REVEALED: How The Corazon Aquino Administration Betrayed The Philippines
According to a critical discussion paper named The Economic Legacy of Marcos authored by Gerardo P. Sicat ( One of Marcos' technocrat during his regime), Former Corazon C. Aquino failed miserably to run the country. In his paper, he emphasized 4 crimes and incompetencies that the Cory Aquino administration perpetrated; (1) failure to achieve rapid national reconciliation that was essential in rebuilding the nation; (2) outright condemnation of the many contributions in infrastructure and institution building made emotions displace reason; (3) displacement of the bureaucracy of government that was running the country’s economic and social programs; and (4) the dissipation of the huge political capital arising from the EDSA Revolution and her success in toppling Marcos.
The most notable mistake was the refusal of the Late President to operate the multi-billion dollar Bataan Nuclear Power Plant that up to this date, still haven't produced even a single watt of power. She also abolished the public owned Ministry of Energy and privatized many power plants that in turn caused widespread blackouts and the industrial dream of the Philippines was halted indefinitely.
In his paper Mr Gerardo Sicat, debunked the myths and propaganda that the biased mainstream media is patronizing. Local mainstream media often blame the Marcos administration for the poverty and economic backwardness of the Philippines since his fall. According to Mr Sicat; If a useful thread is cut off at a point when it still has a way to go for the job to be finished, who is to blame – the one who spun the thread or the one who cut it off? His assertion was backed up with substantial evidences that should be made public.
HERE ARE THE FOUR CRIMES:
(1) Failure to achieve national reconciliation.
The idea of avenging Marcos was so strong that the succeeding leadership forgot to stress reconciliation and national unity to achieve quick closure so that the nation could return to the business of national progress. The dominant view was to mount cases against Marcos for plunder and corruption. In the end, those in charge of the process (like the PCGG) would enlarge the network of asset sequestrations for the state rather than narrow them down to the most important and feasible to bring to closure. It is now over two decades and frozen economic resources that could have been re‐circulated within the economy continue to be dissipated.(2) Nuclear power plant.
This decision – not to commission the nuclear power plant as a means of punishing the Marcos legacy because of the price and cost overruns of the project – was to bring to the nation the burden of high energy costs that continue to this day because it dislocated the energy planning in the country. The periodic brownouts that happened soon after during the electricity crises of the early 1990s were just the initial costs on the nation’s productivity. The added financial cost of building new power plants and the resulting contracts of purchase of electricity once the projects were put on stream put the country at the highest spectrum of power cost per unit within the East Asian region. The worst penalty was to impose on the nation the cost of amortizing a plant of multi‐billion size over the years for zero kilowatt of power!
The biggest blow of the disorderly transition in the running of government programs was the damage to institutional memory that followed in the change of government officials at the top. The blanket removal of senior government officials running important ministries, bureaus, and agencies led to the disruption of government programs. An implementation vacuum was created as institutional memory was erased by changes in personnel with no previous connections to the government programs. This certainly had an impact on the quality of governance. A serious damage was dealt on the Career Executive Service – a program of training the senior bureaucracy in the government – that was well on the way toward improving the overall running of the various government programs. This was further made worse by the politicization of many senior level posts in the government as a result of the programs and policies that neglected the career service and eventually the civil service program.
(4) Waste of political capital
One telling aspect of the inexperience of the Aquino government was the waste of the enormous political capital that the country gained with her ascension to office. As triumphant new leader, she was unable to harness the goodwill and political capital that she herself had acquired in her overthrow of the Marcos government. That would have enabled her to jump many steps ahead in restoring the economy back on the path of economic growth after the economic crisis years of the 1980s. The public display of disagreements in the open of the various ministers and the lack of cohesive direction that the president gave to them led not only to a misdirection of government action. It also created a loss of support from external sources. The international community could have been mobilized to provide the help to weather the financial stresses that were faced by the nation at the time.
Of course, detractors of this post may arise claiming that publishing this blogpost is merely an act of historical revisionism. The evidences are not fabricated, in fact, fabricated stories and articles are from biased media outlets. The source of this post is from an academic discussion paper published at the University of The Philippines.