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Column by Lito Banayo
Ang Pahayagang Malaya

Ayan na. Kahit gaano kalaki at kakintab ang tarpaulin, kahit gaano karami ang nakakalat nito sa Metro, imbyerna pa rin ang mga tao. Tama si National Artist for Literature and Theater Rolando S. Tinio: "Hindi naman talaga tanga ang mga mahihirap. Naghihintay lang sila ng tamang panahon para rumesbak." At eto na nga ang resbak: - 38 percent sa SWS survey, the lowest of the lowest of the lowest, since the time of Herr Ferdinand Marcos.

And wait, just you wait, for the full fury of the people's anger when the 2010 elections come. And then you will see how pure, how magnificent, the people's anger would be! -- Danton


Doña Gloria's net satisfaction rating dives to negative 38, and the indictment cuts through all regions, all ages, all social strata. Nothing she does ever seems to be right by her people.

Her imperious executive secretary says it's not the surveys, but the people who should judge his president. The poor who are benefitting from her subsidies should be the ones to judge her, Eduardo Ermita says.

When she was running in the 2004 elections, surveys that showed a neck-to-neck race between her and FPJ were bible truth to Malacañang. When the same surveys showed at the tail-end of the campaign that their Boss Woman had overtaken the movie king, they were ululating with joy. "Happy times are here to go on and on and on," they chorused among themselves. The surveys had given perfect cover for what the shadows at the Comelec headed by Virgilio Garcillano and Roque Bello, with the imprimatur of Ben Abalos, were about to commit.

Before, surveys were the perfect gauge of vox populi. Now Eduardo Ermita seeks in vain for another vox populi. Tell you what, Mr. Ermita - try manufacturing hao shiao surveys. With your money, you could even put up some. But who will you fool but yourselves?

Rep. Joseph Santiago of the lone district of Catanduanes wants Sulpicio Lines, and all other shipping companies that ferry more than a hundred passengers in their vessels, to seek a franchise from Congress before they can operate.

As if a franchise would prevent sea accidents and disasters.

All it will make certain is that legislators, especially those in the committee on franchises, will laugh all the way to the bank.

What the Malacañang boys cannot seem to accept is that their boss woman's dissatisfaction rating has gone down to 56 even in the Visayas. "The heartland is lost?" Cerge Remonde of Cebu asks in anguish. This Wednesday, his Doña will go to her political heartland, and will try to woo the Cebuanos back to the fold. Of course Gwen and Tommy and maybe even some clerics will be there to assist, but whether in Bantayan to its north or Oslob in the south, or Pardo and Tabunok in the city, the question that persists is "nganong gigutom na kita?"

Neither Gwen nor Tommy, nor Raul or Eddie Gul, not even Pabling Garcia, can give the right answers. Unsa'y ilang itubag? "Mag-antos lang kamo ug dyutay, kay nagpalambo na ang atong ekonomiya kang GMA?"

He, he, he. Wala mo kuyapi?

As Erap keeps saying, "hungry stomach knows no law".

As an economist, the Doña must know that an extremely huge population would be a drag on the economy's ability to grow and develop, and to distribute properly the fruits of any growth. That's in the Economics 102 course.

But the economist in her yields to the politics of appeasing the princes of the Roman Catholic Church, who, whether they themselves believe in their heart of hearts the logic or reason of the Vatican position on population planning, simply have to obey. It is a question of dogma, and the Pope is infallible when he speaks of faith and morals. Before this latest konfrontasi, she was throwing the matter of population management to the discretion of local government units. So Pangasinan under Vic Agbayani and Butuan City under Boy Daku Plaza made strides in lowering the growth rate in their constituencies. But in Lito Atienza's Manila, condoms and pills were verboten for a straight nine years. Go to Parola and Isla Puting Bato and see the results of Atienza's policy of the more the merrier.

Sa madaling salita, para kay Donya Gloria, basta't hindi siya ang gumagawa, at hindi siya ang tinatamaan, okay lang ang population control. But now that the bishops are putting the squeeze, and they are propping up her wobbly control over the State, she kow-tows.

What a hypocrite.

Thus does FVR twit her lack of political will. "She is the president of all Filipinos, not only the Catholics," FVR reminds her.

It's not a question of political will, Mr. President. It's a lack of any sincerity on anything.

Ang tagal mo namang magi-sing, sir!

This bigot from Ozamis, Bishop Jesus Dosado, threatens denial of the sacred host to those who push what his Church keeps deliberately mislabelling as an "abortion" bill.

I wonder, at the height of the Kuratong Baleleng depredations, did the Ozamis bishop deny communion to the well-known Baleleng masters who controlled then, and control even now, the underground economy of his diocese? Or perhaps they contributed generously to the diocese? Robin Hood kasi ang papel nila, di ba, Señor Obispo? Just like the Pinedas of Lubao, di ba, Bishop Paciano Aniceto?

And may I pray ask, if denial of the sacred host is to be made against legislators pushing for sane population management, how about denying the host to unrepentant and hopelessly irredeemable crooks and plunderers in government? That, as a Roman Catholic, I would wholeheartedly applaud.


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