pet project of the President. And among the items to surely be covered is the existence of political dynasties, of which our country now has a proliferation of. But how will the ones working on it define “dynasties”? We used to have the term for those in government offices who are related, but what about those who are voted into office by the people? Will they constitute dynasties, too?

***

We already know that it is questionable for those who are related by blood or affinity up to the second degree. The committee doing the study claims that dynasties lead to “bad governance, create monopoly of political and economic power, bastardized democracy, stunted soco-economic development and contributed to poverty”. On that basis, I am sure that if a count were to be made now, basing on the second degree relationship limit, there must be thousands of “dynasties” now existing in the country. And their members will surely work for the redefinition of that law to ensure their continued existence.

***

Aha. Rumors are rife that former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is now a congresswoman, may replace Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who had been feuding lately, well, not exactly feuding, but has not been very tactful in dealing with some persons who are influential with the president. Some are surprised if that is true, because for GMA who had already been president, the speakership should be a sort of come-down. But, for that matter, being a mere member of the House of Representatives has already been a comedown, but being her father’s daughter, politics must really be in her blood. Me, I wish her luck if she is planning a come-back.*

back to top

   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com