PNoy: an appraisal

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Monday, July 28, 2014


I am no longer working with the national government, having resigned in April 2013 as director of the subsidiary corporation of the Philippine National Oil Corp. (PNOC).

Despite my role in the last gubernatorial elections, I have not asked for any position in the provincial government.

As a private citizen, I am now in a vantage point to view the political landscape with less partisanship.

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With President Aquino now in the last two years of his presidency, it is time to appraise his administration not from the lens of a blind follower or from the eye of a biased critic but from the perspective of an impartial observer.

1. I consider President Aquino as the most courageous and decisive president of the country who is not afraid to offend what Sen. Claro M. Recto called the “most numerous church” in defense of his principles and convictions.

The passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law in December 2012, is a case in point. No other president has ever defied the stand of the powerful Catholic Church on the issue of family planning methods.

The passage of RH Law and the verdict of the Supreme Court in upholding the constitutionality of said law was a testament to President Aquino’s unbending principle to uphold the separation of Church and State in a pluralistic society.

2. The signing of the framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to end decades-long Moro insurgency in Mindanao in October 2012 was a historic achievement of President Aquino.

3. President Aquino’s personal honesty and his noble crusade for good governance is generally recognized by most Filipinos. Not long after his inauguration on June 30, 2010, President Aquino caused the arrest and detention of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for electoral sabotage and the crime of plunder.

Aquino was openly instrumental in the impeachment and eventual resignation of GMA’s stooge, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. He openly fought for the impeachment and conviction of former chief justice Renato Corona who willingly accepted his midnight appointment as Chief Justice.

For the first time in history, three senators–Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla–were arrested and detained for their involvement in the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

4. Aquino’s defeat in the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) may have dented his popularity but has not affected the general perception of his integrity.

I do not believe that the raging conflict between the President and the Supreme Court will result in a constitutional crisis. Controversy is an essential ingredient of democracy. Ultimately, such conflict will have a cathartic effect on the soul of the nation.

The impeachment complaints against President Aquino filed by leftist, rightist and centrist elements will not reach first base but to his detractors they have a good propaganda value.

5. The President’s good governance has built a climate of confidence among local and international investors and has propped up our economy prompting independent observer to claim that the Philippines will achieve an economic miracle in the near future.

But economic growth has not solved our unemployment problem and the chronic poverty of the masses with the failure of successive governments to launch an industrialization program to provide jobs to millions of unemployed Filipinos

6. Aquino’s choice of his Cabinet members is laudable except that of Foreign Affairs Secretary Ramon del Rosario whose foreign policy is described by UP professor emeritus Francisco Nemenzo as a policy of subservience and mendicancy to the Americans.

President Aquino’s historic achievements cannot be blurred by his errors. He deserves the full support of all Filipinos.--Democrito C. Barcenas

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 29, 2014.

Opinion

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