MANILA, Philippines - Administration ally Sen. Serge Osmena is wrong in his assessment of President Aquino and his administration, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Thursday.
“He’s so wrong. I believe P-Noy is the most credible President yet. No doubletalk. Remains popular despite all the concerted attacks against him. No personal agenda. People here and abroad admire these traits,” he said.
However, he said some members of the Aquino Cabinet “probably can do better.”
Osmeña, who supported Aquino in the 2010 presidential elections, has described the Chief Executive as hardheaded.
He said the President doesn’t listen to contrary views and sticks to his people even if they are linked to wrongdoing.
He has also called him an “awful manager” and his administration as “ampaw.”
On Wednesday, two administration allies came to Aquino’s defense.
“Why say this after four years that P-Noy has led the country?” Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano lll, a House colleague of Aquino when the President was a Tarlac congressman, asked Osmeña.
“We had a good economic growth rate for the past four years, unprecedented in the past decade. We have good governance. We have an honest and humble President. What more can we ask from the guy? Maybe, his efforts are not good enough to some and that’s understandable. In this business, you can’t please everyone,” he said.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, said he respected Osmeña’s criticism.
“Those are his views and he’s entitled to them. But I think his accusations are too sweeping and grossly unfair. However, they should also serve as a challenge to the President’s men to work hard,” he said.
Osmeña has also said many in the Aquino Cabinet are non-performers. He asked Aquino to replace Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.
He said Petilla is a brilliant and good man, but that he is focused on politics.
The energy chief belongs to a political family in Leyte, where he was governor before joining the Cabinet.
Instead of listening to his senatorial ally, Aquino defended Petilla.
Osmeña warned the President that the country would experience a shortage in electricity in two to three years, unless investors start building power plants now. He said Aquino would be blamed for such shortage.
He is the first administration ally to air such criticism.