MANILA (UPDATED) - Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo lashed out at President Aquino on Tuesday, saying the Chief Executive lied about his accomplishments on solving problems in the education sector.
"Grabe, what a liar about textbooks and classrooms," he said, a day after President Aquino delivered his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Aquino earlier said the Department of Education was able to address the need for 61.7 million textbooks and 2.5 million chairs in the first two years of his term.
He said a backlog of 66,800 classrooms and 145,827 teachers was addressed in 2013 through the help of local government unit partners. He said government hired 29,444 teachers in 2014 and is eyeing another 39,000 teachers hired this year.
The President also defended the implementation of the K-12 program.
The former First Gentleman criticized the President for again blaming his wife, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, for many of the country's woes.
"He doesn't have any accomplishment, that's why. It shows he has no accomplishments. What he is saying is inaccurate. He even uses unknown people to lift himself. So self serving. All propaganda, no meat," he said.
He further wrote in a status on Facebook: "The SONA yesterday was so revolting. It was such bad taste to heap so much blame on a sick person while PNoy has been in power for the last 5 years. That sick person who has been detained for about 4 years is innocent of any crime. No evidence has been presented against her up to now. Thus, her co-accused are free either on bail or acquitted."
"During PGMA's term the Philippines had 39 quarters of continuous growth, unlike other countries which fell into recession. That in itself is something to praise but PNoy preferred to lambast her presidency to cover up his non-performance, his non-accomplishment. Just look around you and you will see the fruits of the previous administration's accomplishments. This present administration is a credit grabber. Five years into PNoy's term and he is still blaming the previous administration. To say it in the last SONA is, to say the least, so revolting and in poor taste," he added.
Aquino earlier reminded the public about the various corruption scandals and allegations against Arroyo including the NBN-ZTE deal, the fertilizer fund scandal, her midnight appointments, and the "Hello, Garci" wiretapping scandal that showed alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential election.
Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, meanwhile, said the President talked about Arroyo because he wanted to show what kind of government he was inheriting from the previous administration.
He also said the Aquino administration's help for the province of Pampanga shows that the President is not vindictive against Arroyo.
No less than Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda praised Aquino for expanding the coverage of PhilHealth to help more poor people.
Pineda is a known ally of Mrs. Arroyo.
In a video showed during the SONA, Pineda said that the province was able to save up to P400 million after PhilHealth decided to cover the medical expenses of the poor.
She said the funds were used to construct birthing stations, health centers and even a district hospital.
The former first gentleman said Pineda's statement does not mean she has already switched sides.
"No, she hasn't deserted (GMA)," he said.