Gloria in Extremis

Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

New accusations of corruption have been leveled against the administration of President Arroyo, flanked here by former leader Fidel Ramos, left, and her National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, right

Less than a week after a massive explosion in a central Manila mall killed 11 people and injured more than 100, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went shopping. A delivery truck, its front end sheared off by the blast, still sat outside. Inside, a primly dressed Arroyo bought shoes, then toured the complex with a group of reporters. "See?" she told the crowd. "It's business as usual."

Nothing is usual in the Philippines these days. On the face of things, the country is doing well enough. After decades of uneven growth, the economy finally...

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