MANILA - The New York Times' editorial criticizing the idea of allowing President Benigno Aquino III to seek another term clearly shows the "growing frustration" over the current administration, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said on Saturday.
"The world is watching us, and the editorial piece of the NY Times is a clear gauge. Let this be a warning to the MAD (Mar, Abad, Drilon) group of the Liberal Party to stop playing politics for their own benefit," UNA secretary general and Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco said in a statement.
The New York Times editorial, titled "Political Mischief in the Philippines," said Aquino hinting at a new term in office and clipping the powers of the Supreme Court threaten Philippine democracy.
"Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother, who died in 2009 after leading the 'people power' that triumphed over the excesses and abuses of the presidency," it said.
According to Tiangco, the country is getting "negative vibes" because of the MAD faction of the Liberal Party, pertaining to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Senate President Franklin Drilon.
"To advance their personal agenda, MAD started all the talks about term extensions, impeachment of the judiciary, removals from office and many other amazing stories. They have somehow succeeded, and evidently, their plot has impacted on the economy," he said.
He said the administration's "political noises" have resulted in loss of business confidence in the Philippines, citing the sharp drop in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) business confidence index to a three-year low.
"With too much politicking, it is no longer a surprise that the Administration has generated a noticeable political instability that continues to dent on the long-term growth prospects of the Philippine economy," Tiangco said.
"It is quite sad that the Administration has tolerated the main agenda of the MAD faction within the Liberal Party, which is to stay in power beyond 2016 in order to continue their happy days, cover up for their criminal liability because of the SC's ruling on the DAP and also to get back at the Supreme Court, by clipping their powers. This has left the country on an uncertain path. Saan nga ba tayo papunta ngayon?" he added.
Tiangco said the Aquino administration should instead focus on critical issues such as shelter and rehabilitation, security, power, infrastructure, transportation, and jobs generation.