By Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News | 07/26/2009 7:55 PM
NEW YORK – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to take center stage on Monday for her annual State of the Nation Address (SONA).
But unlike in previous years, expectations from Filipino Americans on what the chief executive will report to the public are higher since this will be her last after eight years in Malacañang.
Like Filipinos in the Philippines, Filipino-Americans in New York are also gearing up for the SONA.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-USA founding member Bernadette Ellorin said Mrs. Arroyo should stick with the truth when she describes the state of the nation.
“I think her speech will be full of lies as always and that she'll make herself look good in the SONA,” said Ellorin. “Economic growth doesn't mean GDP (gross domestic product) growth. It means if your people have a good standard of living and if they are eating.”
Ellorin said that the Philippines continues to reel from poverty and human rights violations.
“That's why Filipinos are leaving the country like us. We would like to live there but we can't because of necessity,” added Ellorin.
Lawyer Ferdinand Suba, who has been in the United States for more than 20 years, also expects the truth from Arroyo, especially on the nation’s economy.
“She should talk about her economic plans finishing her tenure how she plans to help the country in her last nine months,” noted Suba.
He said the President did have good intentions in her almost nine years in power. But corruption had made it difficult for her to govern properly.
“I think she wants to leave a good legacy. She will want history books to treat her kindly,” Suba added.
For Louise Valderrama, who just recently moved to New York, Arroyo’s address should be her swan song. And her final note should pave the way for a transition of power.
“New presidents usually start from zero, back to square. Gloria should prepare programs that the new president will continue,” remarked Valderrama.
All eyes will be on Arroyo on Monday in what is expected to be her last SONA, and Filipinos in New York are tuning in to see how their version of the nation’s state measures up to Arroyo’s. By Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News