Aquino urged to show ‘political courage’ in remainder of term
MANILA, Philippines – “Show political courage.” This was the message of a political analyst and academician to President Benigno Aquino III as he is set to deliver his fifth State of the Nation Address and mark the last two years of his term.
“Ipakita niya na he has the political courage (Show that he has political courage), make certain things matter if he wants to leave a legacy,” University of the Philippines political science professor Clarita Carlos said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990 AM.
Her remarks came as Aquino and some members of his Cabinet are embroiled in controversies over the pork barrel scam and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Carlos said that she wants the removal of some Cabinet members from office to be part of today’s Sona.
“Ang gusto ko sana madinig mamaya, kung sino ‘yung mga aalisin niyang cabinet members (I want to hear later who he plans on removing from his Cabinet),” the professor said, and added that the President was “masyadong maawain” (too merciful) when it comes to his Cabinet.
On July 11, Aquino rejected the resignation of Budget Secretary Butch Abad, who was deemed as the primary implementer of the DAP.
“Marami pang magagawa in 700 days. Kung gusto mo mag-iwan ng magandang legacy, sana’y atupagin niyo ‘yan,” she said.
(There are so much to be done in 700 days. If you want to leave a legacy, you should prioritize that.)
Asked to grade Aquino’s performance, Carlos gave the president a passing grade of six, despite what she called an “inadequacy” in his efforts to fight corruption.
“Bagamat hindi adequate ‘yung effort to fight corruption na talagang deeply embedded na sa ating byurokrasya at kultura, bigyan natin siya ng mataas na grado for effort,” the professor said.
(Although his efforts to fight corruption are inadequate—given that it is already deeply embedded in our bureaucracy and culture—let’s give him a high grade for effort.)