Invite me to your anniversary, Aquino tells ‘scared’ gov’t agenciesBy Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Aquino was asked by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a chance interview on Monday night how he felt about government offices supposedly having second thoughts about asking him to attend their anniversaries due to his penchant for “scolding his host.”
“If they have nothing to hide and they are not doing anything wrong, they should not be scared to invite me in their celebration,” the President said.
In July, when he attended the silver anniversary celebration of ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol” show, Mr. Aquino criticized the executives and staff of the program for supposedly dishing out bad news.
Earlier this month, he criticized the Bureau of Immigration when he attended its 72nd anniversary celebration, blasting his hosts for “conspiring” in the escape of former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Marlo.
The Reyes brothers are wanted for the killing of environmentalist Gerry Ortega in January 2011.
Mr. Aquino said he took the occasion to express his disappointment about the concerned state agency, adding that “it’s an opportunity to present matters of national importance.”
National Bureau of Investigation Director Nonnatus Rojas has accepted Mr. Aquino’s challenge, but said the NBI—which will celebrate its 76th anniversary in November—had yet to prepare for the event.
“I agree with the President and I want him to attend our anniversary, but we do not have final plans yet, ” Rojas said when asked if the NBI would invite Mr. Aquino on its anniversary. He said the bureau had a committee in charge of planning.
“We do not intend to hold a big celebration this year, compared to last year,” he said.
Rojas added that in keeping with Mr. Aquino’s austerity measure, “it’s not going to be a big celebration, in line with the efforts of the government to (be) low key.”