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Right from Aquinos opening statements in his SONA, he immediately proved the accuracy of the statements of progressive groups.

Aquino recalled for starters the oppression brought about by military dictatorship. He claimed that democracy has been restored. He shared that having witnessed the hardship of his family and others during martial law, he would now side with anyone who is being taken advantage of and whose rights are being robbed. Yet, outside Congress as he spoke, the police and soldiers were beating back protesters from marching nearer to Congress, as should have been their right. Number of classrooms made available, increased access to public healthcare, performance-based bonus incentives for government employees, mosquito traps to curb the spread of dengue, Sin Tax bills, jobs at BPOs, new airports in Bohol, a passenger terminal in Caticlan, properly paved roads Kicked off and sustained the 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Citing disembodied statistics out of context and stringing them together into a litany o f little wins to tell a story of achievement is a good way to distract the attention -deficited mind of the Filipino from where the substance should have been. Indeed, by mouthing what is no more than an unstructured list of purported achievements, President Aquino came across more as a bricklayer reporting the laying of each new brick rather than an architect describing how the overall edifice is taking shape. Instead of a report befitting a true chief executive, the President delivers to his people an address befitting a mere administrator. President Aquinos litany of little achievements perhaps stands tall like a pile of sand that crumbles when taken to the task of bearing a load. Compare that pile of sand to an engineered structure of trusses of equal height perhaps one tenth the mass of said sand pile, but 100 times more stable. Nevertheless, for good measure, President Aquino cited that May 2012 article from Bloomberg Businessweek that attempted a rather lame talk-up of the Philippine economy which, really, was no more than a re-gifting of hollowed-out truisms about the Philippines emerging economy The BusinessWeek report is all positive spin, but ends up inadvertently highlighting pretty much all of what makes the Philippine economy a hollow shell a bubble even citing as signs of good times ahead, the fact that Manila sports the third largest mall on the planet: SM City North EDSA, with 1,100 shops, 400 of which include places to eat, and the attractiveness of the country as a site for multinationals call-centre operations, a trend that simply points to the fact that there is nothing in the domestic economy and its capital base that promises much else for the exploding supply of Filipino job seekers. In the same manner, the report paints a peachy picture of what is really the quintessential weakness of the Philippine economy its dependence on foreign employment Suffice to say the President, and perhaps the vast army of cheerleaders who surround him, failed to grasp the irony in his deference to a foreign news journal to substantiate his claim that all is going swimmingly in the Philippines while issuing a poignant appeal to the local media: I only wish that the optimism of foreign media would be shared by their local counterparts more often. President BS Aquinos SONA need not have been the hour -and-a-half reading that it was had he focused on a small handful of key measures that, by themselves, would have sent across a far more powerful message of achievement if the numbers were right. He only needed to highlight how three simple indices changed since he assumed office as President of this sad republic: (1) Corruption: CPI of 2.4 at end of year 2010 (2) Human Development: HDI of 0.64 at end of year 2010 (3) OFW remittances: 12% of GDP for 2008 The challenge for any government that presumes to preside over real change is really quite simple: (a) come up with target figures for each of the above metrics (say, aim to increase the first two points and reduce the third one), and (b) grow the cojones to measure and evaluate itself along these lines. As expected, the 2012 SONA of President BS Aquino failed to describe a consistent application of the most fundamental principle of accountability to set measurable targets and evaluate ones performance on the basis of clear results. Aquinos improved economy: no longer a joke but a farce. Aquinos 90-minute speech, said to be one of the longest SONAs in recent memory, highlighted achievements that progressive groups shot down either as just a deception, a half-truth at best, or simply meaningless. Among others, Aquinos achievements consisted of an S & P credit upgrade, a rise in sto ck market, some record gross international reserves, a loan extended to IMF all quite meaningless to ordinary Filipinos facing high prices, low wages and landlessness. President Aquino expounded on the gains made by his administration in the delivery of education and health services. What he did not mention is that these services are increasingly being provided by professional teachers and nurses working as highly exploited contractuals. Under his presidency, the Department of Education has deployed over 20,000 contractual teachers and 10,000 contractual nurses who are paid below minimum wage. Aquino expectedly boasted about the rise in Philippine GDP, claiming it is highest in Southeast Asia, but analysts have warned before that comparing the Philippines rate of growth to that of other neighboring countries is an inaccurate gauge for development, because other countries started off from a more substantial growth than the Philippines. Even if other countries growth had slowed down compared to the Philippines, they have advanced considerably farther than the Philippines. Besides, the most important sector that generates more jobs is agriculture, but, according to independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, agriculture under Aquino experienced a 2.4-percent drop from 7.3-percent to 4.9-percent. If indeed the country is progressing and the people are reaping the benefits from it, why is the issue of human rights absent from Aquinos third state of the nation address? This does not bode well for democracy a nd the human rights situation in the country, the Peoples SONA participants warned. While President Aquino praised the military and the police and efforts to improve the countrys defense and law enforcement capabilities, he did not utter one word during his 90 minute speech about the many victims of abuses by these forces. Human rights abusers can conclude that, contrary to previous government statements, they have little to fear and that it will be business as usual in the years ahead. Human Rights Watch has been calling on Aquino to communicate clearly to state security forces that his administration will hold accountable those who violate human rights. Members and officers of the military and the police have been implicated in large numbers of extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances. Since Aquino took office in 2010, not one perpetrator has been successfully prosecuted even as the abuses continue. For the Peoples SONA, even the increase in number of Condition al Cash Transfer beneficiaries only underscores the worsening situation of the poor, as they more and more have to make use of the governments dole-outs.

This highly counter-productive program is an admission on the part of the Aquino regime that it is unable to solve unemployment and poverty because it cannot provide land to the landless nor establish national industries to offer quality jobs to workers. Another Aquino achievement that the Peoples SONA warned he would lie about in his SONA is his supposed defense of the nations sovereignty in fighting for the Spratlys, Panatag Shoal and West Philippine Sea (or South China Sea). In truth, Aqui no has surrendered national sovereignty over the disputed islands, the NDFP charged in an earlier statement, noting Aquinos ordered withdrawal of Philippine vessels from the West Philippine Sea due supposedly to bad weather. The weather has cleared up, but until now, redeploying vessels back to the shoal remains uncertain, prompting the revolutionary group to accuse Aquino of using the weather as an alibi to minimize hype for its retreat. Despite his warmongering against China supposedly in defense of Philippine sovereignty, Aquino has allowed U.S. naval ships and military aircraft access to the countrys naval and airport facilities. The Aquino regime has succeeded in allowing more US troops into the country as part of the rebalancing strategy of the US military. The group warned during the Peoples SONA that the Aquino government seems hell-bent on reversing the gains from the eviction of US military bases in 1991, by allowing the permanent presence of US troops in the guise of helping the Philippines against China.