Sunday, October 9, 2016

'Exceptional!' - Former security adviser Almonte on Duterte's first 100 days


In Photo: President Duterte gestures as he poses with Philippine Army officers during his visit to the Army headquarters in Taguig City on Tuesday, as US and Philippine forces opened their first large-scale combat exercises. An independent poll released on Thursday showed that more than three-quarters of Filipinos are satisfied with Mr. Duterte, even though he is under fire internationally for his deadly crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users. The survey was conducted from September 24 to 27 and was published on Thursday.

Former National Security Adviser Jose Almonte on Thursday described the first 100 days of President Duterte as exceptional, particularly  in addressing insurgency, broken politics and monopolized business.
“Exceptional,” Almonte said, when asked during a Malacañang news briefing to describe President Duterte’s first 100 days in office.
Almonte served as director general of the National Security Council under former President Fidel V. Ramos, who is now President Duterte’s special envoy to China on the maritime dispute at the West Philippine Sea.
He said the Philippines has had an internal war since 1946, and he commended Mr. Duterte’s move to declare an indefinite cease-fire to give way to the peace process with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Almonte also noticed Mr. Duterte’s unconventional approach when he appointed known leftists to his Cabinet.
“This is the longest communist insurgency in the world.  And we are, at the same time, having a problem of separatist movement in the South. So that’s No. 1. No. 2 is our broken politics,” Almonte said.
Almonte said Mr. Duterte’s call for Congress to start immediately the discussion on the possible shift of government from the presidential system to federalism would fix the “broken politics” in the country.
“The problem is this – only a small group, special group, in general—formulates the policies, national policies of this government, and it is implemented for the interest. And this happens, as you know, every after election. As we know, the center of political power, where we are in this country, is under the hands of this small group that funded the election,” he said.
Almonte also praised Mr. Duterte for trying to break the “unholy alliance” between politics and business.
“If we cannot solve these three basic problems, we can never build a Filipino nation the way we want it to be. So these three must be solved and President Duterte is confronting it. That’s the best for the nation,” he said.
Almonte also said if Mr. Duterte could solve these three basic problems, other concerns, like corruption, inequality and poverty, will also be addressed in the future.
“It just so happened that what he’s doing is what I thought before. And that is why I am here to talk to you. I was asked. And the reason is I believe that he is doing the right thing on this,” he said. - By Jelly F. Musico / Philippines News Agency
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