Corona ouster, Bangsamoro deal, economic growth cited among achievements
MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang believes 2012 has been the best year for the Philippines in a long time.
In a report on the administration's achievements, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said: “By all indicators, this was the best year for the Philippines in a long time, a time for celebration and pride for the reclaimed standing of our country as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other rising nations of the world.”
He said that in the two-and-a-half years that President Benigno Aquino III has been in power, the country saw continuous renewal, and this year was a “year of rebuilding and restoration.”
He said it was the year when political will was used "correctly and for the right purposes, knowing that power is merely lent by the people to their leaders to ultimately serve the country's best interests.”
One of the gains he cited was the signing of the framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the creation of the Bangsamoro.
Lacierda said the dialogues between the two parties may even be used as a template on how other nations can peacefully handle conflicts.
Vis-à-vis the atmosphere of peace, the country also saw a sense of justice and fairness, he said. These include the ouster of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“The message is clear: If a Chief Justice can be impeached-- and a former president put under hospital arrest for alleged plunder and electoral sabotage-- then so can anyone; a crime is a crime, regardless of wealth or status in society,” he said.
He also cited important bills passed, including the reproductive health (RH) bill and the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act.
“These political initiatives came hand-in-hand with a roaring economy, one that has experienced strong growth and stable inflation despite the uncertainties of the global economy,” he said.
The country’s economy for the 3rd quarter hit a two-year high of 7.1 percent-- the highest in Southeast Asia, and among the top performing economies in Asia. He also mentioned the Philippine Stock Exchange index and the Philippine peso, which both broke record highs.
“These positive indicators are underpinned by an administration that has maintained fiscal discipline, initiated reforms to ramp up quality public spending, and invested heavily in both social and physical infrastructure,” he said. This led to the P2.006 trillion budget for 2013.
“Despite the tragedies that have visited the country in 2012-- from natural disasters to the untimely demise of a beloved reformist [DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo]-- the Filipino people have shown that their spirit cannot be broken,” he said.
“As the administration embarks on 2013, there is all the more reason for Filipinos to travel on the straight path under the leadership of President Aquino and the adherents to his noble cause,” Lacierda added.