MANILA, Philippines – He may have run on a promise to be the antithesis of his very unpopular, scandal-tainted predecessor, but President Benigno Aquino III got dismal scores from nongovernment and people’s organizations who pinned on him their hopes for change.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 as a failing grade, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Wednesday gave him a “4” or “cuatro” for his performance in the economy, governance, foreign policy and human rights. They are mounting a protest in Mendiola on June 30 to coincide with the President’s first year in office.
The protesters will press the Aquino government to provide immediate and long-term measures to help people cope with the rising cost of living, even as jobs and means of livelihood remain scarce and state services and safety nets are inadequate.
“In his first year as president, Benigno Aquino III miserably failed to live up to his own hype and ‘change’ rhetoric. Aquino can’t claim to be the complete opposite of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo since he merely continued many of Arroyo’s policies. Aquino’s so-called daang matuwid has turned out to be one full of roadblocks, expensive toll gates, potholes, and wrong directions,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
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There is a need for P-Noy to explicitly declare that he is waging war against human rights violations in the same way that he promised to fight corruption during his campaign for presidency. Situations on the ground demand a stricter and more serious order from the leadership to its personnel to give the highest respect for human rights.
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