PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd’s efforts to cover up for the corruption of his Cabinet members and other officials of his administration make him their accomplice, according to Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd.
Although Aquino has a good side, Osmeña on Sunday said, the bad part is that he is surrounded by corrupt individuals.
But, instead of exposing their wrongdoing, he added, the President even shields them.
“So what is that? You [Aquino]) are personally honest, but you are covering up [for them], an accessory after the fact for the corruption of your Cabinet members,” Osmeña said in radio interview over dzBB.
The senator, however, did not name names.
When asked what grade he would give the President, Osmeña, who served as Aquino’s campaign manager in 2010, said Aquino deserves a score of D+ overall but A for integrity.
The Aquino government, Osmena added, is a “student government” filled with incompetent individuals, who were either the President’s classmates or friends, who are running different government agencies.
The President “was elected by millions of voters but they did not say that we are electing you and your classmates, or his KKK [kabarkada, kaba¬rilan at kaklase or friends, gun buddies and classmates],” the senator said.
One clear example of incompetence of the government is manifested by its apparently failed plan to rehabilitate areas devastated by Yolanda, a super typhoon.
The rehabilitation, a UN report released this week said, remains inadequate.
“While the government is to be commended in terms of its immediate responses, its attention to ensuring sustainable durable solutions for IDPs [internally displaced persons]remains inadequate to date,” Chaloka Beyani, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, said in a statement.
The UN representative stated that thousands remain in shanties without power or water nearly two years after the super typhoon struck Eastern Visayas, particularly Tacloban City, Leyte.
Osmeña agreed with the UN report, saying one reason why Yolanda survivors remain homeless is the government’s inability to find available land to be used for permanent relocation of those displaced.
“This is the Republic of the Philippines, and it cannot afford to buy the land on which to build homes for its people,” he noted.
Osmeña also cited the failure of the government to improve the agriculture sector, resulting in higher cost of living for Filipinos.
According to him, about 17 percent of average household budget goes to buying rice, compared to Thailand’s eight percent.
Aquino, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2010, said the country will stop importing rice in three years but after five years, Osmena also noted, the country is still importing rice.
“This is the reason why the President did not mention it anymore in his [sixth and final]SONA [last July 27],” the senator said.
Problems encountered by Metro Rail Transit 3, Osmena added, are also a clear indication of incompetence of the Aquino administration because, aside from also failing to improve the train line, the government only worsened the situation of the line.
The sad part, he said, is that there is nothing to expect from the Aquino administration in its last eleven months because everybody will be busy with the campaign for the 2016 national and local elections.