Despite being a close adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte, former President Fidel Ramos said the Philippines is "losing badly" in the first 100 days of of the current administration.
Ramos, who staunchly supported Duterte's candidacy, said the President should have started addressing public expectations on solutions to poverty, public safety, charter change, and national security.
Instead, Duterte got "stuck in unending controversies about extrajudicial killings of drug suspects and in his ability at using cuss words and insults instead of civilized language," said Ramos.
"In the overall assessment by this writer, we find out Team Philippines losing in the first 100 days of Duterte's administration-and losing badly. This is a huge disappointment and letdown to many of us," Ramos said in the first of a two-part opinion piece published in the Manila Bulletin on Oct. 8.
Since the beginning of the administration, there have been at least 1,987 drug-related deaths, 1,174 of whom were killed in police operations while 657 were killed by unidentified assailants.
Duterte has cursed the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and human rights groups critical of his war against illegal drugs. He had also cited Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in his war against drugs, drawing flak from the Jewish and international community.
Duterte has since said sorry but Ramos said an apology will never be enough.
"In the case of his recent 'Hitler quip' no amount of apology could mollify the long-suffering Jews who have done well for the Philippines," he said, citing how former President Manuel Quezon allowed 30,000 Jewish families to seek refuge in the Philippines.
Ramos also called out the "off-an-on statements" by Duterte and his officials on US-Philippines relations, including his tirades against US President Barack Obama, outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the US-PH military cooperation.
"So, what gives? Are we throwing away decades of military partnership, tactical proficiency, compatible weaponry, predictable logistic and soldier-to-soldier camaraderie just like that? On President Duterte's say-so?" he said.
Ramos, however, said there is still enough time to correct the "most serious flaws in both our national leadership and national team."
"Ours is not to heap more brickbats on [President Duterte] because he has had more than enough already – but to help enable him to transform (thru his own efforts) from a mere provincial official to a capable international player at the head of 101,000,000 multicultured Filipinos," he said.
"We hope P. Digong's next 100 days will be much, much better, considering the entire gamut of Philippine problems, starting with poverty. Kaya natin ito," he added.