Saturday, June 19, 2010

Beating the Odds -- a book about President GMA

It's rare that I ever blog about anything that has to do with politics. I avoid political topics like the plague for many reasons which I will not go into now.

Beating the Odds bookJust this morning, I learned about this book entitled Beating the Odds. It's about how Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo formulated policies, arrived at decisions, and took action during her tenure. I feel that a lot of the things she ended up doing had always been subject to controversy and so my curiosity was piqued.

I'm not exactly a fan of GMA, but I have to give her credit for being an intelligent and steel-willed president. She did not falter during EDSA III, the Oakwood Mutiny, impeachment attempts, and even during the Hello Garci scandal -- and that takes guts, balls, and what have you. A lesser man or woman would have crumbled.

Beating the Odds unveils how GMA tackled issues like terrorism. She enforced a no-ransom no-negotiation stand against terrorists and forged a ceasefire with the MILF back in 2003. Apparently, these are just some of the measures she employed in facilitating the Mindanao Peace Process.

Beating the Odds also reveals GMA's legacy as an economist, presiding over 34 quarters of continuous growth in the Philippine economy. Our national budget was in a dismal state when she took over, since she basically picked up where the plundering ex-President Estrada left off. The book shows us how GMA drastically cut the budget deficit and maintained stability throughout the global financial crunch of 2009.

What this book gives us is an insider's view, depicting top-level meetings, concensus taking and conflict-resolution points that marked policies and decisions. Though her methods are always questioned, it's really all about how GMA pushed the country forward in the way she believed was best.

Personally, I will remember GMA for two things:
  1. She revoked Finance Department Order 17-09 which imposes taxes on imported books.
  2. She had a US$20,000 dinner at Le Cirque in New York with her entourage. :p
I actually want to check out what this book has to say. Maybe it will help me understand the last nine years better. It will be available soon at National Bookstore, Powerbooks, and Fully Booked. I wonder how much it will cost? I'll update this post when I find out. :D
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