Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Uncertain Mix of Politics and Policy

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Uncertain Mix of Politics and Policy

Article excerpt

The policy agenda outlined by Estrada during and after the election campaign was seen as a unified vision of the disparate elements in his camp. In terms of the content of the agenda, Estrada emphasized agricultural reforms, anti-corruption measures, and greater law and order. He promised to devote more resources than before to agricultural and agrarian issues, including spending a greater amount of time in Mindanao compared to previous presidents. He stood tough on anti-corruption, promising to run after corrupt officials, even "hoodlums in robes" (referring to corrupt judges) and "hoodlums in uniform" (meaning "dirty cops"). And he vowed to put an end to kidnapping and the dismantling of syndicates and other criminal organizations.

On economics, Estrada pledged to continue with the liberalization and deregulation reforms of the Ramos government. In forum after forum, he reiterated his commitment to the various international trade and commercial regimes to which the Philippines is a signatory. He expressed support for market practices, disavowing adoption of protectionist policies. Although Estrada's rhetoric in this regard was in some ways reassuring to international and domestic investors, in other ways it lacked appreciation of the weaknesses of government in sustaining economic reforms. …

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