THE Akbayan party-list group is not solidly behind President Benigno Aquino III because some of its members are critical of him, Commission on Human Rights Chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales said on Wednesday.
“A number is critical of the President,” such as those from the workers’ groups and the Freedom from Debt Coalition,” Rosales said in a television interview.
“I can say that some probably feel that [the president]…made mistakes.”
Former FDC president and resigned Akbayan representative Walden Bello was very critical of Aquino over his refusal to apologize over the firefight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, that resulted in the killing of 44 police commandos, she said.
Bello also slammed the President for not removing Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over his creation of the Disbursement Allocation Program, which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional, under the Office of the President.
But Rosales said she believed Abad had been doing a good job introducing reforms in his department.
Bello’s resignation had been a test of loyalty for the organization, Rosales said. But she said there were prominent Akbayan leaders who were still supportive of the President.
She said Aquino still enjoyed the backing of party-list stalwarts such as Ronald Llamas and Joel Rocamora.
When asked about the President’s biggest mistake, Rosales said: “It has been said over and over again. I guess we should learn to distance ourselves from the rest of the crowd. It’s a lonely post being President, but it’s necessary.”
Rosales said the issue was Aquino’s decision to include former Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima in the botched Mamasapano operation despite his suspension.