MANILA, Philippines – The lawyer of former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo had some choice words for President Aquino after he again castigated the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In a statement, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said it was “miserable and wretched” of Aquino to continue to blame the present ills of his administration on his predecessor.
He said the Chief Executive has nothing to show for his 2 years in office except “a crappy economy, elevated incidences of heinous crimes, and governance long on platitudes but short on performance.”
“Mr. Aquino has resorted to the lame gimmick of fingerpointing. This will no longer wash. The Filipino people are sick and tired of scapegoating especially since Mr. Aquino has held the reins of government for two years and yet has nothing to show for it,” he said in a statement.
He added: “It is time for Mr. Aquino to become man enough to take responsibility for whatever failings they may have inflicted upon our people, and not act like a shrill, nagging wife quick to attribute blame but not capable of acting for the sake of the common good.”
President Aquino on Friday trumpeted his administration’s accomplishments before a gathering of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) but not without blasting the Arroyo administration.
In a speech during the opening session of the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting of its board of governors, the President painted a contrast between his administration and her predecessor’s, saying that he came into office finding out “how deeply eroded the foundations of government had become” and when corruption had become “endemic.”
He cited instances of the past administration’s “endemic corruption,” such as the purchase of imported rice at a high cost only to let it rot in rented warehouses and the scheme of previous officials of government owned and controlled corporations receiving huge bonuses and perks. Bidding for government projects, he added, were made to favor the well-connected.
“The message for nine and a half years was: nice guys finish last. To finish first, you had to lack conscience, exhibit a certain degree of shamelessness, and be an expert at giving handshakes with one hand, while picking pockets with the other,” he added.
Aquino said he spent the first two years of his administration to clean house and institute reforms to fight poverty and corruption, including running after tax evaders and corrupt officials.
“Change has set in the Philippines, and we are open for business,” he said.