Letter To Gloria

July 6 2010

(This letter may have been written by someone who cares for her)

Dear Gloria,

How are you? Things must be a little different now that you are just one of 250 Congresspersons waiting with begging bowls for handouts from Malacanang. They have even taken away your ‘wang-wang’.

Not, of course, that you need any pork barrel. You could actually fund the whole budget yourself but let’s not go there. You also need to keep some funds for a rainy day: Lawyers do not come cheap and getting your colleagues to come around on Charter Change could be expensive.

Talking about Charter Change, what were your advisers smoking when they suggested you file a resolution so early on? I always thought you had good political instincts but that really is a terrible move. It may be an obsession of yours but it is annoying the public no end.

In the last years you really have not cared much about what the public thinks but you may need to review that one. As President you could steam roll everything and everybody protected as you were by your Office. As a mere mortal you do not now enjoy the same status.  I might even say the opposite: You could be vulnerable.

I realize you do not believe the polls but -and I say this not in meanness but in truth – you are hugely unpopular. Just ask Gibo, Villar and all your officials who ran for office last May. The people cannot wait for redemption. With Charter Change you are, like blood to a vampire, further feeding the frenzy.

You believe you have the resources to buy what you want and who you want but that is poor thinking (and bad fiscal management). Between the power of money and the power of an ideal, the ideal always wins. And right now Noynoy bears the halo, has the ideal.

With the bad blood between yourselves, Binay is not going to be any better (certainly more expensive) so you have your work cut out for you, potentially for the next 12 years.

So what to do?

You are hoping that your move on Charter Change will force the Administration to ease up on you and your family. It could if it stood a chance of succeeding which it does not, certainly not at this time. Any Congressman supporting the initiative would be cutting his wrists and that is something Congressmen do not do.

Noynoy is presently walking on water so trying to unseat him may have people wondering what medication you are on. Your motives are so apparent even my grandson is scratching his head (and he still has to attain the age of reason). So, Gloria, dump that one. As Lyndon Johnson once said, that dog won’t hunt.

Instead, take the road less politically travelled.

One, be statesmanlike: Be supportive of the new Administration when their actions are well founded; be constructively critical when they are not. No kissing-ass, just be responsible and sincerely so.

Two, be humble and apologize for any of your Administration’s mistakes like your midnight appointments. Ask them to resign. It was silly and petty of you to appoint them in the first place.

Three, do what you do best, go to work. File bills in the House that are studied and intelligent and use your still considerable influence to get them speedily passed.

Four, establish a Foundation that will help the underprivileged nationwide, not only in your congressional area. This takes money but believe me it will get you further than wining and dining your colleagues for Charter Change.

It may not totally save your name but may do so for your children and grandchildren. Remember they still have to live in the neighborhood. Think of the Morgans and the Vanderbilts, the alleged U.S. robber barons, who after generations worked their way to social recognition and respectability.

Five, get your sons  and in-laws to step back. Making the list of richest Congressmen might have tickled them pink but that is so not the way to go.

Six, fire your spokespersons. They appear arrogant and are rubbing people the wrong way.

None of the above may help you when the investigators are at the door but every little bit counts.

The public right now is looking for blood so, just like Bella in Twilight, you do not really want to open a cut. With your actuations on Charter Change you are doing just that.

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About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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