Aquino responds to “Mr. President, something in you has to die”

Noynoy Aquino

President Benigno S. Aquino III, responds to Reyn Bernido’s “Mr. President, something in you has to die.”

Here is the full text:

Hello, Reyn. This is your President.

First of all, thank you for your note on Facebook. Such insights from concerned citizens are vital in a maturing democracy such as ours, where all avenues and technologies should be explored in order to raise the level of public discourse.  However, thoughts expressed in such sites, which can sometimes be incendiary, spread easily without the necessary validation. This is why I felt the need to respond to your letter.

Your comments against my Cabinet seem to prejudge them without taking a hard look at the reality. For example, I do not believe that my Communications team writes fiction. When have they ever lied or not sought to tell the truth?

We do agree on one thing: the last administration wrongly governed. You supported us because like you, we condemned the nine years of corruption under the previous dispensation. You may not be fully aware of the magnitude of the problems we have inherited, such as midnight appointments by the last administration, which sought to embed in our bureaucracy people who do not share our mission of reform. There is also the increase over the last decade in the number of people living in poverty. The deterioration of our corruption ratings was laid out before the world, making our country less attractive to foreign investors. I do not believe it is realistic, as suggested by your letter, to change everything in two months.

We gave ourselves a more reasonable timeline, two years in fact, to show evidence of real transformation. In the last two months, we have been surprised by very encouraging developments that the changes we envisioned, and promised to our people, might actually be achieved in a shorter time. These are developments, which unfortunately, seem to have been overshadowed for now by the hostage taking tragedy.

One of the priorities that I have repeatedly said my government will focus on is job generation. Just last week, a call center by Convergys was inaugurated in Manila. This facility will provide 5,000 new jobs on top of their existing 17,000-strong workforce.

In a recent courtesy call to me, a major European bank guaranteed an increase in investments by three times the current level with their exposure here in the Philippines.

The forthcoming US trip will likewise reinforce this bullishness on our country’s growth through the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs.

In addition, I will be on hand to receive a $430 million grant from the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation.

In the last two months, we were also successful in terminating contracts to procure overpriced equipment for the Department of Agriculture. The P60 million acquisition price has been brought down by nearly half, to P32 million.

We are also tightening procurement for police equipment, to improve our law enforcers’ ability to deal with future hostage-taking incidents and other law enforcement challenges.

Let me also remind you that in the recently submitted budget to Congress, we have sought to make real the campaign pledge to fight poverty. The budget puts in place promised improvements in health and education, and conditional cash transfers. If we are able to sustain them over the life of my administration, we will help lift millions of Filipinos out of poverty.

It has always been my personal philosophy not to overly play up achievements that any government should have been doing in the first place. Perhaps my administration should be doing more to highlight this, but the simple truth is that we are working hard to solve our problems.

I understand that much of your frustration stems from the unfortunate crisis that befell our nation, but my administration will not be defined by this tragedy. It will be defined by what we have already achieved and what we will still achieve in the future.

Again, thank you for your note.

The ProPinoy Project

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  • Estelita F. Pineda

    Dear President,

    To be frank with you, Sir i was one of those who were beginning to be dissapointed with you especially after the unfortunate Quirino Grandstand Tragedy. Actually, i was beginning to ask myself if i had voted the right person to bring CHANGE TO OUR GOVERNMENT. But after reading your response, i am willing to trust you again. You restored my hope again that a meaniungful change is going to happen…in fact, the machinery of change is actually operating already, perhaps not flamboyantly…but it is moving…grinding and producing results already…You’re right…your administartion could not be defined by that singular incident last month…i’m sorry for my momentary skeptism…perhaps we are just being impatient for a change…

    OK, Mr. President, you are in-charge of the SHIP…Please steer it well…the whole Filipino nation is aboard.


    Dear Mr President:

    I would like to say Thank you for all the things that you are trying to make do for the good of the nation.Many may not like what you’re doing right now, it is because they focus on unrealistic span of time. The problems of our government is broad. A lot of people forget that. You don’t have magic wand to do abra kadabra to magically vanished the long years of corruption and poverty.

    Instead of complaining and find faults, they should help your administration by believing it’s capabilities to slowly but assuredly help the nation be healed from it’s disease…CORRUPTION AND POVERTY…Never mind their complaints, you can’t please all the people. Just do the right thing for the nation, they will eventually believe in you when the works that you achieve will be seen through.

    There might be a lot of people who quotes some unlikeable words, not that big a deal. It will only hurt you if you mind them. Rest assured there are also a lot of people who UNDERSTAND what your administration is going through and is working on.

    Take care Mr President. Be strong and have courage, your two month term had wrestled a back to back complaints and accusations, how much more the coming days?It’s part of the game in politics especially you hold the highest office.

    All I am asking you Mr President that you will not overlook the life of the OFW. We’re filipinos too helping our family and our country as well.

    Good luck Mr President.

    Sincerely yours,

    Brenda Lo Oberio Palisoc,RN, MN

  • bongbongbaula

    Dear Mr.President,
    You are on the right track in leading the country to progress. It seems that most of us Filipinos want an overnight well-accomplish objective in the soonest time. I agree with you sir that they are unaware of the magnitude of problems the new leaders inherited. the transition team has yet to be completed. i am aware personally of the fixed term of our gov’t officials, but again the president has all the powers and prerogatives to put the right people in its all branches of gov’t. Please step down for good all of you who fixed terms. still less than 100 days in office, it is still very very premature to say and comment about the performance of the new administration. the first 6 months is the most difficult part of the transition. it is still part of GMA years. Come January 2011, is his real test of performance. Performances from January to December 2011 will be compared to january to December 2010. this is the point where we can judge the new administration. Lets support them in their new endeavours. More power to new administration.

  • Seth Florentino

    Mr. President:

    That was a succinct explanation. Well said, sir. I guess nine years of bad government tends to promote impatience among many of our people. Well, take your pick: you can’t please everybody; hindi araw araw pasko; you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Whatever, please know that there are people who trust you and pray for you. As usual (and i don’t know if that;s a good thing) tahimik lang kami.
    Nothing in you has to die; other people need to die, but not you. Not now, at least. Quite cruel, huh, Mr. President, but it is the truth. From the top of my head, i could name quite a few, but I guess I better not.
    Well, here’s an ordinary citizen’s two cents’ worth: just keep doing what you’re doing, sir: be our president. We’re already proud of you.

    Respectfully yours,

    Rev. Seth Florentino
    Parish Pastor
    Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
    4461 Old Sta. Mesa

  • Dear Mr. President:

    Congratulations and even as a transplanted Filipino, you have my unconditional support, just as your parents before you had it. Although I am now an American citizen, may I please share my ten cents worth particularly on your priority to create new jobs for the Filipino people?

    Attracting more foreign investors and $$grants is one critical factor to help the unemployment yielding immediate measurable results. However, I am confident that you will agree it is not the panacea to the Philippines deep-rooted poverty problem.

    Mr. President, we need to build our INFRASTRUCTURES!! Literally and figuratively. In order for the Philippines to become a developed country, let’s take stock of our infrastructure services: social, medical, educational, housing, etc. What stands out that is sadly way behind is TRANSPORTATION infrastructure. Start building that foundation. It will create thousands of jobs for Filipinos, expand out the cities, provide opportunities to transport products, crafts etc, stimulate small businesses, jumpstart housing and real estate, thus more jobs, etc. etc. etc.

    And it will be all BY, WITH AND FOR the FILIPINO PEOPLE. Not outsiders. It’s the outside investors that get so wealthy and leave the Philippines so poor.

    I am now a retired grandmother. If I can be of any help to you and the Philippines please feel free to contact me. I would be glad to volunteer my time for my homeland.


  • Moi

    God loves the Philippines so much that he want this country to have a leader that discerns for the better. A leader that is filled with integrity. And knows how to handle different head-bursting problems within the society. Our heads are all up on you Mr. President, our decision for you to be in the position is right. Be strong and firm with your plans for this country. We may be stubborn at times, but I believe that being a leader-servant example would be a great role model for the Filipino people. God speed Mr. President! May God be with you always in every decision you make for the better Philippines.

  • Dear Mr. President,

    I am not sure if you have watched my video message to you about the hostage crisis but I would like to tell you that the way you are dealing with the aftermath is the exact answer to all my requests to you in my video.

    You may access my video through my facebook account moniquemenorca or through my TRIOND website.

    Thank you very much for taking all the necessary action. I do understand all the problems which you are facing now. It is indeed very difficult to lead a team which are not willing to move in a synchronize motion.

    I suggest that school teachers there in the Philippines should participate in enforcing change through education.

    I think the reason why our people always blame the President for all the problems there in our country is because the lack the knowledge about our political system.

    My request Mr. President is for our teachers to teach students about the duties & responsibilities governed by the local politicians from the lowest ranking official to the highest ranking official in the local government.

    It seems like it’s only you who is running the country because the main focus is on you.

    I think making the whole country know of the achievements of the local government in different provinces & rewarding those people who have created projects which contributed to the increase in livelihood & progress of their respective province or region would really mean so much, as it would only show that their efforts are not left unnoticed.

    You can always count on my support.

    The way you show respect with the capability of your team is commendable. You cannot please everybody but you can always make everybody change their opinion once signs of progress steps in.

    I agree with you that it would take time.

    If we really want to market our country as an attractive place for investment, you need to task some people to regulate the kind of articles being written about our country.

    It upsets me to read an article published in a website which could be accessed by people around the world, telling the whole world how rotten our system is & calling our men in uniform “scum of the land”.

    I think it should not be done. I know that we practice our freedom of expression which our great heroes have died for, just for all of us to enjoy our liberty, but in my opinion abusing it and not putting things into proper perspective make “Freedom of expression” out of context & out of moral boundaries.

    Once again. Thank you very much Mr. President and more power!

  • I believe the President makes valid points. How is it possible to make any determination on the future job performance of people who just took office?
    I will say there are areas that should take priority if the people are going to recognize that changes are coming in the future. I do believe that the present government should advertise even it’s minor accomplishments. Especially in the area of ending corruption, it is a blight on this nation that hurts all the way down to the lowest citizens. Mr. President, you should strongly inform all levels of government employees that a new era is coming. All the corruption and graft must end, government employees and politicians have placed or allowed themselves to be placed in positions of power and public trust. With Great Power comes Great Responsibility. All government employees should be told firmly that anyone caught will receive the harshest penalty because of their position as a public “servant”. Clean up the government and you eliminate much of the cause of the economic problems.
    Mr. President, I think you have the best opportunity to make real change here in the Philippines. I just hope your people stand behind you and support your goals for their nation. I do not believe the world will continue it’s abusive feelings toward the Philippines because of the crisis that befell this country. From what I’ve seen, the crisis is being handled properly and some good results will take the edge off the hard feelings that have prevailed thus far.
    Timelines are meant to be broken, please keep that in mind.
    Good Luck in your endeavor to improve your country.