The 2012 SONA

My Dear Countrymen, listen up.

This is about the time when I am to report on the state of our beloved nation. You will be glad to know everything is, if I may say so myself, all good.

 GMA awaits trial. This took some legal derring-do but now it is done.

The Chief Justice has been unseated, admittedly with a little, ok a lot, of help from himself. He just had too many political debts to pay, so we are really better off without him.

Both GMA and Corona were not something I enjoyed doing but somebody had to do it.  That is why you elected me, that is my job.

I am now searching for a Chief Justice. There are many applicants some of whom are my friends –we go shooting together- but friendship will not be a factor. I am looking for an honest person of law, a patriot, a visionary and a leader with the passion to reform the judiciary.  I am aware of the importance of the position, so not to worry, I will not leave you with a lemon.

On the economy, our credit has just been raised to near investment grade which is awesome. The credit rating agencies got it wrong with the European countries that are about to go bankrupt and the banks that almost collapsed; but these guys sometimes call it right. Our higher credit standing will allow us to borrow cheaper and attract foreign investments. We have become the darling of the investment community.

We are getting a handle on our fiscal deficits. Last quarter we grew at 6.4%, our foreign exchange reserves, the stock market and real estate are at record highs so the rich are really happy. As for the rest of you, things are, I suspect, also looking up. On my occasional dates, I note the restaurants and malls are full. Still, there are far too many of our brethren being left behind so this must be addressed.

We have had a number of mishaps but these are now fewer and further in-between. I am displeased the criminals behind the Mindanao massacre  and the corporate scandals of the previous Administration are still at large. Let me work on these.

The Scarborough business with China is upsetting. I have tried to be really nice to them but am getting nowhere. I am used to rejection in my personal life but nothing like this. I have sought the assistance of the U.S. and our ASEAN friends but nobody is picking up. So we have to figure this out alone. I suppose we can do without Chinese tourists, cheap imports and investments (which are mainly in mining anyway so no big deal) but they are still a force to contend with. Maybe I will dispatch Miriam, Leila and Kim on them, and watch them cry uncle.

I have four years to go before handing our nation back to the political vultures. My priority is to make our reforms permanent, to keep our National Treasury from the reach of these characters. It would be a tragedy to fatten up our country just to have these rascals feast on our effort.

Other than a catchy slogan, I have not done enough to institutionalize change. I need to improve the bureaucracy and restore honor to public service. I need to promote new leaders and identify a line of succession. I need to spread our progress to a wider economic base. I need Filipinos to be more accountable to themselves and their neighbors.

For all these I seek your help. I may have neglected you at times, the very people who got me elected, the NGOs, those of you who care; for which I am sorry. We need one more push to get us over the top, to reach that place where we can no longer be touched by the power of greed, money and muscle.

In May 10 2010, we embarked on a journey of change. The numbers and the world tell us we have made significant progress but the work is far from done. The inequality that separates the haves and the have-nots among us is wide and widening and threatens to divide us as a people.

Let us therefore unite and close our differences for only in a nation one in labor, one in opportunity, one in spirit, the spirit of Bayanihan, can we overcome the challenges and attain the promise heralded two years ago in our sweat and our tears.

Take care of yourselves and each other. I love you all.



About Leo Alejandrino

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