WE couldn’t help but wonder whether it was candor or false modesty that led Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo more than a week ago to remark that she is a “very bad politician.”
(Artwork by Jun Aquino)
“I’d rather deal with the economy than with politics,” Arroyo told British businessmen during an investors’ forum she addressed as part of her recent European trip. “I think I’m a pretty good economist but a very bad politician.”
Those who had the chance to work closely with her used to say Arroyo had a reformist side. But that was in the days before “Hello, Garci.” Now they’ve come to terms about her side that has also embraced the realities of trapo politics, including paybacks and payoffs — classic political accommodation that they say only brought out the real politician in her.
That is also why not a few have regarded her presidency as one defined by transactions, which “makes deals even with the devil,” as one political observer noted.
Our coverage of the Arroyo presidency since 2001 does tend to validate her claim about being a “bad” politician, only the meaning isn’t exactly similar to what she tried to impress upon the British. Read our reports once more and tell us if it is or isn’t so…