By Fred Lobo
President Duterte deserves a grade of 8.5 to nine out of 10 for his first-year performance in office, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said.
DU30 made “many changes” that were felt by the people, the Senate head said.
Duterte made good on his campaign promise “change is coming,” primarily in foreign relations and peace and order, Pimentel added.
“We’ve felt so many changes… The world believes that we have an independent foreign policy,” he said.
“We are no longer being dictated upon by other countries. We determine our own course in international affairs,” he added.
Translation: Dwarf PH is now as big as a giant, as international law prescribes.
Pimentel also said that data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) show that criminality has gone down.
This is a result of the administration’s war on drugs, he said.
But Pimentel said he was “personally alarmed” by frequent reports about “extrajudicial killings.”
“If the overall incidence of crime went down, let us look at the murders – maybe it has gone up. I am urging the PNP that this is the improvement they can do for the second year of the Duterte administration,” the Senate president suggested.
Pimentel pointed out that Duterte is “very industrious, given his age.”
“To our President, keep on doing what you have been doing. Surveys have been saying that the people appreciate what you have been doing. There are also negative statements, but this is a democracy,” the Senate head said.
Likewise, Sen. Francis Escudero said the Filipino people and Duterte are getting used to each other.
“We’re trying to get used to him and he’s trying to get used to the office, as well,” he said.
“Anything that flows from his mouth is actually not only national but international news as well,” Escudero added, although he noted that Duterte has mellowed on his use of expletives.
The mellowing of DU30’s language noted, folks.
Escudero said Duterte does not micromanage the economy but leaves that to his economic managers to ensure the economic growth of the country.
“Call it laissez-faire or call it level-playing field. That is the impression most businessmen have after his first year in office and I hope it continues,” the senator said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo (LP) said she and President Duterte (PDP) have a good working relationship despite not having talked to each other for about three months now.
Civility and political decency appear good for them and for the country – for now.
“Because of the Marawi crisis and his successive foreign trips, (our planned) dinner didn’t push through. Hopefully, after all these, it will still push through,” VP Leni said.
Okay, let’s keep hoping for the best. After all, all is well that ends well.
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