First posted at 3:19pm: Happening right now: The President is delivering the State of the Nation Address now… on an ailing throat and very frail voice box — first off, the President owes it to the nation to take care of his health to ensure a smooth transition to the next administration. (it’s too late to give this tip, but if you need to deliver a speech on painful throat, you’ll have to use the lowest register of your voice, don’t strain, drink water intermittently, and stay out of very cold airconditioned rooms.)
xxx posted at 4pm, at more than 30 minutes into the SONA: Apparently, this SONA will be no different from previous SONAs — PNoy has this window in his valedictory to distinguish himself from previous presidents by coming clean and presenting both his accomplishments and shortcomings — for example:
Accomplishment: increased GDP (a rise in macro-economic productivity). Shortcoming: BUT inequitable distribution of wealth (only 0.3 percent eradication of poverty);
Acconmplishment: K-12 education system supposedly to conform to world standards. Shortcoming: BUT ill-preparedness, lack of planning, slowness in construction of facilities and providing required upgrade in teaching (60% lack of required classrooms and facilities, ill-equipped teachers, likely to result in massive dropouts, thousands lacking classes);
Accomplishment: prosecution of corrupt officials of the previous administration. Shortcoming: BUT non-prosecution (if not tolerance or protection) of allies and friends accused of corruption.
Accomplishment: Supposedly, according to insiders, the Department of Public Works, compared to that of previous administrations, is less corrupt, or least corrupt. BUT the implementation of projects is so very slow resulting in sudden, deep floods even in small rain and armageddon traffic jams for inexplicable causes.
The MRT is a daily failure, resulting in kilometer-long queues, infernal suffering on the part of commuters, dangerous train derailments… The President heaping praise on Transpo Sec Jun Abaya is simply out-of-place and unacceptable.
et cetera. COME CLEAN, Mr. President, and distinguish yourself from previous corrupt, self-promoting, self-aggrandizing presidents.
At 4:49pm: Since this is a valedictory, it is acceptable to hear all these acknowledgements of Cabinet secretaries (except those undeserved, you know who those are)… we’re still waiting for marching orders on urgent, priority legislation for the next 12 months (kudos for pointing out the Anti-Dynasty Law as priority legislation );
More acknowledgements to staff, etc. … The best part of this speech so far, aside from announcing the policy to pass the Anti-Dynasty Law in the next 12 months, is the personal and public acknowledgment of his household staff :) who were and are responsible for his day-to-day needs.
Towards the end of his speech, he asked for “pang-unawa” (understanding) for his shortcomings — in general terms — when he said he never said he was perfect… the only president in recent memory to have at least acknowledged that he had failings … (but couched in very general terms, maybe to avoid making unnecessary extrajudicial admissions that could be used against him later). Still… praises heaped on certain Cabinet secretaries was totally misplaced.
Finally — many might disagree — but the proverbial judgment of history will be passed ten years from now — and…. here’s where many might disagree, it will not be too harsh if he leaves a legacy of 1.clean and honest elections up to 2016 (people have overlooked the impact of the PNoy legacy when they don’t see this); 2.being perceived as not being personally involved in any large-scale corruption; 3.RH Law; still and all, majority of the population still live in abject poverty — this was never eradicated as promised in “Kung walang korap walang mahirap”.