Palace gives self passing mark on corruption, poverty war

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2010 02:58 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2010 10:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Coming into its 1st 100 days in office, the Aquino administration is giving itself a passing mark despite the shadow cast by its handling of the Manila hostage crisis.

Speaking in a press conference in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said he is satisfied with the progress made by the administration in its 2 key programs.

"Maganda naman po in terms of our programs. We have 2 platforms, we have 2 programs and that is  poverty alleviation and eradication of corruption. We’re on track on those two levels . As you know, we have started also our poverty alleviation program. Pati  pag waksi ng corruption, we have been filing cases on a weekly basis with respect to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs," he told reporters.

He added that the fruits of their labor "will go beyond the first 100 days."

Still, Lacierda could not ignore the impact of the August 23 Manila hostage crisis on the administration’s 1st 100 days. "I would like to say we are sidelined a bit by the [Incident and Investigation Review Committee]  but we are on track," he said, referring to the fact-finding committee tasked to investigate the incident.

He also sidestepped questions on what the administration’s biggest problem has been so far, saying that it is a question that the President should answer.

The Palace review of the IRRC remains a big question since  there is no definite word yet when it will be released. When asked when it would be released, Lacierda remained vague. “The President has been going through IIRC report. We have yet to know. He is prioritizing the IIRC. I can't give you specific timeline, pinag-aaralan niya ang IIRC," he said.

Despite this, there seems to be no indication that Aquino will be making changes to his Cabinet despite the flak they drew over managing the hostage crisis.

“No revamp or reshuffle. Pinag-aaralan po ang study. He said he would like to accord due process to everyone. Undersecretary Rico Puno is in Vietnam, today po ang uwi niya. Di pa sila nagkikita ni Pangulong Aquino,” he said.

There is also no date yet for the deployment of the high level delegation to China. “ Mukhang kung magkakaroon ng byahe after October 7 kasi from October 1-7 walang pasok ang Chinese government," he said.