Byline: Benjamin E. Diokno
In her New Year's Message for 2009, Mrs. Arroyo wished for "peace, progress and prosperity for the people of the nation." In addition, she hoped that "the efforts we are making to eliminate poverty and to improve the lives of our people will continue to bear fruits and that these efforts will pave the way to the creation of a more prosperous Philippines."
Instead, Filipinos, as a nation and individually, suffered from the gruesome massacre of at least 57 people in Maguindanao, the destructive and killer typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, and are now facing the threat of a major volcano eruption. The Maguindanao massacre has diminished us all as a humane society.
The series of natural calamities has brought to the fore what's wrong with the current administration - its unpreparedness for nature's wrath, its misplaced priorities (high priority for highly visible, money-making projects, low …