MANILA, Philippines - For House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, President Aquino’s personal honesty may not be his best policy as president.
In the weekly minority press conference, Suarez conceded that Aquino is the most honest president the country has had.
“Ngayon lang tayo nagkaroon ng honest na presidente. But honesty is not enough. Kailangan decisive ka. Dapat ruthless both to enemies and friends,” he said.
While noting some achievements, Suarez said Aquino doesn’t have much to show for his 2 years in office.
“Unfortunately, this short list of qualified achievements can only pale against a much longer list of problems that this administration created, worsened or failed to resolve,” he said.
The minority leader listed several of Aquino’s achievements including personal honesty, improvements in foreign investor confidence and credit interest, and improved relations with the United States.
However, he criticized the President for refusing to acknowledge his debt of gratitude to “the legacy of economic growth, fiscal reforms and social programs bequeathed to him by his predecessor.”
Suarez said the cut in public spending slowed down economic growth, which in turn led to unemployment and underemployment as well as poverty.
He said Aquino’s expanded conditional cash transfer (CCT) program has no effect on the people, noting there has also been no disclosure on the CCT operations.
Suarez also noted that rice, gasoline, transportation, tuition and essential commodities and services have become more pricey, while brownouts have become a fact of life in Mindanao.
The minority leader said corruption is spreading at the grassroots, while peace and order is under attack everywhere. He pointed to a United Nations office on Drugs and Crime report showing that the Philippines is now one of the top 3 Asian countries where amphetamine-type stimulants like “ecstasy” and “shabu” are produced.
Lastly, Suarez also noted the alleged persecution of former President Gloria Arroyo as a danger posed to “due process, human rights and civil liberties by the President’s vindictiveness.”