Osmeña brands Aquino, Cabinet ‘non-performers’
AFTER describing President Benigno Aquino III as an “awful manager,” Senator Sergio Osmeña III said Filipinos are becoming exasperated with the Chief Executive and the non-performing assets in his Cabinet for doing nothing since 2010.
“They have a lot of things to do, but they didn’t do them,” said Osmeña, who campaigned for Aquino when he ran for President in 2010.
He also used a term that President Aquino used to describe do-nothing politicians, calling the government an “ampaw” administration, likening it to a rice puff that is sweet but unsubstantial.
“Wait, they did not do anything in 2010. Wait, they did not do anything in 2011... and they did nothing in 2012,” Osmeña said in an interview over radio dzRH.
He said the Aquino Cabinet was filled with non-performers that needed to be replaced.
Osmeña, who criticized the President “for not listening and merely clinging to his appointees,” should move quickly because he has only two remaining years in his term to prove his worth and do something good for the country.
He said the President’s political rivals could easily use the issue of non-performance against them in the coming elections.
“I told them... we can fix this, but you’re very slow,” Osmena said, apparently referring to the President and his Cabinet.
“I advised them to rush, but until now, not even one infrastructure project under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) [program] has been accomplished. I also talked about energy, which I said was very important. If you don’t do it today, it will not happen,” Osmeña said.
So far, he said, Aquino had been blaming the power mess on the previous administration.
“But if by next year, and we still have the power shortage, it is the fault of the Aquino government,” Osmeña said.
“Since 2010, there was already [a power] shortage in Mindanao, [with] three- to four-hour brownouts. I know that because I campaigned there. I asked that I be interviewed on the radio, but it was not feasible because the brownout there was from 8 a.m. to 12 noon,” he recalled.
“So, we have to resolve this problem, we have to move faster,” he said.
The President’s tendency to wait would also reduce his ability to endorse his successor in the 2016 elections, Osmena said.
“I think that the Aquino administration might also be called ‘ampaw’ because they have not done so many things, which they can do,” he said.
He admitted he had several misunderstandings with the President, whom he described as an honest man.
“If we are going to make a report card, you will see there are many projects that should have been ongoing by this time, or last year, or two years ago, which haven’t started up to this time. That is
the performance of the Aquino administration,” he said.
Asked if he regretted backing Aquino’s presidential bid, Osmena would not give a categorical response.
“Nothing is 100 percent white,” he said.
He acknowledged that investors were happy with Aquino’s administration’s anti-corruption
Campaign and were commending him for his honesty.
This was reflected in several high-profile arrests, including the people involved in the pork barrel scam and the Globe Asiatique scandal.
On the other hand, he said, infrastructure projects such as the expansion of the light railway system have been delayed.
“There are also infrastructure projects all over the place, like the Mactan Airport, which has been delayed for three years. And now, there might also be a postponement because I am questioning why it was given to a company without due diligence ,” he said.
While the President listened to is advice in 2010, things are different now, the senator said.
“After that, he chose all his classmates, his shooting mates, his relatives. He selected them,” Osmena said.
He said he had no regrets for supporting Aquino, who he insisted was the best candidate in 2010.
“But I am also very disappointed. I am ashamed that he did not perform well. If he can drive 80 mph, why drive at only 30mph?”
He said the public needed to light a fire under the President’s feet.
“If we are complacent, nothing will happen,” said Osmeña.
Osmena said he received many text messages last week supporting him when he criticized Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla’s handling of the power crisis and urged the President to fire him.