All the past presidents of the Philippines have contributed something positive to our country. However, they have also committed serious blunders as leaders of our nation.
Here are the worst mistakes that the five previous presidents of the Philippines have committed during their respective terms. Hopefully, President Rodrigo Duterte will be able to stay away from these mistakes.
1. Corazon Aquino
More popularly known as Cory Aquino, she was the wife of Ninoy Aquino and served as the 11th President of the Philippines. She was a prominent figure in the 1986 People Power Revolution which toppled the 20-year dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos and brought back democracy to our country.
One of the biggest issues that surrounded her presidency was the Hacienda Luisita controversy. She was greatly criticized for opting for a stock distribution of the 6,453-hectare estate in Tarlac instead of opting for land redistribution. The arrangement was finally revoked in 2006 by the Department of Agrarian Reform which paved the way to a redistribution of the property to the farmers.
2. Fidel V. Ramos
The Presidency of Ramos started in 1992 and ended in 1998. He is known for improving the country’s economy, technology and political stability.
However, Ramos’ pet projects for the Centennial celebration – the Centennial Expo and Amphitheater in Angeles City, Pampanga – were hounded by allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds. Reports that those projects served as a vehicle of fund-raising for Ramos’ LAKAS political party also arose during his term.
3. Joseph Estrada
Erap was only President of the Philippines for 31 months. The former actor is credited for using his Presidential post to help the poor and lower the crime rate.
Unfortunately, his presidency was soon dogged by allegations of plunder and corruption. In 2000, Luis “Chavit” Singson accused Erap of being the "lord of all jueteng lords" for receiving a sum of P400 million as a payoff from illegal gambling profits.
4. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Her presidency spanned from 2001 to 2010. She served Estrada’s remaining term when he was impeached and won her second term in 2014.
Arroyo’s presidency was also dogged by allegations of corruption, summary executions, torture and illegal arrests. One of her most infamous controversies was the “Hello Garci” scandal – which involved audio recordings of a phone call between Arroyo and then Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, allegedly conversing about rigging the results of the 2004 national election against rival presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.
5. Benigno Aquino III
PNoy, son of former President Cory Aquino, was the president of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. He is often credited for improving the public image of the country and its economy after the disastrous second term of Arroyo.
His biggest controversy is on the issue of Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) – a budgeting system launched by Aquino in 2011 to fast-track spending and to boost the economy. However, it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and was accused of being used by officials to divert public funds to their own pockets. - DN, Kami Media
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