The year would be truly new only if there were new public leaders with a new vision and in command of new integrity and respectability. At the very least, there should be renewed national government officials fulfilling a renewed mission and gaining the restored credibility and trust of the citizens.
Otherwise, the year is but another date yet merely prolonging old realities. There is the old question of the rigging of the 2004 National Elections. There is the old issue of special jueteng payolas given to special personalities for special purposes. There is the old matter of big financial scandals one after another. There is the old search for truth and justice in all these sick and sickening socio-moral problems.
Never mind the ever-present graft and corruption. Let not the continuous smuggling matter. Forget the increasing poverty of the people with its accompanying worsening criminality. Set aside even the disturbing exodus of professionals and workers from the country. All these are not that serious compared to the question of the legitimacy and competence of no less than the holder of the highest office in the country.
Time and again, the composite issue of juetengate and Garci Tape keep coming back like a bad dream. And unless there is not only a legal but also real closure of this national and fundamental inquiry, this is but an old year merely begging for its continuance. And looking at it as a truly new year with new realities is falsity.
Truth to say, the country cannot afford another old year. People can no longer take a grand “10 Point Agenda” with its exactly ten-point contrary facts. Neither can the citizen put their hope on past SONA highlights that in truth became very gloomy reversals.
Political stability is the premise of economic progress—not the other way around. The present strength of the peso is not due to but inspite of socio-political unrest. The OFWs are the ones who should be credited for it—not the national leadership.
If prophets of doom are unwelcome, seers of delusion are dangerous. In these difficult and disturbing times in the country, real people with real perception and vision are needed. And the realities foreseen in the year ahead are far from promising.
Wanted for the Philippines: New or renewed national leadership! With them, valid is the greeting “Happy New Year!”
31 January 2005