MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino on Thursday warned against “riders” and “pretenders” who turn up in yellow shirts but don’t share the administration’s drive for good governance, at a gathering of Liberal Party candidates in Imus, Cavite.
On the stage with the President were Cavite Representatives Erineo Maliksi and Elpidio Barzaga Jr., Team PNoy senatorial candidates Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino and Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, among others.
The President said the gains made by his administration in the last two and a half years should not go to waste by electing the wrong leaders.
Those gains, he said, would further bloom “if we side with what is right and walk shoulder to shoulder on the path toward truth and good governance.”
‘Uncertain what color’
He then issued this caveat to his party mates: “Expect that there are those pretending and those that are riding on our crusade. There are those putting on yellow, but it’s uncertain what color they are inside.”
“Let’s not rely on chances or amulets (anting-anting),” he added, drawing laughter. The reference was apparently to Lakas party chairman Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. who plays amulet-wielding heroes in the movies.” Revilla’s son is running for vice governor of Cavite against the administration coalition Team PNoy’s candidate.
“Let’s make it a point to vet the next leaders of the country so that we’ll have momentum toward achieving our dreams,” Aquino said.
Maliksi, the Liberal Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the province, lauded President Aquino, who is celebrating his 53rd birthday Friday, for his “exemplary leadership marked by quality and true service to the people.”
Poverty alleviation drive
He thanked the President for spearheading Friday’s launch of the program “Alay sa Mamamayan” in Imus, Cavite, a project that focuses on rural poverty alleviation and addresses the welfare and basic needs of Caviteños.
“Indeed, President Aquino has shown to all of us what an excellent, quality leadership is—one that brings real development and aims to improve the lives of the people,” Maliksi said.
Aquino launched the multipronged project for Caviteños to kick off programs seeking to address pressing issues such as poverty, food security, education, health, livelihood and other basic concerns of the people in the province.
Harping on the administration’s good governance policy, the President said he had three more years to steer the country, and no one should be elected who is critical yet doesn’t offer solutions.
“Cavite and the whole country could only move forward if we march together on the path of good governance… true allies of the people and truthful public servants, they are what we need,” he said.
The President spelled out two choices for the electorate.
“On the one hand, there’s the path where the personal interests of officials prevail, while Cavite is mired in poverty and hopelessness. And then there’s the path of good governance, where leaders willingly serve to ensure that the lives of the people of Imus, Dasmariñas, Bacoor, Carmona, Alfonso, Silang and Ternate are peaceful, prosperous and fruitful,” he said.
“The future of Cavite hinges on how well you vet the truthful leaders,” he added.
The President also hinted that he would be tapping Lacson, who is on his last term in the Senate, for a government post, telling the audience he would be borrowing him from Cavite, as he had done with Abaya.
Aquino will preside over a Cabinet meeting on Friday, his birthday, in Malacañang.
“It’s a working day. We have a Cabinet meeting. As far as the President is concerned it is just an ordinary working day,” said Strategic Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang.
On Feb. 12, Team PNoy will launch its campaign for its senatorial candidates at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila.
Originally posted at 09:07 pm | Thursday, February 07, 2013