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Arroyo says Duterte ‘awesome’ in first year

By: Ben R. Rosario

His demonstration of an “awesome leadership” and resolve to make good on his campaign promises were among the positive impressions that President Duterte gave one of his predecessors, former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo.

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But unlike Arroyo, the Makabayan bloc, represented by Left-leaning lawmakers belonging to the pro-Duterte majority bloc of the House of Representatives, is not fully impressed with the President’s performance in his first year.

Reps. Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna party-list), Antonio Tinio and France Castro (ACT Teachers partylist), Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas (Gabriela partylist), as well as the Kabataan partylist aired dissatisfaction over many of Duterte’s programs.

Arroyo cited Duterte’s “sustained efforts” in boosting the morale of soldiers and policemen who have been gallantly fighting Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists in Marawi City.

She said Duterte’s regular visits to the soldiers and his order raising financial benefits and salaries of men in uniform since last year deserved praise.

“The least a leader can do to increase the morale of the defenders of our democracy and peace is to make sure that their families do not go hungry,” the former President said in a press statement.

“In his first year, he managed to institute various bold reforms against illegal drugs and corruption. His Build, Build, Build initiative is commendable and is a step in the right direction towards achieving inclusive growth,” Arroyo said in another press release.

She added: “But more than his accomplishments in his work as president, President Duterte has achieved to inspire and unite the Filipino people towards his goal of effecting real change for the country.”