Cayetano: Duterte admin focused on creating real change
Says demolition jobs vs Du30 creating wrong perception of PH
“The atmosphere in the Palace is less about the first hundred days of the Duterte administration, but more about a hundred ways of solving our country’s problems.”
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said this as he reiterated his confidence in President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to bring about real changes amid criticisms against the government’s ongoing campaign to combat crime and illegal drugs.
The senator on Wednesday (October 12) said that as it is, the country’s fundamentals are in good shape inasmuch as building a stronger economy is concerned.
However, Cayetano lamented that the continuous demolition campaigns being thrown against President Duterte are giving the wrong perception before the international community that the administration’s war on drugs has adversely affected peace and order and, subsequently, the country’s economy.
“In politics, as well as in the economy, perception is so important. And that is my one question to the good Secretary. We are in very good shape. Is that correct? We have everything to continue to grow, to expand,” Cayetano said during the Commission on Appointment’s (CA) confirmation of the appointment of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
“There is one thing affecting us, which is the perception… Whether it is a PR job, whether it is the reality, or both, the news in the US and in the EU (European Union), especially regarding human rights issues, affected the perception of our country,” he added.
Cayetano stressed that in reality, there is less political risk now, owing to the administration’s sound policies against red tape and corruption in government.
“If you look at the elements of political risk, the only one left is law and order. And that is the big irony of what is happening today. Because the President is fighting for law and order, but the spin or the angle of some… is that there might be a problem on law and order given the alleged cases of extrajudicial killings,” the senator stressed.
Cayetano noted that, contrary to what the President’s critics are trying to portray, the number of extrajudicial killings recorded today is almost the same as the number of cases recorded during the previous administration.
“The only difference is the way the [two leaders] talk,” he said, referring to President Duterte and former President Benigno Aquino III. “President Aquino talks in a way that businessmen approved of, and he created the impression that he was going after corruption… Therefore, the perception also spun into reality, giving us not only business confidence but also upgrades.”
Dominguez, for his part, assured the senators that the country’s economic fundamentals are “rock solid” and that the President is doing all he can to make good on his promise of creating genuine reforms.
“The President is addressing the three major issues that he has set during the campaign and up to now,” Dominguez said.
“Number one, he would like to reduce poverty [rate] from the current 26 percent, where it has been for many years, down to 17 percent at the end of his term. Number two, his goal of creating a more law-abiding society is well on its way. Third, his goal of achieving peace within our own society… as well as with our neighbors, is going very well. Certainly, this will translate to a lower political risk,” the secretary added.