Noynoy, Mar vow transparency in government
By Delon Porcalla
The Philippine Star
DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – A government under Liberal Party stalwarts Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel “Mar” Roxas II will ensure transparency and easy access to media whether friend or foe, unlike the inaccessible and tightlipped President Arroyo.
“We understand the value of media, whether they criticize us or not, whether it is good or bad news. We may not agree with what you (media) are saying, but we will fight for your right to say it,” vice presidential candidate Roxas told a news conference here.
Roxas lamented that it has become ironic that nowadays, people would rather complain to media entities, which they think have much more credibility, than to the government mired in bureaucratic red tape that has spawned massive corruption.
Mrs. Arroyo stopped holding press conferences and started rejecting interviews from media in 2005, a year after she won the elections, and at the height of the “Hello, Garci” scandal that implicated her in the alleged rigging of ballots in the 2004 elections.
Malacañang spokesmen now conduct news briefings.
Former senator Franklin Drilon, who is included in the LP senatorial slate, said that if elected, they will “redefine the executive privilege” Mrs. Arroyo imposed on members of her Cabinet, who refused to attend legislative inquiries that tackle corruption issues.
He said Mrs. Arroyo used executive privilege to “cover and hide corruption in government.”
“We will redefine through a law the parameters of executive privilege,” he said.
Aquino also criticized Mrs. Arroyo’s alleged mismanagement of the economy, apparently forgetting what she taught him and other students in her economics class at the Ateneo.
Aquino got a B+ rating from Mrs. Arroyo at the Ateneo de Manila University economics class that also included economist Joey Salceda, one of the President’s economic advisers and now Albay governor, and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.
Aquino, an economics graduate, earlier told the People Management Association of the Philippines meeting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Makati City that to improve the country’s productivity and competence in the age of globalization, there has to be a level playing field where each sector can stand up to international standards, and not survive through close relations with Malacañang.
Meantime, Philippine Basketball Association star player James Yap of the champion Purefoods Hotdogs and his son Baby James would soon join the provincial sorties of his brother-in-law, Senator Aquino. – With Aurea Calica