FILIPINOS LIKE DEFENSE MINISTER Juan Ponce Enrile who are upset with the policies and administrative capabilities of President Corazon Aquino are not thinking too clearly.
Granted, a good case can be made that she has not shown a strong enough hand in dealing with the communist-controlled New People's Army. Her government suffers from the infusion of a lot of idealistic partisans who have little or no experience in how to get the bureaucracy moving. The anti- business and anti-U.S. proponents in her Cabinet have discouraged needed investment by business, and particularly by U.S. business. She also has been too considerate of her critics like Mr. Enrile himself.But what Mrs. Aquino offers to the Philippines far outweighs the problems she poses for the country.
Who else but she could have delivered a basically bloodless revolution? Who else but she could have galvanized the people into being one nation again? Who else but she could make honesty and innocence respectable in a country where often you had to bribe someone to get directions to the restroom?
Who else but she could have embarrassed the U.S. Congress into giving her country $200 million in immediate aid with one nighttime speech before both Houses? Who else but she could stand up before the diplomatic sophisticates of the United Nations and chastise them for forgetting about working for peaceful relations among nations, the very reason the nations came together in the first place?
Who else but she could go to Japan and have Emperor Hirohito meet with her and apologize for Japan's atrocities during World War II?
By any standard in modern times, Mrs. Aquino is a truly remarkable leader.
Rather than spend time ostracizing her, Filipino critics should roll up their sleeves and begin helping her. There are plenty of administrators who can make the government efficient. There are plenty of strong politicians and military leaders who can help her develop a strategy to deal with the New People's Army. There are plenty of Filipino and U.S. business executives who can get the nation working again.
There is only one Cory Aquino.