In his Inquirer column, Amando Doronila argues that US President-elect Barack Obama is “no friend to the Philippines” because Obama snubbed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s congratulatory call.
Amando Doronila is wrong. Since when did we equate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with the Philippines? Certainly, Gloria as an unpopular leader comes strong in Barack Obama’s radar. Joc Joc Bolante’s trial in Chicago, put in spotlight by very vocal anti-Gloria protesters outside the courthouse, was too scandalous to escape Obama’s attention. Even US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is no fan of the sitting Philippine leader. Gloria’s misconducts are also all over the Web.
If at all, Obama is showing remarkable sensitivity to the feelings of majority of Filipinos who will be outraged if they see the transformational president chummy-chummy with a woman of strong faith who, the world perceives, institutionalized graft and corruption in a third world country to perpetuate her abusive, repressive regime.
Bad signs for Gloria. Three snubs in a row is outside the margin of error. Obama appears to have lumped her together with the leaders of Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan, who Obama plans to take on (reading his Berlin speech between the lines) and whose congratulatory calls Obama will probably not promptly return.
There is silver lining for Gloria, though. Bill Clinton is her college classmate, and Hillary may just become the US Secretary of State.
Still, a multitude silently waits here now and ready to erupt into cheers if only the “cut and cut cleanly” one-liner gets delivered Obama style— so hope and change would come to the Philippines too.