School of Economics | University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City
In the run-up to the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III while the 2016 polls loom, the administration has repeatedly emphasized that there is a need to continue its so-called legacy of reforms beyond its term. Thus, the Aquino administration drumbeats its claims of “good governance” as the reason behind the Philippines being one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
But what the Aquino administration will leave behind is a legacy of exclusionary ecnomics, anti-people neoliberal reforms, elite governance, and deepened neocolonial subservience. The administration has ensured the increasing wealth of a few while the public endured government neglect, record joblessness, persistent poverty and landlessness. Its drive against corruption has opently targeted its perceived strongest political foes even as it systematically covered up the administration’s own accountability and that of its allies involved in anomalies. Meanwhile, the illegal pork barrel funds remained massive and continued to be used for its political interests and perpetuation.
Amid the worsening territorial dispute with China, the Aquino administration has deepened its neocolonial ties and sealed greater economic, political and military dependence with the US.
All these are feeding and intensifying the contradiction between the Aquino administration and the people, as it resorts to even greater repression to perpetuate itself in power.