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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dog Day Afternoon

Come Monday afternoon, 25 July 2005, anybody who is somebody in government will be invited, nay, required to attend the State of the Nation Address by the President.

It seems everybody is looking forward to the SONA, even those who have expressed their non-attendance. Senator Ping Lacson gave his alternative T(rue)SONA which was more of the same privilege speeches he dishes out regularly in the Senate. Others will be interested in what the SONA will contain, what it will promise or how it will disappoint.

The pro-GMA bloc will hear our country attaining the highest growth rate in Asia, excluding China and India; the numerous public school infrastructures built, the increase in tax collections, and a host of marvels that this administration has achieved in the past year. They will also hear the economic and political reforms that are underway and forthcoming. On the other hand, some or all the pro-GMA senators cannot wait to let the SONA end and start the Machiavellian surgery of Senator Drilon from leadership.

The Opposition, in turn, will yawn and moan on the soporific and kilometric perorations of this lying, cheating and stealing head of state whom they cannot wait to remove from office. Some of them will do the obligatory clapping but most of them will be nodding their heads in disdain, disagreement and disbelief. They will be the epitome of what William Safire calls "the nattering nabobs of negativism". The sectoral representatives will exert their best efforts at cordiality though they are not known for their civility.

The bishops and businessmen will be looking forward to seeing some meat to a truth commission that everyday becomes less and less the commission they proposed, farther and farther from searching for the truth and nearer and nearer to a blame-gaming commission.

The judiciary will be there only because it seeks to pay homage to a co-equal and coordinate branch of government but could not care less as they are fiscally autonomous from the Executive Department.

In the meantime, to emphasize the seriousness of the SONA, the Palace declared Monday as a non-working holiday in order for the citizenry to listen to the SONA. That is the official line. The unofficial line, of course, is to assist the jobless get employed as members of the "hakot" crowd and to prevent the one hundred thousand people, as promised by the left, from gathering at the Batasan to protest the SONA and the President.

Even the President can not wait for Monday to come. She has been practicing her speech with more fervor than her "I am sorry" spiel, spent sleepless nights discussing and haranguing her speechwriters for the best soundbyte, jogging in the treadmill and preparing herself mentally for what could perhaps be her "finest hour".

Come Monday, the battle lines will be drawn. A line has been drawn from which there is no turning back unless God hears the cries of Cory and the La Salle Brothers for GMA to resign. I highly doubt that though. After all, God proposes, man disposes.

The afternoon of 25 July 2005 will be the hottest day in a long summer of discontent in the lives of many Filipinos who long for resignation, for impeachment or for the status quo. But as always, hope springs eternal. Let us remind ourselves that the SONA is nothing more than a laundry list of promises and self-accolades. It is not something to spill blood over or to die for.

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