The government has lost focus because of incessant political noise coming from opponents and destabilizers who harp on the same issues, yet the party in power is able to withstand what's thrown at it. No, we're not talking about Paul Martin's Liberals, but rather Gloria Arroyo and the government of the Philippines as described by ambassador-designate JosÃ© Brillantes (second right) at a luncheon discussion hosted by Alicia Natividad (second left) from the Canada Philippines Business Council, at the Economic Development Centre on Nov. 9. Mr. Brillantes was responding to a question following presentations by his Canadian counterpart Peter Sutherland (far left) and EDC's Marvin Hough (far right) on the political and economic climate in the Philippines, and the investment opportunities available for Canadian firms in the South East Asian region. Mr. Sutherland noted that politics and economics are inextricably linked, and that the recent scandals surrounding Ms. Arroyo have been reflected in the economy, though at the moment things are looking up. Mr. Sutherland also mentioned that Ms. Arroyo is looking into changing the government system to a more federal model which not only gives the provinces more autonomy while being part of a greater unit and gives the citizens the power to overthrow the ruling party through confidence votes. Sound familiar?