Philippine Society. Politics. Rants. Critiques.

Gloria: "Goodbye Palace, Hello Pampanga"

| Wednesday, June 23, 2010

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, last night, finally gave a farewell speech. I was able to watch in on 24 Oras and boy, isn't she a cheerful lady!

She was all-smiles as she gave her five-minute speech last night. She confidently called on the nation to unite behind president-elect Benigno Aquino III. She said she made unpopular economic decisions but this resulted in continued economic growth throughout her nine years in office even when economic crises swept the globe.

Here's the transcript of her Farewell Speech last night: (Click here for the source).

My fellow Filipinos:

We come together tonight as we approach a hallmark of democracy for our great nation: the smooth transition of power to a new leader. We have just come through a historic election. It was open and it was modern. As a result, we were able to declare winners in hours and days rather than weeks and months.

The face of politics in our nation has changed forever. Tonight I once again congratulate president-elect Aquino and vice president-elect Binay.

Nine years ago I came to the presidency at the time of great turmoil in our nation. I accepted the challenge to the office when it was thrust upon me. At that time our country was reeling from political intrigue and a distressed economy we set to work to reform our economy and invest in our people. Along the way we had to make unpopular choices such as raising taxes but we did so against the odds for a very simply reason. We had to have new money for more and better health care, education, and job creation. We needed new and better roads, bridges, ports and a technology backbone to attract new businesses and investors to create new jobs. Through hard work, determination and a clear plan of action we helped achieve many of these objectives. As a result we have had 37 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth even against the head winds of a major global recession.

Look around you in our cities, as you drive by the office towers that have changed the skylines. Look around you in our provinces, as you drive around the roads, bridges, and Ro-Ro ports where we have made massive investments. This is the face of change. Eight-five percent of our people now have access to PhilHealth insurance. Over a hundred thousand new classrooms have been built and 9 million jobs have been created. We developed the call center industry almost from scratch. Today we have almost 500 thousand centers and BPO jobs when only 5 thousand existed when i took office yet these accomplishments are merely part of the continuum of history.

The gains I made were built on the efforts of previous leaders. Each successive government must build on the successes and progress of the previous one. Advance the programs that work, leave behind those that don’t. I feel confident that we are leaving this nation much stronger than when I came to office but I leave that for history to judge.

Tonight I call on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I am optimistic and I am hopeful about our future yet until every Filipino child is born to a family free of poverty. We cannot rest. We must always set our sights on the future, and keep an eye on improving our economy, investing in people and building bridges — not just bridges of iron and steel, but bridges between people, generations, and government. The bridges we must build to the future must rest on the hard work, grace and compassion of our people — the people of our nation, our greatest asset. You are the backbone that drives our nation forward everyday: from the fisherman to the farmer to the taxi driver and the teacher. We are a nation of industrious and hard working people. I thank each and everyone for your contribution to have the Philippines achieve our potential.

This time next week, I will be moving in a new phase in life, leading a quieter public role. We are all in a journey together as our nation moves forward. Let us all join hand in unity and walk confidently towards a better tomorrow. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for giving me the honor and privilege of serving you. Malaking karangalan ang makapaglingkod sa sambayanan bilang Pangulo sa inyong lahat na napagsilbihan ko sa mahirap ngunit makasaysayang landas. Maraming, maraming salamat.

To be safe, I guess, president-elect Aquino said to the media earlier this morning that he failed to watch President Arroyo's farewell speech. I found myself laughing.

After nine years of Arroyo presence in the Palace, what really has she given us? Well, there should be part-truths in the above statements she bragged last night but there are A LOT MORE scandals and controversies that marred her administration.

As contrast to her so-called achievements above, below are her Top 10 controversies:

10. Extra Judicial Killings (Jonas Burgos, Karen Empelio, Shirley Cadapan, etc.)

9. Juetengate (game kickbacks)

8. Nani Perez Power Plant Deal ($2 Million)

7. Jose Pidal Bank Account (Unexplained Wealth, P200 Million)

6. Millions of Bribe money to Congressmen and Governors in October 2007

5. Use of Road User's Tax for Campaigning

4. Billion Peso Macapagal Boulevard (Overprice of P532 Million)

3. Joc Joc Bolante Case (Fertilizer Scam, P728 Million)

2. Cheating in 2004 Elections ("Hello Garci")

1. NBN ZTE Scandal. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

But don't worry with the above controversies, she will never be tried anyway because of her parliamentary immunity. Just best of luck to you, Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo. I hope you will face those charges against you like a real woman. (I'm crossing my fingers that my countrymen would not be quick to forget your offenses).

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