PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd made significant progress in the government’s campaign against corruption but his administration neglected simple but important concerns of the people.
This is how some senators described the performance of Aquino during his six-year reign as President of the country.
For senator Vicente Sotto 3rd, he has no doubt about the sincerity and performance of the outgoing President but he admitted that he finds it difficult to rate how Aquino fared.
He said the while Aquino had been serious in following his daang matuwid (straight path) advocacy, his people failed to abide by it.
“Some of his appointees and people below them are the disappointment,” Sotto noted.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito gave Aquino a high rating of 8.5 when it came to reforms he initiated in governance and his anti-corruption campaign.
But the senator gave Aquino a low rating of 4 in infrastructure development particularly in transportation.
Ejercito cited the lack of interest of the Aquino administration to invest more in mass transportation particularly in an integrated railway system that could help spur progress.
Incoming Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian lauded Aquino’s efforts in fighting corruption and changing the culture of impunity in the country.
“In my opinion, he was successful in showing to the public that honesty is still possible in government and it started with him,” he said.
But Gatchalian also noted that the President neglected the simple things that matter to the ordinary Filipino such as the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3), which has become a symbol of disregard for the people’s welfare.
If he would rate the President, Gatchalian said he would give Aquino a grade of 6 out of 10.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara also lauded the Aquino administration for restoring investor confidence in the Philippines and for leaving a stronger economy and nation that his successor may build upon.
For Angara, the President has set an example of integrity for those who serve and will serve the government and should be credited for increasing government spending on social services such as education and health.
Returning Sen. Francis Pangilinan, in a statement, said the President has been a reluctant leader, adding that his reluctance gave way to a quiet decisiveness against corruption and for good governance.
“His administration has not been perfect, but the perfection of our democracy, of our Republic lies in each of us,” said Pangilinan, an ally of the President.
But aside from his strong anti-corruption position, and economic reforms, the Aquino administration will also be remembered for several setbacks like the Manila hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead and seven others wounded; the Mamasapano massacre, which resulted in the killing of 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos; and Typhoon Yolanda that killed more than 7,000 people.
For analyst Ramon Casiple, Aquino only deserves a grade of four since he failed in his most important promises.
“He [Aquino] had a good beginning in anti-corruption but he failed to make substantial impact,” Casiple said.
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chairman Dante Jimenez said Aquino is a failure.