Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This piece was first published in Interaksyon.com on January 18, 2012.


Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.  – George Carlin

Gloria Arroyo wrote in the intro to her three thousand word rant against President Aquino, “I wrote this article (It’s the economy, student) on and off in my spare time during my house recuperation, re-hospitalization and hospital detention from October to December 2011.” Mukha nga.

That’s why Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda dismissed it as “a political manifesto disguised as an economic paper” presented at “a press briefing masquerading as a colloquium.”

Ping Galang of GMA News online observed, “Only media representatives were present and no panel of experts probed deeper into the former president’s thesis.” He added, “If indeed the released material will form part of a memoir she is reportedly writing, then Mrs. Arroyo will need to do a more careful review of her facts so that her forthcoming work will not be ignored by the market and give the city trash collectors a problem in deciding whether it is recyclable or not.”

How Gloria could make such a grim assessment of the Aquino administration following upgrades from credit ratings agencies; optimistic reports from Bank of America Merrill Lynch; HSBC Global Research; the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom by the Washington-based The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal; and positive assessments from Dr. Dante B. Canlas, Mrs. Arroyo’s Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) Director-General, and Cesar Virata, former finance minister of Marcos, is beyond comprehension.

Luckily, there is someone who loves to explain the incomprehensible: Gloria’s ubiquitous mouthpiece, Elena Bautista Horn. She said, “Maybe because she has time and she’s alarmed by what’s happening, and she’s an economics professor.” Ganun?

Siguro nga Gloria is alarmed because what’s happening is her escape attempt was foiled and she is now detained at the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital, her husband and some of their cabinet appointees are facing criminal raps, retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan is on the lam, former Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos is in a holding cell in Pasay City, former AFP comptroller Gen. Carlos Garcia is serving time in the New Bilibid prison, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resigned after being impeached, and Chief Justice Renato Corona is being tried at the Senate for betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and culpable violation of the constitution.

Sadly, Gloria can only see the “politics of division” and “vilification” in everything that’s happening.  “The gains achieved by previous administrations – mine included – are being squandered in an obsessive pursuit of political warfare meant to blacken the past and conceal the dark corners of the present dispensation. Rather than building on our nation’s achievements, this regime has extolled itself as the sole harbinger of all that is good,” she said.  In other words, “Lying, cheating, and stealing are better for the economy and the well-being of the nation than Daan Matuwid.”

Embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona’s rant is just as skewed. He blames three people for his predicament. “Malaki akong hadlang sa mga nagnanais na hindi maipamahagi ang lupain sa Hacienda Luisita. Malaki din akong hadlang sa nagmamadaling maging bise-presidente ngunit talo noong 2010. At huwag na tayong lumayo: Malaki din akong hadlang sa matagal nang nag-aambisyong maging Chief Justice. Sila pong tatlo ang nagsasabwatan para mapatalsik ako sa pwesto,” he claims.

But Chief, was it not the Department of Agrarian Reform under President Aquino that pushed for and argued before the Supreme Court the distribution of land to tenants in Hacienda Luisita?

Remember what you said regarding the power of the president over his cabinet? No? Well here, let me remind you. You said, “Ibang-iba po ang palakad sa gabinete, sapagka’t doon, lahat ng miyembro ay mga alalay, alagad at utusan ng pangulo. Sa loob ng gabinete ang utos ng hari hindi nababali.”

So now let me ask you, “Kung lahat ng miyembro ng gabineta ay alalay, alagad at utusan ng pangulo at ang utos ng hari hindi nababali, hindi ba mas madali para sa pangulo na utusan na lang niya ang Department of Agrarian Reform na huwag ng ipaglaban na maipamahagi ang lupain ng Hacienda Luisita? Bakit pa niya pahahabain ang istorya hanggang impeachment kung kaya na niyang tapusin ang kaso sa DAR pa lamang?

But what is even more bothersome is your second statement “Malaki din akong hadlang sa nagmamadaling maging bise-presidente ngunit talo noong 2010.”

There is an election protest case pending before the Supreme Court and you just confessed to partiality because you described yourself as an obstacle and even declared the protesting candidate a loser already. Grabe! You can be charged with partiality complexed with stupidity for making such an admission. Finally what made you think the president will appoint someone from the Court if you get impeached?

Anyway, that’s why I don’t eat peas.