Like a True Winner in Her Last SoNA
That's the number of times that audiences in the throng that crowded the immense session hall of the House of Representatives applauded President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her 55 minutes State of the Nation Address last Monday.
It was a joint session of Congress and the assemblage of lawmakers was joined by Cabinet Members and official guests, including those from the diplomatic corps, foreign and local business, government officials, and other personages.
From their responses to the President's presentation of her report, there was no room for doubt about the enthusiasm and interest of the audience in what she was saying.
Parenthetically, last Monday's SoNA was a day to remember in Philippine Congress history: It was the 72nd anniversary of the State of the Nation Address in the country having been delivered for the first time by President Manuel L. Quezon on June 16, 1936. The State-of-the-Nation Address which is a provision in the Philippine Constitution (Art. 7, Sec. 23) is a carry over from the United States Constitution when the country was under the US as a colony. Actually, it originated from the United Kingdom's "Speech from the Throne."
President Arroyo, sounding like a true winner in her style of leadership talked about the tough choices that had to be made, and she thanked God and the people for the right decision she had reached.
"My responsibility as President," she said, "is to take care to solve the problems we are facing now and to provide a vision and direction for how our nation should advance in the future."
She cited one by one what she considered her most significant successes during the year and in all of them the audience interacted with hearty cheers and acknowledgment.
It is in the midst of all these mutual exchanges and reciprocity between the President and her public that protest rallies in the streets and the hate messages by some sectors of society against Gloria Arroyo seemed swaggering and arrogant. …