Mitos Magsaysay: I follow ‘Tuwid na Daan’

MANILA, Philippines - Her critics in the Aquino administration, and there are several of them, would be amused to hear it. United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay said she is the epitome of the President’s “Tuwid na Daan” slogan.

Kung gusto niyo ng kandidato na walang bahid dungis sa kaniyang pangalan, hindi nasabit sa kahit anong anomaly, whether past or present. Siguro dapat, tangkilikin niyo si Mitos Magsaysay,” the Zambales representative told students of the University of Makati on Wednesday, January 31. 9 (If you want a candidate whose record is untarnished, you should choose Mitos Magsaysay).

Kung sinabi ni PNoy na gusto niya ng kandidato na ‘Daang Matuwid,’ ako na po siguro ang pwede ninyong sabihin na isang kandidato na sumusunod sa daang matuwid,” she added. (If President Aquino says he wants you to choose a candidate who is on the so-called straight path, then I can say I am that candidate.)

Aside from Magsaysay, the other UNA senatorial bets who attended the event organized by radio station DZRH were Sen Gregorio Honasan and Vice Presidential daughter Nancy Binay.

Magsaysay went on to enumerate – very comprehensively -- the services she said she has been providing her constituents. She claimed she is one of the most active members of the House of Representatives. She claimed she’s the only representative providing free diagnostic laboratory tests and drug tests. The students were impressed.

Arroyo ally, Aquino critic

Magsaysay has been tagged as former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s staunchest defender and President Aquino’s biggest critic. And in a regime where most politicians want to be on the good side of a widely popular President, Magsaysay stands out.

She also had very public spats with two of Aquino’s Cabinet members. First, she called Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang “arrogant and spoiled brat”  during a budget hearing in 2011. She questioned Malacanang’s purchase of top of the line laptops and mobile phones. Carandang maintained they were bought below market price.

The following year, she picked a fight with budget Secretary Florencio Abad for withholding her pork barrel.  Abad justified the move as a “political reality.” (Read: Mitos Magsaysay vs Butch Abad in budget hearing)

Magsaysay is one of the few representatives who have not been receiving their pork barrel. It was a common practice during the Arroyo administration.

Passing marks for Aquino

Still, Magsaysay won’t give the Aquino administration a failing grade. Commending Aquino’s “simplicity” and “anti-corruption drive,” Magsaysay gives him a grade of 6 out of 10.

She said economic growth has to trickle down. And she claimed the "smuggling tax leakage" is at its worst in the current administration.

One student stood up to defend Aquino.

Medyo na-bother po ako sa sinabi ni Mrs. Magsaysay…. Let’s give the President the benefit of the doubt. I would like to reiterate to my co-students that the economic growth na tinatamasa natin ngayon, hindi natin siya mararamdaman overnight. We canno alleviate poverty in just 3 years,” said the student.

The students also clapped.

Spending the pork

Magsaysay said it’s okay if the pork barrel is scrapped. It could be a good thing, she said, because lawmakers could concentrate on legislative work.

Yung iba, tumatakbo na ang focus ay pork barrel,” she said.

But if she is elected senator, she already knows how she’s going to spend the P200-M allocation for pork barrel.

Lahat ng distrito magkakaroon ng pondo galling kay Mitos Magsaysay para sa scholarship ng mahirap na kababayan. I will distribute P80  million for scholarship, P80 million para sa libreng pagamutan. Yung natitirang P40 million para sa infrastructure,” she told students. (All districts will have funds coming from me. I will use the money for scholarships, health services and infrastructure.)

Love advice

But the event was not all serious. Magsaysay got the chance to share love advice.

"Girls fall in love with their ears. Kahit na ano hitsura ng lalake basta magaling dumiga, nai-inlove tayo. Ang lalake naman, nai-inlove depende sa anong nakikita nila.  Para sa akin simple lang, nobody can love you the most except yourself. You have to learn to love yourself first before others can love you,” she added. 

It was her most applauded speech. -