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By TIMES columnist Tita Valderama: THE NOYNLOY AQUINO I KNEW


JUNE 27 -by TITA C. VALDERAMA
IN a few days we will have a new President … someone who looks like an opposite in many ways of the outgoing leader we have had in the last six years.I am writing this piece to share with you the little I know of the man who took up the challenge of seeking the presidency in 2009 by public clamor but was much pilloried and called so many obnoxious names after he was voted into office, winning the May 10, 2010 elections with a little over 15 million votes and defeating former President Joseph Estrada and seven other candidates. I happen to know Noynoy Aquino before he became President. What he has become after winning the presidency is something I cannot pretend to know more than what I read in the news and from the accounts of people who have stayed close to him. I covered the presidency of his mother, Cory Aquino, for five years. I was barely starting out a career in journalism at that time as a junior reporter of a government-controlled newspaper publication company. But I could remember only once being face to face with Noynoy, a private citizen and presidential son, in those five tumultuous years marked by seven unsuccessful power grab by rightwing soldiers. Two of those coup attempts—Aug. 28, 1987 and Dec. 1, 1989—were bloody. I knew very little about the son that Cory Aquino loved to describe as her favorite. He is the only one, that’s why there could be no other who could be jealous. I didn’t know him even after writing about his near-death experience when rebellious soldiers ambushed his convoy on J.P. Laurel Street on his way home to nearby Arlegui Street, where the presidential family stayed. It was long after his mother left Malacañang when I came to know Noynoy Aquino. That was several months after he was elected congressman of Tarlac in 1998. I was then assigned to cover the House of Representatives. When he learned that I covered his mother’s presidency, we had more things to talk about than the stories and events happening at the House. He became friends with other reporters covering the House but was closer to my group, some members of which also covered the Cory Aquino presidency at one time or another. He was friendly but some other reporters considered him selective. He was not one who would greet or banter with just anybody he did not know. But there were instances when he had become at ease with familiar faces, whose names he did not know or could not remember. Noynoy Aquino loved to tell stories, engage in banter, and tease other people. But he is sometimes supersensitive (pikon) at jokes, and quick-tempered at criticisms, particularly when the criticisms have little or no basis at all. I also considered him a farmer because he holds a grudge against friends who he thinks have betrayed him or spoke behind his back. I remember him avoiding someone who once described him as self-centered, something he took too personal. On rare times, when he would join us at lunch or coffee tete-a-tetes, he would check first that this person was not around before he would show up, or he would come late when the person had left, or would make sure there were enough people to talk with to avoid direct conversation with the person he wanted to avoid. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Malaya columnist Nestor Mata - CLEANING AQUINO’S MESS IN THE COUNTRY


JUNE 28 -By NESTOR MATA
WHEN incoming President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes over the presidency, he will face an Herculean task of cleaning the Augean stables-like problems that outgoing President Noynoy Aquino will be leaving behind when he steps down from power two days from today on June 30. No less than eminent foreign and local political and economic experts confirmed that Aquino himself is to blame for why the country remains one of the world’s basket cases. They agreed in a recent public forum that the country’s institutions were weakened by him, along with his administration confreres, who acted like warlords during his regime. James Robinson, a professor of government at Harvard University, said that the Philippines, like some other Asian nations, failed because of what he called “extractive” institutions, which placed power and resources or opportunities in the hands of the political elite. He said the leaders were unable to spread wealth and power to the greater society. And he noted that President Aquino, being part of the status quo and without initiating reforms, did not accomplish anything significant during his rule. Gerardo Sicat, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines, who served as economics minister during the Marcos regime, said the blame can also be blamed on mistakes made during the transition from then President Ferdinand E. Marcos to then President Cory Cojuangco Aquino, the late mother of soon-to-be ex-President Aquino. Aggravating this, Sicat said, was the lack of continuity of reforms and limitations on foreign investments prescribed by the 1987 Constitution, which the first Aquino administration put in place of Marcos’ 1973 Constitution. Even before Cory’s son Noynoy Aquino got into power in 2010, Time International magazine already noted his “awkward and un-statesman-like figure and in particular, the fact that he is a member of the oligarchy” or the wealthy class who more often than not were “uncaring and out of touch with reality.”  Greg Rushford, a Washington – based expert on trade who has monitored events in the Philippines for over 30 years, noted what he called “the irony of what Aquino’s promises – to change the problem that he is part of – escapes him and his followers. There is a lack of seriousness in the political leadership, and the institutions are dominated by an uncaring wealthy class.”  As Prof. Ramon Casiple, a leading political commentator in Manila, put it, “there are ties of clan, family and region that are stronger than the nation. To this day, it’s all about patronage.”  From Day One of his regime, Aquino already showed signs that he was into patronage politics. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Ana Marie Pamintuan Philstar columnist - Take a bow, PNoy
[For all the criticism he received throughout his six years in office, when the president called P-Noy by Filipinos bows out this Thursday, he is bound to receive applause from the public.]


JUNE 27 -By Ana Marie Pamintuan
For all the criticism he received throughout his six years in office, when the president called P-Noy by Filipinos bows out this Thursday, he is bound to receive applause from the public. Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III is stepping down at noon of June 30 with no corruption scandal tainting him personally. This is no small feat in a nation that has thrown out two presidents (Ferdinand Marcos being the first) for large-scale corruption, detained and convicted one for plunder, and is currently keeping another under hospital detention on accusations of the same offense. The adherence to the much-touted straight path by some members of President Aquino’s official family is a different story. There are those who wonder how much P-Noy knows; by law, officials who look the other way in the face of wrongdoing by their subordinates are guilty of an act of omission and are just as liable for graft. Unless a credible investigation links him conclusively to corruption, however, P-Noy can still say that he kept his promise to his “bosses” and his late parents – to stay clean and leave office with his head held high. * * * Pollsters have pointed out that P-Noy will be exiting with the highest satisfaction rating among all presidents since polling started after the Marcos regime. P-Noy’s so-called gross satisfaction rate of 66 percent – his average in six years, according to Social Weather Stations Inc. – tops those of Fidel Ramos (59 percent) and Joseph Estrada (58). Cory Aquino, who holds the record high net 72 percent satisfaction rating, averaged 56 percent; Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got 37. P-Noy topped all his predecessors since 1986 in addressing issues where pollsters have taken the public pulse, including helping the poor, easing hunger, keeping prices down, foreign relations, fighting crime and fighting corruption. He got his congressional allies to pass the Reproductive Health Law and excise tax reforms, and even in his final months managed to enact the liberalized Cabotage and Competition and Anti-Trust Acts – measures that were resisted by powerful lobbies. READ MORE...

ALSO: Inquirer Editorial - Aquino in history


JUNE 28 -WHAT WILL history make of the second President Aquino? In time, the conventional wisdom that the 2016 elections were a repudiation of Benigno Aquino III and his “daang matuwid” (or straight path) philosophy of governance will be revealed for the superficial analysis it always was. It was an explanation that did not explain, because in fact two presidential candidates running on essentially the same platform of continuity gained more votes combined than the President-elect, because Mr. Aquino remains the most popular president in Philippine survey history, and because the political pushback from his anticorruption drive was never included in the analytical equation.
Maybe history’s verdict on Mr. Aquino will start with this: that despite the odds, he helped place an ex-president, three sitting senators and many other politicians and government officials in detention or behind bars. Even more controversially, he led the political ostracism of a chief justice, who should not have accepted a midnight appointment in the first place and who turned out to have hidden most of his assets, like an iceberg. These political fights had consequences, and in time we will likely see more evidence that the 2016 elections were shaped in part by interests adversely affected by Mr. Aquino’s war on corruption. It was not, to be scrupulously fair, a comprehensive war; a good number of Mr. Aquino’s friends and allies were included in the order of battle, but public perception eventually focused on the greater number of nonfriends or nonallies who were caught in the conflict. But all those casualties meant that the 2016 vote was partly a referendum on whether political fortunes damaged by Mr. Aquino’s war on corruption could be rehabilitated. From the looks of it, the answer may be an unfortunate yes. We do not wish to minimize the mistakes and shortcomings of the second Aquino administration. But we disagree with yet another piece of conventional wisdom, this time offered by administration officials or even the President himself, that despite its achievements the Aquino presidency never learned to communicate well. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino raring to go home to QC


JUNE 28 -QC HOME Outgoing President Aquino says he will go home to the newly renovated family residence on 25 Times Street in Quezon City after he turns over the presidency to Rodrigo Duterte on June 30. RICHARD A. REYES
NO. 25 TIMES Street in Quezon City is now a spanking new home, awaiting the return of its resident on June 30. President Aquino, who would by then be simply Noynoy Aquino once more, is looking forward to returning to his old address.
He told the Inquirer in a recent interview that he hoped the changes in the house would make his return less sentimental. “I hope there was a section there that there’s no memory of … ” Mr. Aquino said. The Aquinos have been on Times Street since 1961. Theirs is a home that was not only witness to how a young couple raised a family but how this family ultimately became an integral, exceptional part of the country’s politics and history. Straight ahead from his old room, the President said, was his parents’ bedroom. “Then you look to the left, that was where Daddy’s wake was. Then go to the dining table where so many discussions took place. Go inside the kitchen, that was where Mommy cooked. She had her studio, then you go to her garden where she tended her plants,” he reminisced. His mother Cory’s kitchen appeared to be extra special for the famously tight-knit family. The late former president was known to be a good cook. Spaghetti with huge meatballs was a specialty. “You get to the kitchen … My mom would prepare any of her specialties and we would talk there while I wait for her to ask me if I wanted to taste the spaghetti sauce,” Mr. Aquino smiled at the memory, as he added: “She made so much sauce and when the noodles weren’t ready yet, I settled for bread. Then she would tell me to wait for my sisters.”  In the course of the interview, held with Inquirer editors at Malacañang last month, the President also remembered their home in Boston where they spent a precious three years as a family, even if it was in self-exile. The red brick home on Commonwealth Avenue was just as special as the one on Times Street. Boston home In 2014, the President returned to Boston for the first time since he made the heartbreaking trip back to Manila to bury his father in 1983. He visited the old Boston house with his close friends. The new owner kept the house practically the same, except for the lighter wood varnish. “I never got beyond the ground floor. The memories, they kept flowing,” he said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

The Noynoy Aquino I knew

MANILA,
JUNE 30, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) June 26, 2016 8:05 pm Tita C. Valderama
 


by TITA C. VALDERAMA

IN a few days we will have a new President … someone who looks like an opposite in many ways of the outgoing leader we have had in the last six years.

I am writing this piece to share with you the little I know of the man who took up the challenge of seeking the presidency in 2009 by public clamor but was much pilloried and called so many obnoxious names after he was voted into office, winning the May 10, 2010 elections with a little over 15 million votes and defeating former President Joseph Estrada and seven other candidates.

I happen to know Noynoy Aquino before he became President. What he has become after winning the presidency is something I cannot pretend to know more than what I read in the news and from the accounts of people who have stayed close to him.

I covered the presidency of his mother, Cory Aquino, for five years. I was barely starting out a career in journalism at that time as a junior reporter of a government-controlled newspaper publication company. But I could remember only once being face to face with Noynoy, a private citizen and presidential son, in those five tumultuous years marked by seven unsuccessful power grab by rightwing soldiers. Two of those coup attempts—Aug. 28, 1987 and Dec. 1, 1989—were bloody.

I knew very little about the son that Cory Aquino loved to describe as her favorite. He is the only one, that’s why there could be no other who could be jealous. I didn’t know him even after writing about his near-death experience when rebellious soldiers ambushed his convoy on J.P. Laurel Street on his way home to nearby Arlegui Street, where the presidential family stayed.

It was long after his mother left Malacañang when I came to know Noynoy Aquino. That was several months after he was elected congressman of Tarlac in 1998. I was then assigned to cover the House of Representatives. When he learned that I covered his mother’s presidency, we had more things to talk about than the stories and events happening at the House.

He became friends with other reporters covering the House but was closer to my group, some members of which also covered the Cory Aquino presidency at one time or another.

He was friendly but some other reporters considered him selective. He was not one who would greet or banter with just anybody he did not know. But there were instances when he had become at ease with familiar faces, whose names he did not know or could not remember.

Noynoy Aquino loved to tell stories, engage in banter, and tease other people. But he is sometimes supersensitive (pikon) at jokes, and quick-tempered at criticisms, particularly when the criticisms have little or no basis at all.

I also considered him a farmer because he holds a grudge against friends who he thinks have betrayed him or spoke behind his back. I remember him avoiding someone who once described him as self-centered, something he took too personal.

On rare times, when he would join us at lunch or coffee tete-a-tetes, he would check first that this person was not around before he would show up, or he would come late when the person had left, or would make sure there were enough people to talk with to avoid direct conversation with the person he wanted to avoid.

READ MORE...

As a friend, I could say that he would go the extra mile to be there to help. When I fell victim to a robbery known as “ipit-taxi” in 2003, he was one of those that my best friend Weng Orejana texted to warn against texts or calls from the robbers who took away my mobile phones and other personal belongings for other crimes like extortion.


Once Noynoy received the text, he called me at home and suggested that I report to the nearest police precinct. I said I was too scared to get out of the house because the robbers could still be around to do more harm.

In less than an hour, two police cars were outside our gate and an officer was knocking at our door. A police major said the chief of the Quezon City police district sent them to check on a robbery case. I was hesitant to let the police officers in until Noynoy Aquino came with his two escorts.

As soon as they got in, he handed me one of his mobile phones that I could use. He convinced me to report the crime to the police officers.

He was like a “kuya” (elder brother) who somehow calmed me. I would not forget that because he was in Pampanga that time when he received the text from Weng, and he must be too tired after a daylong practice and competition in target-shooting. I think he topped the competition that was why he was in good spirits when he came.

When he was a senator, he took time and traveled far to our humble home in Bulacan just to attend the wake for my mother in 2008 and condoled with the family.

His presence there, however, became a problem after he was elected President because relatives and neighbors thought they could get access to jobs and financial assistance from government through our friendship. I had to explain that opportunism is never part of the friendship that I keep with anyone else. I know I have disappointed some, but many understood me on this principle that I value.

While a distance in our friendship has obviously grown over the last six years, I believe that he is still the same Noynoy Aquino that I knew before 2010: simple, compassionate, dedicated to his job, and committed to help others. But then, he is still “pikon” but never a retard or “abnoy” that those who only know him from the criticisms in media call him.

How can someone who has been hailed by the international community, praised by global news media organizations, and respected by foreign leaders and diplomats be a “retard” or “abnoy,” as those who had lost the perks and privileges they used to enjoy before he came, called him?

With two of every three adult Filipinos (66 percent) satisfied with the performance of Noynoy Aquino as President of the Philippines, and only one of five were dissatisfied, based on surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), I guess he did well, contrary to what his critics say.

According to SWS head Mahar Mangahas, Aquino’s 66 average gross satisfaction rating over his six-year presidency had surpassed those who led before him: Cory Aquino, 56 percent; Fidel Ramos, 59 percent; Joseph Estrada, 58 percent; and Gloria Arroyo, 37 percent.

With such a feat, I could only kneel in prayer that those who would lead the country after Noynoy Aquino would be a “retard” or “abnoy” of his kind.

The Noynoy Aquino I knew was far from the person portrayed in media, particularly by those who were identified with Presidents before him. He is far from perfect as a person and as a President, and I don’t agree with many of his policies and actions as President, but what the heck, he did wonders to the economy and the country before the international community.
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9 Responses to The Noynoy Aquino I knew
To the Max says:
June 27, 2016 at 9:04 am
He is a fool when it comes to friendship. These are the people that destroyed him like Abaya, Abad , Purisima Alcala . He just cannot discipline them because as you said , he is very emotional. He has a few selected friends that did okay. He failed to help the poor families. Even the conditional cash transfer was very small to help. He is okay with the Macro economics but but on the Micro economics which is very important . I did not feel any compassion with Pnoy that is why most Pilipinos thinks that he is Manhid.
Reply
Juan T. Delacruz says:
June 27, 2016 at 8:53 am
The Noynoy Aquino you knew, is he a GAY? If he is, tell him to come out and celebrate with the LGBT community. He may hang out with this group to advance their cause, when he steps down as President.
Reply
Rene says:
June 27, 2016 at 7:24 am
How about the case of Justice Corona? Can you comment on that? 66%? Are you sure he did not cheat in the 2010 election vs. Estrada?
Reply
M C says:
June 27, 2016 at 6:20 am
So you think your personal friendship with the guy is never clouding your better judgment or is your definition of “friendship” the social type of acquaintance where you can discuss about politics and the weather but with whom you can not even borrow P1,000.00 to pay your electricity bill? One test of so-called “friendship” is when you call the “friend” in the wee hours of the morning telling the person to come because you have not enough money to pay for your drinking spee and the person would come to help pay the bills and bring you home. Times change and people change and our earlier impression of a person could be entirely different from what the person can be over time. What kind of a person would spend so much money just to impeach someone or one who has no qualm on the value of life that he would let 45 people killed just to push a political agenda and achieve a Nobel?
Reply
Junadan says:
June 27, 2016 at 3:30 am
Your comments about Pnoy is more of a personal emotional appreciation of his lackluster achievements especially on behalf of the poor population who just remain poorer in his watch for lack of care ans sensitivity, since Pnoy is pro-elite and oligarchs, like Roxas who was not supported by the masses.
Pnoy received accolades from business people and ratings firm for selective Ebonics growth which did not trickle down to the poor populace of society. Pnoy ioneered selective justice as well as he persecuted only his political opponents but not his allis who were equally indictable, including him, Abad, ALCALA, Soliman, and other LP involved in PDAP and DAP. Pnoy governance for six years were disastrous and ruined the country, becoming a narco state and crime-saturated nation, to,say the least.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst, Pnoy administration rating is a 10!
Reply
Prinze Fisher says:
June 27, 2016 at 3:14 am
Noynoy Aquino is the worst President of the Philippines, period….
Reply
Inocent says:
June 27, 2016 at 12:52 am
Ms. Valderama you are PNoy’s partisan because you are his personal friend and supposed to be biased. Of course you are biased because he went out of his way to help you in time of distress. Unfortunately you are one of the few. Now let us not talk so well of what SWS and Pulse Asia saying that PNoy is the best President in the Philippines and the people love him so much. If it were true, he could have made Mar Roxas the President hands down, Let us face it, the Filipino people showed how angry they are at the PNoy administration. In fact, the reason why Mr. Rody Duterte had a bigger preference (never mind that Mr. Duterte was even denied much bigger voting figures because of the attempt of dagdag-bawas so Robredo will win). Mr Mangahas is a certified yellow and the owner of Pulse-Asia is a yellow, so what do we expect. If you believe that your man PNoy is really good and did so much, tell the people thru your column what policies he applied is working but do not include the accomplishment of the past administrations like what the World Bank, IMF and Banko Sentral of the economic success because of the policies of the Arroyo Administration. If you read this challenge, the readers will be very happy if you can make another article to reply to this challenge.
Reply
Mina says:
June 26, 2016 at 11:32 pm
Really did wonder to the economy di ba sa teacher niyang GMA iyon namana lang niya pero ok lang opinion mo friend mo kasi
Reply
fyi says:
June 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm
SAF 44 massacre
Yolanda
Impeachment of Chief Justice Corona
Pork barrel abuse and bribes
DAP fund abuse
Selective Justice
Subverting government agencies
Rigged Elections
Rampant Crime and Smuggling
Most corrupt government in history
That’s what your friend NoyNoy will be remembered for.
Reply


MALAYA

CLEANING AQUINO’S MESS IN THE COUNTRY By NESTOR MATA June 28, 2016


By NESTOR MATA

WHEN incoming President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes over the presidency, he will face an Herculean task of cleaning the Augean stables-like problems that outgoing President Noynoy Aquino will be leaving behind when he steps down from power two days from today on June 30.

No less than eminent foreign and local political and economic experts confirmed that Aquino himself is to blame for why the country remains one of the world’s basket cases. They agreed in a recent public forum that the country’s institutions were weakened by him, along with his administration confreres, who acted like warlords during his regime.

James Robinson, a professor of government at Harvard University, said that the Philippines, like some other Asian nations, failed because of what he called “extractive” institutions, which placed power and resources or opportunities in the hands of the political elite. He said the leaders were unable to spread wealth and power to the greater society. And he noted that President Aquino, being part of the status quo and without initiating reforms, did not accomplish anything significant during his rule.

Gerardo Sicat, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines, who served as economics minister during the Marcos regime, said the blame can also be blamed on mistakes made during the transition from then President Ferdinand E. Marcos to then President Cory Cojuangco Aquino, the late mother of soon-to-be ex-President Aquino.

Aggravating this, Sicat said, was the lack of continuity of reforms and limitations on foreign investments prescribed by the 1987 Constitution, which the first Aquino administration put in place of Marcos’ 1973 Constitution.

Even before Cory’s son Noynoy Aquino got into power in 2010, Time International magazine already noted his “awkward and un-statesman-like figure and in particular, the fact that he is a member of the oligarchy” or the wealthy class who more often than not were “uncaring and out of touch with reality.”

Greg Rushford, a Washington – based expert on trade who has monitored events in the Philippines for over 30 years, noted what he called “the irony of what Aquino’s promises – to change the problem that he is part of – escapes him and his followers. There is a lack of seriousness in the political leadership, and the institutions are dominated by an uncaring wealthy class.”

As Prof. Ramon Casiple, a leading political commentator in Manila, put it, “there are ties of clan, family and region that are stronger than the nation. To this day, it’s all about patronage.”

From Day One of his regime, Aquino already showed signs that he was into patronage politics.

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A lot of other Filipino political observers noticed that he was predisposed to assigning many of his friends to sensitive posts in his administration. For instance, they pointed out, after removing former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Renato Corona, Aquino named his college friend Lourdes Sereno, who was also a member of the law firm hired by the Cojuangco family’s estate Hacienda Luisita, to replace Corona in the high tribunal.

Finally, the same observers pointed out, there hasn’t been much progress since democracy was “restored” in 1986, and that “we are even worse off now!”

Of course, as we noted in previous columns, there are other violations by Aquino for which he should be held accountable. Aside from institutionalizing patronage politics, he failed to uphold the rule of law, turned a blind eye to corrupt practices by those beholden to him, gross incompetence, and many, many other infringements of the Constitution that he sworn to obey and defend when he started his six-year term back in 2010.

It is no wonder at all that outgoing President Aquino has been condemned as the “worst President this country ever had!

Indeed, as we wrote at the start of this column, President Duterte will find out that outgoing President Aquino has left behind him a horrible mess in government, not unlike the stinking Augean stables in Greek mythology, that would require a Herculean-like cleansing by the incoming people’s President of the Philippines.

Good luck, President RRD!

***

Quote of the Day: “A true leader has to have the confidence and the compassion to listen to the needs of his people, and to stand by the equality of his actions and integrity of his intent.” – Anon.


PHILSTAR

Take a bow SKETCHES By Ana Marie Pamintuan (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 27, 2016 - 12:00am 2 45 googleplus0 0


By Ana Marie Pamintuan

For all the criticism he received throughout his six years in office, when the president called P-Noy by Filipinos bows out this Thursday, he is bound to receive applause from the public.

Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III is stepping down at noon of June 30 with no corruption scandal tainting him personally. This is no small feat in a nation that has thrown out two presidents (Ferdinand Marcos being the first) for large-scale corruption, detained and convicted one for plunder, and is currently keeping another under hospital detention on accusations of the same offense.

The adherence to the much-touted straight path by some members of President Aquino’s official family is a different story. There are those who wonder how much P-Noy knows; by law, officials who look the other way in the face of wrongdoing by their subordinates are guilty of an act of omission and are just as liable for graft.

Unless a credible investigation links him conclusively to corruption, however, P-Noy can still say that he kept his promise to his “bosses” and his late parents – to stay clean and leave office with his head held high.

* * *

Pollsters have pointed out that P-Noy will be exiting with the highest satisfaction rating among all presidents since polling started after the Marcos regime. P-Noy’s so-called gross satisfaction rate of 66 percent – his average in six years, according to Social Weather Stations Inc. – tops those of Fidel Ramos (59 percent) and Joseph Estrada (58). Cory Aquino, who holds the record high net 72 percent satisfaction rating, averaged 56 percent; Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got 37.

P-Noy topped all his predecessors since 1986 in addressing issues where pollsters have taken the public pulse, including helping the poor, easing hunger, keeping prices down, foreign relations, fighting crime and fighting corruption.

He got his congressional allies to pass the Reproductive Health Law and excise tax reforms, and even in his final months managed to enact the liberalized Cabotage and Competition and Anti-Trust Acts – measures that were resisted by powerful lobbies.

READ MORE...

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who has promised to “really level the playing field” for business, must sustain the gains and ensure the effective implementation of these laws.

Some people say that with his enormous popularity, President Noynoy could have done much more. Because he is said to have genuinely counted the days to the end of his term and never wanted to stay a moment longer in power, certain quarters had hoped Charter change would have worked best under his watch since he would surely not personally benefit from it.

Having been a congressman and senator for many years, however, P-Noy harbored a deeply cynical distrust of lawmakers. Cha-cha never stood a chance under his watch, despite his announced threat last year to go ahead with it so he could seek reelection and clip judicial powers.

Cha-cha proponents can rejoice over the fact that Duterte, the black swan in the 2016 presidential race, has made Cha-cha and a shift to federalism his priority.

* * *

In 2010, candidate Noynoy Aquino was the black swan, borne to the presidency by his mother’s death, basking in the glow of a landslide victory that astounded even himself.

President-elect Noynoy memorably said in a TV interview that he knew he wasn’t elected for his managerial abilities.

What he could promise, he repeatedly said, was to faithfully serve his “bosses” the people while pursuing his campaign platform of eradicating poverty by eradicating corruption: kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.

Early in his term, P-Noy did the unprecedented and persuaded his congressional allies to impeach two officials he believed were colossal roadblocks along his straight path: the ombudsman and the chief justice.

Merceditas Gutierrez opted to quit and fade away, avoiding an impeachment trial. Renato Corona decided to fight it out before the Senate impeachment court, and lost.

And yet corruption and poverty remain serious problems. It’s unfair to expect these to be licked in six years, but P-Noy and his daang matuwid team raised public expectations for dramatic results. Just a few days to the end of his term, official statistics show that about 40 percent of Filipinos remain poor, despite the expansion of the conditional cash transfer program that was launched during the Arroyo administration.

P-Noy and his team obtained investment grade for the country. But the credit rating has yet to translate into significant levels of job-generating investments. Inclusive growth also remains elusive, as even P-Noy’s team has admitted.

Throughout the bureaucracy, corruption remains so pervasive that Duterte is threatening to deal with crooks in the same way that cops are now dealing with drug suspects.

Corruption has been blamed for the disaster that is the Metro Rail Transit, for which outgoing transport chief Joseph Abaya, although spared by the Aquino administration’s clearinghouse the Office of the Ombudsman, may face reinvestigation and indictment.

Also likely to face trial is outgoing budget chief Florencio Abad, over the Disbursement Acceleration Program. Key DAP provisions have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which also said those responsible for daang matuwid’s version of the pork barrel could be held liable.

* * *

P-Noy valued loyalty to a fault, making several lemons in his official family co-terminus with him or giving the disgraced ones government sinecures. Agriculture was neglected but he didn’t have the heart to let go of the one in charge.

The lemons were among the reasons voters rejected P-Noy’s anointed successor. But Mar Roxas’ election loss probably didn’t matter to P-Noy as much as the prospect of losing the friendship of his (and his mother’s) trusted aides Jose Angel Honrado and Abaya. The President was pained enough by the fall of the man who would take a bullet for him, disgraced Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima. P-Noy didn’t want to lose more of his loyalists.

The kid glove treatment enjoyed by Abaya and Abad has been cited as examples of selective justice under P-Noy’s watch, with only leaders of the opposition arrested and held without bail for corruption.

Citizen Noynoy himself may yet be indicted and arrested not just over the DAP but also for multiple murder in connection with the Mamasapano deaths, for allowing a suspended Purisima to take charge of the operation.

But I believe history will be kind to this President. And for now P-Noy can take comfort in his personal ratings, which indicate that he is leaving office with many Filipinos satisfied with his work.

P-Noy can honestly say that he did his best to serve his bosses. For this, President Noynoy Aquino can take a bow.


INQUIRER

Aquino in history @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:12 AM June 28th, 2016

WHAT WILL history make of the second President Aquino?

In time, the conventional wisdom that the 2016 elections were a repudiation of Benigno Aquino III and his “daang matuwid” (or straight path) philosophy of governance will be revealed for the superficial analysis it always was.

It was an explanation that did not explain, because in fact two presidential candidates running on essentially the same platform of continuity gained more votes combined than the President-elect, because Mr. Aquino remains the most popular president in Philippine survey history, and because the political pushback from his anticorruption drive was never included in the analytical equation.

Maybe history’s verdict on Mr. Aquino will start with this:

--that despite the odds, he helped place an ex-president, three sitting senators and many other politicians and government officials in detention or behind bars.

Even more controversially, he led the political ostracism of a chief justice, who should not have accepted a midnight appointment in the first place and who turned out to have hidden most of his assets, like an iceberg.

These political fights had consequences, and in time we will likely see more evidence that the 2016 elections were shaped in part by interests adversely affected by Mr. Aquino’s war on corruption.

It was not, to be scrupulously fair, a comprehensive war; a good number of Mr. Aquino’s friends and allies were included in the order of battle, but public perception eventually focused on the greater number of nonfriends or nonallies who were caught in the conflict.

But all those casualties meant that the 2016 vote was partly a referendum on whether political fortunes damaged by Mr. Aquino’s war on corruption could be rehabilitated. From the looks of it, the answer may be an unfortunate yes.

We do not wish to minimize the mistakes and shortcomings of the second Aquino administration. But we disagree with yet another piece of conventional wisdom, this time offered by administration officials or even the President himself, that despite its achievements the Aquino presidency never learned to communicate well.

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This is not true; the Aquino administration’s communications work merely reflected the temperament of the President and the dynamics of the political coalition he led.

No amount of public relations could disguise the downside of President Aquino’s strong sense of loyalty; he retained incompetent friends or ineffective allies in their positions even when doing so diminished his political capital or worked against the nation’s best interests.

Retaining Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya until the end of the President’s term, or allowing police general Alan Purisima to direct a secret and important Special Action Force mission even while under preventive suspension, or looking the other way for as long as he could while the wounds created by his erroneous appointments of Rico Puno as interior undersecretary or Virginia Torres as Land Transportation Office chief festered—these and other examples showed that a man whose formative years were marked by political betrayals and an exile’s scarcity of friends could not readily break out of his comfort zone even when public interest was already at stake.

This is part of the reason why, in the traditionally opposition-oriented avenues and alleyways of Metro Manila, Mr. Aquino fared worst in terms of public opinion. The daily traffic nightmare was a regularly repeated indictment of the kind of leadership that was hard on enemies but soft on incompetence.

Still, it seems certain that history will look kindly on these and similar achievements:

--an economy that is $100 billion larger than it was in 2010, a social welfare department that is seven times bigger than in 2010,

--an assertive and forward-looking foreign policy,

--an education budget that is almost twice as large as that of 2010,

--a leadership role among climate-vulnerable countries that helped make the Paris Agreement possible,

--a landmark multistage peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,

--a Reproductive Health Law,

--a much more robust military.

Perhaps the list would be much longer if President Aquino had not wasted so much political capital on the indefensible, such as the Mamasapano tragedy. But in truth it is a good list to start with, and end a term on.


INQUIRER

Aquino raring to go home to QC By: Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:31 AM June 28th, 2016


QC HOME Outgoing President Aquino says he will go home to the newly renovated family residence on 25 Times Street in Quezon City after he turns over the presidency to Rodrigo Duterte on June 30. RICHARD A. REYES

NO. 25 TIMES Street in Quezon City is now a spanking new home, awaiting the return of its resident on June 30.

President Aquino, who would by then be simply Noynoy Aquino once more, is looking forward to returning to his old address.

He told the Inquirer in a recent interview that he hoped the changes in the house would make his return less sentimental.

“I hope there was a section there that there’s no memory of … ” Mr. Aquino said.

The Aquinos have been on Times Street since 1961. Theirs is a home that was not only witness to how a young couple raised a family but how this family ultimately became an integral, exceptional part of the country’s politics and history.

Straight ahead from his old room, the President said, was his parents’ bedroom.

“Then you look to the left, that was where Daddy’s wake was. Then go to the dining table where so many discussions took place. Go inside the kitchen, that was where Mommy cooked. She had her studio, then you go to her garden where she tended her plants,” he reminisced.

His mother Cory’s kitchen appeared to be extra special for the famously tight-knit family.

The late former president was known to be a good cook. Spaghetti with huge meatballs was a specialty.

“You get to the kitchen … My mom would prepare any of her specialties and we would talk there while I wait for her to ask me if I wanted to taste the spaghetti sauce,” Mr. Aquino smiled at the memory, as he added:

“She made so much sauce and when the noodles weren’t ready yet, I settled for bread. Then she would tell me to wait for my sisters.”

In the course of the interview, held with Inquirer editors at Malacañang last month, the President also remembered their home in Boston where they spent a precious three years as a family, even if it was in self-exile.

The red brick home on Commonwealth Avenue was just as special as the one on Times Street.

Boston home

In 2014, the President returned to Boston for the first time since he made the heartbreaking trip back to Manila to bury his father in 1983.

He visited the old Boston house with his close friends. The new owner kept the house practically the same, except for the lighter wood varnish.

“I never got beyond the ground floor. The memories, they kept flowing,” he said.

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Beyond the dining table, he said, was the television where he first heard of his father’s assassination.

“I don’t know how I looked but I had three friends with me. And they wanted to leave because they already felt sentimental. So, I had to ask them, ‘How can you feel sentimental when it’s the first time you’ve been to this house?’” the President said.

He said his sisters had been discussing the renovation of the Times Street home for quite some time. It was the second Aquino daughter, Pinky Abellada, who oversaw the remodeling.

The President said his sister asked him for his suggestions for the house but would always overrule him. Ultimately, he said he gave Pinky blanket authority to take charge of the renovation on the condition that if he didn’t like it, they would swap houses.

Inheritance

But he said, smiling: “I really have to thank my sisters.”

The President inherited the family’s Times home after his mother died of colon cancer in 2009.

While he had seen pictures of it, Mr. Aquino had never been to the new home. He joked that if he visited it earlier he might not return to Malacañang.

Hence, the President will see the new house for the first time on June 30.

Mr. Aquino, 56, left Times Street for Malacañang six years ago a bachelor only to return still without a first lady.

Will he be living alone in the new home?

He looked at the Cabinet secretaries flanking him at the interview, telling them, as everybody laughed, “Don’t answer when someone asks a question.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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