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The first days of the Noynoy Aquino administration have more than its shares of high-profile initiatives, faux pas galore, and disturbing decisions. It came out  with the now-hugely-popular intensive implementation of the ban on illegal sirens and flashers, popularly called wang-wang. It appointed the similarly-popular CHR chairperson Atty. Leila De Lima as Secretary of Justice. Then, it announced the appointment of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide to a new truth commission to investigate big corruption cases–which, by and large, was lauded by the public.

Other acts were not so fortunately accepted. One day after it was announced, Malacañang had to amend its first memorandum-circular directing political appointees to vacate their positions because of the confusion and barrage of questions on its scope and applicability. It also had to defer, change or defend many other appointments to various Cabinet positions, particularly because of their being recycled, links to vested interests, and questions about their records. The incorruptibility and itnegrity of the appointees are now the subject of intense media and public scrutiny, particularly in the light of the main campaign promise of President Noynoy Aquino to eradicate corruption.

Many of these people are recycled secretaries or key officials in the past administrations, have rumored connections to some churches, Aquino’s family, clan, or peer group, and big businessmen. Definitely, on a cumulative basis, this would have an eroding effect on the credibility and popularity of the Aquino administration. These will be the aswangs that would haunt him this early.

I would call the early efforts of President Noynoy Aquino as a tie–the positive balances the negative. Its eventual conduct cannot be judged yet and we have to wait for more important decisions  later. The State of the Nation Address is just around the corner.

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