LAST JUNE, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced an all-out campaign to bring about in two years’ time the conditions that would result in putting an end to the 37-year-old insurgency waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines-Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought (CPP-MLMZT) and the New People’s Army (NPA), as well as the National Democratic Front (NDF), which the CPP-MLMZT controls. The attainment of these conditions is to be pursued through a total approach, consisting of a set of programs and measures-military, police, legal, political, information, diplomatic, and very importantly, the equitable delivery of basic social services, especially to disadvantaged sectors and communities. These programs and measures, taken together, are meant to comprehensively address the insurgency, both in terms of its politico-ideological-military aspect and its socio-economic “root causes.”
IT’S hard to predict what the future has in store. When I asked people in Quiapo who they thought the next president would be, many of them replied, “Who’s running?”
UNDER ORDINARY times, 2010 is the year we elect a successor to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But the Garci scandal changed all that. Since then — or because of it — the Arroyo administration quickly abandoned its reform agenda in favor of short-term survival.
THE FRAMERS of the 1987 Constitution thought they were doing our democracy a service by abandoning the old two-party system and opening up the electoral process to anything declared a political party. The outcome of that is the elimination of political parties as a factor in Philippine politics.
‘TIS THE season for year-enders, but it’s also the season to be merry. So we thought we should refrain from getting anyone too depressed (your family can do that for you). Instead of having predictions for 2007, which seem to be already sending some people over the edge, we are going fast forward to 2010. It’s a nice, even number, although it’s also the year when we are supposed to choose our next president. Which is why the predictions we asked people to make for the December issue of i-report focus on politics and how these will have an impact on our lives.
THE ONLY thing we know about the future is that we cannot predict it. But we can try. At least that is what we asked 10 people to do in this issue of i. As 2004 ends in a cloud of uncertainty, these 10 individuals look at their crystal balls and give us a glimpse of the Philippine future.