“The momentum inherited by President Aquino from my administration is slowing down, and despite his initial brief honeymoon period, he has simply not replaced my legacy with new ideas and actions of his own”. says former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in a paper presented by Dr. Gonzalo Jurado, Arroyo’s former professor at the University of the Philippines.
When I stepped down, I called on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I was optimistic and I was hopeful about our future. However, evidence is mounting that my optimism was misplaced,” she added.
“There is no room for absenteeism, nor for coming to work late and leaving early. There is simply not enough that can be done if the Cabinet meets only four times in an entire year,” she said. “This is not the kind of ethics that should be practiced by one who claims to have a genuine reform agenda.”
“Neither will it attract capital from investors who desire regularity and a level playing field. Nor do our people deserve to be consigned to economic stagnation, government lethargy, and nobody-home leadership … Our people deserve more, and better from him.”
The former president accused Aquino of an “obsessive pursuit of political warfare meant to blacken the past and conceal dark corners of the present dispensation.”
“Rather than building on our nation’s achievements, this regime has extolled itself as the sole harbinger of good,” she said.
Arroyo added how the administration tried to cover up what she described as the “vacuum of leadership” by resorting to “vilification.”
“I know that the President has to be a politician, like everybody else in our elected leadership … But what really matters is what kind of politics we espouse, not how much,” she said. “The enemy to beat is ourselves: when we spread division rather than unity; when we put ego above country and sensationalism above rationality; when we make everyday politics replace long-term vision in our country’s hour of need.”
President Aquino, “instead of acknowledging his debt to his predecessor,” accused her of treating Filipinos as an export commodity.
“Indeed, it’s so easy to claim achievement that have already been accomplished by others and take credit for what is there when the one who did the work has gone,” Arroyo added.
“Recently, the administration seems to have retreated from the original objective of rice self-sufficiency by 2013.”
“In its place, do they have alternative vision in mind for our all-important agricultural sector?”
“And of course it is the landowners who must set the example of compliance with the law in order to allow the rest of us to move forward — such as the Arroyos in my husband’s family, who voluntarily submitted long ago to land reform even without an order from the Supreme Court to do the right thing”.
Download or read the essay below.