Palace disagrees with Serge but respects relationship

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2014 08:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2014 04:00 AM

MANILA - Malacañang disagrees with Sen. Sergio Osmeña but holds onto the President's relationship with the senator. This, after Osmeña said the Chief Executive is a stubborn and awful manager.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte recited Aquino's achievements in the economy as proof Aquino is not an awful manager.

Osmeña was one of Aquino's campaign strategists in the 2010 presidential campaign.

"Personally, I disagree with the assessment of Senator Osmena. How is this manifested? You see that someone who is allegedly an awful manager could not have delivered results in the past close to four years that he's been in office," Valte said.

"We've seen the multiple credit ratings, the upgrades that have been given to the country. You've seen at least five consecutive quarters of positive and more than 6.5 percent GDP growth. You know these are the…You have a renewed sense of foreign observers and other countries have renewed sense of respect, at least for the country. I don't suppose those are things that will come from a President who is an awful manager."

Valte said they respect Osmeña's opinion and that this doesn't alter the relationship of Aquino and the senator.

"You know we've always had a good relationship with Senator Osmeña, and you know, down the road whether he is an ally is something… You always… You may have disagreements from time to time even with your allies and hopefully… You know, we do respect his opinion highly, especially his… I know this for a fact that he is very learned when it comes to the energy sector. So you know, we look forward to having these issues discussed."

She added: "You know, one disagreement does not unmake or unravel a particular relationship. So, you know, as I said earlier, RG, we're open naman to having these discussions. According to Senator Osmena, he did have an exchange with the President on the matter of [Energy] Secretary Jericho Petilla. However, as to his statement about the President being a manager, I do not know."

Osmeña earlier said he is dissatisfied with Petilla's performance and has asked the President to fire him.

He said that while Petilla is “very intelligent,” the secretary is being distracted by politics and has failed to come up with a long-term plan to deal with the power shortage.

The senator prefers to see a "full-time secretary" who will be dedicated in mapping out a long-term strategy to address the country’s power needs.

Osmeña also criticized President Aquino’s management style and said the President would lose his "endorsement power" in the 2016 elections if he anoints a successor who is incompetent.

"The thing is that’s the way he solves things. He would stay with the people that he appointed. Like I said, managing is not an easy profession. He's a very poor manager we know that. He's a good man. He's an honest man, but he's an awful manager," he said.

Valte declined to rebut Osmeña's observation that Aquino's handling of the energy sector may diminish his endorsement power in 2016.