Bam Aquino: Youth isn't a disadvantage

Posted at 03/05/2013 10:33 PM | Updated as of 03/05/2013 11:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Team PNoy senatorial candidate Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino on Tuesday said he believes his youth is not detrimental to his bid in the May elections.

"Our youth doesn't seem to be that much of a disadvantage. Tanggap po ng tao na may kakayahan 'yung kabataan na manilbihan sa ating bayan," Aquino said on ANC's "Harapan 2013".

The 35-year-old Aquino, however, said being a newbie candidate has disadvantages.

He said he has to work harder than veteran senatorial bets to prove he is worthy of a Senate seat.

"Bilang isa sa mga bagito na pumapasok 'no, doble kayod po talaga para sabihin kung ano 'yung mga pinaglalaban mo, track record mo, 'yung qualifications mo," he said.

"You have to find a way to communicate ano ba 'yung mga nagawa mo na, 'yung achievements mo," he added.

'Trabaho, negosyo, edukasyon'

Aquino, a former youth leader and social entrepreneur, said if he wins in the Senate race in May, he will focus on addressing poverty in the country.

"'Yung pinaka-focus po ng ating plataporma kahirapan, kung paano masusugpo 'yung kahirapan. Para po sa akin, tatlong bagay po 'yan: trabaho, negosyo, edukasyon."

He said: "Magagaling tayo, matatalino, masipag. Wala lang hong mga opportunities so kailangan ho ikalat ang mas maraming opportunities para sa ating mga kababayan."

The cousin of President Benigno Aquino III also noted that despite the success of his Hapinoy Program in helping micro-entrepreneurs secure better income, he still sees the need of widening its reach.

"Nakita namin na 'di ito magiging nationwide program kung walang tumutulak nito in the national level," Aquino said.

NYC appointment

Aquino claimed he was appointed chairman of the National Youth Commission (NYC) in 2001 by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because of his skills and not because his father was instrumental to Arroyo's political career. 

"My appointment in 2001 dahil po 'yan isa po tayo sa youth leaders sa EDSA II," he said.

He added that he was proud of what he has achieved in NYC.

"'Yung atin pong panunungkulan sa National Youth Commission, naging tapat naman tayo, nanungkulan ng maayos sa ating sektor ng kabataan and I'm very proud of my track record there."

People Power

Aquino also recalled the day of the 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted the Marcos dictatorship.

He said he believes the power of the people is still needed at this time, but not to topple a dictator but fight against poverty.

"Ngayon 'di na diktador 'yung kalaban natin. Ang kalaban natin kahirapan. Ang tingin ko kung magsasama-sama ang taumbayan, magtutulungan, may kakayahan tayong talunin kahit ang kahirapan," he said.

"Ako po, I would want to be remembered as someone who helped bring that about, na tumulong para magsama-sama ulit ang taumbayan para talunin ang kahirapan," Aquino added.