THE Liberal Party to which Vice President Leni Robredo and former President Benigno Aquino III belong failed to address the poverty problem during Aquino’s six years in power, the camp of former vice president Jejomar Binay said Tuesday.
Binay spokesman Joey Salgado made the statement after Robredo said poverty “is a larger war that needs our attention” during Monday’s anti-poverty summit.
He said poverty worsened during the Aquino administration because of Aquino failed to help the poor.
“With all due respect to Vice President Robredo, her party, the Liberal Party, failed to address poverty in the six years it was in power. This is why poverty remains a serious problem today,” Salgado said.
He said the LP administration ended with 26-million poor Filipinos based on official government statistics.
“The former chief of the National Economic Development Authority even declared we should be happy with this figure, and this underscores the insensitivity of the LP administration to the plight of the poor,” Salgado said.
“Despite the highly touted economic growth and credit rating upgrades, millions remained poor and jobless. We had improving GDP growth but worsening poverty. That is the real legacy of the LP.
“The LP style of governance was one of insensitivity and incompetence. They had six years and they blew it.”
Salgado also said the Liberal Party was obsessed with protecting and rewarding its allies in politics and business and persecuting political enemies.
“That was their priority. That is why poverty persists,” he said.
Robredo visited almost every week several coastal villages and rural areas in the Philippines during her first 100 days and dubbed the series of activities as “Laylayan Event.”
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed her head of the Housing and Urban Development and Coordinating Council, the agency that was also led by Binay during his term as vice president.
Last month, Binay’s camp also criticized Robredo following her statement that she was disappointed by the government’s “slow” construction of resettlement houses for the victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” that hit the country in 2013.
“If the Vice President is interested in quick answers, may we suggest that she ask her [former] running mate Mar Roxas and Butch Abad,” Salgado said.
“Both of them were given major roles by the previous administration in the Yolanda rehabilitation program. We hope that aside from quick answers, they give honest answers as well.”
Roxas served as Interior secretary while Abad was Budget secretary during the time of President Aquino, who endorsed the candidacy of the Roxas-Robredo tandem in the May 9 presidential elections.
Salgado said Robredo should also consider the observations of the United Nations decrying the failure of the Aquino administration to build decent and sufficient permanent housing for the victims two years after Yolanda.
As late as 2015 the UN noted that, in both temporary and permanent housing, the provision of water, adequate sanitation and electricity remained “seriously problematic.”