“Incompetence and trust issues” among top officials of the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III were rectified under President Rodrigo Duterte making the past regime pale in comparison with its successor, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
The Liberal Party (LP) issued a statement yesterday defending its bet Manuel Roxas II and at the same time criticizing Mr. Duterte for accusing Roxas of “wasting” the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who died in the 2015 Mamasapano clash.
Panelo dismissed the LP statement as “noxious nonsense,” stressing that the Aquino administration can’t compare itself with the Duterte administration.
“The achievements under Mr. Duterte far exceed that of the administration of Aquino where incompetence and trust issues among its top officials were prevalent, such as what were exhibited during the Mamasapano incident and the destructive storm “Yolanda,” an incontrovertible truth that is beyond forgetting,” Panelo said in a statement.
“Previous administrations likewise pale in comparison with (President Duterte’s) war on drugs, on criminality, on corruption and on terrorism as well as his ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program,” he added.
Achievements under Mr. Duterte far exceed that of the administration of Aquino where incompetence and trust issues among its top officials were prevalent.
The spokesman said the Duterte administration achieved “many firsts” in its almost three years of governance owing to his political will.
Records don’t lie
He cited a few of the President’s achievements, including free tuition in state colleges and universities, free irrigation for farmers, universal health care for all Filipinos, free medicine for indigent Filipinos and institutionalized free school feeding program for public school children.
Also among his accomplishments are the collection of billions of taxes from errant billionaire businessmen, salary increases of police and military personnel and government workers, firing of an array of top officials either allied to him or closely identified with him, the passage of ease in doing business law, the issuance of an executive order on freedom of information, the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao, the veto of the unconscionable P95.3 billion pork barrel and the crushing of the Marawi rebellion.
“Res ipsa loquitur. The records speak for themselves,” Panelo said.
“The achievements of this administration are inescapable to the Filipino masses resulting in stratospheric public satisfaction, approval and trust in favor of President Duterte and his administration,” he added.
Deaf, blind foes
Panelo claimed that the LP and its head Sen. Francis Pangilinan, just like other critics and detractors, are “deaf and blind to the unprecedented survey numbers of the President.”
He urged members of the opposition to “wake up” and take notice of the President’s achievements.
“It is about time he and others in the opposition wake up from their self-destructive illusion lest they are swept away to oblivion by the horses of change galloping in the country,” Panelo said.
In his speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino campaign rally in Cagayan on 16 April, Mr. Duterte blamed Roxas, who was Interior secretary at that time, for the death of the 44 SAF troopers in a deadly encounter on 25 January 2015.
“He (Roxas) wasted 44 lives for nothing. They could not even explain while — why it was the police who went there who were totally ignorant of the topography and the physical arrangement sa bukid doon (in the farm there)?” Duterte said.
The LP said, in response, that Mr. Duterte should allow the judicial processes to proceed since the matter has been investigated by the Senate and that charges have been filed.