Enrile slams Aquino’s ‘three-day presidency’
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile branded President Benigno Aquino III’s administration as a “three-day presidency,” noting its slow action on pressing matters like the violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato and the alleged laundering of $81 million stolen funds into the Philippine financial system.
Enrile made the remark when asked during a weekly forum at the Senate on Thursday about the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) handling of the money-laundering scheme, which is being investigated by the Senate blue ribbon committee.
“My God, they are sleeping! This is a three-day presidency e. Three days sa Mamasapano, three days sa ‘Yolanda’ three days… three days sila umaksyon, ganun din sa Kidapawan (Three days during Mamasapano, three days during Yolanda… It took them three days before they acted on these matters. It also happened in Kidapawan incident),” he said.
The senator was referring to the botched Mamasapano operation on January 25 last year that left 44 elite policemen and several others dead, the Supertyphoon Yolanda in November 2013 that hit parts of the country and claimed thousands of lives and the recent violent dispersal of Kidapawan farmers that left three dead and dozens injured.
On the Kidapawan incident, Enrile said the president could have acted immediately to prevent the violent dispersal of the farmers.
“What did they do the first day that there’s a gathering like that, that size? Then you ask yourself, what’s happening there?
If he were the president, he said he would have flown immediately to Kidapawan, distribute rice to the farmers and disperse them “to see whether that’s a legitimate rally or not or just a contrive rally in order to provoke a conflict and encounter.”
Enrile said the same thing happened during the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“[Noong] 1974 nagkaroon din ng food shortage, ako ang namahala noon. May nakaramdam ba sa inyo? E pinadala ko sa lahat sa Mindanao, e kini-criticize nilang martial law, pinadala kong lahat dito yung mga corn sa Mindanao, giniling namin, hinalo namin sa bigas para magkaroon ng supply, hindi umaangal ang tao, nasarapan pa sila sa mixture.”
(In 1974, there was a food shortage, too and I managed to address the problem. Did anyone of you feel that? I have everything sent to Mindanao, but there were some who criticized martial law, so I ordered that the corn from Mindanao should be sent here. So we ground it and mixed it with rice so there would be a supply. The people did not oppose it, in fact, they found the mixture delicious.)
“Hanggang ngayon hindi pa natuto, walang natutunan (Until now, they haven’t learned a lesson) from day one of administration how to run a country. All they do, talk is growth, growth. Ano yung (What is) growth? Do you understand growth? Do you feel it? But you feel hunger, you feel fear. Yung (The) growth, you don’t feel it, it’s just a number, it’s just an opinion of economists that we’re growing…” he added.
Asked if he now considered Aquino as a lame duck president, Enrile said: “You are a president up to the end of your term. No excuses.”
“They criticized martial law, kung anu-ano, yun na lang ang bukang bibig nila (they were saying things against us), we never shoot at people when it concerns to rallies involving social issues. And even if we knew that they we’re doing it contrively…” he said.
“Ngayon (Now) democracy, or demo-crazy. They shoot at people because they have no training in handling social problems like this because they never knew what kind of social problems there are that affect the feelings of the real people that they consider as their bosses.”
“You know this is a question of leadership e, a question of common sense, innate common sense of a person. That shows the character, the values that he knows,” the senator added.
Enrile also questioned the president’s silence on the money laundering scandal.
“Ang system nya, ginagamit nya walang imik. Yung bayan nya ginamit e. Bakit hindi sya umaksyon?” he said. “Kaya nga sabi ko three-day presidency, mag iisip muna, walang spontaneity, hindi spontaneous ang kanyang action, ang galaw.”
(His system was to stay silent on the issue. His country was used. Why didn’t he take action? That’s why I said it’s a three-day presidency, they will think of it first, there is no spontaneity, his actions and movements are not spontaneous.)
Enrile described Aquino as a “hollow symbol.” RAM
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