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Ex-President Benigno Aquino III at Baruch College last year.  (Filipino Reporter photo by Rene Ner)


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IT’S official, his new title as of noon on June 30, 2016, as provided for by the fundamental law of the Philippines, is ex-President Benigno S. Aquino III.

He has joined the ranks of three other living former post-martial law presidents: Ousted ex-President Joseph Estrada, Ex-Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Perhaps, the relevant question to ask Filipinos at this time is a Reaganite sort of question: Are Filipinos better off today than six years ago?

A pro-Aquino reporter in Manila wrote the following last week: The level of trust and confidence in the Philippines, which he (Aquino), tried to raise in the world community and among investors, significantly helped turn the country from being the “sick man of Asia” to the “Asian tiger,” the fastest-growing economy in the region.

Foreign economic analysts keep on saying good words about the Philippine economy under the Aquino presidency.

Others say, those good results were the outcome of strong economic fundamentals put up during the Arroyo years.

Whichever it may be, it is a fact that poverty in the native country is still widespread.

That the much-vaunted economic growth did not trickle down to the masses.

Manila television reporter (Jasmin Romero) posted in Facebook on June 29 the question: “It’s PNOY’s last hours as President of the Republic of the Philippines. What will you miss most about him?”

Of the more than 100 comments posted, presumably by Filipinos living in the Philippines, about 80 percent were negative or anti-Aquino.

Let me share some of the postings.

Pie Nava Beltran: I am a pro PNoy. I will definitely miss a competent President with breeding.

A lot may not like him but I like his actions with humility.

I will miss his competency on economic growth as well.

Jay Trinidad: The way he keeps blaming others for the shortcomings of his Administration and how everything seems to be the fault of the Marcoses.

Ewan Q. Santos: His cough.

Manny Caballero: His youngest sister.

Jun Manego: Nothing.

Dreau Lanot: Ang paninisi kay GMA.

Rayson Dela Torre: Ang kanyang daang matuwid at ang wangwang.

Cocoy Lopez: Uhm...His love life.

RJ Santelices: blaming gma, worsening traffic in metro manila, LRT problems, killing of saf44, LTO car plates, killing of farmers in Davao.

One wishes he would find a wife now that he is no longer president.

What could have gone wrong?

Mr. Aquino had 83 percent trust rating when he began his term in July 2010.

What did he do?  

What did his elaborate Communications Department do?

This is a good case study.  

Nevertheless, we wish ex-President Aquino all the best in his future endeavors.


***


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President Rodrigo Duterte’s inaugural speech.


President Duterte

President Duterte used quotations from two American presidents in his inauguration speech and said that those quotes shall “serve as the foundation upon which his administration shall be built.”

From Abraham Lincoln: “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”

The above is well along the Lincoln dictum of how to govern a nation well.

Like he said in his Gettysburg speech, a democratic government is of the people, by the people, for the people.

A nation’s leader needs to serve the interests of all his people and not of some at the expense of others.

The other quote cited in the inaugural speech was from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said, “The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.”

The above is self-explanatory.

It simply says an effective government is one that looks after the interest of the poor.


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Since we are on the guiding posts of good governance, I thought it is relevant to cite here Psalm 15, prayers which were included in the “Solemn Evening Prayer for Peace in the Middle East” that we attended earlier in the week.

Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, led in reciting the following:

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent and dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks without fault: he who acts with justice and speaks the truth from his heart;

he who does not slander with his tongue; he who does no wrong to his brother, who, casts no slur on his neighbor,

who holds the godless in disdain, but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his pledge, come what may, who takes no interest on a loan,

and accepts no bribes against the innocent.

Such a man will stand firm forever.

Amen.

May President Digong Duterte succeed in his journey for the next six years without violating the laws of men and the laws of God.


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Personal.

Happy Birthday to my Anak Amira Allahh (pictured above) on July 2.

Itay wishes you the best.

God bless you Amira.

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