Imaginary achievements

IN President Aquino’s mind, the economy is humming along nicely, low- and middle-income wage earners are doing so well they can well afford to pay the highest taxes in Southeast Asia, and traffic congestion, dubbed the worst on the planet, will soon be a thing of the past.

From this same delusional mind this week came the fantastic suggestion that the opposition would try to grab credit for the accomplishments of the Aquino administration once the campaign for the 2016 elections start.

“We must not forget: It is in the game plan of the opposition to Daang Matuwid to minimize our accomplishments. Others will even [claim] they are the ones who did the accomplishments of the administration, which we worked hard for,” said Aquino at a Liberal Party Convention at the Club Filipino in San Juan City.

He added that even those criticizing the government over its failure to solve the traffic problem would claim credit for fixing it once projects that he began, like the Skyway Stage 3, are completed.

“Just think about this, when they are the ones inaugurating [the projects of the Aquino administration], they might be readying a ‘marker’ as early as today, stating that they are the ones who established [the project],” Aquino said.

He said these opponents had “the thickest face” and urged LP members not to be silent in the face of their attacks.

“The sacrifices of those who were ahead of us are at stake,” Aquino said melodramatically. “The future of 100 million Filipinos is also at stake.”

Ironically, Mr. Aquino has not been above grabbing credit himself.

At the World Economic Forum in May, he claimed he established anti-corruption programs in the Bureau of Internal Revenue, when in fact, those programs began under his much-maligned predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In May, the family of Filipino overseas worker Mary Jane Veloso, who is on death row in Indonesia, slammed Aquino for claiming credit for Veloso’s stay of execution when the government allegedly mishandled her case. In truth, they said, it was an Indonesian NGO that won her stay.

Even the conditional cash transfer program—a straight dole that saps away billions in taxpayers’ money—began as a program under Mrs. Arroyo. What Mr. Aquino has done, in fact, was to take the worst program in the Arroyo administration and pumped tens of billions of pesos more into it.

The most outlandish thing about Mr. Aquino’s latest accusation about credit grabbing is that it assumes that he has achievements that are actually worth claiming. But as we sit in traffic for hours every day, and when we see government take one-third of our earnings every payday, we just don’t see that.

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