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Midyear 2012: Exclusionary Economics, Elite Politics

After two years in office, the people are starting to question whether or not Aquino has the capacity and interest to institute genuine reforms in the country’s economic and political system that will serve the welfare of the majority.
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“On the second year of the presidency of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, his administration continues to unravel as brandishing more of the same elite governance defined and motivated by the narrow agenda and interests of the few. This was evident in the impeachment of Corona which was sold to the public as part of his “daang matuwid” agenda but soon enough was perceived as an effort to control the entire bureaucracy for self-serving political and economic reasons.

As is the nature of traditional politics, the Aquino presidency has played along the agenda of the US< the long-time patron of the country’s elite, in exchange for its continued patronage and support. By serving as the agent of increased US military presence in the region, Aquino has stoked the tension with China over disputed territories, in the process risking regional stability and further undermining national sovereignty.

As is the nature of traditional politics, the Aquino presidency has promoted an economic regime that excludes the poor while creating the most favorable environment for big business through public-private partnerships (PPP) or the intensified corporate takeover of various economic sectors and activities — from utilities and social services to the exploitation of natural resources. Its claim of inclusive growth is being belied by increasing poverty and social restiveness and even massive doses of conditional cash transfer (CCT) dole outs could not pacify. Meanwhile, the human rights of those who dissent against the enduring social injustice and lack of real reforms continue to be abused with impunity by alleged state forces.

Thus while still enjoying relative popularity, the Aquino regime is finding it increasingly difficult to continue selling an image of a presidency that is transformative and reformist. And after two years in office, the people are starting to question whether or not Aquino has the capacity and interest to institute genuine reforms in the country’s economic and political system that will serve the welfare of the majority.

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