Allies of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the purported president of the Philippines, says that no one has the right to ask Mrs. Arroyo about her plans in post-Arroyo 2010. They say her plans are private. And we have to respect that.
Ah, so that's it. We, the people who pay for her administration's survival with our taxes, are not entitled to peer into her malevolent mind. As the highest official in the Executive department, who commands millions of bureaucrats and trillions of pesos worth of public funds, Mrs. Arroyo has the responsibility of revealing what she plans to do after she relinquishes power in 2010.
What her allies intend is picture Mrs. Arroyo as our modern-day Maria Clara---a coy, shy and a decent Filipina, who hides behind a flowery panella. She loves the scent of power of an Ibarra yet is too shy to tell us about it.
The minute Mrs. Arroyo snatched power away from former president Joseph Estrada, she lost all the rights of privacy enjoyed by many. The only time she enjoys such privacy is when she goes to the toilet or signs her resignation letter.
We need to know if she plans to carve a family dynasty out of the Lower House; or if she wants to take her husband along for an extended honeymoon in a posh Portuguese villa or spends it in one of the slums of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Or, if she intends to snatch the honor from ex-strongman Macoy as the most villified and the most hated second dictator of these islands. We have the right to know. Why? So that we know what places to avoid having our vacations to or where to send our supoenas to the second we file tons of cases against Mrs. Arroyo and her family.
We don't want to live in the same neighborhood as the Arroyos. Do you want to live in constant fear, knowing that one of the biggest operators of the Philippines just lives nearby and thinks of how to get your precious family heirlooms?
Kidding aside, the reason why Malacanang refuses to reveal what Mrs. Arroyo's true intentions are is really simple---they don't want us to telegraph Mrs. Arroyo's escape routes come 2010. Yeah. Remember that the palace is paranoid on that. If Mrs. Arroyo says she intends to run for a Congressional seat, then, she has to step down first. If Mrs. Arroyo plans to do a Marcos, then, she needs stealth to do just that. Or, if she intends to just retire in the big arms of her sickly husband, then, she needs to tell us this early so that, we the Filipino People, would have the luxury of really getting down to business and choosing who among the present crop of counter-elites deserve a crack at the presidency. It's all simple really.