“Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.” – Henry Kissinger

DESPICABLE.

Such is an adjective proper to describe the present political situation of the country. Politics will always be politics and as what my history teacher back in grade school used to say, “in politics, there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests.”

Barely two months after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced that she would no longer run in 2004, presidential hopefuls have started shifting their political machinery into high gear.

PGMA’s unexpected announcement greatly shook up the political scenery as the administration coalition has gone on a headhunting expedition for a credible bet. Heck, even Chief Justice Hilario Davide was not spared. Fortunately, the man was just too sensible to accept their invitation and opted to stick it out with the Supreme Court until his retirement.

Indeed, the mad race for the presidency has started and it seems that most of our government leaders have focused their attention on the upcoming national polls, which makes one think: who is running the government?

You have to hand it to the sense of timing that these people have.

In the international scene, thousands of overseas Filipino workers are expected to lose their job with the situation in the Persian Gulf reaching its critical phase. Furthermore, travel advisories have been issued against our country, which means expect Dick Gordon and the Department of Tourism would have to dig deep into its bag of tricks to jack up visitor arrivals this year. Thus, two major sources of dollar revenues are in hot water.

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The local scene is likewise in a questionable state. In view of the growing budget deficit of the government, we can expect some basic services to suffer. In addition, prices of petroleum products continuously rise that translates into the prices of some basic commodities following suit. Unfortunately for the pobre Filipino worker, minimum wage does not react as quick. Then, we have a situation where a normal manggagawa’s workload is inversely proportional to his earnings.

Such is the woeful fate of poor Juan Dela Cruz, who has to bear the consequences resulting from the indifferences of the people he has elected into office.

With the election just a few months away, citizens of this confused country can only hope that some remedies (for realistic solutions are far-fetched) can be thought of by our leaders.

If President Arroyo is truly determined to make something out of the remainder of her protracted term, she must make Filipinos believe that the national policies that she has adopted can make a noticeable difference.

And it has to start now.

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The author would like to state that the article Valik-Varsi 2002, The Diamond Anniversary Grand Alumni Homecoming that was published in the V’s last issue (Vol.74, No. 9) was written by Lutchie Anne C. Coral and John Ferdinand T. Buen.

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