Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the June 24,2009 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

It would be nice if former President Fidel Ramos made a clear and positive declaration to our people whether he still supports Gloria Arroyo or not.

He has to stop titillating the public with his on-again off-again support for her. It’s been going on for too long.

It’s simply not fair. He already has the public confused with his equivocation, must he also befuddle them with mixed metaphors?

“But as chief executive and commander-in-chief, she (Arroyo) must perform with greater agility and skill than the ordinary circus juggler, whose feet are on the ground…The President still on the high-wire may be riding a bicycle, while still balancing the critical issues whose number may increase because of outside forces. That is how difficult and complex it is to be in the hot seat or pressure cooker called Malacañang.”
Maybe that’s why Mrs. Arroyo can’t decide whether to ram Charter change through, run for Congress, or declare a state of national emergency. She’s also bewildered.
By the way, why doesn’t Gloria Arroyo run for senator?
If she tops the winners, it would prove to everyone that people actually like her. But more than that, she would be walking her talk.
“We have a vision. We would like the Philippines to be on the verge of the First World in 20 years. What I hope is we would be able to work on the things that are needed to reach the First World in 20 years…”
Unfortunately, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile says she can’t run for any other office.
“I don’t think constitutionally she can do it, to run without forfeiting her seat as President…She cannot toy around with this position as if you are a governor, a mayor, a councilor, a barangay captain…Now, if she will run to become an emperor, that’s an entirely different matter. That’s a higher post.”
An emperor? Hmmm…does that mean a sex change before charter change?
But seriously, a monarchy may not be such a bad idea considering that the biggest problem with representative government, be it presidential or parliamentary, is the lack of a fail-safe way to stop crooked officials from dipping their sticky fingers into taxpayers’ money.
In a monarchy, a ruler has no compulsion to steal because tax revenues are his personal property. So, if Gloria were to become empress instead of president or premier, would she steal what already belongs to her?

Instead of obsessing over how to steal, Empress Gloria will focus all her attention and energies into collecting taxes and preventing those taxes from being stolen from her.

She will not allow anybody to evade or avoid taxes.  She will not let BIR or Customs officials take a bite off her cake.  She will monitor very closely every other source of government revenue, from community tax certificates to God knows what, to make sure she gets every single centavo due her.

She will not tolerate rigged bids, kickbacks, unnecessary projects, over-priced projects, ghost projects, double-insertions, and other leakages.  There will be no wastage in infrastructure and public services spending.

Honesty, discipline, and professionalism will prevail because a monarch will not put up with any mishaps from those dealing directly with her subjects. She knows a breakdown in public services will cause dissatisfaction. And that can lead to unrest and unrest to revolution.

Furthermore, there will be political stability. Hereditary succession will ensure an orderly transition of power. Everyone will know ahead of time“apres Gloria, le Crown Prince Mikey.”  So everyone will have ample time to build an ark.

A monarchy takes the load off the people’s shoulders. They will not be blamed for electing the wrong leader.  As George Carlin quipped many years ago, “I don’t think we should be governing ourselves. What we need is a king, and every now and then if the king’s not doing a good job, we kill him.”

Thus, politics, under any guise, is ultimately a numbers game. The greater number gets to swing the axe.  And so, at the end of the day, although a monarchy may not be democratic in form, it is in substance.