It’s that time of the year again when we review the year just passed and look ahead to the next one. I haven’t gotten to the reviewing part yet. Looking back on the frenzy that was 2009 is still a little bit like trying to figure out what happened during an eight-day Ibogaine bender; it will become clear, in bits and pieces, over the next week or so. In the meantime, here’s ten prophecies to file away and pull out later in lieu of having me say “I told you so”:
1. Noynoy Aquino will win a controversial victory in the 2010 Presidential Election.
The poll automation will not go well and will result in irregularities in many areas, and outright failure in some. This is not because there is anything wrong with the system, but because many people have a strong interest in seeing it fail, and will do what they can to encourage problems. Most (but by no means all) of these damaging interests are Aquino backers. Manchurian Candidate that he is, Aquino himself will not be responsible for these troubles, and will most likely be unaware of them – which will leave him in the unenviable position of either remaining silent on the issue and appearing to condone the fraud, or openly questioning the validity of his own election. Of course, the former course will be the lesser of two evils, and that is the one which the power elite controlling him will direct him to take, since they are confident in their belief (confidence which, at this point anyway, is entirely justified) in keeping a handle on things. Unfortunately for Aquino, it will instantly reveal much of his “clean” mystique for the bogus P.R. it has been all along, and cast a pall over his presidency from the outset.
2. The capricious decisions of the COMELEC in disqualifying political parties and legitimate candidates before the elections will bury the agency for years to come under a tidal wave of election protests.
This doesn’t strike me as a particularly bold prediction, but COMELEC’s actions in disqualifying parties like Ang Ladlad and candidates like Nick Perlas and Danton Remoto have gone beyond all reason, and have been an arrogant slap in the face of the democratic proposition that the people, not some appointed bunch of idiots, should be the arbiters of who is or is not a legitimate contestant in an election.
3. The precedent set by the Supreme Court by its bizarre reversal of its own ruling on the cityhood question will resurrect dozens of old and supposedly resolved political cases, with deep implications for the country.
Key among these will be the 1997 PIRMA ruling, which prevented a lifting of the constitutional ban on presidential re-election; a reversal of this will be hotly pursued by the Lopez-led power axis behind the Aquino presidency. Noynoy Aquino will, for the first time, begin hearing himself compared to Gloria Arroyo.
4. Korina Sanchez will get pissed off and jump ship from ABS-CBN when it finally dawns on her that nobody has any intention of letting hubby Mar Roxas do a damned thing as Vice President, a la Doy Laurel.
She will become a fixture on GMA, as the bitter media voice of opposition to the Aquino administration. Mar, for his part, will not be able to give much attention to this tricky situation, since he will be busy for at least the first couple years of his term dealing with election protests from Loren Legarda, and possibly also Edu Manzano.
5. There will be no substantial peace talks with the representatives of the Bangsamoro, and unrest in Mindanao will increase.
It’s a foregone conclusion that peace in Mindanao is not in the best interests of the new Kamag-Anak, and since the candidate himself has expressed no particular feelings on the issue – in fact, has not indicated that he actually has much awareness or understanding of it at all – expect exactly zero to be done to move the country toward resolving the long-standing conflict.
6. An initiative for Charter Change will be started in the House of Representatives.
The bugaboo that the anti-GMA people all fear will indeed raise its head, but this should come as no surprise to anyone. The Charter Change issue has been raised umpteen times already, and would be regardless of whether GMA was in Congress or not (she will be). It’s an annual event. But of course it will not accomplish anything more than the others before it have, namely, only tying up the entire Legislature in meaningless wrangling while other important business is unattended.
7. There will be at least two destructive typhoons that will cause destruction and human loss on the same scale as Ondoy and Pepeng somewhere in the country in the coming year.
I would consider it lucky if it’s only two. And if the storms do not hit the Manila or central Luzon area, since they will still be trying to figure out how to clean up from the 2009 storms by the time the next ones arrive.
8. The Senate will busy itself with “investigations in aid of legislation” of at least three celebrity-related scandals.
No relevant legislation will be forthcoming.
9. Manny Pacquiao will beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr. like an unproductive hooker, and will win at least one other fight.
There will be controversy concerning the performance of the “Lupang Hinirang” each time.
10. 2,000 people will still leave the country for greener pastures every day, just as they always have.
Only this year, a significant proportion of those will be foreign residents who have lived here for a number of years and will finally say to hell with it. There is only so much misery and moral wrong a person can face before the nice weather and cheap rent becomes a poor return on the emotional investment. This will, however, only be an indication and not the cause of the evaporation of FDI in the coming year.
Naturally, I wouldn’t mind at all if I was wrong about any or all of these things, but certain signs are hard to ignore. We’ll see what happens.
Happy holidays, everyone. Enjoy them while you can.