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Cousin hopes Aquino would reduce smoking after 2016


10:16 AM October 14th, 2012

October 14th, 2012 10:16 AM

Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV. Fat Reyes/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – Paolo Benigno “Bam”  Aquino IV on Sunday defended the President’s smoking but expressed hope  that he would cut down  on his habit  when his term ends in 2016.

“Mas marami na pong taong nagpayo sa kanya (President Benigno Aquino III) na mas matalino at mas magaling ho sa akin at palagay ko naman ho ay pinakikingan nya yan. Kaya lang talaga, I guess, napaka-stressful  ng trabaho nya. Baka po ito na mismo ang pinaka –escape nya, outlet nya,”  Aquino IV said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

“But I’m hoping na siguro pagkatapos ng kanyang presidency baka  po magkapanahon na  sya talaga na mag-lessen na po sa paninigarilyo,” he said.

The President’s cousin made the statements when asked about his stand on the controversial  sin tax bill, which seeks  imposition of  higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. And he threw his support behind  the  bill.

“Ako kasi hindi naman ako naninigarilyo. Mas malaya akong magsalita tungkol dito,” he said.

In supporting the bill, Aquino IV cited the experience of other countries, which impose higher taxes on tobacco products.

“Palagay ko tama lang na i-push po natin ito,” he said but was quick to acknowledge the possible effects of  the passage of the  bill on tobacco farmers.

Although it was not proven that the higher imposition of taxes on tobacco products would result to unemployment of its farmers,  Aquino IV said the  government should a prepare  a program to address such concern.

“I think in terms of balancing  that, meron na man po tayong kakayahan na masiguradong  matutulungan itong mga farmers natin,” he added.

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