The Dimunitive President

In the news last night, the Comelec made it official that there are absolutely no legal impediments to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s bid for the Congress in the coming Elections. Much to the chagrin of many, I’m sure.

I have no opinion yet about the possibility of GMA becoming the Speaker of the House someday. It all boils down to results, after all. And at this point, it’s all speculation. She hasn’t won yet.

I do have much sympathy for this dimunitive little woman. She is undoubtedly one of the most controversial, and perhaps one of the most criticized Presidents in the History of the Philippines. I think she would rank a close second to the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

But personally, I’ve always admired this woman.

She may be many things, and may be called many ugly names in the book.

But she has strength of character and guts of steel. She has enough of that to be able to withstand the barrage of threats, calls for resignation, impeachment hearings while warding off terrorist threats, dealing with national calamities and finding ways to go around economic recessions. And there’s also everything else in between. Even her boob job several years ago gets the front page news. If she even had so much as a tiny zit on her forehead, I’m perfectly sure she would be tonight’s headline once again.

It’s not too different from Barrack Obama’s trip to the burger joint within a few months into his Presidency. The poor man can’t even get a burger without pictures of it getting splashed all over the front pages. It’s not a stretch to say that people like Obama and GMA have their entire lives under constant scrutiny. And heck, no one’s perfect. It’s all far easy too to twist the truth or skew it even just a little bit to¬† suit the conclusions that people want to make.

Bottomline: the country’s problems can’t be solved by one person. Nor can they be solved by a ten-year term in office. Our problems began long before you and I even existed. If we take a look at History, every administration was riddled with its own set of problems. Every President has his/her own legacy to speak of.

I’ve always felt that the sickness of our political system is the fact that our politicians spend more time scrutinizing the mistakes of every person in office and publicly criticizing every move they make…. rather than spending valued time doing something real and concrete to try finding solutions to the country’s problems. If there’s anyone at fault for why we haven’t risen to the levels of our other ASEAN counterparts, then take a stab at deconstructing then rebuilding our political culture.

The dimunitive President may be many things. But she is a woman of action.