In defense of PGMA

At a recent dinner, I had the serendipity to be seated directly across a powerful lady long considered a force in the Filipino business community, and she, of all people, had wonderful things to say about the president and the economic state of the nation…

“Tell me what’s happening now.  Are you pro- or anti- GMA?”

“You can’t brand me as pro-GMA.  We’re both strong women and we’ve had ‘run-ins.’  I’m ‘mataray’ and she’s ‘mataray.’  We had a shouting match in the chapel at Saint Luke’s [ Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City ] when Mike was really sick.  But credit must be given where it is due.  In this case, to her.”  she qualified.

“Do you honestly think that we could be here partying if everything had fallen apart economically???  Do you know anyone here who really got affected badly?  You… were you badly affected?  No!  See what I mean?”  she asked.

“Not seriously, Thank God.  But we’re OK now.  Could be worse, you know.”  I replied.

She nodded in agreement.  “That’s because the economic buffers are in place.  That’s why we haven’t fallen apart.  She really knows her economics.”

“That’s her advantage over Erap.  Her expertise on economics.  Erap is an expert on every other thing — wine, women, and song — but economics.”  I recalled.

“If we go technical, I can tell you the figures of our current [ economic ] state… They’re actually good.”  she suggested.

“Oh please, spare me the figures!”  I mock-pleaded.

She declared:  “She’s the only president who has managed to make payments on our foreign debts.  The only one!!!  I talked to Say [ Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco ]… ‘Where exactly are we???’  And he said:  ‘We’re out of IMF.'” [ IMF – International Monetary Fund ].

“We’re out of IMF???!!!”  I asked, incredulous.  Unbelievable because new loans from IMF were daily breakfast fare during the Marcos era.

She continued:  “Say said:  ‘Look, I’ve announced it several times already, but nobody’s paid attention!’ ”

“Infrastructure is all over the place.  Roads, bridges, the works!  I talked with Alfred [ Alfredo Romualdez Jr. ] and he said roads and bridges are coming up all over the Visayas.  The action is outside Manila.  One has to see it to believe it!”  she explained excitedly.

“What about the supposed 40 % payment one has to make at the Malacanang palace for a deal to be approved?”  I inquired audaciously.

“Not true!  If you know Mike [ First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo ] as well and as long as I have, you know he’s not capable of it.  Too much of a gentleman.”

“What about the vicious rumor going around chichi social circles during the First Gentleman’s hospitalization:  that the President had spent much time in the Saint Luke’s presidential suite with her laptop recording the trail of USD $$$ and EE Euro placements remembered and dictated by her ailing husband, lest he die and the whereabouts of all that money be lost?”  I asked, curious about her version of the story, of which she had none.

“Not true!  He was really sick and she was really worried.”

“And what about the supposed 70 % cut of the Arroyos in the settlement of the Marcos USD $$$ and EE placements and properties?”  I naughtily asked.

“Not true!  Do you think they would agree?  Do you think Greggy would agree?  No way.  Not Greggy.”



  1. larry leviste said,

    August 27, 2009 at 10:16 am

    IT’S THE OFW billions that are HOLDING UP our economy. Period.

    GMA and FG SIMPLY SKIM from that. BIG TIME

  2. chuchucaracas said,

    August 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    i would agree that she knows her economics which did helped us through the so-called recession of the americans. but moving forward, i’m more afraid of who’s going to replace her…

  3. Jules said,

    August 21, 2009 at 3:51 am

    for markymark:

    not to mention too
    the scheming of Cory+ man,
    JCB’s scheming
    especially the pigeon-hole Makati estates,
    that for each approved building permits
    he gets his (chunky) slice of cake


  4. linksys said,

    August 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    you drank the kool-aid!!

  5. kurdapya said,

    August 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    LOL….. yeah she is so sophisticated in plundering the coffers of the government. Theirs is a conjugal kleptocracy…. hmmm isn’t that what they call the apo’s and madam’s rule??

  6. markymark said,

    August 18, 2009 at 3:31 am

    FG “too much of a gentleman”? He’s taken corruption to a whole new level! I should know, my dad-in-law is a government contractor. FG is corrupt as corrupt can be… sorry.

  7. issima said,

    August 17, 2009 at 10:20 am

    HAH???!!! A call for “basics,” “sacrifice,” “moral resources,” “tighten belts”???

    Look who’s talking!!!

  8. August 17, 2009 at 9:45 am

  9. August 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Actual Gloria Arroyo’s calls for Filipinos to adopt austere and frugal lifestyles:

    * “I ask our people to spend on the basics first before the luxuries so our children will have enough to eat.” Gloria Arroyo

    * “This is a moment of sacrifice as it is a moment of truth, when we have to come to terms with the past and present and decide to win back national stability and survival over the long term.I ask our leaders in government and the private sector to find in themselves the moral resources to set the example and take this fight to the finish.” Gloria Arroyo

    * “In these challenging economic times, we must tighten our belts and live within our means At the national level, we have taken the necessary steps and these measures can be replicated by the provincial and local governments.”Gloria Arroyo

  10. Myles Garcia said,

    August 17, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Methinks GMA’s expertise is too sophisticated and is not fully recognized and unappreciated by many Filipinos, educated or otherwise. Other scheming, ultra-ambitious parties will sharpen their claws and axes to tear her down. Madame President, your people will be an ungrateful one you’ll see.

  11. larry leviste said,

    August 17, 2009 at 1:32 am


    Why are you the eternal WHIPPING BOY ?

  12. August 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm


    I transferred your interesting comment to the blog post “Quadruple Bypass” where it belongs.

    Thank you!

    Toto Gonzalez

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