MANILA, OCTOBER 2, 2003  (MALAYA) THE current political uncertainties are said to be pulling down the economy. Perhaps. But it's hardly the end of the world. In fact, these uncertainties are the kind that should be welcome. They generate tensions, yes, but they also guarantee a catharsis that what this country needs to face the days ahead with a renewed social consensus.

It's the Arroyo administration which is peddling the line that these uncertainties are somehow unhealthy. Excuse us. First of all, it's Gloria Arroyo who is fanning these fears by keeping people guessing about her plans for May. She announces today that she is not running, a lot of the uncertainties will vanish into thin air.

Still she could keep everybody guessing about her political plans until the last day for the filing of candidacy for all we care. She wants to be left behind by the campaign train, that's hardly our problem.

To go back back to the uncertainties. We are talking here of the unpredictability and uncertainties of the 2004 elections. But that is the very reason we have elections, to give the people a chance to select a new set of leaders.

We want certainties in an election, then we might as well copy China's model. It's as predictable as the sun's rising in the east that the nominees of the Chinese communist party will emerge the winners.

The craving for certainty is probably imprinted in man. But life would be a dreary adventure indeed if the future is vouchsafed by Poincare's machine.

Could one imagine a more depressing prospect than the certainty of six more years of Gloria? Criminals on the loose. Grafters in the innermost sanctum of Malacaņang. Rebels of every stripe running rings around the military. Revenuers who cannot collect for the government. Acute shortages of doctors, nurses and teachers. And fast-deteriorating roads and bridges.

We have more confidence in the people than those Cassandras bewailing the uncertainties attendant to an election.

These uncertainties are a small enough price to pay for the gratification of kicking out the rascals come May 14.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved