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By Manuel Almario
Last week the Inquirer headlined its main story as follows: “P-Noy: What went wrong?” The headline depicted the President’s exasperation and puzzlement, if not shock, over a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations showing that the unemployment rate among Filipino adults soared to 27.5 percent in 2013.
This is in reaction to the Inquirer editorial of Jan. 27, “Did P-Noy meddle?” An impeachment is a national inquest that cannot exclude anyone like the president, our No. 1 political animal.
By Conrado de Quiros
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The year began benignly enough, looking to controvert the reputation of “13” as an unlucky number. In February, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself changed her tune and grudgingly gave P-Noy high marks for economic performance. Since the latter half of 2012, the country had been posting record rates of growth.
There should be a total revamp of the Cabinet before 2014. President Aquino should appoint fresh faces as his alter egos in the Cabinet in the last two years of his term.
By Peter Wallace
Last week I discussed the negatives that happened in 2013 and during the early years of the Aquino administration, negatives that can be corrected for the remainder of President Aquino’s term—if the recognition that they exist is there.
I don’t think it was necessary for President Aquino to attend the funeral of the great African leader, Nelson Mandela, in order to honor him. Had he flown to Johannesburg, South Africa, despite all the gargantuan problems preoccupying him at home (foremost of which is the rehabilitation of vast areas and population centers ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda”) his perennial critics most likely would have turned the tables on him and assailed him for being “cold-hearted” and “manifestly irresponsible.”
By Oscar Franklin Tan
When President Benigno Aquino delivered his televised address on the pork barrel last Oct. 30, he probably hoped to channel US President Barack Obama’s “change is coming” speech. He fell frustratingly flat, instead recalling former President George W. Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us.”
Malacañang has only itself to blame for the massive flap it found itself in after fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles was allowed to surrender to President Benigno Aquino himself—right inside the Palace. What were the President’s men thinking? That it would burnish Mr. Aquino’s crime-fighting and corruption-busting credentials to have the country’s most wanted person surrender to him only hours after he announced a P10-million bounty on her head? That it would signal the Palace’s determination to ferret out the truth behind the festering pork barrel scandal, even at the cost of cheapening the Office of the President?
By Mahar Mangahas
The honeymoon continues. As of June 28-30, the satisfaction of Filipino adults with the performance of President Noynoy Aquino was 76 percent, compared to dissatisfaction of only 12 percent, for a Very Good net rating of +64, as reported by SWS on Sona day (“Aquino ratings rise,” BusinessWorld, 7/22/2013).
Amid criticism that the economic boom under the Aquino administration is one of “jobless growth” and not “inclusive,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan is saying that the government wants to see a “revival” of the local manufacturing sector.
I always fall into a state of disbelief every time I hear good news about the economy. Just like when news broke out that the Philippine “economy grew a stunning 7.8 percent.” Well, that could easily be taken as a good thing since that was the way it was reported. But most Filipinos probably reacted with raised eyebrows: “So?”
I imagine a mass serenade dedicated by thousands of Filipino “superold” veterans of World War II to President Aquino and his officials, regarding the long-unpaid Total Administrative Disability benefits mandated by Republic Act No. 7696 (An act amending certain sections of RA 6948 otherwise known as “An act standardizing and upgrading the benefits for military veterans and their dependents”). The serenade goes (with an old familiar tune) thus: