Ramos: Duterte's first 100 days a letdown

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is "losing badly" in the first 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte in office, former President Fidel Ramos said.

"This is a huge disappointment and let-down to many of us," Ramos said in a column published in the Manila Bulletin.

Ramos based his assessment of Duterte's first 100 days on two concepts of importance — leadership and teamwork.

The former president, however, noted that there is enough time to correct the flaws of the current administration so that the Philippines can emerge as a competitive country.

"The outcome aspired for by the majority of us is to insure the better future of our younger generations, who in due time — will assume the mantle of leadership over our nation's political, security, cultural, economic and other interests," Ramos said.

Ramos noted that Duterte's comment comparing himself to German dictator Adolf Hitler was among his "most unfortunate gaffes." Such comment has elicited reactions from the Jewish community.

The president has apologized to the Jews for his comment and said that he did not intend to derogate the memory of those who were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

"The Philippines has a rich history and tradition of hosting refugees from all around the world. First, the Jewish people to whom our country gave sanctuary in the late 1930s and early 1940," the former president said.

In 1938, the Philippines opened its doors to more than 100,000 Jews to resettle in Mindanao, particularly in Bukidnon.

"In the case of his recent 'Hitler quip' no amount of apology could mollify the long-suffering Jews who have done well for the Philippines," Ramos said.

Ramos also criticized Duterte's treatment on the country's relationship with the United States, particularly on security and economic matters.

The president has threatened to cut the Philippines' ties with the US following criticisms over the spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects.

"Are we throwing away decades of military partnership, tactical proficiency, compatible weaponry, predictable logistics, and soldier-to-soldier camaraderie just like that?" Ramos asked.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that Malacañang respects his analysis of the president's first 100 days.

Abella clarified that his analysis does not refer to actual actions of the Duterte administration but to foreign relations that "tend to be affected by the president's language."

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