Richard Lugar, former US senator, lauds the Aquino Administration for PH progress during a symposium in Washington, D.C. on April 28.
Photo credits to Inquirer.net
Richard Lugar, a former U.S. senator and chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, praised President Benigno Aquino III for successfully upholding the symbol of economic empowerment after his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, was considered to be the symbol of the Filipinos’ political empowerment.
During the Philippines 2016: Governance, Growth, Development and Security” in Washington, D.C. on April 28, Lugar gave his own thoughts about the Philippines, which included how the country has transitioned 30 years since the EDSA Revolution of 1986 and how the Aquino Administration has performed.
With regard to the present administration’s performance, Lugar said Aquino is able to leave the presidential seat with high approval ratings.
“He leaves with some of the highest approval ratings for a departing president, and a solid record of robust economic growth under his watch. The American business community in the Philippines has given his administration high marks for the economic reforms that have been passed by the Congress during his term, and the international rating agencies have steadily upgraded the country’s credit scores. This growing international confidence bodes well for future foreign investment and more jobs.”
He also added his perspective on what lies ahead for the bilateral ties between the Philippines and the United States. Lugar is positive that the relationship between the USA and the Philippines will remain strong even after both Aquino and Obama leave office.
“While personalities are important, countries’ relationships with one another are also shaped by their interests, and those won’t change just because of the elections,” Lugar said.
He is hoping that the next American president will appoint an experienced foreign policy adviser who will be able to evaluate U.S.-Philippine relations on the basis of our shared interests.
Meanwhile, Lugar brought back memories during on how he led the U.S. election observer delegation to Manila in 1986, including the challenges he faced in terms of redefining U.S. policy towards former President Marcos in the lead up to the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.
“One of its many flaws was that it ignored the fundamental attachment of the Filipino people to democratic values. We had seen that in the 1984 national assembly elections. I saw that as I toured the country on Election Day in 1986,” Lugar observed.
“I met many courageous people who had risked threats of violence and intimidation to come to the polls. And certainly the world saw it when TV cameras broadcast around the world the huge crowds, up to a million people, that attended Cory Aquino’s rallies after the balloting,” Lugar explained.
“Democracy prevailed over time. So the Filipino people should be proud that they have kept their democracy, even as they have worked to correct what they would agree are its many flaws,” he noted.