Catch up on unfulfilled promises, Pangilinan tells Duterte

Published July 26, 2021, 10:53 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

As far as Senator Francis Pangilinan is concerned, President Duterte still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of making good his promises when he campaigned for and started his presidency five years ago.

Sen. Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan (MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

The opposition senator refused to give Duterte a personal rating as he noted that the Chief Executive has less than a year remaining in his term.

“Hindi pa tapos ‘yong ‘school year’ — kasi ginagrado na natin, eh — meron pang isang taon. Baka sakaling tumaas pa, o kaya lalong bumaba (The ‘school year’ is not yet over, he still has a year. His grade might improve, or even decline further),” Pangilinan said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday, July 26.

But he enumerated Duterte’s unfulfilled promises, such as his vow to end the country’s problem with illegal drugs and crimes within “three to six months” of his first year presidency; his promise to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty over West Philippine Sea; to weed out corruption in government; and to end contractualization, among others.

Aside from these, he also cited the “improper” and underspending of government funds.

“Marami siyang ipinangako at maraming hindi natupad (He made a lot of promises and a lot remains unfulfilled),” the Liberal Party (LP) president said.

“Meron mga natupad (He has fulfilled some of these)…but objectively, I feel, [with] one more year, graduating na siya next year, kailangan na niyang maghabol (he is ‘graduating’ next year, he has to catch up). Kasi marami pa siyang kakulangan, lalo na no’ng pumasok na ang COVID at ang daming nawalan ng trabaho, ang daming gutom (He still has a lot of deficiencies, especially when COVID-19 entered the country and many lost their jobs and went hungry).”

“Kailangan niyang maghabol, I don’t think at this point masasabi nating pumapasa siya (He has to catch up, and I don’t think at this point that we can say he is doing a satisfactory job),” he continued.

While he also recognized Duterte for signing landmark laws, Pangilinan said that touting these will also prove that members of the opposition had contributed to his achievements.

He cited for instance the Free College Education Act, which former senator Bam Aquino had defended and sponsored during the 17th Congress; as well as the Sagip Saka Act, which he principally authored.

“Well, definitely, may mga positive, lahat ng mga administrasyon may magagawa. Kung sapat o hindi, yon ang ibang usapan (Well, definitely, there are positive developments, since all administration will be able to achieve something. If they are enough or not, that’s another issue),” Pangilinan said.

Duterte is set to deliver on Monday his sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA). He is expected to enumerate his achievements, as well as his plans for his remaining 11 months in office.

Senators, earlier, said they expect to hear from Duterte his “roadmap” for the Philippines recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, even beyond his term.