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Sen. Sergio R. Osmeña III recently called President Aquino an “awful manager.” Judging from the seemingly “awful” performance of some of P-Noy’s Cabinet appointees, Senator Osmeña appears to have hit the nail right on the head. Reading all the recent news about the “awful” outlook on electricity supply, persistent rice smuggling, increasing unemployment and the latest bombshell—the dismal operations of the MRT—you can’t help but shake your head and ponder the senator’s statement.
Not much good news has come out of late on the Aquino administration’s Public-Private Partnership program. This flagship investment program has been lurching from one delay to the next—truly disappointing, with just a little more than two years left in the administration. But to be fair, the Philippines’ record in privatizing vital projects since the 1980s has been marred by contract disputes, court litigations and flip-flopping regulations that serve to discourage foreign investments.
We respect the views of Sen. Sergio R. Osmeña III on the recent developments in the energy sector ( “Aquino a poor manager—Serge,” Front Page, 3/14/14). Rest assured, the Aquino administration takes cognizance of the urgency of the situation.
Half a year after the rogue Nur Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front began what is now commonly referred to as the three-week-long “siege of Zamboanga,” the list of casualties from that crisis continues to lengthen.
If there’s one thing that the Aquino administration can be proud of, it’s the remarkable economic growth of 7.2 percent and 6.8 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively. But if there’s one thing that should keep it from bragging, it’s the fact that this prosperity has yet to be felt by those who need it most.
When Senator Benigno Aquino III was campaigning for president in 2010, voters welcomed and embraced his slogan of “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” on the “Daang Matuwid,” in full expectation that, at last, the country would be freed from the bondage of corruption and poverty.
By Walden Bello
The Aquino administration has very good press these days—outside the country. In two major international publications, the Philippines under President Aquino has been the toast and talk of the town. In early February, Keith Bradsher recently gave a heads up in a much-read New York Times piece where he wrote: “Political analysts say that his administration has fought and reduced the corruption that played a role in holding the Philippines back. In one practical measure of that change, the country has been able to pave more roads per 100 million pesos in spending (about $2.2 million) than before — when funds were lost to corrupt officials and incompetence — finally addressing an impediment to commerce.”
So here we are again: About to start the summer season, with the prospect of a power shortage to add to the heat.
Constitutionalism is taking a severe beating under the Aquino administration.
The US State Department report on the human rights abuses in the Philippines is hypocritical because the United States is equally responsible for the abuses through military aid, deployment of troops and a counterinsurgency blueprint that is anchored on the Aquino administration’s Oplan Bayanihan.
I assume Filipinos have adjusted to the horrible traffic that the “road link” construction is causing. But then again that’s what Filipinos do best and do often: adjusting to the difficulties that their government imposes on them.
I just want to quickly point out more promises where President Benigno Aquino III and Malacañang have fallen short.