Aquino takes potshots at presidential rivals of Roxas
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday, December 3, took potshots at the rivals of his favored successor in the 2016 presidential race, as he urged Filipinos in Italy to vote wisely in next year's elections.
In a meeting with members of the Filipino community at the Erfige Palace Hotel in Rome, Aquino said voters should better acquaint themselves with candidates vying for the top post of the land.
"Suriin po natin ang mga pagpipilian natin. Mayroon po diyan, inakusahan ng pagsasamsam ng kaban ng bayan sa pagkatagal-tagal na panahon. Kung totoo ang alegasyon at nagnanakaw nga itong taong ito, ano po kaya ang matitira para tustusan ang pagpapaganda ng buhay na ipinapangako niya?" he said, in obvious reference to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
(Let's scrutinize our choices. One is accused of pocketing public funds for a very long time. If allegations are true that this person did steal, what would remain [of our national coffers] to support the better life that he's promising?)
Apparently referring to Senator Grace Poe, Aquino said that there's a candidate who promises to surpass his achievements, but has not provided any concrete plan to accomplish this.
"Pakinggan nating mabuti. Ni minsan hindi niya nasabi kung paano tutuparin ang pangako. Walang konteksto, walang plano, panay batikos at hilaw na pangako. Akala po yata niya, 'pag nahalal siya, gigising siya kinabukasan sa isang bagong umaga nang may solusyon na sa lahat ng mga binanggit niyang problema," he said.
(If we listen carefully, she has not mentioned once how she would deliver on this promise. There's no context, no plan, all criticism and half-baked promises. She seems to think that once elected, she'll wake up the next day to a new morning with solutions to all the problems that she had mentioned.)
Aquino also obviously referred to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when he cited a candidate who vowed to "kill a lot of people." (READ: Duterte: 'Am I the death squad? True')
"Ang isa pa, dadaanin lang daw basta ang kampanya sa social media – siguro po, hindi siya mulat na hindi ka makakapagpatayo ng kalsada at makakapagpakain ng nagugutom gamit lang ang Facebook," he said.
(And another thing, he said he will course his campaign through social media. Perhaps, he's now aware that he can't build roads and feed the hungry just using Facebook.)
The President mentioned only one vice presidential aspirant, whom he did not name as well, but was apparently referring to Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (READ: Bongbong Marcos: Aquino must move on)
"Ang postura daw po niya, gagawin niya ang tama, pero hindi naman niya maamin ang mga pagkakamaling nagawa sa nakaraan. Di po ba: kung hindi niya sinasabing mali, malamang palagay niya ay tama ito. Kung palagay niya tama, malamang din po, uulitin niya ang mga pagkakamaling ito," he said.
(His posturing his, he will do what is right, but he cannot admit the mistakes committed [by his father] in the past. Isn't it that if he cannot say it's wrong, he probably thinks it's right. If he thinks it's right, he'll likely repeat this mistake.)
Again not naming anyone, but apparently referring to administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, Aquino expressed hope that voters would choose someone who can continue, and improve on, the country's gains under his administration.
In a statement, Binay's spokesperson, Rico Quicho said, "We find it unfortunate that the President has forgotten his statement last year that Vice President Binay should be presumed innocent, a right accorded to all individuals under our Constitution."
He added that Aquino should have provided an "honest appraisal" of all the presidential candidates, including Roxas, who had been criticized for "incompetence and inaction" when he was a Cabinet official.
During his speech, Aquino also presented his administration's achievements on various fronts which, he said, had turned the Philippines from being the chronic "sick man of Asia" into the "new darling of Asia."
Aquino arrived in Rome on December 1 for a 4-day official visit to Rome and Vatican City.
He was set to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday morning (late Friday afternoon, Manila time) before flying back to Manila in the afternoon. – Rappler.com
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