FVR: BUSINESS BEST BEST

This country could no longer afford a stranded economy. Five more years or we crumble from the sheer weight of poverty or we implode from the misdirected infightings of the subsidized institutions.

The various power centres are simply running amuck. Listening from Nene Pimentel’s acid rants one could hear the self righteousness of thousand others who wanted to be President. Nene betrays his bitterness on despite his legendary valiant opposition to martial law, he never ensnared the people’s imagination as a potential leader. He lost miserably to Erap in his quest for the Vice Presidency in 1992.

Gringo Honasan has another story to tell. This notorious Kuyang is nowhere to be found. Nothing is heard from him whether he is at this time trying to be relevant. JPE, the Filipino Aaron Burr bristles at the posturing of FVR: “Let him mount a revolution, so what? Let him be.” Naiinggit. No one notices him anymore.

Noli de Castro is the anxious man-in-waiting. His pa-coy psychology is amply read by GMA as she was in the same position in Erap’s time in 2000. Noli’s statements were within earshot of his benefactor. But he prays hard to his patron, Quaipo’s Black Nazarene, that come hell or high water, the masa of Erap switches its awe at him. He hews within the time tested Cinderella story, this time expecting a different denouement.

Erap has lost his ASIM. Anxious sequestered and imprisoned messiah.

May asim pa ba si Erap? While he never lost an election, a mean feat in Philippine politics, Erap is now a spent force. The election of his wife and son to the Senate was nothing but a sympathy vote that would soon be withdrawn given their lacklustre performance. Local leaders like Mayors Binay and Tiangco gravitate towards Erap as a nurturing to their masa constituencies. Sayang din ang make or break 50,000 votes.

The showbiz couples: Mar Roxas and Corina Sanchez, Kiko Pangilinan and Sharon Cuneta, and Ralph Recto and Vilma Santos are all waiting for normal times. Their dreams of being Pesident and First Lady are best assured by the status quo. They don’t want the fever develops into convulsion, or they lose the opportunity of a lifetime.

Come 2010, the match makers are now busy juxtaposing the best combinations of these blockbusters: Mar-Kiko or Manny Villar-Ralph. This election contest is the mother of all show biz elections that we precisely want to avoid thru the switch from presidential to parliamentary. But just like the glitter of Erap and the dazzle of the much vaunted brains-pedigree-training of GMA, this country remains stuck. Thus, to the dream teams in 2010, “diyan muna kayo sa parking lot!”

There is something in FVR that fascinates the silent majority. He has that what the Romans call suavetir in modo, fortiter in re.

Ramos is the best gentle mechanic so far in these parts. He has the tools and the fortitude to overhaul the engine of this sputtering nation. Cromwells spring in chaos. Enough of the teka-teka.

We have seen the mantra of Ferdinand Marcos in 1969 when he fought Sergio Osmena Jr. for the presidency. At that historical blip, Marcos knew he was it. He was his generation’s Salvador del Mundo. Osmena never stood a chance. Marcos peppered the islands with arresting billboards (he was clearly ahead of his time) hammering “Marcos means jobs; more roads; economic development; justice; etc.” buying his re-election ala GMA. She was not the first.

After the first ever re-election of a sitting president, Marcos harnessed the expertise of Tony Crisol in creating synthetic national anarchy. One character in that charade and self-confessed at that, which leaves him speechless once reminded (one aide was heard saying, “nagsisisi si Manong kung bakit siya nakapangumpisal. Para siyang naguyo.” Another aide retorted, “naduwag kasi, alam na tutuhugin na siya ni Ver and Makoy”), was Juan Ponce Enrile.

Marcos, the genius that he was, was ready with the pills. One of them was the 1973 Constitution with Amendment No. 6. Marcos was a great believer of Charles de Gaulle. He fancied himself as the War World II warrior destined to be president. But his credentials were suspect. He worked himself thru his life long ambition: the Presidency. But far from being a galvanizing leader, history told us otherwise: his was unmatched in larceny.

Fast forward to 2006

What is happening to us presently is a matter of national pride. All our neighbours have galloped in unimaginable distances. A great number of our people are everywhere as virtual slaves of ordinary wage earners. With the domino theory demolished, we are no longer the fair haired ally of the United States. With globalization and the establishment of the international trade groups, we must compete in the world market. Luckily we have the resources. Our untapped national patrimony if appraised (and developed) would amount to billions of dollars enough to tide us over in the next decades. It might even be the tipping point of our elevated economic position in the Asian region.

Unfortunately, we are fettered to our juvenile subsidized political leaders engaged in pointless nursery rhymes. Bistado na si Erap and GMA.

These leaders are the “pabarya-barya” types. Erap, his jueteng payolas. GMA, her fixers’ access fees amounting to a couple of million dollars. (One story flies about the US$20M acceptance fee being collected by a known GMA consigliere to fix one multi-million dollar project in Malacanang and all the way to the Supreme Court).

One good governance after another is being slaughtered. “Bahala na yong susunod”. Political incumbency is one great picnic.

But Ramos is tugged by his conscience. Something has to be done, or we burn at both ends. We have wayward annual deficits. Our creditors won’t entertain us anymore to fill-up our projection income gaps. Or our indebtedness balloons.

GMA and her minions are no longer at par with expectations. While her less than noble vote shaving to nip FPJ in his tracks (and save us another nightmare of an Erap part 2) was the patriotic thing to do, our collective national demons however ask her that as our President she should possess the virtues of a saint. And so we run and run in circles, asking the heavens for deliverance.

Ramos is it.

We need Ramos to do what should be done within this historical blip, or we say goodbye to all our democratic institutions. He should devote his remaining life span to building his political architectural vision of this country.  Return to power he must ala Charles de Gaulle or he gets adverse judgment of history and forever labelled as just another Renato de Villa. Once he gets hold of power, his statecraft would be along the patterns of a Dr. Mahathir or a Lee Kuan Yew, relinquishing power only when the landscape permits it or when we are finally freed from the andador. Will there be another people power against FVR’s incursion? The elite and the middle class would just shrug their shoulders and say, “buti nga sa inyo (meaning GMA and the opposition). Magulo kasi kayo.” How about the masa? That’s the reason why there was Tito Sotto in the Urban Building meeting with Frank Drilon. A fair warning has been made, “don’t you ever unleash the hakot crowd or you get arrested under a new 1081.” Will there be sympathy in the ensuing arrests of key opposition figures? None. They are nothing but the delegencia breeds, paling in Ninoy’s, Diokno’s, Soc’s, model. Sooner or later, they go knocking FVR’s doors for reconciliation.

Under FVR’s helm (or dictatorship), he should fashion laws that would remould the runaway attitude of the Filipino. We need a seminar in Good Manners and Right Conduct and Ramos is the ideal teacher (we accepted the color-coding and Subic traffic rules, right?) The Filipino must be made aware that power (or privileges or rights under the Bill of Rights) is not for his personal benefit but for sunnum bonum. Election and membership in a political party are sacred.

FVR is the best bet for business and therefore the economy. He has the track record. Doubtless (no matter what his detractors say), his incumbency marked the beginning of political stability. Sabre rattling by the martial macho men went kaput. Rabble rousing by empty headed politicos became consensus building. These vociferous sectors were transformed by Ramos overnight as samurais looking for a Shogun.

His track record

Once cleared of debris, Ramos donned his folded sleeves which marked as the symbol of a hands-on manager. Real estate development and robust financial environment were the order of the day. This, coupled by strong overseas workers remittances strengthened the peso and the annual GDP growths were remarkable. Employment increased in geometric proportions. The power shortage was solved with power plants (and parallel infrastructures) mushrooming all over the country, with Quezon Province getting two of them. In Pagbilao, where he inaugurated the now profitable Mirant Power, Ramos was heard saying, “Let’s convert Metro-Manila as a museum, Pagbilao is the new economic corridor!”

In 1996 the legendary Gordon Wu and the slip form engineering expert Stewart Elliot of Hopewell Holdings were in town to personally sign the preliminary contracts (memorandum of understanding) in the construction of the South Luzon Expressway Extension all the way from Calamba to Pagbilao. CALABARZON local officials, the Cabinet, and executives of the Philippine National Construction Corporation were on hand in the signing. It was no doubt a flagship project of FVR.

The building of the expressways spells the make or break of South Luzon. It was the tip of FVR’s national development package.

From Guangdong with love.

Experience has taught them that this was so from the lessons of Guangdong, a China province north of Hong Kong. Guangdong is connected to Shenzhen and Hong Kong by a colossally broad highway built by the tandem of Wu and Elliot. They put up gigantic coal-fired power plants in Guangdong stimulating unprecedented development there. From the dusty countryside of Guangdong rose the magnificent cities of Guangzhou, Maoming, Mexian, Shenzhen, Shaoguan, Yangjiang and Zhanjiang that forever altered their skylines. Guangzhou is the main communication centre of Guangdong with generous amount of railways, highways, bridges, multi levels of flyovers and labyrinth of waterways. The transport conditions in Guangdong Province are of international standard. So far, the water transportation has been playing a very important role in its relentless development. The ocean shops go from Guangzhou or Zhanjiang to South East Asia, Africa, Europe and America, and more than 40 ports in Shanghai, Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Nantong, Ningbo, Yantai, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Wenzhou, Beihai. Guangdong is also one of the provinces in China where the highways have been developed into the networks all over the province. And there are four railways: Beijiang to Guangzhou, Guangzhou to Jiulong, and Guangzhou to Maoming and Litang to Zhanjiang. The air transport services are developing rapidly. Besides an airport in Guangzhou, there are some other airports in Zhanjing, Shantou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Foshan, Huizhou, Wuhua, Meixian, and Yangjiang which connect with all the large cities in China. There are more than 10 international airlines.

In just a little over a decade, Guangdong as an autonomous region like Guangxi is now an equally proud Asian destination within the league of Singapore and Hong Kong.

It could have been the Philippines.

With Ramos, he should streamline the exploitation of our mineral resources. This industry should never be left with the fast buck amateurs. China and India have scooped all our metal scraps above-ground. What remain are the underwater iron detritus ready for salvage, and of course, the underground mineral resources.

Let not our customers ignore us in favour of our neighbours Indonesia, Burma, and Malaysia for their mineral requirements.

With FVR we are open for business.

 

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