As the term of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III nears its end, and as electioneering fever starts to grip the national “debate” as the public’s anticipation of that end ramps up, the truth we have long known about the Second Aquino Administration begins to emerge — even from his staunchest supporters and biggest stalwarts within the Liberal Party:BS Aquino is not only not a leader, he is an “awful manager”.
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No less than top Aquino ally Senator Sergio Osmena, who campaigned for BS Aquino back in 2010, pointed out what’s been so obvious for some time now, that the President sucks when it comes to getting things done. Fact is, the quality of one’s underlings and their output reflects one’s management abilities. Following BS Aquino’s ill-thought-out call to Filipinos to refrain from voting no-substance “ampaw” candidates, Osmena reportedly pointed out how the President may himself be guilty of being exactly that.
“I think that the Aquino administration might also be called ‘ampaw’ sapagkat marami silang hindi ginawa na magagawa nila…”
[Tagalog dialect section translated: “…because they could have done more but didn’t”]
Osmena dithered when asked whether he regreted campaigning for BS Aquino back in 2010 but expressed clear disappointment over how the President went about his business in the years following his ascent to Malacanang. He specifically pointed out the rampant cronyism and nepotism that came to characterise the Second Aquino Administration and the all but broken promise of elevating millions of Filipinos from the wretched poverty that has imprisoned them for decades…
“After that, he chose all his classmates, his shooting mates, his relatives. He selected them,” Osmena said.
He said he had no regrets for supporting Aquino, who he insisted was the best candidate in 2010.
“But I am also very disappointed. I am ashamed that he did not perform well. If he can drive 80 mph, why drive at only 30mph?”
He said the public needed to light a fire under the President’s feet.
Indeed, the Philippines has had to “downgrade” its poverty reduction targets recently after Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan reportedly admitted that President BS Aquino had failed in its mission to reduce poverty incidence to less than 17 percent by the time he steps down. Instead, poverty may persist at 18 to 20 percent levels by 2016 when BS Aquino’s term ends…
Despite remarkable economic growth under Aquino, the poverty rate has stayed around 25 percent since 2003.
Economists and business leaders have warned that growth has been largely limited to only a few sectors like exports and business outsourcing, leaving sizable segments of the population such as farmers untouched.
This “remarkable” growth at 7.2 percent recorded last year has been used ad inifinitum by BS Aquino’s propaganda machine to assure Filipinos that his government was kicking goals. Yet it’s long been known that Philippine-style “economic growth” is all smoke and mirrors and largely a myth. This did not stop even foreign media outlets from getting into the Philippine cheering fad. Back in 2011, we called out “business” magazine Businessweek for its sloppy reporting in this regard. Back then, the venerable business journal “reported” that “there are signs that the Philippines, the world’s 33rd largest economy, might be on a sustainable upward trajectory. Under the leadership of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III, son of late ex-president Corazon Aquino, the country is fighting corruption and tax dodging and is investing heavily in infrastructure and relief for the poor.”
But we did not buy all that BS. Back then I wrote…
The BusinessWeek report is all positive spin, but ends up inadvertently highlighting pretty much all of what makes the Philippine economy a hollow shell — a bubble even — citing as signs of good times ahead, the fact that Manila “sports the third largest mall on the planet: SM City North EDSA, with 1,100 shops, 400 of which include places to eat”, and the attractiveness of the country as a site for multinationals’ call-centre operations, a trend that simply points to the fact that there is nothing in the domestic economy and its capital base that promises much else for the exploding supply of Filipino job seekers.
Balisacan now confirms this, saying that the situation remains the same as it had been for decades: “the poorest families are being left behind.”
That President BS Aquino would be an utter failure as the Chief Executive of the Philippine government was something we foresaw from the very beginning. Way back in mid-2010, GRP author Ilda wrote in her seminal piece Why Noynoy Aquino is not ‘the one’ about the prevailing agreement amongst what, at the time, was an elite minority of smart people who held the unpopular opinion that then candidate BS Aquino was absolutely unfit to be President of the Philippines.
Ever since I started blogging about Noynoy, I’ve always argued that it is not really Noynoy who will be running the show but the people behind him. I am not surprised now that he has been quoted as saying: “I am sharing 50 percent to 80 percent of the job (of the presidency) with my one and only partner Mar Roxas, and I am offering him not just one, but several portfolios in an oversight capacity.”
The arrangement is quite convenient for both Mar and Noynoy indeed. I had a strong feeling the reason why Mar gave way to Noynoy is because Mar knew fully well Noynoy’s inability to do anything significant, and that it will most likely be him who will be calling the shots anyway. I also had a strong feeling too that the reason why Noynoy agreed to run for the presidency is because he knew he could just rely on the people around him, particularly Mar who has been a close family friend all along.
The author of the article quoting Noynoy’s latest revelation, Ninez Cacho-Olivares, is right in saying that Noynoy “wants to be president of the republic, but does not want to accept responsibility and accountability because he knows he is incapable of handling government”. How dishonest of Noynoy and the Liberal Party. He announces his plan of job share after the endorsement from the Iglesia ni Christo was announced. He probably thinks that his bid is already in the bag anyway. Where is the integrity in that man? Where is the justice for the rest of the people who don’t believe in him? Noynoy Aquino is one piece of work. He is so used to people handing things to him on a silver platter and this includes the highest post in the land.
It’s getting a bit tiring being right all the time. But somebody has to fill that role of intellectual integrity and honesty — specially in a country renowned for a national “debate” where all the wrong arguments win consistently.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.