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Aquino leadership marked by ineptitude, incompetence, says analyst

MANILA, Philippines—Historians looking back at President Benigno Aquino III’s term may be in a better position to evaluate his leadership style but for now he is characterized by his flawed decisions, a political analyst said Friday.

“I think offhand, from what we have seen thus far, I think ineptitude and incompetence might be the more appropriate description,” University of the Philippines professor Clarita Carlos told Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

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Carlos, alluding to the botched Mamasapano operation, said Aquino had been known for his “very flawed decision making.”

“You remember that Luneta incident?” she said, referring to the Manila hostage crisis, which left several Hong Kong tourists dead. “He didn’t want to apologize given all the probable repercussions of his non-apology. And now he doesn’t want to apologize.”

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While Aquino has taken responsibility for the Mamasapano mission, which resulted in the deaths of 44 policemen, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and five civilians, he has yet to say sorry for what happened.

Former President Fidel Ramos and Sen. Grace Poe had said an apology from Aquino might lessen the public outrage over the incident, which has placed the peace process with the MILF in jeopardy.

Carlos, however, said there was no use pressing for his apology. She said Aquino, whose term will end on June 2016, should instead use his powers to pass important legislation.

‘Shut up, just work’

“At the moment, he opens his mouth, he adds up to the lies that he had already piled on earlier. So just don’t. He should just shut up and just do his work,” she said.

The political analyst said the people “elected him knowing him, warts and all.”

Aquino has long been criticized for his alleged poor performance as a lawmaker.

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“We knew that all along … but that’s what we get when people vote for somebody because his mother died,” Carlos said.

She said Aquino may have been an alternative to the likes of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Maybe they thought correctly at the start but now we’re really paying our dues for the errors in judgment of the people. But democracy is like that, you have the right to be wrong. What can we do?” she said.

For now, Carlos said Aquino should work on his legacy. “We’ll be grateful for him if he makes that move,” she said of the need for the President to urge the approval of several priority bills in Congress.

She reiterated her statement that the Philippines needs “strategic leadership and leadership with a vision.”

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Clarita Carlos, political analysis
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