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Amid legacy of good governance, Aquino admin had share of flaws

The administration of the late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III strived hard to embody good governance, but like any other regimes experienced its share of missteps in its six years at the helm, according to Sandra Aguinaldo’s report on “24 Oras."

Aquino's "no wang-wang" policy became the symbol of his leadership. He said the "wang-wang," or vehicle sirens and alarms, represented the abuse of power by government officials against Filipino citizens.

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“Walang lamangan, walang padrino, at walang pagnanakaw, walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawang-gawa,” he had said.

Aquino also abolished the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel funds, which was previously considered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

He also held responsible officials allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam, among them lawmakers.

It was also during the Aquino administration that the Philippines filed its petition in the Arbitral Tribunal, which questions the claim of China on the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines won the petition, marking it as one of Aquino’s biggest achievements.

The former President also signed an administrative order that named the West Philippine Sea as part of the country’s exclusive economic zone.

It was also during his term that the framework of the agreement on the Bangsamoro, which gave way to the now-autonomous political entity Bangsamoro.

However, it was not always smooth sailing for the former president.

In 2015, 44 members of the Special Action Force were killed in a clash in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao while in the middle of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

In 2019, Ombudsman Samuel Martires withdrew the violation of anti-graft laws and usurpation charges filed by the government against Aquino. Prior to that, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in 2017 dismissed the complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against Aquino III, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas, a decision that the Supreme Court affirmed in 2019.

The Aquino administration was also heavily criticized due to issues surrounding the Dengvaxia vaccine and the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which aimed to “accelerate public spending and boost the economy.”

The late president was also under fire over the Manila bus siege, which led to the deaths of eight hostages.

Meanwhile, the public also criticized the Aquino administration over its response and actions when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country in 2013.

Aquino had apologized for the government's response to the crisis, but has defended the amount of his administration's support for the rehabilitation.

In 2017, then-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman said some P5 billion in unused national government fund intended for the victims of  super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 will be realigned for the rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi City.

Despite this, there is no perfect president or administration, and many believe the contributions of Aquino would remain in the annals of history.

Aquino passed away at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.  He was 61. — LDF/KBK/JST, GMA News