Aquino: Filipinos won't fall for 'two-faced' candidates
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday, April 7, expressed confidence that Filipinos would support a candidate who would ensure the continuity of his path of governance, and not someone who pretends to be his ally but is "obviously two-faced."
Aquino made the statement at the inauguration of the new Lullutan bridge in Ilagan City in Isabela, where he called attention to the work done by his administration, so far.
“I am always asked, ‘Who will continue all this when you are gone?’ I tell them, ‘Bosses, I believe in you. You are the ones who would continue this and I know you will not be fooled by those who pretend to be on my side but are clearly two-faced,'” he said in Filipino.
The President did not mention any names, though his speech comes days after Vice President Jejomar Binay – a Cabinet member and an avowed Aquino ally even if he leads the opposition – questioned the administration's inclusive growth strategy. (READ: VP Binay: Where is inclusive growth?)
Aquino added, “I have faith that Filipinos know how to look at the past to ensure that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated, and in that way, we can get to where we want to be.”
Among presidential contenders, Binay is the only one to openly declare his 2016 bid, and has remained ahead of others in nationwide polls on voters' preference, despite being hounded by corruption allegations.
Shorter, smoother travel
In his speech, Aquino said that travel time between Barangay Camalagui 1 and Barangay Barangay Lullutan in Ilagan City would now be reduced to just 5 minutes – from a maximum of two hours – with the construction of the bridge destroyed by Typhoon Rosing in 1995.
Prior to the construction of the P772.9-million bridge, the two barangays in Ilagan City used to be linked by a spillway bridge that was destroyed by floods.
Now the 500.6-lineal meter Lullutan Bridge is considered one of the longest bridges to cross Cagayan River, connecting both barangays.
“When (the bridge broke), the hassle you faced was shocking: you needed to go around Gamu or Tumauini. It would take you one-and-a-half to two hours when this bridge did not exist,” Aquino said.
He added: “The products of course had to be loaded on barges or bangkas. It took a long time to cross and vendors had to spend just to cross the river. Now that the bridge has been returned, your travel would only take 5 minutes compared to one and a half to two hours. Your troubles are over.”
Aquino said the trip would also be cheaper and smoother, and would help keep the freshness of perishable products transported to markets.
The President wondered aloud why it took 20 years to replace the broken bridge, as it would have been much cheaper to repair in 1995. He also noted that during the time the bridge was impassable, thousands of residents were prevented from living better lives.
Part of reforms
He then praised the Aquino administration, which is said is guided by 5Rs in infrastructure development: right project, right quality, right people, right time, at the right cost.
“The report I received is that no less than 4 municipalities or over 200 barangays will benefit from the new Lullutan bridge,” Aquino said.
Aquino said the Lullutan bridge represents only part of a “widespread initiative to improve infrastructure in Isabela and the whole country.” In the province alone, he said P11.96 billion has been invested for infrastructure.
He also cited the ongoing construction of the Cabagan-Sta Maria bridge, which will connect Isabela to the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The widening and repair of Maharlika Road, National Road 1 or Asian Highway 26, and the construction of connecting roads are underway, including 59.56 kilometers of farm-to-market roads all over Isabela.
The President also announced 32 irrigation projects his administration hopes to finish in the province, which he said would irrigate 146,625 hectares of land, and would benefit 90,950 farmers. – Rappler.com