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Aquino cites role of the Filipino citizenry in the government’s efforts to ensure fair and equal justice for all

Philippine Embassy
News Release
16 February 2012

Aquino cites role of the Filipino citizenry in the government’s efforts to ensure fair and equal justice for all

President Benigno S. Aquino III stressed the important role of the Filipino in the government’s unyielding efforts to ensure the citizenry equal justice for all as he called on them to be focused and proactive so as not to be left prey to unprincipled individuals in power who take advantage of others to pursue their own interest.

In his speech during the kick-off event for the series of activities in line with the 26th Anniversary Celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolution, entitled “Edsa Noon, Atin Ngayon: Tagumpay ng Bayan (Edsa Before, Now it’s Ours: Success of the Nation)” Pulong Bayan ng Pangulo at the Mother Consuelo Barcelo Theatre in La Consolacion College, Manila on Thursday, President Aquino encouraged the people, especially the youth, to act and cooperate with government in effecting reforms in preparation for a better future for the next generation of Filipinos.

“Ang tungkulin natin ngayon ay ibalik ang piring ng katarungan at gawing balanse ang timbangan, huwag na po sana nating hintayin na tayo mismo ang maagrabyado, manindigan na po tayo ngayon, maliwanag dapat ang direksyon… kumilos na po tayong lahat (Our mission is to restore justice, let us not wait to become the very subjects of grief, let us all stand, the direction must be clear… let us work together),” the President said.

“Narito po tayo ngayon, nagbabalik tanaw sa nakaraan, hinahamon ng kasulukuyan at muling tinatawag upang muling ipaglaban ang ating kinabukasan… huhubugin ba natin ang kinabukasang ito o magpapakaladkad na lang tayo sa tadhana (We are all here, commemorating the past, taking the challenges of the present and being called upon once again to fight for our future… are we going to shape this future or are we going to let fate drag us),” he said.

President Aquino expressed his full trust and confidence in the ongoing impeachment process against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to ferret out the truth behind the allegations in favor of the Filipinos.

“Ika-labing anim po ng Enero nang magsimula ang paglilitis kay Ginoong Corona sa Senado, pinili ko pong magmasid at manahimik muna ukol sa isyung ito at buo pa rin po ang tiwala ko sa proseso… ngunit ano po ba ang nangyayari sa ngayon, napakarami pong nagpapalit-palit ng kuro-kuro na tila sadya tayong hinihilo o inililigaw para mawalan ng interes (The trial of Mr. Corona before the Senate started on January sixteen (16), I decided to observe and keep quiet about this issue with full confidence on the process… but what is happening right now, there are so much exchange of opinions, leaving us all confused and lost that eventually may just lead us all to lose interest),” the President said.

“Magpapaetsa-pwera na lang po ba si Juan at Juana dela Cruz sa prosesong ito? Hahayaan na lang po ba natin na iilan ang magdedesisyon para sa atin pong lahat. Iyan naman po ang sadya ko sa araw na ito, liwanagin ang dapat liwanagin at ituwid ang isyung pilit dinidiskaril ng ilan upang ang tao ay malinawan at makilahok sa usapan (Will Juan and Juana dela Cruz (refer to Filipino people) allow themselves to be disregarded in this process? Will we allow only a handful to make the decision for us? That is my purpose today, let us make clear what needs to be cleared and to straighten up issues that are being distorted by some so that the people could get a clear insight and be involved in the discussion),” he added.

The Chief Executive said that the government remains committed in pushing for reforms such as in the judiciary, and not just focus on mere personalities.

“Lilinawin ko lang po, walang personalan dito, sistemang pangkatarungan ang ipinaglalaban dito at dahil malaki ang pagbabagong ating hinahangad, malaki rin po ang kinakabangga natin (I will make it clear, this is nothing personal, the justice system is what we are fighting for in here and because we want drastic change, we are facing immense challenges),” President Aquino said.

“Ang katarungan ay sinasagisag ng isang babaeng nakapiring at may hawak na timbangan, bulag ang hustisya upang hindi masilaw ng kapangyarihan… patas ang timbangan dahil pantay ang hustisya para sa lahat (Justice is symbolized by a lady with a blindfold and holding balance scales, justice is wearing a blindfold so as not to be blinded by power… the balance scales are equal because justice must be equal for all) ,” he noted.

During the event, President Aquino answered several questions propounded by student leaders from various schools and universities.

The topics that were discussed during the question and answer include the issues on Education, Environment, Health, jobs-generation and the Aquino government’s developmental programs in relation to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, among others.

Present during the event were other government officials led by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Joel Villanueva and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr., among others.

Also in attendance were some personalities representing the business sector, the private sector and the commissioners of the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) that include Jose Pardo, Cesar Sarino, Milagros Kilayko and Herminio Jhay Ogie Alcasid Jr.

The Edsa People Power 26th Anniversary celebration is anchored on this year’s theme “Anong Taya Mo Para sa Pilipinas Natin?” which is a call to action for all Filipinos to participate in nation-building. The events for the celebration will highlight new manifestations of People Power including volunteerism and will also rekindle inherent Filipino values like “Bayanihan”.


Aquino spells out plans to make the country globally competitive

The government will invest in improving the country’s human capital, fighting corruption and fixing the education system to make it globally competitive, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday.

The President attended Thursday the Pulong Bayan ng Pangulo (President’s Town Hall Meeting) and kick-off event for the 26th anniversary celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolution at La Consolacion College in Manila answering questions from students who asked him about a wide range of issues.

“Yung Pilipinong manggagawa, dalhin mo sa kahit saan mang lupalop ng mundo, bigyan mo ng tamang tinatawag na environment ay talagang nagsa-shine. So ang ginagawa po natin dito, syempre, investments in human capital (When you bring the Filipino worker in any part of the world and provide him with an appropriate environment, s/he will shine. So what we are doing now, of course, is investments in human capital),” the President said in response to a question propounded to him on how to make the country competitive.

The President also mentioned his administration’s thrust on improving the education system so that children remain in school and be given the skills they need to get better jobs. Among these programs include the K-plus 12 aimed at giving students option to get technical skills if they opt not to proceed to college.

Another is the conditional cash transfer that is aimed at keeping the children in school, he said.

The government is also determined to eliminate red tape in government so that investors are encouraged to put their businesses in the country and basic infrastructure are built to spur economic growth particularly in the countryside, the President said.

To fight red tape, the President cited the recent launching of the business registry program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that speeds up business registration of those starting a business. The program links several government agencies enabling business registrations more convenient and fast.

“Gusto nating ipakita sa negosyante na we are very business friendly, na ipa-parehas natin at wala nang crony. Maglaban tayo sa merkado (We want to show businessmen that we are very business friendly, that we are equal, that there are no cronies. Let us face the battle in the market),” he said.

According to the President, the executive branch has also asked its allies in Congress to amend laws that no longer conform to the present economic condition and to make it easier for businessmen to invest in the country, that would in turn create more jobs for Filipinos.

“Sa ganoong paraan, mae-empower sila [people], mapapaaral nila yung mga anak nila sa mas maayos na lugar at mapapakain, masusustentuhan, maaalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan (In this way, people will be empowered, they can provide education and food for their children in a more appropriate environment; their health will be sustained and taken cared of),” he said.


Aquino asks Filipino youth to partner with government in reforming the country

President Benigno S. Aquino III asked the country’s youth Thursday to help his administration in realizing the dream of having a better country that they will inherit in the future.

During the Pulong Bayan ng Pangulo (President’s Town Hall Meeting) and kick-off event for the 26th anniversary celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolution at the La Consolacion College in Manila, the President admired the Filipino youth for their wit and enthusiasm in reforming the country noting that as their elder, it is his duty to prepare them for a better future.

“Kami po nauna sa inyo, papel namin isaayos hangga’t sa abot ng aming makakaya iyong ipapamana sa inyo. Pero puwede naman ninyo kaming tulungan para pagandahin iyong ipapamana sa inyo (We, who have come before you, have a duty to prepare, to the best of our ability, a better future for you as a legacy. But you can also help us improve our legacy to you),” he said.

“Huwag nating kalimutan, ano iyong imahe ni Juan Tamad, hindi ko sinasabing may mga tamad po dito, pero hanggang ngayon, hindi ko maintindihan, bakit naiisip na mas ipakita iyong masama sa Pilipino (Let us not forget the image of Lazy John (refers to extreme laziness), I am not saying there are lazy people here, but until now, I could not quite comprehend as to why negative qualities of Filipinos are chosen to be highlighted),” he added.

The President also said that sometimes it is lonely at the top and this is the reason he always wants to talk to the people to know their pulse and aspirations for the country.

“Kung minsan malungkot po iyong nasa itaas at importante po sa akin makalapit sa taumbayan, malaman iyong kanilang iniisip at kumilos kaalinsunod sa kagustuhan ng ating mga Boss (Sometimes it is lonely at the top, it is important for me to associate with the people, to know what they are thinking and to act upon based on what our Boss (refers to the Filipino people) wants),” he said.

The Chief Executive said that before he run for the presidency in 2010, he contemplated on whether to seriously consider joining the race or be silent at the sidelines.

But he said he opted to run believing that joining the people in their quest for reform and change is better than being silent and part of the problem.

“Uulitin ko po, mangyayari po iyong kinabukasan sa ginagawa natin ngayon. Nasa atin pong kamay iyan. Maraming salamat po sa inyong pakikinig (I will repeat, what will happen in the future is based on our actions today. It is in our hands. Thank you very much for listening),” the President said in concluding his remark.


Vibrant tourism industry could immediately boost the economy, Aquino says

President Benigno S. Aquino III said his administration is aggressively focusing on developing the country’s tourism sector because it could immediately boost the economy that eventually will benefit the Filipino people.

“Gusto nating i-promote ang tourism dahil madaliang mapapalaki natin ang ating ekonomya sa pamamagitan nang pagpasok ng mga turista (We want to promote tourism because we could swiftly expand the economy through visiting tourists),” the President said during the Pulong Bayan ng Pangulo and kick-off event for the 26th anniversary celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolution in La Consolacion College, Manila on Thursday.

“Kapag dumagdag iyong trabaho, siyempre iyong diretso involve iyong nasa hotel, iyong tour bus operator, etc. Tapos iyong iba pa, iyong gumagawa ng mga souvenir, iyong entertainers. Yung mga ganun na magbibigay nang dagdag oportunidad (If jobs are increased, of course those in hotels, tour bus operators, etc. are directly involved. And others, those who create souvenirs, entertainers. Those things that could provide additional opportunities),” he said.

To develop the country’s tourism sector, the President said, the government is investing heavily on building infrastructure for the tourism industry particularly airports, road networks, and bridges.

The government is already planning for the upgrade of the Kalibo Airport, the Caticlan Airport and many other airports, the President said.

The President added that the government, through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), could intervene in the projects being undertaken by local government units (LGUs) on tourism-related infrastructure.

The government target is to have around 10 million tourist yearly arrivals in the country by the time the President step down from power in 2016.

Traditionally, the Philippines has only 3 million tourist arrivals each year way below the figures posted by its neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.

For instance, Malaysia has 22 million tourist arrivals every year while Thailand has 14 million.


Aquino says government has achieved significant progress in meeting Millennium Development Goals

President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday the country has achieved significant progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on reducing child and maternal mortality, reversing the incidence of illness and providing majority of the Filipinos access to health services.

The President made the statement when asked to assess where the country now stands as far as the MDGs are concerned during the kick-off event for the series of activities in line with the 26th anniversary celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolution, entitled Edsa Noon, Atin Ngayon: Tagumpay ng Bayan / Pulong Bayan ng Pangulo (Edsa Before, Now it’s Ours: Success of the Nation / Town Hall Meeting of the President) at the Mother Consuelo Barcelo Theatre in La Consolacion College, Manila on Thursday,

“Marami-rami na ….‘yung isang goal ay ‘yung reduction sa infant mortality at saka maternal mortality (There are a lot… one of the goals is the reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality),” the President said.

The Chief Executive said the government continues to accelerate the efforts to provide health access to the public.

“Last year po naka-deploy tayo ng hindi bababa sa 20,000 nurses na pupunta po sa mga barangay na liblib na hindi pa naaabot ng ating current medical practitioners (Last year, we were able to deploy no less than 20,000 nurses to remote areas that have not yet been reached by our current medical practitioners),” he said.

“Ang inabutan ko kasi ‘nung tayo ay nag-umpisa sa trabaho ay tinatayang 40 percent of 95 million Filipinos never get to see a health professional. So ‘yung first step diyan, marami tayong nurse na walang mapasukan, kailangan ng experience (When I started the job, there were 40 percent of 95 million Filipinos who never get to see a health professional. So the first step there is, we have numerous nurses who are unemployed, they need experience),” President Aquino said.

In this connection, the President said the government increased the funds of the Department of Health (DoH) to carry out the initiative of deploying more nurses and medical practitioners to far-flung rural provinces.

“Dinamihan ‘yung services rin ng PhilHealth (We added more services provided by PhilHealth), that’s another, in an attempt to reach the Millennium Development Goals,” he said.

“Yung educational component ‘nung Reproductive Health or RH Bill ay isa rin sa sinusulong natin para nga madagdagan ng kaalaman ang lahat ng mga couples para mas mai-plano nila ‘yung kanilang pamilya (We are also pushing forward the educational component of the Reproductive Health or RH Bill to increase the awareness of couples so that they could plan their families),” President Aquino noted.


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