And they used to call her the "Lame Duck President". Former President Gloria Arroyo seems to be stepping up in the way only a seasoned high-level government officer could as she "moved to calm tensions between the Chinese government and the Philippines over Monday’s hostage incident which killed 8 Hong Kong tourists".
President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, meanwhile, whose first State of the Nation Address (SONA) consisted mostly of a badmouthing of Arroyo, continues to buckle under the glare of a harsh global spotlight. He may not only be in a race against rapidly eroding political and diplomatic capital, he may also be in a race against his own personal fortitude. For while Arroyo endured and even stood tall in the face of the "Lame Duck" label slapped onto her by the Media for no less than six years, Aquino has no similar demonstrated ability to exhibit such stolidity under overwhelming hostility. Furthermore, while pressure on Arroyo during her rule as President came primarily from within the country, Noynoy now endures international criticism.
The one good thing that may come out of this is that the on-going "investigations" are in principle answerable to the government of the People's Republic of China and to a lesser extent the Canadian and British governments, both of which also had citizen victims of this wholesale showcase of incompetence. Compare that to past "investigations" and "inquiries" conducted by a who's who of Congressional "committees", law enforcement agencies, and various guises of so-called "truth" commissions and other ad hoc bodies. Whereas previous ones were answerable to "the Filipino people" and consequently did not get anywhere nor decisively resolved, the investigators of the systemic dysfunction that resulted in the deaths of eight foreign tourists now answer to foreign powers.
As quite widely recognised by now, Filipinos are at their best when answerable to foreign powers.
Quite a bunch of big fish we see caught in this accountability dragnet -- the office of the Chief Executive, the National Police, and the entire broadcast media industry is on trial. And best of all, the jury and judges are not "the Filipino people", but people who have unmatched thousand-year track records of expecting results.