Aquino in the eye of the storm

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Former Senator Joker Arroyo, who was his mother’s executive secretary, called him an “evil genius” for his supposedly creative use of Article 39 of the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines to justify the Disbursement Allocation Program, in the process marking the first time that Benigno Aquino III has ever been so referred to by either epithet.

A genius, after all, Mr. Aquino is not, his record as both member of Congress and as President not being particularly bright, and DAP itself being the brainchild of his Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. If comparisons must be made with the Presidents of his real boss, the USA, he’s no Abraham Lincoln, but more like a Ronald Reagan, who knew at least one thing: how to communicate, and how to make people think they’re getting roses while he was handing out thorns.

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His own man

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THE claim that it’s not Benigno Aquino III who really wants to keep the pork barrel system intact, either by renaming it or by insisting that discretionary funds are not part of it, is straight out of the Marcos period.

Then it was Imelda Marcos who was being accused of all the terrible things Marcos was doing. Today, so some Aquinophiles argue, it’s either the Liberal Party, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II , or all of them together who want to preserve the pork barrel system.

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