Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

About

@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Speech delivered at the UP College of Law.

President Noynoy Aquino or PNoy spoke in Filipino. He addressed the people inside the plenary as “my fellow government workers.” He immediately tackled what everybody wanted to hear from him: the anomalies of his predecessor. He cited the depleted calamity funds, rising budget deficit, and bloated benefits of executives in government corporations. It reminded me of Erap’s Sona in 2000 when he blamed Ramos, who was listening to him inside the plenary, for the deteriorating peace and order situation and many other problems of the country.

I wanted to hear more corruption scandals involving Arroyo and her minions. Sana next time hindi lang medium level corruption cases. At pano kaya ang korupsiyon sa mga sikat na ahensiya tulad ng Customs, DPWH, at Deped?

And is corruption (or even mismanagement) the root of the power and water problems? Sadly, no discussion about environment sustainability, climate change, and environment impact of lopsided economic development.

What did the president mean when he complained that power is sold cheaply by Napocor and that MRT fares are too low? Does he intend to raise these prices soon?

It is inaccurate to describe the Sona speech of PNoy as an anti-Arroyo piece. Sa totoo lang he championed many programs of Arroyo, for example:

– He mentioned the Conditional Cash Transfer program several times;
– Public-private partnership; which is in essence a rearticulation of the privatization mantra. BOT? Ano bago dun?
– Establishment of grains terminals/post harvest facilities. Again, this is no different from Arroyo’s program to boost agricultural productivity. Mas malawak pa nga ang programa ni Arroyo: FIELDS – F for fertilizer, I for irrigation and infrastructure, E for extension and education, L for loans and insurance, D for dryers and other post-harvest facilities, and S for seeds. And speaking of land, what about agrarian reform?
– Improvement of the railway system. Bahagi rin ito ng super regions program ni Arroyo.
– Reducing cost of doing business. Every year reminder yan ng World Bank and other credit rating agencies to improve competitiveness daw. At dahil framework ng big business ang bitbit sa pagpapalago ng ekonomiya, noon at ngayon, kay Arroyo at Aquino, walang nabanggit tungkol sa wage increase or labor benefits.

On fiscal responsibility: tama lang at rebyuhin ang binibigay na fiscal incentives. Tama lang na habulin ang mga smuggler. But we should also review the tax cuts for the rich and the superlow tariffs imposed on imported goods. In short, review the neoliberal economic policies.

It is commendable that he spoke against cartels. He wanted a better and more transparent procurement law. He is supportive of the whistleblower bill and the strengthening of the Witness Protection Program. But civil society is asking: What about Freedom of Information Bill? Reproductive Health?

PNoy talked about basic education. What about higher education? Public-private partnership din ba ang framework sa paglikom ng pondo para sa mga pamantasan?

PNoy failed miserably in the human rights department. Hindi sapat na panagutin ang lahat ng mamamatay tao. Tukuyin niya ang mga salarin. Kasuhan. Ikulong. He should have stated that he will not tolerate torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings and that military officials who are involved in these crimes will be punished.

Reminder to PNoy: Mindanao is not just a “situation.” It is time to view the whole island of Mindanao differently. Besides, do we say the “situation” in Luzon or Visayas when discussing the problems in these areas? Imperial Manila has its own set of problems which are distinct to the problems of Bicol, Cordillera, and other parts of Luzon. Ganun din sa Mindanao.

About the proposed peace talks, dialogue is futile without addressing the roots of rebellion. Ceasefire should not be equated with peace. What about systemic and structural violence engendered by the policies of the state?

Ang sabi niya sa CPP-NPA-NDF: huwag lang batikos, dapat may solusyon. He should review the past peace agreements to understand the comprehensive program of the extreme left. PNoy showed his utter disdain for the armed left. Notice that he had kind words to say about MILF and he didn’t require the group to offer alternatives.

“Huwag lang batikos, dapat may solusyon.” – convenient and overused argument by impotent politicians or parties in power. Yan din ang sabi ni Gloria noon sa oposisyon: tama na ang batikos, maghain kayo ng solusyon. Yan din ang payo ni Gloria kay Noynoy noong eleksiyon: huwag lang retorika, dapat may programa rin. Ngayong nasa kapangyarihan na si PNoy, nakakalungkot at ginamit niya ang argumento ng mga pulitikong sensitibo sa kritisismo.

Dapat basahin niya ang mga kolum ni Conrad de Quiros na tumutukoy sa bisa at karapatan ng tao o ninuman na magbatikos. Na ang pagbabatikos ay isang mapanlikhang gawain. Ito ay bahagi ng proseso ng pagbabago.

Payo kay PNoy: lubusin ang hangarin ng taong bayan na makulong si Arroyo. Noong Lunes, nasa loob ng plenaryo ang mga mayor na partido pulitikal; kahit kaming militante ay pumasok sa Batasan para makinig sa Sona. Andun si Erap, Ramos. Andun ang mga Marcoses: si Imelda, Bongbong, Imee at Irene. The Marcoses were there to listen to an Aquino. Sino ang nawawala? Dalawang mambabatas na nasa Hong Kong. Isa nakakulong dahil sa drug possession at isa na tila ayaw marinig ang mga baho ng kanyang administrayon. Dapat talaga nilubos ni PNoy ang bira kay Arroyo. Kaya tama si Congressman Lagman, bitin ang Sona.

Noong matapos ang Sona, pumalakpak ang U.S. ambassador kahit hindi siya nakakaintindi ng Filipino. Bakit kaya? Siguro dahil wala siyang narinig na mga salitang Visiting, Forces, at Agreement.

Read: Sona 2009

4 Responses to “Sona 2010: Notes from the plenary”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mong palatino, hilway dato and Kabataan Partylist, adarna. adarna said: RT @mongster: new blogpost: Sona 2010: Notes from the plenary – http://is.gd/dNO9Z […]

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  2. Very well written,I think,every president should stop blaming the past admin because it turns into a vicious cycle or tradition of crab mentality.

    development catalyst

  3. Nandiyan nanaman ang mga Marcos kay daling makalimot ng Filipino. Sariwa pa ang dugo ng mga nabuwal na kabataan sa Mendiola subalit hayan na tampisaw na naman sila sa poder.

    Kung nanagumpay ang “sigwa ng unang kuwarto 70” malamang maganda ang pigura ng ating Bayan. Napakalayo pa ng umaga marami pang kalabaw ang magbubwis ng buhay sa kabukiran.

    Tilamsik

  4. […] SONA 2010 Manila hostage Handa na tayo […]

    Mong Palatino » Blog Archive » PNoy@100

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