President Aquino on Thursday made a subtle pitch for his cousin, Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who is aiming to secure a Senate seat in the 2013 midyear polls.
At the awarding ceremonies of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) in Malacañang, the President told the youth guests that his cousin never passed up the chance to concretize his dreams for the youth and the country.
“Be assured that my kuya (older male relative, referring to his younger cousin in jest) would be truthful to his advocacy. And if ever he strays, I assure you that the two of us will have to talk before the ghosts of my parents and our grandmother might even appear to him,” he said, drawing chuckles.
Bam, president of the TAYO Awards Foundation, is among the 12 senatorial candidates running under the Liberal Party-led coalition in next year’s elections.
Launched in 2002, the TAYO Awards recognizes youth organizations that contribute to national development through humanitarian projects in their communities. It is organized every year by the TAYO Awards Foundation in partnership with the office Sen. Francis Pangilinan and the National Youth Commission.
In his speech, the President said the 28 million youth who make up 30 percent of the population have a big potential to shape Philippine society.
“Just imagine how far we can get if each one of you paddles in the same direction that we do toward truthfulness, instead of anomaly. Just imagine the force that nearly 28 million arms would add toward the massive development of our country,” he said.
With the country teeming with youngsters ready to contribute time, talent and brains, Mr. Aquino said he was confident the government could root our poverty and help the poor realize their dreams.
“We often hear the complaint: the youth are a lot different nowadays. If they’re not glued to their computers, they’re out on a gimmick or in the malls. This may be true for some. But it’s clear that values—concern for others, looking out for the needy, willingness to help for the good of the country—remain planted in the hearts of the youth,” he said. TJ Burgonio