PNoy hits mudslingers, warns vs fake reformists

Posted at 08/25/2014 9:54 AM | Updated as of 08/25/2014 9:54 AM

MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday warned Filipinos against fake reformists and chided those who propagate malicious accusations in a bid to derail reform efforts.

In his National Heroes Day speech at the Libingan ng Bayani in Taguig, Aquino said the Philippines is now facing a battle against those who want the country to slide back to a corrupt system.

''Wala nang mananakop, wala nang digmaan, wala nang batas militar. Subalit puspusan pa rin ang mangilan-ngilang gustong ibalik ang dating sistema ng pandurugas at panlalamang,'' Aquino said.

''Ito po ang laban natin ngayon: ang maging mapagmatyag sa mga naghahasik ng pagdududa at kasinungalingan; ang huwag maging kasangkapan ng mga nagpapanggap na tagapagsulong ng reporma; ang magwaksi ng baluktot at manindigan sa kung ano ang matuwid."

Aquino also lauded 13-year-old Bacolod student Ma. Francesca Santiago, who wrote an article which noted that there are people who prefer to hurl criticisms instead of choosing to be part of the solution-making process.

''Tila uso na raw kasi ang magbato ng sisi, kahit na doon sa mga ginagawa ang lahat ng kanilang makakaya upang maisulong ang interes ng mamamayan. Sabi pa niya, sa harap ng mga hamong dumarating sa ating bansa, imbes na maging bukas ang isip at hanapin ang katotohanan, mas pinipili ng iba na magpakalat ng mga bintang na walang basehan; sa halip na tumulong sa paghahanap ng solusyon, may ilang mas gusto pang palalain ang takot at pagdurusang dinaranas ng ating mga kababayan,'' he said.

''Malinaw sa kanya: may karapatan ang lahat na magpahayag ng kanilang saloobin, subalit may obligasyon din ang bawat isa na maging makatwiran."

Aquino said the country has achieved reforms four years into his presidency guided by the ''tuwid na daan'' (straight path) principle. He, however, warned that some people are seeking to reverse these.

''Mahigit apat na taon na nating tinatahak ang tuwid na landas. Nagbubunga na ang mga ipinunla nating binhi ng pagbabago, at nagiging desperado na ang mga mapagsamantala,'' he said.

''Huwag po sana nating sayangin ito. Ito po ang tanging paraan natin ng pagtanaw ng utang na loob sa mga bayaning nagsakripisyo upang makarating tayo sa ating kinalalagyan ngayon."

In his speech, Aquino also expressed his gratitude to the country's heroes who sacrificed for the betterment of the country, and to ordinary Filipinos who have become heroes in their own ways.

Aquino delivered his speech on Monday as various groups launched a protest calling for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel.

Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña of the Scrap Pork Network said today's protest will mark the start of collecting signatures for the People's Initiative drive. The group is hoping to get 6 million signatures by December.

The People's Initiative aims to revise the definition of pork barrel, wherein the President possesses discretionary powers of the lump sum funds.

The speech also comes at a time that talks about the 2016 presidential elections intensified following Aquino's declaration of openness to revise the Constitution.