Aquino New Year message: Vote for ‘upright’ candidatesBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—On the eve of New Year’s Day, President Aquino stressed the importance of the upcoming midterm elections, saying these would play a critical role in the administration’s anti-corruption campaign and asking the Filipino electorate to choose candidates wisely.
In his New Year message on Monday, Aquino said that it was important for Filipinos to scrutinize the officials they will elect in the 2013 polls. He urged the public to choose public servants who will continue to push for reforms in the government.
“Ang 2013 ay kritikal na yugto sa ating krusada ng pangmatagalang kaunlaran at tuwid na pamamahala… Umaasa akong magiging mapanuri ang taumbayan sa pagkilatis ng mga itatalagang pinuno,” he said, pointing out how electing corrupt politicians could easily destroy what the administration has so far achieved.
He said that his administration’s third year had been marked by challenges but also by successes. “Nanaig pa rin ang adhika nating ituwid ang baluktot na sistema, at baguhin ang dinatnan nating kalagayan ng bansa.”
He said that in 2013, the government wants to attain rice self-sufficiency and even harvest more for export; resolve shortages in classrooms and educational materials; and to free itself from being dubbed as the “Sick Man of Asia” by working even harder to improve its economic standing.
Testaments to the government’s efforts were the recent 7.1 percent growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the historic passage and enactment into laws of several important measures, and the developments in the Bangsamoro peace pact, he said.
Electing officials who would strive for the same goals as the government was important in achieving the straight path, the President said, adding, “Ang aking hiling ngayong 2013: ituloy lang natin ang bayanihan.”
“Sabay-sabay ba tayong sasagwan patungo sa landas kung saan nangingibabaw ang kapakanan ng Pilipino? O hahayaan lang natin na muling matangay ang Pilipinas sa mga daluyong ng panlalamang, pagkakanya-kanya’t kurapsyon?” he asked.