For weeks now, the country has shared the shock, horror and agony of the people of Maguindanao over the slaughter of innocents. This national outrage has increased as securing justice faces hurdle after hurdle, both in Maguindanao and in Manila. Our people want justice, and they want results; the government wants us to believe that it must impose Martial Law for justice to be accomplished, and for peace and order to finally prevail in Maguindanao.
Now, for the first time since 1972, the chief executive has seen fit to take this unprecedented step. But unlike 1972, there are many Constitutional safeguards in place to ensure that martial law is an option taken with full transparency and under legislative oversight.
The people of Maguindanao, the people of the Philippines and the troops on this mission, deserve every assurance that this act will, indeed, result in justice being served and peace being restored. If the declaration of Martial Law is not motivated by the enforcement of the rule of law, but is rather an attempt to expand authority by means of the military it will be a grave abuse of power and reckless endangerment of the lives of our brave soldiers.
The Constitution is clear: martial law can only be declared upon the existence of an actual invasion or rebellion, and when public safety requires it.
Is there truly a legal basis for declaring martial law in Maguindanao?
Is the restoration of peace and order the real reason for the imposition of martial law or are there other reasons yet unseen?
Is it to instill fear, given the very negative connotations of martial law?
Can we take Mrs. Arroyo’s word when she is largely responsible for the creation of this monster?
Does it not indicate the state’s inability to enforce its laws that it had to resort to something as drastic as martial law, despite its possible repercussions on the economy?
The President need not declare martial law. She could have swiftly ordered that charges be filed against all those who carried out the lawless orders of Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. She could have directed that all those charged be preventively suspended. She could have instructed the Prosecutors to ask the 11 Courts to deny bail to all those charged with the commission of this heinous crime and let the succession of local officials under the Local Government Code take effect, to ensure that the local government will continue to function.
This extraordinary step fuels much speculation on the real intention behind it.
The people must demand an explanation of the circumstances that led the administration to resort to this action, how the President intends to use its vast powers, and for how long.
The rule of law must prevail; constitutional processes must prevail. The courts cannot be abolished there or elsewhere. The President of the Philippines remains accountable not only to the Congress of the Philippines, but to the People of the Philippines for taking this course.
We must also demand that both houses of Congress meet, as required by the Constitution, within 48 hours of a martial law declaration, without need of the President making a call for Congress to convene.
While the Constitution expects both houses to merge for the purpose of voting on this specific imposition of martial law, it also expects our lawmakers never to surrender their identity as representatives of the people.
I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to come together immediately and ascertain the validity of this imposition.
Congress must muster a quorum. Congress must not be a rubber stamp. Congress must ask the right questions, and it must act now.
This is a time for all our people to be sober, discerning, vigilant and unafraid.
Officers and members of the Makati Business Club, Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen, my friends and countrymen.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to address you. I trust your asking me first is not based on alphabetical order, or based on age, but perhaps, based on who you think will most likely win the coming election.
As managers, you recognize that one of the necessary skills of an effective manager is time management. Is it possible that you have invited me to determine if there is still a necessity to spend time with the others?
Baka naman inuna niyo ako upang malaman kung sapat na ako at hindi na kailangang pansinin yung iba?
I think we are all aware of the problems facing our country. We share the same statistics. We probably even share the same conclusions about the need for better governance. To rehash all of these problems at this forum would be a waste of your time. But what we have now is an opportunity for you to get to know me, to find out the advocacies that I champion, the perspective and philosophies I bring to the equation and some of my proposed solutions to give an insight into my inner persona.
Levity aside, the political exercise that we will engage in this May is a crucial one. It will be, as it is for every fledgling democracy, a test of the strength of our political institutions. The peaceful transition of power has become a symbol of political maturity across the world, with many still failing to achieve the credibility that is the cornerstone of a genuine political mandate. With the electoral scandals that have stalled our democratic progress as of late, it is not a test that we can afford to fail.
We have an administration whose mandate is clouded in doubt and overshadowed by allegations of fraud because it refused every opportunity to clear the air and be held to account. Its choices have limited its decision-making to seeking ways to ensure day-to-day political survival and self-interest. We must now become a government committed to accountability. A government that works with the people in achieving long-term change.
We must make the shift from bare economic survival to robust economic growth. We must make the change from treading water to keep afloat, to reaching that promised shore where we can all stand tall as healthy, happy, educated and responsible fellow citizens.
But why does transformation seem like such an impossible dream?
Isa sa mga tema ng ating kalaban, yung “ang pagbabago, madaling sabihin yan pero mahirap gawin,” is probably echoed by a lot of Filipinos. The oft-repeated question is, why can’t we advance? Why can’t we progress? What is it in us that limits or prohibits our growth as a people and as a country?
All of you are aware that most of the contenders have had years, possibly even decades, of preparation for this electoral exercise. I had no such ambitions to run in the 2010 elections but I responded to the people’s clamor. I am but the face of what we believe is the overwhelming demand of our people to repudiate everything wrong in the current administration.
Given that I only announced my decision to seek the presidency on September 9, and I only came to that decision the day before, I have not had material time comparable to our opponents. What is perplexing is that viewing the same problems, and having access to the same data for the most part, we believe the solutions have been there all along, and necessitate only clear political will to execute. But most of our opponents seem to indicate the contrary opinion that there is very little that we can do to change the situation. One has to wonder: did they overstudy the problem, or are they committed to preserving the status quo?
If the leader is not convinced that change is not only necessary, but extremely possible, how does he lead us to the promised land?
What is it that we want to change?
We want to repair the damage that has been wrought on our democratic institutions by those who have sought to manipulate them for their own selfish ends.
We want to improve the situation of our people, who have suffered years of neglect because of a self-absorbed leadership obsessed with political survival.
They are poor. Many of them are homeless. Each year, we add some 2.5 million mouths to feed to our already hungry population. Of these new additions, one third were the result of unplanned pregnancies. We have a growing underclass that statistics tell us have given up looking for work. A permanent underclass that includes the five million of our countrymen that are illiterate, which means their opportunities in life will always be limited to living hand-to-mouth.
We want to give our young the opportunity and means to improve their lot in life.
It can only begin if our children and their parents are assured that money spent on education is money well spent. Unfortunately, students are at the mercy of our decrepit education system that allows double shifting, erroneous textbooks and substandard nursing schools to exist. No less than DepEd officials admitted that students in Grade 1 take three subjects in one class period. We have a procurement program so heedless of the need for excellence that it doesn’t care if it produces a textbook series riddled with 500 factual errors. For every hundred kids that start grade school with the hope of achieving their dreams, only fourteen will graduate from college and possess a tangible means to materially improve their lives.
To my mind, the crucial, lacking element in all these is a government committed to a transformation: from a society overwhelmingly poor to one overwhelmingly middle class. In every developed, progressive, prosperous democracy, it is the middle class that is the biggest class. Government, for one, has failed to make the conceptual leap from patronage to development. Efforts at feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing basic care to the sick, and offering a quality education aren’t only the people’s rights; they are the essential tools for individual self-improvement.
In 1998, when I first campaigned for office, one lady bluntly told me that regardless of who is elected, things would remain the same for her.
What did she mean?
That she was poor to begin with; that she would remain poor, and in fact, she would be lucky if she didn’t end up poorer, after the candidates leave office.
This brings up the question at the forefront of the minds of our countrymen still undecided on whom to vote for, and pursued by my critics. If this is a time that calls for national transformation, am I qualified to be that transformative leader? Having answered the call of duty, can I ask you or anyone to entrust me with your vote, on faith alone? Never having sought the presidency, I preferred to do my duty and not seek the limelight. Now that I have been thrust in the limelight, it is only fair to answer the question: before you tell us what we can do, what have you done?
I have always believed that the job of an effective legislator goes beyond merely proposing laws, for what are laws but written agreements entered into by members of society on how to harmonize their mutual relations? In fact, I do not believe that we suffer from the problem of too few laws. One of my proposed measures was the recodification of laws, in response to an appeal from the legal community to put some order into our laws, their amendments and those that have been repealed, because even our lawyers are at times confused.
Consider the recent controversy over who gets to appoint the next Chief Justice. We maintain that there are no ifs and buts in Article 7 Section 15 of the Constitution where it states that the current President cannot appoint anybody within two months prior to a presidential election up to the end of her term. An exemption exists, but it applies only for positions in the Executive Department. Yet you have two retired justices arguing exactly the opposite. How can former justices of the Supreme Court be so seemingly confused, when the fact is that the provision regarding presidential appointments is stated clearly in the law?
Our problem is the lack of political will to faithfully implement the many world-class laws that our legislature has passed. A preference for ambiguity even when times call for clarity, leads to artificial controversies. Insecure or overly ambitious leaders need to create a climate of doubt, because it’s in the grey areas that its ambitions thrive.
It is in addressing this problem that I focused on the fiscalizing aspect of a legislator’s job – on Congress’ oversight and investigative functions.
Consider intelligence funds. In the proposed 2010 budget, a total of 1.4 billion was allocated to confidential and intelligence funds.
Woodrow Wilson once wrote that oversight is always preferable to investigation, which is like putting out a fire instead of preventing one. We proposed that if the Executive wants orderly transactions, at least a few members of Congress should be privy to all of the details to determine if they were spent properly. However, this proposal was dismissed out of hand without even a single hearing for the reason that they undermined the Executive’s privileges.
And yes, the investigations were a vital part of my functions, too. I don’t think anyone will begrudge me my efforts in this regard. From Hello Garci and the impeachments, to NBN-ZTE and the fertilizer scam, I did my duty at the forefront of these issues.
The original design of the NBN-ZTE project required a BOT agreement between government and the supplier, not a government loan. But during the NBN-ZTE hearings, we learned that the project was entered into through a government loan despite instructions to the contrary from no less than the President herself. The cost of the intended government loan was P40 billion, (in which P16 billion was for the backbone and P24 billion was for the CyberEd project.) Jun Lozada belied this when he cited P5 billion as the actual cost of the entire project. Ito yung sinasabi niyang kalakaran ng gobyerno, kung saan sa sobrang laki ng patong, bubukol na.
SCTEx took around 8 years to construct before it finally opened. Projects of this scale normally require two years to complete. Furthermore, when SCTEx finally became operational, it was found that the central hub, which was Clark, did not have an exit, excluding Clark from the Subic Clark Tarlac expressway itself. How can one justify these kinds of delays where opportunities are lost, costs have escalated and the people’s burdens, instead of being reduced, end up being compounded?
My active role in these congressional hearings has put me at odds with the administration. In 2005, it cost me my post as Deputy Speaker. It continues to put me at odds with the coalition of self-interest that currently holds power. It puts me at odds with other candidates for the presidency.
To lead transformation, you cannot be part of the problem. As I said when I accepted the people’s draft, the job of chief executive is about the efficient allocation of resources. If you have hogged those resources for yourself, if you have lied, cheated, and stolen to gain power, how can you be trusted to lead the transformation our country needs?
Going back on the issue of appointing a Chief Justice prior to the forthcoming elections. If we are to transform the country, it begins with doing what we can, now, to limit the damage and give our people a fighting chance to rebuild our damaged institutions. The Constitution imposes a blanket prohibition with few exceptions concerning midnight appointments. A candidate cannot ask for the people’s mandate, pledging to improve the situation tomorrow, if he becomes complicit in worsening the situation today.
Hindi naman mahirap gawin ang tama. Alam naman ng lahat yan eh. Wala namang magic, wala namang sikreto. Pero bakit pilit pa ring ginagawa ang mali?
There is a widespread perception that success in the business milieu can almost be directly correlated to your closeness to the powers-that-be. Because of this, some players in the industry are forced to focus their activities on maintaining relationships in order to retain the favors that they receive in exchange for cultivating that relationship. This has fostered the wrong kind of competitiveness. While it may work, locally, for now, it has not enabled these players to become competitive in the world market, where the rules of the game do not take special relationships into consideration.
We will encourage free and fair competition in a level playing field. One not need be a crony in order to succeed in the field of business. More importantly, government will not compete with business. Nor will government use its regulatory powers to extort, intimidate and harass.
We will transform our systems to foster service to the public instead of making citizens jump through hoops. We will streamline the approval process, not only for setting up new businesses but also in the regular day-to-day transactions with government, such as the payment of taxes. We will do this on a national as well as the local level.
In 2010, our next President will inherit a continually bloating deficit. As of November 2009, the deficit of the national government already reached P272.5 billion, or 4.1% of GDP.
In addressing the looming fiscal crisis, good governance and the drive against corruption are critical components in our strategy. We will refrain from imposing new taxes or increasing tax rates.
I strongly believe that we can collect more taxes at the BIR and higher duties at Customs if we become more serious in curbing and punishing tax evasion and smuggling. The BIR’s collection dropped by 5.5%, while that of Customs declined by 16.6%. This is the first time in recent history that absolute revenues have actually declined.
Our initial focus then will be to capture a good part of the revenue leaks caused by smuggling and evasion. In this effort, we will not be starting from zero. Be assured that those smugglers and evaders are not faceless and unknown entities. The ideas to improve tax administration and to control smuggling have been there for some time and some programs have been initiated in the past. One of these successful programs was the RATE or Run After Tax Evaders. In fact, some of the people at the Department of Finance and the BIR who have tried to implement reforms before are with us now, and together with reform-minded career executives, we intend to put their commitment and talents to good use under my administration.
My vision is to transform our country into one where we have lower tax rates enjoyed by all, rather than have some enjoy absolute tax exemptions while we burden the rest of the economy with very high tax rates. I believe that markets are better than government in spotting where the growth opportunities are, and, with universal low tax rates, we will encourage entrepreneurs and enterprises to invest and create jobs in any industry. We will, therefore, pursue the rationalization of fiscal incentives early in my administration.
There is a lot of room for our revenue base to grow. Our tax effort has gone down from 17% at its peak to a worrisome 13% today. If we can only bring this back even to just the 15% level, that will translate to P150 billion in additional revenues, which would make a significant dent in cutting our deficit.
My budget team estimates that for 2009 alone, around P280 billion of our national budget was lost to corruption. If we take the years 2002 to 2009 the total estimates exceed one trillion. Estimates vary, but everyone agrees that the numbers are huge.
If we agree that change is necessary, how can a Presidential aspirant, whose own financial and political ethics are questionable, be effective in leading transformation as the head of the bureaucracy? How can a leader, who is benefiting from the status quo, be able to restore a civic sense and pride in our citizenry? The leader, who has used public office for private gain, will always be the most committed enemy of change.
Rich or poor alike, we have a tangible experience of the sorry state of public infrastructure at present: traffic, which eats up time, which as the saying goes, is money. Railways are built at bloated cost; urban transport is constructed, but not enough trains are on track. Our people are the first to experience the effect of something that works and conversely, something that is badly done because bad intentions handicapped the project from the start.
It is time that our infrastructure agencies and LGUs transform into cooperative ventures with the private sector by bringing forth an agreed public infrastructure program, based on a cohesive plan that optimizes the value of the entire network. In our conversations with members of the private sector, there has been a lot of positive feedback about possibly working with government on this endeavor.
To transform infrastructure projects from sources of waste and scandal into examples of cooperation and efficiency, we will set objective criteria for different types of projects and develop a scorecard that will assess various projects against benchmarks transparent to the public.
Initially we want our infrastructure program to transform from being the means to enrich a few, to being labor-intensive and biased for employment as a means to pump-prime the economy.
When I read about countries that have invested in their agriculture sectors and succeeded, it always pains me to find that these countries – Vietnam and Thailand, to name just a couple – had started by sending their experts to be educated in the Philippines. It seems that we cannot implement among ourselves the lessons we successfully imparted to experts from elsewhere. This will have to change. We must be able to harness our homegrown talent in order to further our local industries.
When we change administrations, there must be a complete review of all the programs in the Department of Agriculture. We can do a lot for our farmers given the present budget of the Department if we eliminate the leaks and focus on the efficient use of resources. For example, we must stop eating up millions in mere administrative costs as in the case of NABCOR, which charged our government P60 million because it served as a useless conduit to regional offices. We will also support efforts such as supply chain management that minimizes losses, creates jobs, consults with stakeholders, and capitalizes on our competitive advantage.
Our core belief is that the current approach to governance and power must change. That is why our terms of reference always begin with the present government, what it has done, and how different our institutions and our nation must be six years from June 30, 2010.
In a small-scale operation it is easy for everyone involved to visualize that entity as the combination of their collective efforts. As opposed to, say, when you are a bigger firm, and there is the management side and there is the labor side. In Tagalog, it’s even more dramatic. Kayo at kami, sa halip na tayo.
We must find a unity that transcends the divisions of today, based on a shared commitment to transforming our country into one that works: One where traffic flows well, garbage is collected efficiently, crimes are solved, justice is served, and our kids are educated properly. It works in the sense that you do not have to flee the country to move up in the world, improve your lot in life, and rise to the highest level your personal merits can achieve.
We are a nation of sacrifice, of diligence, dedication and, idealism, because we are a people imbued with compassion even when we have officials who lie, cheat, and steal. Our faith teaches us that we are our brother’s keeper. Our logic should tell us that in taking care of others, their growth equals our own.
In the movie “Invictus,” Nelson Mandela says, “In order to rebuild our nation, we must exceed our own expectations.” It requires us to insist, always, that we are not a nation of crooks, of thieves, of murderers who get off scot-free and where justice is won by the highest bidder.
In May, you will be asked to make a choice. Will you choose transformation and change or will you choose to uphold the status quo?
We have already made our choice. Ours is a journey towards transformation. I ask you today to join us in this journey now.
Question from Ingga Bianca Sobreikerri of St. Scholastica’s College
Ingga Bianca Sobreikerri: Senator, kayo po ba ay sang-ayon sa Reproductive Health Bill at paano po ninyo ilulunsad at ipaliliwanag sa ating mga kababayan ang ganitong batas gayong ang inyong pamilya ay kilala bilang maka-Diyos?
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Ang posisyon po namin ay tinatawag na responsible parenthood, ang statistics po namin ay ganito, ang sabi po kanina ng isa nating katunggali wala po tayong population problem. I think we will all agree that if you at one parameter for instance education, there is a problem in classrooms anywhere from 20 to 40 thousand, we are not already able to meet the needs of the people who are already here and that responsible parenthood basically says each parent should be reminded, ipaalala natin sa bawat magulang may dinala kayong anak sa mundong ito, mayroon kayong obligasyon na paaralin, pakainin, may tirahan na maayos, damitan at iba pa.
Hindi po puwdeng bahala na kung ano ang mangyari dun sa anak, yun lang po ang minumungkahi namin. Ngayon po, ano ang solusyon po diyan? Mayroon po tayong educational campaign na ipapaalala po itong mga responsibilidad na ito, yung paghuhubog ng konsensiya at yung values po, iniimbitahan po natin ang bawat isang simbahan na maki-lahok at ibahagi yung kanilang mga pagtu-turo para maliwanagan yung paghuhubog ng konsensiya, nasa atin pong Saligang Batas na mayroon pong separation of Church and State, tayo ay isang demokratikong bansa, hindi po marapat na ang gobyerno po natin ay magdi-dikta sa sinoman kung ilan ang anak na dapat nilang dalhin sa mundo, kung paano nila pa-planuhin ang kanilang pamilya, pero mayroon pong obligasyon nandiyan po sa Saligang Batas na ang gobyerno, ipaalala sa bawat isa na mayroon po tayong tungkulin sa pamilya na nagiging “nuclear family” o susi sa lahat ng pagre-resolba sa lahat ng ating problema.
Huling paalala lang po, noong EDSA po, mayroon tayong humigit kumulang 50 milyon katao,ngayon po ay nasa 93 hanggang 97 ang tinatayang mga mamamayang Pilipino. Geometric ang progression sa population at kung tayo ay parang walang nakikita, walang sasabihin at walang naririnig, siguro po yung mga bata na hindi na nagkakaroon pagkakatong matunghayan ay lalong hindi magkakaroon ng pagkakataon kung tayo’y patuloy na mananahimik.
Questions from a panel of De La Salle University-Manila students
Panel member: Sa pagpasa ng batas ukol sa contractual employment sa mga kumpanya, paano po ninyo ire-resolba ang mga issue ng security of tenure o employment sa ating bansa?
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Yun nga po ang problema, contractualization does not have security of tenure that there will be mutually exclusive, ang tanong nga po dito, mayroong kontrang isyu po dun yung comparative advantage natin versus other countries, labor lang po for the most part ang ating dear value added, tapos we’re pricing ourselves out of the market, yung aming plataporma, stresses education and education enhances the skills, the skills and job potentials that will open up because of an enhance and more skill full labor force hopefully will ensure the tenure and potentials for having meaningfull and dignified jobs here in the country and as well as abroad.
Gusto kong sugpuin ang “contractualization” at the same time ayoko namang patayin yung mga negosyo na kakaunti na lamang nandiyan na ang dami na nga pong lumikas sa ating bansa, wala naman ho talagang makikita sa solution sa extreme positions, saan ba yung happy compromise dito? Natutugunan yung kapakanan ng mga manggagawa, natutugunan din naman yung pangangailangan ng mga negosyo para maka-compete sa global market, huwag po nating kalimutan malapit na po tayong ma-obliga under various treaties na magbukas ng ating mga pinto sa dayuhang mga kalakal at mga produkto, so kailangan na po tayong maka-laban sa ating domestic market at mangyayari po yan, kung talagang naka-focus, yung isa po saking mga panukalang batas yung kung paano ibalik yung konspeto ng bawat kompanya na ang pananawa dapat ay hindi kayo o kami kapag nagtutugunan at nag-uusap ang management at labor pero bumalik tayo dun sa tayo, kompanya natin ito, paano natin palalaguin ito? Ang mga minungkahi natin dito ay yung productivity incentive.
Panel member: Sinabi po ninyo sa inyong palatastas na hindi po kayo magnanakaw, pero paano naman po ang ibang opisyal? Ang taong ko po, mayroon na po kayong nagawang kongkretong mga paraan bilang isang mambabatas para siguraduhing mahuli at mapanagutan ng mga ahensiya o mga opisyal na napatunayang nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan o naging kasama sa katiwalian?
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Salamat sa tanong mo, palagay ko naman hindi ka absent nung nandoon tayo sa mga ZTE hearing, nandoon tayo kasama sa impeachment, nagtatanong tama ba yung paratang dun sa hello Garci, among other things, kasama ako sa impeachment for that matter, sinubukan narin nating iwasto yung sistema, doon sa AFP, DND budget, pagka-tagal tagal, 1974 pa po, hindi po subject to public bidding yung kanilang paggugol ng budget na yun, isang taon po ay umabot ng P1.8 billion ang tinatayang savings is between 5 to 10 percent, we could have saved a hundred and 80 million and devoted it to something else. Pero ang dulo po nun, I think I have proposed an amendment accepted to GAA for something like 9 or 10 budget seasons already kaya lang pinapalusutan at ginagawaan ng paraan para magkaroon ng failure of bidding, ang dami pa po nating ginawa, na hindi lang tayo naging interesadong itaas yung sarili nating bangko dahil tumutugon lang po ako sa ipangako ko na paglilikungkuran ang taong bayan, hindi ko na kailangan pang ipagmalakihan pa kung ano iyong ating nagawa.
Questions from Ted Failon, host of the forum
Ted Failon: Mayroon bang nagawa si Pangulong Arroyo na dapat niyang panagutan pagkatapos ng kanyang term?
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Sa akin po pananaw, YES. Ang problema po dito….
Ted Failon: Kung YES sa paano pong paraan?
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Dapat po magkaroon tayo ng closure sa lahat ng issues, ang issue nga po dito yung kulang ng transparency, mayroon po tayo for instance yung fertilizer scam na kalian naimbestigahan, 4 years after the crime was committed, kailangang may katiyakan sa kaparusahan, kung tao po ay hindi mamamansin dito sa mga issues na walang closure, para narin nating sinabi na ituloy natin itong sistema na mali sa atin pong palagay. Paano natin hahabulin yan? Nandiyan po ang ating mga korte, nandiyan po yung ating mga investigative arms, pero may obligasyon din naman tayo na protektahan ang karapatan ng lahat, dahil sabi nga po ng aking ama, yung pagtatanggol sa karapatan lalo ng kalaban mo ang talagang batayan kung talagang may demokrasya o wala, yun po ang hahabulin natin. Pangako ko po ay closure on all of the issues, kailangan pong magkaroon ng resolution kung sino ang may kasalanan ay kailangang may tiyak na kaparusahan.
Ted Failon: Ginoong Aquino, ano po kaya ang pinakamabigat na isyu na dapat nyang panagutan?
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Napakahaba po ng listahan, baka kulangin po tayo.
Ted Failon: Isa lang po.
Senator Noynoy Aquino: I think she has destroyed a lot of institutions that we have replied upon to have a vibrant and functional democracy. Ang dami na hong nagkwestiyon. Pati simbahan kinukwestyon. Pati ang ating mga korte nakukwestiyon. Dulo po nito, may gagawing kasalanan, sasabihing sagot pulitika lamang at parati hong nabibinbin na malaman natin ang katotohanan. Tuloy yung dapat mali ay tila sa ating pananaw ay naging sistema na. Naging syang palakad at kalakal po sa ating bansa na talagang nagpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan.
Senator Noynoy Aquino: Magandang hapon ho sa lahat. Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa pagkakataong ito. Palagay ko po ang pinuno, klaro ang mga posisyon sa lahat po ng isyu. Mahirap po sundan kung pabago-bago o naliligaw paminsan-minsan at bumabaliktad ang kanyang mga desisyon. Sa katanungang mayroon bang kasalanan si G. Arroyo, dapat mayroon tayong paninindigan. Tama o mali ikaw ang mag didikta sa buong gobyerno kung uusigin o hindi. Pag tayo po ay sasagot na nakakakaba ng konti, bakit ang unang papasok sa ating kaisipan ay hindi ko idedepensa ang sagot ng isang katunggali. Bakit ho depensa kaagad kung gayong nasa oposisyon sya? Kailangan ho suriin natin kung ano ang pinanggalingan natin, dahil sinasabi ng lahat, marami ang mali sa kasalukuyang sistema. Tayo ho ba ay nagpanatili sa sistemang yun o tinututulan natin yung mali? Pakitingnan po ang aming mga record. Maraming salamat sa lahat.
As we commemorate the birth anniversary of our mother, we again feel a sense of emptiness from no longer having her around.
We have gotten so used to the comfort of her presence, especially when situations demand the best of us.
She almost always had a ready answer whenever problems arise. When she didn’t, she would provide wise counsel that always managed to make us feel better.
We looked up to our mother as our leader, especially after my father passed away. She instantly became our source of strength, while becoming the face of fortitude for her countrymen. She later managed to carry through not just her children but an entire nation now freely enjoying benefits of a hard-fought democracy.
It is in these trying times when our fragile democracy hangs in the balance that I feel her absence even more.
What gives me consolation, and courage to overcome the emptiness, is the realization that I am not alone in my grief. There are many others, like you, who felt the loss of a truly phenomenal woman.
When people from all walks of life came in droves at her wake and joined the 9-hour procession from the church to her final resting place, we witnessed a nation that genuinely looked up to her as an inspiration much as we in her family did. People wanted a piece of Cory Aquino, patiently waited in line and braved the elements just to get it, perhaps to remember what her sacrifice truly meant for all of us.
Such a strong commitment to make sacrifices, and willingness to somehow emulate her character, demonstrated a people longing for a semblance of the sincerity that she embodied.
It also showed what we CAN do. The spirit of People Power was reignited in those five days.
Is it possible that what we so admired in Cory Aquino is something that resides in each of us all along?
Imagine a country where each citizen is honest, obeys the law and is never at the mercy of shady law enforcers.
A country where citizens show their trademark bayanihan qualities at all times, not only when disasters strike.
A country whose citizens take care of other citizens, in whatever way possible.
Imagine if we do live up to that ideal that my mother exemplified. Her unique brand of heroism and sacrifice could finally have younger, stronger and more creative versions that could only come from those of us she had left behind.
Only through our participation, and our willingness to live by her example, can we make her legacy meaningful and able to effect the changes we want today.
Sa matinding pagsubok na kasalukuyang hinaharap ng ating lipunan at ng buong sambayanang Pilipino, hindi maaaring ako lamang ang magsisikap na tularan ang mabuting ehemplo ng aking ina.
Perhaps if we try to keep her spirit alive in our own daily struggles, we would realize that she did not really just leave us. She is in our dreams of having a government that works, that makes justice and a decent life accessible to every citizen. She is an inspiration on so many levels.
Working together in fulfilling our own aspirations for our country would be an ideal tribute to the woman who loved her country until the very end.
Corruption is the main cause of poverty in the country and the reason why Filipinos have lost trust in government. Noynoy Aquino believes that corruption is not part of our culture and that Filipinos are honest, decent, fair and hardworking. Honest and competent public officers and a professional and accountable civil service supported by active people’s participation will remove corruption and restore trust in government.
As President, Noynoy Aquino will lead the fight against corruption and restore trust in government.
Noynoy Aquino will appoint public officials based on their integrity, qualifications and performance record and will hold them accountable to the highest ethical standards of public office.
As required by law, all Department Secretaries, Heads of Agencies, and senior officials from Director to Undersecretaries will be required to have their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) available and accessible to the public.
An Aquino Administration will ensure transparency and citizen’s participation in crafting and implementing laws, rules and regulations and in monitoring the programs, projects and transactions of government.
Uphold the people’s right to information on matters of public concern and support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill in Congress.
To enable citizens to help stop corruption, information about the government’s budget shall be organized, packaged and distributed to the media regularly and posted in the internet so the public may know, understand and monitor how their money is spent.
Strengthen people’s participation with simple and clear procedures for citizens to monitor all government projects and report their feedback through accessible means.
Strengthening the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman will be a top priority in the campaign against corruption. We will fully implement the recently passed Prosecution Service Act in order to strengthen the national prosecution service, attract qualified lawyers, and institutionalize a more effective witness protection program while improving training and equipment.
Ensure the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman by appointing a competent and credible Ombudsman who will be true to the mandate of the office and will pursue unresolved cases of corruption and human rights abuses committed by public officers.
An Aquino Administration will put into place a “zero-based” budgeting system to enhance transparency and improve efficiency.
Budget allocations for the different agencies of government will be shaped by their performance and their compliance with the reports of the Commission on Audit (COA).
Noynoy Aquino respects the professional bureaucracy and will establish ways to motivate and energize the professional bureaucracy.
Qualification standards, especially on eligibility, will be strictly followed, and at least half of the positions of Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be filled by honest and competent career civil servants to ensure continuity and sustainability of effective policies and programs.
Government offices will be streamlined and rationalized so that agencies have clear cut and distinct mandates in order to spur greater efficiency and accountability.
Performances of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Performance Management System-Office Performance Evaluation System (PMS-OPES) will be linked with the DBM Organizational Performance Indicator Framework (OPIF) to ensure accountability of government agencies and officials.
Review the mandates and performance of government agencies and Government Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).
Underlying all the problems and weaknesses of the country and the economy is corruption and the weakening of our democratic institutions. We will restore trust in government by emphasizing good governance and anti-corruption to increase investment, regain people’s trust to pay proper taxes and ensure that the people’s money is well spent.
We will uphold the people’s right to information on matters of public concern and vigorously support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill in Congress
We will ensure transparency and citizen’s participation in crafting and implementing laws, rules and regulations and in monitoring the programs, projects and transactions of government
We will put into place a “zero-based” budgeting system to enhance transparency and improve efficiency.
Budget allocations for the different agencies of government will be shaped by their performance and their compliance with the reports of the Commission on Audit (COA)
Qualification standards, especially on eligibility, will be strictly followed, and at least half of the positions of Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be filled by honest and competent career civil servants to ensure continuity and sustainability of effective policies and programs
Performances of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
We will have broad based and inclusive economic growth through increased incomes by generating quality jobs and attracting more investments.
We will have a government that is not corrupt and is business-friendly, thus lowering the cost of doing business and production in the country.
We will reduce red tape, reducing the number of processes required to do business in the country.
We will improve infrastructure in transportation and housing, which will generate jobs and also support investments.
We will directly target industries with the greatest potential for growth and where the Philippines has a competitive advantage, industries that have already been identified by domestic and foreign business groups and include agribusiness, business process outsourcing, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, socially responsible mining and tourism and retirement.
In the immediate short term, we will take care of the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society through programs such as conditional cash transfers dedicated, among others, to keeping healthy young children in school.
We will promote entrepreneurship that provides employment, helping small and medium firms with access to credit and diffusion of technologies and skills.
We will focus investment expenditure in the very urgent need to invest in education (especially in early childhood education) and in health.
We will promote technical/vocational schools to strengthen the labor supply and better match the needs of enterprises.
A clean government will facilitate macroeconomic stability, reigning in the record level deficits of the current administration, and bringing down the debt-to-GDP ratio.
We will plug revenue leakages by having competent and trustworthy tax collectors, broadening the tax base.
We will instruct DBM to lead an internal government review of all its costs and present a plan to reduce government overhead within six months.
We will review policies and programs to enhance productivity and modernize the agricultural sector.
The Philippine public health system, like our educational system, is in a sad state of disrepair. We need not repeat today the litany of causes that have led us to our present conditions, nor do we need to hear the “horror stories” of a majority of our people, who suffer from lack or absence of health services.
We all share a sense of urgency to fix our health system. It is time to look forward and face the challenges of health care in the country.
Universal Health Care is the cornerstone of our health agenda.
Fifteen years ago, the National Health Insurance Law, which created the Health Insurance Corporation of PhilHealth, called for health insurance for all Filipinos by 2010 – this year.
Sadly, the government is almost sure to fall short as health insurance barely protects 38% of all Filipinos today, as noted in the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2008.
If given the trust of the people, an Aquino administration will achieve Universal Health Care in three years or less.
The Aquino administration will go beyond ensuring that each Filipino has a PhilHealth card. Universal Health Care should mean that every PhilHealth cardholder will get not merely the card; but more important, the essential health services, basic medicines and appropriate quality health care.
The Aquino administration will also direct PhilHealth to expand outpatient health care benefits as required by law.
The Aquino administration will work with LGUs and the private health sector to make sure that accredited services are available in hospitals and clinics everywhere.
Access to Health through Improved Health Infrastructure
Our health infrastructure needs a boost given the gaps in health facilities. Beginning at the barangay level we will fund 22,000 more barangay health stations, 3,000 more outpatient Rural Health Units and at least 150 more district hospitals.
This will ensure that health services are not only affordable but also accessible to each family and the whole Filipino community. The Filipino people can expect this from an Aquino administration.
The Aquino administration will implement all the benefits stipulated in the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers. I am prepared to work closely with LGUs to improve their health services.
There should be no lack of medicines and instruments in facilities with quality health providers. The Aquino administration will guarantee that the 100 of the most essential drugs in generics are available in every health facility all the time. The Aquino administration will work with toll manufacturers to ensure that this will be a reality.
A Holistic and Comprehensive Health Care System
To ensure a holistic and comprehensive Health Care System, the Aquino administration will ensure that the national health budget will be at least 5% of the national budget.
The Aquino administration will leverage the national health budget to increase investments in health from the private sector.
To these ends, the Aquino administration will establish a National Health Development Fund.
The actions of the Aquino administration to achieve universal health care are as follows:
All Filipinos will have access to essential health care, medicines and services.
Philhealth will be a genuine social health insurance where all Filipinos are covered.
There will be universal health care for all Filipinos under the Aquino administration.
However, let us be clear and frank with each other. Our shared dream of universal health care and the goals we aim for can only be achieved if, together, we stand vigilant and fight corruption – the disease that plagues our government and our society.
Corruption has deprived our people life saving medicines, our children basic immunization and other health care services.
Corruption and poverty are the root causes of our suffering as a nation. If there is no corruption, all our goals for healthcare in our countrymen will be achieved.
In 2009 alone, 280 Billion Pesos of the national budget was lost to corruption (according to the Center for National Budget Legislation). This does not yet include revenues lost due to inefficiencies and corrupt practices in tax collection.
With 280 Billion, we could’ve built 560,000 health clinics around the country.
The fight against corruption is our fight. This fight should be led by the top leader of our country. The next president should be trusted to not steal or abuse power.
I will not deliberately mislead you. I am prepared to stand by my track record in public service – nine years in Congress and more than two years in the Senate. Before that, in the administration of my late mother, not even once did I abuse power or authority or was I linked to any scandal.
Honesty and integrity, a clean record of public service, a clear vision, and the will to carry it out – these are the fundamental qualities our next leader must have if we are to eliminate corruption in our government.
Tayo ay hinubog ng mga katangiang ating minana, at ng mga karanasang ating pinagdaanan.
Many have said that it was my good fortune to have been born into my family. My father was touted as the next president and was considered one of the most influential people of his time.
Subalit, tayo po ay tinuruan ng ating mga magulang, mga kasambahay at mga kamag-anak, na anuman ang estado natin sa buhay, dapat nating gawin ang tama at igalang ang karapatan ng lahat. The lessons of my childhood were driven home by my family’s experiences during Martial Law. These years were some of the most difficult we had to endure, but they were also the most influential in shaping my life and who I am today.
Ang karanasang ito ang nagturo sa atin kung ano ang tama at kung ano ang mali.
Kaya naman noong ating nakamit ang demokrasya at nanungkulan ang ating ina, nangibabaw ang isang adhikain: Mali na tayo ay naaapi, ngunit mas lalong mali ang mang-api.
Subalit nanumbalik pa rin ang kasakiman at kawalang katarungan sa kasalukuyang rehimen. Umulit ang madilim na kasaysayan na sinabi nating hindi na natin papayagan.
Ako po ay narito dahil sa hangarin nating maibalik ang tama sa ating lipunan.
Marahil ang pinakamalaking pagkakaiba natin sa ating ibang katunggali ay hindi ko po hinangad na tumakbo bilang Presidente ng Pilipinas.
Ang matinding tiwala ng tao, at hindi ambisyon, ang nag-udyok sa atin.
Sapagkat hindi pansariling kapakanan ang dahilan, may kalayaan akong isipin at isulong ang kapakanan ng iba.
Kilala na po tayo ng ating mga kababayan. Sa mababang kapulungan man o sa Senado, may tiwala po ang taumbayan na ipinaglalaban natin ang tama, hindi lamang paminsan-minsan, kung hindi sa lahat ng oras.
The Filipino people’s faith in us is what gives us strength. As long as the people are with us in the fight for change, I am confident that we can address the many problems this administration has created and will leave behind.
Ang laban na tapat ay laban nating lahat. Sa tulong ninyo, ako po ang magsusulong sa laban na ito.
Noong madaling araw ng Setyembre 23, 1972, dumating ang mga sundalo at dinakip ang aking ama. Kami naman ay ginising ng aming ina, at sinabi sa amin kung ano ang nangyari.
Labing- dalawang taong gulang lamang po ako noon. Kinulong ang aming ama kahit na siya ay walang sala. At doon nagsimula ang aming kalbaryo.
Marami ang naniniwala noon na siya ang magiging susunod na Pangulo. Ngunit sa araw na iyon, bigla siyang itinuring na pangunahing kaaway ng estado bagama’t wala siyang kasalanan.
Bumaliktad ang aming mundo. Itinakwil kami ng mga taong nangako na hindi kami iiwan.
Mula sa inaasahang magandang kinabukasan, nag-umpisa ang bangungot ng martial law.
Mula grade one hanggang grade six, ako po ay nasa top ten ng aking klase. Naghahanda para sa isang magandang kinabukasan.Ngunit ng dumating ang martial law, parang naging imposible ang magkaroon ng isang kinabukasan.
Dahil doon, mahirap magsumikap na mag-aral nang mabuti para sa isang kinabukasang walang taglay na pag-asa.
Ang aming nanay ang tumayong ama at ina ng aming pamilya.
Para makapiling ang aming ama, kailangan pa naming humingi ng permiso sa mga namamahala ng martial law.
Ako’y isang batang musmos na walang magawa habang niyuyurakan ang dangal ng aking ina at mga kapatid nang sumailalim sila sa strip search tuwing dadalaw sa aming ama.
Pinahuhubad halos ang buong kasuotan ng aking ina at mga batang kapatid na babae.
Isang taon bago nag-martial law, inakusahan ni Ginoong Marcos ang aking ama ng kung anu-anong krimen. Sagot ng aking ama: Ginoong Marcos, tungkulin mong isakdal ako sa korte.
Ang nag-akusa sa aking ama ay si Ginoong Marcos. Nagtatag siya ng isang Military Commission para litisin ang aking amang isang sibilyan, at para tiyak na malutong Makoy.
Ang humatol sa aking ama ay mga galamay ni Ginoong Marcos. Ang desisyon nila ay ihahain muli kay Ginoong Marcos para suriin niyang muli.
1977, at 17 years old na ako. Dumating ang panahon ng paghatol sa aking ama ng isang military commission.
Yaman din lamang tapos na ang desisyon bago pa nag-umpisa ang paglilitis, nagpasiya ang aking ama na mag-hunger strike bilang pagprotesta sa kawalan ng katarungan.
Araw-araw, nakikita kong unti-unting nauupos at nauubos ang buhay ng aking ama. Bakit humantong dito ang kanyang buhay? Bakit kailangan na ang taong walang sala ang dumaan sa ganitong paghihirap?
Sa apatnapung araw, patindi ng patindi ang poot at galit na nabubuo sa aking kalooban. Mauunawaan ninyo siguro kung bakit ganoon na lamang ang aking naramdaman.
Ilan kaya sa atin ang kayang magtiis at magtimpi sa ganoong sitwasyon?
Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagsubok at panganib na hinarap namin, na hinarap nating lahat.
Nasubukan na po ba ninyo na makulong ng Pasko at Bagong Taon para lang makapiling ang inyong mahal sa buhay na wala namang sala?
Nakaranas na ba kayong mag-iyakan ang inyong buong pamilya pagsapit ng Bagong Taon sa loob ng maliit na selda, samantalang nagdiriwang at nagsasaya sa labas ang buong daigdig?
Nakaranas na ba kayong maging Kuya at Tatay sa mga kapatid na babae sa murang edad ng inyong pagbi-binata?
Sa daloy ng panahon, napilitan po akong tanggapin na lamang—kagaya ng milyung milyong Pilipino—ang kawalan ng karapatan sa lahat ng larangan.
Ang lahat ng naranasan kong ito ay bahagi ng isang bangungot na hindi dapat nangyari at hindi na dapat maulit pa.
Ang hirap na aming dinanas, ang sakit ng kalooban, ang kawalan ng katarungan sa amang minamahal—iyan po ang siyang nagpanday ng aking ugali at pagkatao.
Sakripisyo—para sa bayan. Sakripisyo—para sa paninindigan. Sakripisyong may halong dalangin at pag-asa na may Panginoong Diyos na sa takdang oras ay iwawasto ang mali.
Kaya sa mga nanlalait hindi lang sa akin kundi sa panawagan ng panahon, simple lang ang sagot dito: ito ang ating tadhana.
Ang nais nila ay talikuran ko—at talikuran natin—ang ehemplo at prinsipyo ng aking mga magulang at ang magandang halimbawa na ibinigay hindi lang sa kanilang mga anak, kundi sa buong sambayanan.
Totoo naman na hindi mahirap ang angkan ng aking ama. Pwede siyang sumuko at tumanggap ng pataas na pataas na alok ng kapangyarihan at salapi. Ngunit pinili niya ang landas ng pagpapatotoo sa pangakong paglingkuran ang sambayanan.
Naaalala ko po ang liham na sinulat ng aking ama noong siya ay nasa bilangguan.
Limampung taong gulang ang aking ama noong siya ay pinaslang. Ngayon ay 50 taong gulang na rin po ako.
Ang sabi sa akin ng aking ama:
“The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience. There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength. Son, the ball is now in your hands.”
Totoo naman na hindi namulat sa hirap ang aking ina, ngunit ang pinili niyang pamumuhay ay ang paglingkuran ang bayan at iangat ang mga mahihirap—at hindi ang sarili niyang kaginhawaan.
Binigay nila sa ating bayan ang mga bagay na hindi kayang bilhin ng sinuman: ang kanilang sakripisyo. Ang kanilang paninindigan. Kung may inaapi, kung may pinagsasamantalahan, matatag ang kanilang paninindigan: ipadama at patunayang hindi sila nag-iisa.
Ang lahat ng hirap na aming dinanas ay tinumbasan ng sambayanang Pilipino ng pagmamahal.
Pagmamahal sa aking amang si Ninoy na pinaslang nang walang habag, at milyun-milyon ang nakiramay. Pagmamahal sa aking inang si Cory na ipinagdasal ng sambayanan nuong nakaratay sa sakit, at pakikiramay nang siya ay mahimlay.
Sa lahat ng aming sakripisyo, sa lahat ng aming trahedya, hindi ninyo kami pinabayaan. Hindi ninyo kami nilisan. Ipinadama ninyo sa amin na hindi kami nag-iisa.
Sa aking pananaw, hindi lang ito dahil sa halimbawa nila Ninoy at Cory.
Nakita lamang nila ang ayaw kilalanin ng mga sugapa sa kapangyarihan at pangungurakot: na ang Pilipino ay disente, may dangal, may malasakit at may paninindigan. Mahaba ang ating pasensya, ngunit habang tayo’y nagtitiis, naroon ang kaalaman na may araw din ng pagtutuos, may araw din para sa tunay na katarungan.
Dumating nga ang araw na iyon nung Pebrero beynte-singko, 1986: ito na ang kabaligtaran ng lagim na pinagdaanan ng ating lipunan.
Dahil sa People Power, nanumbalik ang demokrasya. Dahil sa People Power, nanumbalik ang ating karapatang pumili at maghalal ng ating mga pinuno. Dahil sa People Power, nanumbalik ang mga karapatang pantao.
Dahil sa People Power, taas-noo tayong lahat. Inawit pa natin na ito ang handog ng Pilipino sa mundo. Naging inspirasyon tayo ng marami pang bansa sa Asya at sa Europa na nag-People Power din upang itanghal ang demokrasya.
Kaya nang nagtagumpay ang People Power sinabi natin, ayon sa kanta,
Ating kalayaan kay tagal nating mithi. ‘Di na papayagang mabawi muli.
Ngunit ano ang naganap mula noon?
Noong 2000, nanaig muli ang korapsyon sa pamahalaan.
Nanindigan tayong muli at nagkaroon ng pangalawang People Power, ngunit ano ang ginawa ng ating niluklok na Pangulo?
Bakit hanggang ngayon ay saksi pa rin tayo sa pagpapasasa at pangungurakot ng iilan habang nagpapahirap sa milyun-milyong Pilipino?
Bakit hanggang ngayon ay pilit na ayaw pa ring harapin ang usapin ng ‘Hello Garci’? Di ba ang walang sala, nagmamadali pang patunayang mali ang mga paratang? Limang taon na ang nakalipas, kulang pa ba?
Bakit pinayagan ang mga kaalyado na magtatag ng mga sari-sariling kaharian? Bakit sukdulan na ang paggamit ng karahasan hindi lamang ng baril at armas, kundi maging chainsaw at backhoe? Bakit kailangang maganap ang karumal-dumal na massacre sa Maguindanao?
Talaga bang ang mga mandaraya, manlilinlang at magnanakaw ay palagi na lamang mamamayani?
Palalim ng palalim ang ugat ng kanilang kasakiman habang lalong naghihirap ang taumbayan.
Noon, si Marcos ang tanging batas. Ngayon, sa maraming pagkakataon, ay tila hindi na ginagalang ang batas, pati na ang ating Saligang Batas.
Noon, ang eleksiyon ay Lutong Makoy; ngayon, ang eleksyon ay Lutong Gloria at Garci.
Noong araw, na- momorsiyento sa proyekto ang mga tiwali. Ngayon, ang naiiwan sa proyekto ay iilang porsiyento na lamang.
Pilit tayong pinapaniwala na wala tayong magagawa.
Kailangan tayong magbalik-tanaw sa nakalipas.
Mayroong isang Ninoy Aquino. Hinarap ang maliwanag na panganib sa buhay niya. Para magkaroon tayo ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng mapayapang pagbabago.
Pinatay siya ng walang pakundangan ng mga gahaman sa kapangyarihan. At sa kanyang pagyao, nabuhay ang ating demokrasya.
Mayroong isang Cory Aquino. Ipinagpatuloy niya ang laban—hanggang naibalik natin ang demokrasya.
At kahit tapos na ang panunungkulan, hindi ni minsang tumangging manindigan para ipagtanggol ang demokrasya sa bawat panganib.
May mga tao at puwersang gustong isantabi ang kapakanan ng karamihan alang-alang sa kanilang makasariling interes.
Habang nangingibaw ang ganitong palakad, palubog nang palubog ang buhay ng nakararaming dukha at kapus-palad.
Minsan may isang diktador na nangahas na umapi ng isang bansa. Sambayanang Pilipino, sumunod sa halimbawa ni Ninoy at ni Cory. Gumising at nanindigan, at itinaboy ang mapangahas.
Ngayon, naghahari na naman ang mga sumunod sa yapak ng nangahas.
Kayong mga nandito, naninindigan at nagbibigay- babala sa mga mapangahas:
Humanda na kayo sa araw ng pananagutan. Gumising na kayo sa katotohanan. Mulat na ang sambayanan.
Noong panahon ng kadiliman, ang katanungan ay:
Sino ang kikilos upang ibalik tayo sa liwanag?
Sa inyong pakikiisa, sinagot niyo na ito.
Ngayon, kumikilos na ang sambayanang nangangarap muli, at natatanaw na natin ang maliwanag at maaliwalas na kinabukasan kung saan ang pangarap ay magkakatotoo din.
Minsan, may isang Ninoy Aquino, nag-iisa sa kanyang bartolina. Nangahas siyang mangarap. At nang lumaon, tumugon sa kanyang hamon ang milyun-milyong Pilipino—at nakamit natin ang kalayaan.
Ngayon, wala na tayong dapat pang ikatakot. Tayo ay gising na. Tayo ay mulat na. Tayo ay kikilos na upang makamit ang tagumpay. Taas-noo muli ang Pilipino sa mundo.
Maraming salamat at magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.
Napansin ko po, hindi nababati ng maayos ang ating mga kasanggang matibay tulad ni Mayor Lim, na nandito po sa entablado.
Nandiyan po si Mayor Aro Mendoza ng Tarlac City!
Nandiyan po si Vice Governor Mark Leviste ng Batangas, matanda lang po ng konti sa akin yan.
Alam ho ninyo ang problema ko, ay mahaba-haba sana yung sasabihin ko sa inyo. Tapos sabi sa akin, paki bilisan ninyo one minute lang kayo at baka magsara yung Comelec.
Ito po ang listahan ng babatiin ko halos naging baliktaran sa papel, tsaka ko na po kayo babatiin kapag mas mahaba ang oras.
Simple lang po ang mensahe natin itong araw na ito: Diyan po sa Manila Cathedral, tatlong buwan pa lang po halos ang lumipas noong atin pong ina ay nandiyan at dadalhin na po sa huling hantungan. Marami pong problema na bumabalot sa aking kaisipan. Unang una na ho doon, wala na po ang ating pinuno, paano kaya natin maibabalik sa liwanag ang ating bansa? Kulang siguro sa tulog kaya’t hindi ko nakita kaagad yung mga sagot. Nakita po natin yung apat na sundalo nandoon sa taas ng truck. Sila ho ay hindi magkakasama sa isang unit at tsaka yung isa po ay miyembro ng kapulisan. Sila ho ay hindi nagtraining para sa trabahong iyon na sinabihan silang siyam na oras kayong hindi puwede kumilos. Pero yung Pilipino ho, tulad noong apat na iyon, bigyan lamang ng pagkakataon, maliwanag kung ano ang tama, gagawin ang tama – yun po ang solusyon natin.
Itong araw pong ito ihahain natin yung ating certificate of candidacy. Ito po siguro ang unang hakbang sa huling yugto ng ipinaglalaban natin. At ano nga ba ang pinaglalaban natin? Kapag tayo po, sa tulong ninyo, ay pinalad, yung pataba po, ang tataba halaman hindi na po yung mga tiwaling kawani ng gobyerno.
Magkakaroon din po ng sistema ng gobyerno na hindi nagpapahintulot o nakapapayag ng nangyaring karumaldumal na nangyari sa Maguindanao, hindi na po pupuwede iyan. Magkakaroon na tayo ng katiyakan na kaparusahan kapag may nilabag ka sa batas natin, iyan po ay itaga na natin sa bato.
Ipinaglalaban din po natin na lahat ng Pilipinong gustong matuto, may pagkakataon para matuto. Ang Pilipinong gustong magkaroon ng trabahong may dangal, magkakaroon ng trabahong may dangal.
Ang Pilipino pong may karamdaman, aarugain ng estado, obligasyon po iyan ng estado. Lahat po iyan, kaya nating makamtan, dahil ako po ay naniniwala sa bansa po natin. Sa singkuwentang porsyento na binubungkal na lupa, hindi ho tamang may nagugutom sa Pilipinas. Kailangan lang po gawin natin yung tama, babawasan natin ng babawasan ang nagugutom at talagang papunta na tayo sa kasaganaan, dahil gagawin po natin ang tama.
Malapit na po tayong senyasan. Baka sabihin sa atin ay malapit na ang lunch break sa Comelec.
Ang importante lang po sa akin na maiwan sa inyo sa araw na ito ay isang bagay:
Yung mga kalaban natin ang daming ipinagyayabang. Lahat na po sila ay ipinagsama-sama ko na. Pare-pareho silang gusto pa ring ipagpatuloy ang paglilinlang, yung pandaraya. Ang sagot ko lang sa kanila: Sige na pumutak na kayo ng pumutak. Sige na magtext brigade na kayo, mag-internet pa kayo. Sige na bilhin na ninyo ang lahat ng commercial na puwede ninyong bilhin.
Pero ang taong bayan, sa akin pong pananaw ay gising na, mulat na at sawa na sa inyo! Papasalamatan ko nalang ho kayong lahat.
Mga kapatid, talagang noong iniisip natin ito, ang dami kong problemang nakikita sabi ko, “Paano nga ba natin malalaktawan iyan?”
At yung sagot po pabalikbalik, simple lang pala, habang nandiyan ang taong bayan maski anong problema kaya nating laktawan. Ang tagumpay po buwan na lang ang pinag-uusapan, ke nandoon ako, ke wala ho ako dito, sigurado po ako itong ating krusada, magpapatuloy at magtatagumpay dahil lahat po kayo ay nandito.
Kaya’t magandang umaga pong muli at maraming salamat sa inyo!
The ProPinoy Project is a Global Community Center for all things Pinoy, to connect Filipinos at home and abroad by creating a space for ideas, trends and analyses about the Philippines and the global Pinoy community to inspire informed discussion and transformative action.