BEFORE SHE — bids good-bye as president — an event that is supposed to happen next year — Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had planned to spend P2.03 trillion ($42.7 billion) on infrastructure projects between 2007 and 2010. By all accounts, she is hoping that these projects would earn her the legacy she so covets, as well as the gratitude of a people she would have served for nine years.
Yet before she could spend a single centavo, Arroyo has had to muster the numbers in Congress, which wields the illusory “power of the purse,” and have her budget approved.
AT A wedding of a wealthy Filipino-Chinese family late last year, the bride and the groom became the privileged godchildren of a high government official who was one of their many sponsors. The event would have passed unnoticed, except that the padrino was Environment Secretary Michael Defensor and the family involved owned a company that had its tree-harvesting operations suspended by Defensor’s immediate predecessor at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
JOSE Ma. Sison should cry at all the wasted talent. He could have won the revolution if the movement had stayed its course and kept its children from straying into the forbidden capitalist and reactionary world. (He shares a large part of the blame, too, of course, for steering a hard-line course and ousting — not to mention possibly ordering the elimination — of some of the best cadres from the party.) At any rate, these days, many of us who used to be part of the underground are all over the place. Some of us run telecommunications companies, public utilities, banks, and even the highest offices of government. Many form that segment of the middle class that supports decent candidates.