Will 2013 usher in some pleasant improvements for the Philippines, or will it be just a repeat of 2010, 2011 and 2012?
The past three years have been about economic gains, some of which can be traced to the previous administration’s initiatives—not new growth, just a continuation from the past.
In 2012, the Aquino administration saw itself saddled with problems. The Bureau of Corrections had problems keeping prisoners in jail and grenades out. The Bureau of Immigration allowed wanted criminals to leave the country with false identities. The same age-old issues bedeviled Customs.
Until now, unemployment is still ridiculously high; so is malnutrition among children, not to mention poverty. Human rights and extrajudicial killings go on unabated, according to the United Nations. The Philippine dispute with China is heating up instead of cooling down. More natural disasters are ravaging the country and claiming more victims and damaging more properties, even as the response of the Philippine government remains poor. Senators are bickering with each other and the executive branch washes its hands.
We did see, however, that President Aquino is fairly consistent in his phony fight against corruption. He again managed to keep Gloria Arroyo in jail during the holidays and was able to go after members of her administration with the pointless impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
I say pointless, because other than President Aquino wanting it, there was no real imperative reason for Corona to be impeached. Put it this way: If Corona was guilty of anything, then the majority of the senators who voted for his impeachment would be guilty of the same offense.
I say a phony fight against corruption, because while we have seen Arroyo and Corona pilloried in public for alleged corruption, the likes of Rico Puno, Ronald Llamas and Grace Padaca continue to frolic around Malacañang, that is, if they do not get a lucrative appointment.
If I have to guess what 2013 will bring, based on what we saw in the last three years up to this day, I’d have to say: “Same ole’, same ole’ all of the above.”