24 July 2006
MIRIAM AFTER SONA
Santiago said that the president took her audience “on a virtual tour of the future” in terms of large-scale infrastructure projects in the so-called super regions of the country.
“What saved the speech from becoming a kilometric wish list were the passing pronouncements of President Arroyo that: she is leaving the presidency in 2010; that she expects the Constitution to be amended to provide for a federal form of government; and that she favors the liberalization of the investment climate for global competition,” Santiago said.
Santiago said that in refusing to dwell on impeachment and other threats by her critics, President Arroyo was showing the commendable attitude of “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
“President Arroyo is usually didactic, but this time she was particularly inspired. She was in and out of the session hall on a wave of high-pitched enthusiasm among her audience,” the senator said.
The senator said that President Arroyo showed a “consummate grasp” of local politics and politicians by singling out mayors, governors, and generals in the audience and mentioning their infrastructure projects.
“All politics is local, and President Arroyo has mastered local politics. In that field she is invincible and her tenure is assured,” Santiago said.
Sen. Santiago said that the first thing she will do, as Senate energy committee chair, to help implement the president’s super region project, is to steer the Biofuels Act through the period of amendments, for which it is scheduled on the Senate floor.