Aquino camp to Arroyo allies: Stop giving advice

June 16, 2010

Fidelis Angela Tan
Philippine Online Chronicles
June 16, 2010

Allies of president-apparent Noynoy Aquino has told the camp of outgoing head of state Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to cease giving him unsolicited advice.

Among the unsolicited advice has been to keep qualified government employees—including the household staff of the Palace. Outgoing executives have also been giving Aquino advice on how to handle the country’s ballooning deficit and how to deal with political opponents.

“Stop lecturing the incoming Aquino administration,” said Senator Francis Pangilinan of the Liberal Party, under which Aquino ran as standard-bearer. “Enough. Please, just leave. You have no right to lecture the new administration.”

“Why should we listen to a discredited regime tainted with scandal and corruption?” he asked. “They have no business lecturing the incoming administration, considering how they have been embroiled in countless cases of corruption and human rights violations.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Senator Jinggoy Estrada added that Malacanang giving advice to Aquino was “absurd.” Estrada is the oldest son of former president Joseph Estrada, who was ousted on grounds of plunder but was later pardoned by Arroyo.

“How can they give away advice when Ms. Arroyo’s regime is laced with public disapproval, corruption, and abuse of power?” he asked. “They are acting as if the next administration can emulate something good from them. For me, it’s absurd, even ridiculous.”

“I think President Noynoy knows what he is doing. He has a lot of competent people around him, more competent than the men behind GMA,” he added. “They had nine long years to practice what they preach and they blew it.”

“When Ms Arroyo steps out of the presidency on June 30, I think half of the problem is already solved since corruption will be out of the equation,” he continued. “Government projects can be realized and progress will be felt by the underprivileged.”

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago added that everyone, including the United States, should leave Aquino alone as he prepares to take up the presidential mantle.

“We should never offer advice unless it is solicited,” she said.

“I think America, likewise, just like the Filipino nation, should also leave him alone and stop sycophantizing just like everybody else with respect to this new president,” she added.

Earlier, Aquino had rejected an offer from the Palace for a meeting between his newly-formed Cabinet and the outgoing Cabinet.

“What does a joint Cabinet meeting hope to accomplish? How can there be two Cabinets in existence at the same time?” Aquino asked.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. agreed that the meeting would have been a bad idea.

“It was good that Aquino turned down the joint Cabinet meeting ploy proposed by Arroyo manipulators,” he said. “It [Palace proposal for a joint Cabinet meeting] had one overriding subtle intent: establish personal contacts with incoming Cabinet officials.”

Presidential Management Staff (PMS) chief Maria Elena Bautista-Horn, the Palace was not dismayed by the refusal, and had only meant to “clear the air” with the proposed meeting.

“We’re not [dismayed]. That’s a form of assistance to them. If they don’t want it, we will respect that,” Bautista-Horn said.

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