Almonte on President Duterte’s first 100 days:  ‘Exceptional’, 06 Oct. 2016

Former National Security Adviser Jose Almonte described today (Oct. 6) the First 100 Days of the Duterte administration as “exceptional,”  especially in terms of addressing the country’s insurgency, broken politics and the business monopolized by the few.

“In ordinary things, what he did is not really conventional,” Almonte said.

According to Almonte, addressing insurgency, broken politics and business monopoly are more important than focusing on extrajudicial killings and the President’s colorful language.

Almonte also lauded President Duterte’s move to reach out to the left by assigning Cabinet positions to known leftists and arranging an indefinite ceasefire with the communists.

He likewise underscored the President’s move to continue peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“This is very important now he is talking to the MNLF and the MILF, using his personal influence to do that. Now, this is key to our development as a nation. Otherwise, we cannot correct our corruption, or inequality, or poverty everything including the corruption of the judiciary,” Almonte said.

“But if we can solve these three, all of these will follow, believe me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Almonte said that the best foreign policy for the country is to be friends with all other countries regardless of alliance.

“The foreign policy of a nation can never go beyond the strength, internal strength of that nation. In short, foreign policy is merely an extension of the national situation,” Almonte said.

“That is why if we had to have an effective foreign policy, we have first to ensure that our nation becomes rich, prosperous, and strong so that we can relate with the people outside, not as a dependent, but as somebody who could be useful to the world,” he said.

Almonte said the Philippines could remain friends with old allies like United States but can also become friends with the enemies of the US.

“That will be the best policy given, in fact, a situation where we are not as powerful as the rest. So I repeat, to me the best foreign policy is let’s maintain our friendship with our old allies. But at the same time, let us work very hard to become friends of others, even if they are enemies of our allies,” Almonte said.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the First 100 Days of the Duterte administration was capped by a 76 percent satisfied public based on the Third Quarter 2016 Social Weather Stations (SWS) Survey.

“The President seems to be off on a very good start,” Abella said, noting that the Duterte administration bested most post-EDSA Revolution predecessors.

Abella also said investor confidence continues to remain high, noting that the World Bank’s Asia Pacific Economic Update forecasts that the Philippine economy will accelerate to 6.4 percent this year.

The Palace official also said the Bureau of Investments (BOI) has noted a 200 percent surge in investment commitments or from P17-billion last year to P51-billion in the first nine months.

This, Abella said, reflects “strong investor confidence in the Philippines and indicating that growth is sustained and accelerated.”

Abella said investments coming in include sectors that will elevate the country’s competitiveness such as power and infrastructure.

“The investment pledges were generated from 192 projects with a total estimated job generation of 37,487 expected at full operations,” Abella noted, adding an increase in imports because of the coming Christmas season.PND