MANILA, Philippines – Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, who has publicly called for the imprisonment of President Benigno Aquino III, was in for a surprise after presumptive Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte declared praises for the outgoing administration’s efforts in boosting the Philippine economy.
Interaksyon reported that Joma Sison urged Duterte to arrest of President Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad for plunder, citing the alleged misuse of the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Sison said they were “responsible for looting and unprecedented corruption” in the allocation of the PDAF, which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.
The call is a striking contrast to Duterte’s praises for the administration. Recently the Davao City mayor was reported to have said that he would be open to having Cabinet members from President Benigno Aquino III’s economic team.
“The economy is doing good under the Aquino administration,” he said. “We will have to admit it is doing well. And if it’s not really broken, why should I fix it? Di, I would hire yung mga Cabinet members who are good, then allow them enough time to come up with something that would equal or maybe enhance more the economic policies of Aquino.”
Duterte’s acknowledgement of the outgoing administration’s achievements comes as a surprise after months of mudslinging against Aquino’s Daang Matuwid (Straight Path) platform during the height of the election’s campaign period.
Duterte’s vote of confidence also comes in the midst of the flurry of praises for Aquino’s leadership in making the Philippines the best performer in the region.
Moody’s Analytics and ANZ Research both forecast the Philippine economy to continue at a healthy pace in 2016 thanks to robust domestic activity and election-related spending, as reported by Business World.
Moody’s Analytics declared that “The Philippines economy is expected to have expanded 6.2% year-on-year in the opening quarter of 2016,” and that the country would be “the best-performing economy in Southeast Asia,” despite a global slump felt around the world in the first quarter.
In a bid to show appreciation to the outgoing president, netizens have also initiated the #SalamatPNoy hashtag when sharing news reports that celebrate the government’s achievements during the past 6 years.
One of the articles shared was a report from Bloomberg published in January 2015 of the Philippines being hailed as “Southeast Asia’s Strong Man.”