Aquino’s speech was disappointing, say political analysts

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DISAPPOINTING and defensive.

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This was how renowned political and anti-corruption analysts saw President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s speech that he delivered on national television Wednesday night which, they said, failed to address the main issue of fund misuse in government.

Political analysts Ramon Casiple and Clarita Carlos said that while there was nothing wrong with the speech, it also did not contain any significant declaration that would address the issue regarding the questionable Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other forms of “pork.”.

Considering that the President took the prime time slots of all major broadcasting networks, Casiple said Aquino should have given the people what was due them and squarely faced the issue instead of issuing statements that only tend to defend his own people.

He also noted that the President’s statement that he is not a crook and that he would go after the corrupt only implied that he was already clearing his allies who are also being dragged into the pork barrel controversy.

Damage control
Carlos, for her part, said that Malacanang should stop its effort to control the damage from the DAP issue and instead come up with data that would show how the funds coursed through DAP were spent.

The President should also explain why the administration was being selective in choosing legislators who should be allotted funds through DAP.

The two added that the real issue is the DAP and the failure of the administration, particularly the Budget department, to be transparent about it since the public was never aware of its existence until Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada disclosed it in a privilege speech last month.

As for Aquino’s statement that DAP is being used to divert the attention of the public from the pork barrel scam, Carlos said that she sees nothing wrong if ever there was really an attempt to make a diversion because the people deserve to know the truth.

She added that the government should include everybody in the investigation, regardless of their political labels.

Carlos said that while she believes that the President is not corrupt, he lacks the courage to run after his own partymates and allies.

Defensive
On Thursday, University of the Philippines Prof. Bobby Tuazon told The Manila Times that the president’s speech indicated how he was deeply affected by the plunge in his ratings.

Tuazon, the policy director of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), also noted that nothing in Aquino’s speech can be considered as “consequential or eloquent.”

It was the first time for Aquino to do such an address since he assumed the presidency in 2010. The last presidential address that happened on primetime TV was in 2005, when former President Gloria Arroyo apologized over the Hello Garci scandal.

Aquino reiterated in his 10-minute speech that he, along with his allies, are not thieves. He also used the opportunity to lash out at his unnamed detractors for muddling and misleading the public with regard to the pork barrel scam.

But Tuazon said the President’s pronouncements were far from what his “bosses” wanted to hear. He stressed that the public outcry against pork barrel is not just about his administration but the whole system itself.

The political analyst said that the administration has to seize this rare opportunity to scrap the pork barrel system by allocating government funds to poverty alleviation and basic social services and through participative budget planning like in Canada.

Downfall
Also on Thursday, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) warned Aquino that “stubbornness” could lead to his downfall.

Dante Jimenez, chair of the VACC, said that Aquino’s collapse has already started following the result of the survey conducted by the president’s Office of Political Affairs showing a steep 35 percent drop in Aquino’s rating.

Aquino’s ratings also suffered drops in the surveys conducted by Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

He said that the president should start listening to his “bosses” and scrap all forms of lump sum funds if he really wants to regain the trust of the people who now doubt his capability and sincerity.

No intrigues
Meanwhile, in Malacañang, officials defended the President’s speech.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the speech was not meant to sow intrigues among those individuals who have been charged before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam.

The 89-year-old Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is among the more than 30 people who are facing charges in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam. Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Estrada were also indicted.

According to Coloma, he witnessed the preparation of the speech and that the president himself drafted it and never mentioned names.

The President, he said, was already mulling to deliver his speech on the DAP as early as the first week of October.

Coloma also claimed that 75 percent of online feedbacks to the President’s speech were positive.

Funded campaign
Senate President Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, said the negative propaganda against the administration steered people’s focus away from the real issue which is corruption in the use of the PDAF.

He said that he himself has been a subject of a supposed highly-funded vilification campaign to make him appear crooked and corrupt before the public.

Drilon reminded the people that they should refocus their consciousness towards ensuring that the country’s justice system will work by punishing and jailing those who pocketed people’s money.

Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th meanwhile maintained that there is nothing patently illegal with the DAP as long as it is allocated to projects that benefited the people.

At the House of Representatives, Reps. Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list, Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao and Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list also defended Aquino’s speech.

But for Rep. Sitti Hataman of Anak Mindanao party-list, it would have been better if the President emphasized how his discretionary funds made an impact on the lives of ordinary Filipinos.

Loyal
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared that it will continue to follow the chain of command amid allegations of large-scale corruption in the Aquino government.

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17 Comments

  1. Roldan Guerrero on

    A person who is a professional liar and thief will never accept that he is despite being caught in naked eyes but instead points to somebody to shoulder the offense.

  2. If the Filipino people is really the Bosses of Pnoy then Pnoy must do the ff.:
    1. Abolish all forms of PDAP/DAP. Pls. listen to the voices of your BOSSES !
    2. Congress must focus on making/amending Laws for the betterment of Juan dela Cruz. They must not be provided with PDAP/DAP since it was to be abolished but instead give them the task of summarizing and identifying all the priority projects needed in their constituents to be submitted to executive branch of the government &
    to be implemented directly by the right department agencies. Congressmen & senators income must be coming only from their standard government salaries. (no more SOP)
    3. FOI bill to be approved ASAP in order that Filipino people will have updated information on whereabouts of moneys being spent by any of the government agencies.
    4. Pnoy must ensure corruptions on congress/LGUs will be eradicated by overhauling/changing the system and will not be repated even after his term.

  3. Primer Pagunuran on

    Pnoy can’t change horses in midstream, can he?

    The argument from authority is the weakest of arguments if we even suppose that we can get the best arguments from those so-called political analysts who tend to view things as armchair academics.

    For lack of anyone else to champion anti-graft, anti-corruption, let us better leave it to the President to do what he has to do.

  4. The President is very scared – afraid of his own shadow. Instead of addressing the issues regarding the PDAF and DAP, he is diverting the issue by telling the people that he is not a thief. No body is accusing him that he is a thief.

    Parang isang butiki na napotolan ng bontot – takbo ng takbo with no direction.

  5. Pnoy is very popular but INCOMPETENT.

    Our country is now mismanaged. All that matters to him is his RATINGS. That he will always be better than GMA.

  6. This is all sign of weak governance. Take the case of villa obviously he was and is guilty. People are not stupid for those alibis. Better yet check his SALN on that period and his income tax return, pretty sure none of those legal fees are on existence. Will Henares check on it? No way. Have you heard a kabarilan, kasangga and kapartido being questioned by authorities? None, they are saints, all of them will go to heaven hopefully the soonest.

  7. This is not only an issue of stealing but also legality of action. If he says he did not steal but still allow other people to steal money because of his incompetence and lack of leadership by example, he is still responsible….He can’t escape responsibility….As a leader he should accept and apologize to the public what he has done.. His speech shows his indifference to public’s clamor to abolish PDAP AND DAP…

  8. of course, technically, he is not a thief NOW….kasi later pa ang partihan..

    parang sa impeachment ni Corona, hindi daw bribe yun, kasi after ang partihan at bayaran…

    I get it….it makes sense if you use the Malacanang’s sense of timelines…hahaha

    pathetic to see him on tv being so defensive and paawa effect…how low it was…

  9. of all president, first time we have to have the gut to run after the big time and congenital thieves in the government. I would suggest that instead of attacking the president, we better support him to add more force to get rid of corruption. The mere people talk against his style the more we encourage the thieves to continue their long practices and this is WHAT THESE THIEVES LIKE MOST.

  10. The President, Senate
    and Congress must also declare their PDAF in details and publish it in newspapers and websites.

  11. Any sane, self-respecting individual with rationale still left in their faculties could hardly believe this president could rehash the same thrash. What he is telling us that they, the prez, his lackeys, lapdogs, barkdogs and hacks are NOT milking the fattened calf for their own use and benefit.

  12. Why so defensive?
    Nobody is accusing him of being a Thief, anyway.
    He is the highest public servant of the land
    According to his choice of putting
    Ideas into words (Kayo Ang Boss Ko)
    Somebody of course is artfully and secretly
    Doing the honor of taking
    The loot for him…
    Why need to bother!

  13. eduardo v valencia on

    For Daang Matuwid” to work, it must implement four (4) anti-corruption strategies:
    1. Do not Steal.
    2. Do not Cheat.
    3. Do not Lie.
    4. Do not Tolerate or Condone others who steal and/or cheat.
    Obviously, PNoy wants the public to believe that he is not a thief and will go after those who steal public funds unless they are his allies. It is his allies who are engaged in stealing, cheating and lying in order to acquire public funds. His mortal sin is tolerating and condoning his corrupt allies.

    • thats not important . Whether 5 or a 100 writers. The issue is Noy is corrupt and should quit.

  14. Take note of the people who are defending PNOys speech, they are the same people who continue to defend anything he is doing and also continue to be his apologists. These are the legislators who are not yet satisfied with all the Pork PNoy gave them and placed inside their own pockets but are still hungry for more Pork. Hypocrites and shameless, we can describe these men and women.