[UPDATED] MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III, whose recent statements attempted to ignite outrage against Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona, made no direct mention of him in his speech for the 26th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution.
Instead, Aquino chose to trumpet the Philippines’ economic gains during the gathering on Saturday, February 25, which was earlier expected to be a show of support for Aquino who has taken a critical stand vis-a-vis Corona.
“Hindi po madadaan sa tsamba ang ganitong mga tagumpay; hindi po suntok-sa-buwan ang mga ganitong tanda ng kaunlaran,” he said. (These gains are not the type that can be easily left to chance. These signs of progress are not beyond imagination.)
The President referred to the record-high levels that the Philippine stock market reached at several points this year. These gains had made JP Morgan Chase and Co, a leading financial services firm, to remark that the Philippines is now “overweight.”
In investment-speak, “overweight” means that a bond, industry, country, currency, or other financial asset is expected to perform better than its peers in the same category in the future.
“Hindi po natin ugaling magtaas ng sariling bangko. Pero kapag labing-anim na beses tayong nakapagtala ng all-time high sa stock index, at kapag ang Moody’s, Standard and Poors, Fitch, at Japan Credit Ratings Agencies na po ang makailang beses na nag-angat sa ating grado, hindi naman po siguro pagyayabang ang tawag dito,” he said.
(It is not our habit to engage in self-praise. But if for 16 times, we’ve posted all-time high in the stock index, and if Moody’s, Standard and Poors, Fitch, and Japan Credit Ratings Agencies themselves pull up our credit rating, perhaps this is not being boastful.)
Aquino said, “Resulta po ang tawag dito.” (This is what we call results.)
The President’s choice to focus on the economy, and evade Corona as a topic, came after a recent survey said Filipinos are losing interest in Corona’s impeachment trial.
The anniversary celebration, which led to road closures, revolved around the theme, “Ano ang Iyong Taya para sa Pilipinas Natin?” (What is your stake in our country?)
During his speech, Aquino also cited gains in the implementation of the conditional cash transfer program and the record-breaking investments in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. (Read full text of Aquino’s speech here)
Fighting mode vs CJ
His Edsa anniversary day speech is unlike his statements last February 16, which kicked off the Edsa anniversary festivities. In that speech, he encouraged the public to take a stand in the Chief Justice’s supposedly lopsided impeachment trial.
His statements then, Aquino said, break his silence on Corona’s impeachment.
“Napakarami pong nagpapalit-palit ng kuro-kuro, na tila ba sadya tayong hinihilo o inililigaw para mawalan ng interes. Magpapa-etsa-puwera na lang po ba si Juan at Juana de la Cruz sa prosesong ito? Hahayaan na lang po ba natin na iilan ang magdesisyon para sa ating lahat?”
(A lot of people exchange opinions on the matter, and it seems like the deliberate objective is to confuse or get us lost so that we would lose interest. Will Juan at Juana de la Cruz allow themselves to be sidelined in this process? Will we allow the few to decide for everyone else?)
“Huwag na po sana nating hintayin na tayo mismo ang ma-agrabyado,” the President said later in his speech. Manindigan na po sana tayo ngayon.” (Let us not allow ourselves to be aggrieved. Let us take a stand now.)
Aquino has received criticisms from activists, however, for his “impeachment rhetoric” that has supposedly made him neglect the Philippines’ other pressing problems. – Rappler.com