A well-intentioned presidency

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Thursday, July 31, 2014


SOME four years ago, we ushered in a new administration anchored on change, on transformation. The battle cry then was to end corruption, which has besieged previous presidencies. Treading on a narrow but straight path, the Aquino administration hoped to set a norm, a precedent even, toward clean and effective governance.

And so we came to know of President Benigno "Noynoy" Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, the only son of two icons of democracy-the martyred former senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and former president Corazon Cojuangco Aquino-whose abhorrence of wang-wang and corrupt officials is well-known. Said he in his 2011 State of the Nation Address: "Over the years, the wang wang had come to symbolize abuse of authority. It was routinely used by public officials to violate traffic laws, inconveniencing ordinary motorists-as if only the time of the powerful and no one else's mattered".

He thus set the tone of his government as one simple leadership, shorn of entitlement. Born to a family that is landed and considered elitist, he could have let this tool remain unmolested, but the righteousness imbedded in him as a result of good upbringing and Christian values would not let this symbol of arrogance persists.

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President Aquino's crusade to weed out the corrupt in government took its toll: from the ranks of the lavish-spending, MWSS and other government owned and controlled corporations to high elected officials. He showed he meant business, no quarters or favors asked.

But no presidency is far from perfect and fault-free. Some underlings commit acts which undermine the national objective and embarrass the President and themselves. Pnoy was quick to censure them. Even his allies in Congress partook of the fruits of the poisoned tree-the Priority Development Assistance Fund and thus the issue became muddier. What priority? What development? The integrity and image of Congress were sullied beyond repair.

The Executive, too, had its Waterloo-the Disbursement Acceleration Program. In what was originally a well-intentioned impoundment of savings, it was ruled as illegal by the Supreme Court, the grand plan blew up in its face and put all collateral plans in disarray. But PNoy is not conceding.

He put a face to the Filipino. He proudly said so and announced to the world:"I am a Filipino. How wonderful to be a Filipino in these times". The remaining two years of Aquino administration will either prove or rebuke the good intentions it was originally anchored on.

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The Mabalacat City government will conduct its Crafting of Office Performance Commitment Review for its approved Strategic Performance Management System on August 7 and 8, 2014 in Subic, Olongapo City. All department heads, assistant department heads and unit heads of the city government were encouraged to join.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 01, 2014.

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