The President called on the people to think and choose carefully because nobody would want to end up regretting the outcome of the elections. The President called on the people to think and choose carefully because nobody would want to end up regretting the outcome of the elections. PIA

Noy: No one is indispensable in government

MANILA, Philippines – Less than a week before Filipinos elect a new chief executive, President Aquino reminded people that nobody is indispensable in government.

“Sometimes there are still those who tell me, ‘you should have sought reelection.’ I said, ‘that’s not in the Constitution.’ ‘You should have extended even just for three years.’ I said: ‘That seems difficult,’” Aquino said in a meeting with local leaders and residents in Tuguegarao City on Monday.

“Isn’t it that no matter how great (an official is), that will not be good for us? What’s happening in the country is important. Let’s continue it. Whoever is sitting here,” the President added, referring to his administration’s “straight path” policy and democratic processes.

Without naming names, Aquino cited the case of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who had two terms and extended his stint in Malacañang for 13 years by declaring martial law, staying in power for a total of 21 years.

Aquino reminded people that during martial law, Marcos confined the powers of the state to himself.

The President also took a swipe at opposition presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose three children were also in different positions.

Binay’s only son and namesake was a dismissed Makati City mayor, his daughter Nancy is senator and his daughter Abigail is the representative of Makati City.

Abigail is seeking to replace Binay Jr. while her husband is gunning for her position in Congress.

The Vice President also served as mayor of Makati City for a long time and was replaced only by his wife when his third consecutive term ended. His son then took over when he became old enough to replace his parents as mayor.

In jest, the President said if Binay and his family stay in office for 21 years each just like Marcos, that would be 84 years of a single family leading the country.

Aquino noted that it would be painful for the people to commit a mistake because what had been achieved under a democracy might be reversed.

“They might take us to turn, left, right. The worst: bring us back to the past, U-turn. We don’t want a left turn... a right turn, most especially we don’t want a U-turn. Is that right?” he said.

The President called on the people to think and choose carefully because nobody would want to end up regretting the outcome of the elections.

“Why the need to weep by making a mistake? Molding the future is in our hands. My vote is only one... the majority decides for everyone. We must keep on multiplying until the last day of the campaign. Let us not stop,” Aquino said, referring to the supporters of the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid led by presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II and his runningmate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

“If we do that, the next generation will look at us with a smile. They will tell us: thank you,” Aquino said.

In 2010, Aquino said his political opponents vowed to derail his victory by all means, but the people’s will prevailed despite the “anybody but me” mantra against him.

The President was in Cagayan to inaugurate the Pamplona Bridge and campaign for administration candidates.

Aquino highlighted the positive results of good governance or the straight path. He said over the past six years, the national government allocated P17.04 billion for infrastructure projects throughout Cagayan province, a steep gain in comparison to the P3.79 billion between 2005 to 2010.

The P639.8-million Pamplona Bridge has been under construction since February 2013 and replaced the 50-year-old highway bridge connecting Cagayan Valley to the Ilocos region and Cordillera Administrative Region.

The new 489.9-linear meter bridge is expected to provide better transport facility between regions.

Aquino said he would not relax as election day nears and that he was happy to read about Filipinos becoming hopeful about the country compared to their past apathy. He had been saying that indifference, instead of just anger, was a result of hopelessness.

More than programs and projects, Aquino reiterated the Filipinos’ change in attitude would be his biggest legacy.

In his speech in Cagayan, Aquino said he himself would only retire peacefully once he is sure that the country is in good hands.

Asked about his message to the people after meeting with Manalo in Quezon City on Monday morning, Aquino said “for us, you saw the proof, the so-called straight path, it is up to you if you are going to continue this and fortify it further.”

“So in the end, we always say, the people are our bosses, we will wait for the judgment of the nation, what our bosses want,” he added.

The President said changing the people’s attitude was really a big challenge for his administration and asked “everybody (to) look at the stories before we stepped into office.”

He noted stories about the number of Filipinos leaving the country would regularly come out in dailies.

“Now one of the dailies (yesterday), I really was very pleased to see people are looking for jobs here as opposed to preferring to look for work abroad, so there is a belief that there are jobs available, there are good jobs,” Aquino said, referring to a story in The STAR on the job fairs on Labor Day.

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