MANILA — Critics of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. are just turning a blind eye on the “many things that he has been doing” for the country so far, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Thursday ahead of the 100th day of the current administration.
“I think, he’s doing a good job. First of all, he jumpstarted several Cabinet meetings on a daily basis. He chose a very good Cabinet team, outstanding economic team. And he’s the best salesman for the country. Right now, he’s the number 1, our top salesman,” Zubiri, an ally of Marcos, said of the chief executive.
“Nagbubulag-bulagan siguro sila (critics), hindi nila nakikita. Eh ang dami nang nagawa ng Presidente na groundbreaking... I think he is doing a great job in the last 100 days,” he added.
The President’s effort in wooing potential investors from Indonesia, Singapore and the United States was not seen in the previous leaders, Zubiri said.
The last roadshow, he said, was done during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The late former President Noynoy Aquino had also undertaken trips to Indonesia, Singapore and the United States, which included attendances in the UN General Assembly, US-ASEAN Summit and APEC Summit, as well as engagements with investors. He visited other countries, too.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte had also pitched the Philippines to foreign investors.
For Sen. Robin Padilla, another ally of Marcos, the new leader is commendable for his “powerhouse team of economic managers” and his leadership at the Department of Agriculture.
“The first 100 days is a good start that I hope will be sustained in the President's next 2,092 days in his term - from October 8, 2022 to June 30, 2028 - to address the other problems our nation faces,” Padilla said in a statement.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, also the President's ally, cited Marcos' move to "rightsize" government agencies with duplicate or overlapping functions and how he "formed an impressive economic team in the hope of achieving economic recovery amid global risks."
Gatchalian also took note of Marcos' decision to let the investigation on the sugar importation mess run its course, as well as the investments and jobs supposedly generated by the President's overseas trips.
"Umpisa pa lang ito. Mahaba pa ang ating susuungin. Pero kailangan natin ang tulong ng bawat isa upang mas mapadali ang ating pagbangon," Gatchalian said.
Senior House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo-was also all praises for Marcos amid the criticisms thrown at him.
Arroyo said Marcos has upheld his campaign promise of unity by providing stable leadership.
She described the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. as a calm and thoughtful leader.
"The president has projected himself well as a calm, thoughtful leader who is true to his promise to promote unity and be a President for all,” Arroyo said in a statement.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez, the president's cousin, also congratulated Marcos on his first 100 days in office.
“The Philippines is right on track, and is sprinting steadily during the first 100 days of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. Our economy has bounced back from the ravages brought by the global pandemic and has already reached the first stage to full
recovery,” he said in a statement.
“The future indeed looks brighter under the Marcos administration. Businesses now ramping up activity, new jobs are created and lost jobs are restored, and economic activities have turned dynamic once again,” he added.
But for Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, the President must “keep his eyes on the ball” as he tries to become a good leader.
What the President should try to avoid, he said, is engaging in activities that offends the sensitivity of the people especially now that the country is still in crisis.
Pimentel was referring to Marcos' weekend trip to Singapore to watch the F1 race with his wife and son, and cousin House Speaker Martin Romualdez, among others.
“Mahirap ang buhay ngayon. Dito na lang sa Metro Manila, ilan ang beggars na nakikita natin. Being a leader, I think we need to feel for our people. Let us try to feel the pain and the difficulties that they are going through,” Pimentel said in a statement.
“We all need time to rest and to recharge. My question is, you are entitled to your break time but did you really have to go abroad to get your rest?” he asked.
Zubiri said Marcos deserves to have his private time.
“If he was able to sell the country, that’s a bonus for the country,” he said.
Asked if he will say the same even if the President is using government resources, Zubiri said: “I don’t want to comment on that.”
Zubiri said the President’s trip may have been shouldered by his Singaporean hosts.
House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro said Marcos is getting a failing grade from her.
"Sa totoo lang, parang may pagka-deja vu ang Marcos Jr. administration sa nakaraang administrasyon ni Duterte. Napakaraming pinangako pero wala pa ding natutupad. Isa na dito ang dapat na pagtataas ng sahod ng mga guro," Castro said.
"Harassment and killings of critics of the administration continues. It does not matter if you are an opposition official, media, activist or an ordinary person wanting the government to here your redress, you will either be red tagged, jailed on trumped up charges or worst killed like the case of radio commentator Percy Mabasa," she added.