(Me) Mr. President, I’ll jump straight in. Could you comment on the following: Your inaugural address…
(He) Being my first speech I was told to lower the discourse to the level of the Filipino: “You are my boss” and “Wangwangs”, people love that sort of thing.
(M) The SONA…
(H) The idea was to get the country incensed at Gloria, give me some breathing room.
(M) Did it work?
(H) Look at my 79% rating.
(M) What about the promises to prosecute the offenders?
(H) The Truth Commission was supposed to nail Gloria. With the adverse Supreme Court decision I have to think of something else.
As for the other corrupt officials, frankly I forgot about them. Let me get back to you.
(M) Merceditas Gutierrez…
(H) Must find her weakness. Our dirty tricks team is on to it.
(M) Justice Corona..
(H) A pain in the backside. It’s now personal.
(M) What about the separation of powers?
(H) I was elected President, he was not. He is preventing me from doing my job. Why is the public not upset?
(M) People Power…
(H) Nice guys but they don’t appreciate the complexities of governing. I’ll call them when I need them.
(H) She was disrespectful to my mother. I will get to her once I sort out the problems of this country.
(H) More Chinese die in mining accidents and building collapses than perished in Luneta; but I had to appear empathetic. It’s part of the game.
(M) The Nobel boycott…
(H) The Chinese are an important trading partner and a growing geo-political force. Filipino jobs and security are at stake. You can’t eat human rights. Kazakhstan, Sudan and Iran agree with me.
(M) But are you not yourself a product of human rights?
(H) I am committed to human rights as long as it does not interfere with my other priorities.
(M) What about our dignity as a sovereign nation?
(H) Dignity is over rated as a concept. Can you eat dignity?
(H) Trust and loyalty, not competence, are the most important assets in people. I must be able to sleep at night.
(M) And the country’s interest?
(H) The nation is best served by trusting my judgment. My ratings show I am doing just fine.
(H) Don’t believe all the talk about Jojo. He is doing a good job with an approval rating just below mine.
(M) Binay and Mar?
(H) Like the separation of powers, distinct but equal.
(M) The Palace infighting…
(H) Disagreements are healthy. It’s all good. Check the polls.
(M) Your close-in advisers…
(H) They are not the brightest bulbs but that’s fine. It is easier to run a government than you think especially if you do not seek to do too much. Have you seen my polls?
(M) Your sisters…
(H) People use my “ates” to complain about my policies and appointments. I love them but have stopped listening to them. I know what’s going on. Did I mention my ratings?
(M) Your critics…
(H) They are a minority of know-it-alls. They do not have all the facts. I am doing a good job. Look at the polls.
(M) What if your ratings were to drop?
(H) You cannot govern based on popularity. You just do what you have to do.
(M) Your cordon sanitaire…
(H) I have no cordon sanitaire or unsanitaire. I am accessible as long as the news is good.
(M) People say you are a figurehead being maneuvered by hidden forces…
(H) If I am, the polls say that’s fine.
(M) Your social life…
(H) We need to raise the level of discourse, let’s not go there. But we can talk later.
(M) People say you are a DOM…
(H) They are just envious.
(M) People say you are too laid back…
(H) Because of my video games and my dating? I need to relax, you know the saying about all work and no play.
(M) How would you rate your first 6 months?
(M) Look at the polls.
(M) Your message to the Filipino?
(H) My countrymen, do not listen to the critics. I am always thinking of you unless otherwise preoccupied.
Trust me with my choice of people and agenda. Slow but sure is good.
In 6 years you shall be better off than you are today. After that is no longer my problem. Keep the faith and, oh, check the polls.