THE Palace insisted Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte did “exceptionally well” in his first 100 days in office, and played down assertions made by former President Fidel Ramos that the country was losing badly because of his sharp, unnecessary tirades against other countries.
“Yes, we listen to him, we respect him. But we’d also like to balance his perspective by the statement of his former national security adviser,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said, referring to Ramos’ former national security adviser Jose Almonte.
“When asked… to assess the first 100 days of the President, he [Almonte] referred to the fact that based on the three-point mission, which is to reduce poverty, which is law and order, which is peace within our borders, he said that the President did exceptionally well,” Abella said.
In his column in another newspaper, Ramos said the tough-talking Duterte could have “hit the ground running” to address the people’s expectations better, if he didn’t focus on ranting about criticism of extrajudicial killings.
Ramos added that while his senior officials are busy undoing the “discombobulating” off-and-on statements by the President on
Philippines-US relations, particularly on security and economic matters, Duterte instead busied himself berating outgoing US President Barack Obama, outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and terminating the RP-US exercises.
“In the overall assessment by this writer, we find our Team Philippines losing in the first 100 days of Du30’s administration—and losing badly. This is a huge disappointment and letdown to many of us,” said Ramos, who had urged Duterte to run.
Abella said they respected Ramos and said his comments were “worth looking into.”
“We can appreciate where President FVR is coming from. On the other hand, we also continue to move on, according to the lights of the President,” he added.
The Communist Party of the Philippines, meanwhile, scored Ramos, whom they branded as an “Amboy top dog” who would pressure Duterte to move away from an independent foreign policy.
“Duterte must now be wary of Gen. Ramos who he won over as a key supporter in the May 2016 elections. It is quite apparent that US military agents in the Philippines are closely working with Ramos to counteract Duterte’s policy statements and measures against US military exercises and presence,” the CPP said in a statatement.