MANILA, Philippines— Senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño on Saturday criticized President Benigno Aquino III’s priorities, saying he should “quit campaigning” and focus instead on addressing the country’s problems, especially the power supply crisis in Mindanao.
“He is President. He should serve as the nation’s father but as the people can see, it seems he has different priorities,” he said in a statement.
Casiño also criticized Mr. Aquino’s statement that while he was not inclined to declare emergency powers in spite of the frequent and long brownouts in Mindanao, he would make sure there would be adequate power supply on Election Day.
“That’s what’s important to him – the elections. So he can reap the benefits of his going around for his party. I truly wish nothing happens on Election Day. That is why he should be putting all his efforts in solving the energy problems in Mindanao,” Casiño said.
The three-term congressman for Bayan Muna partylist said he was in General Santos on Friday and experienced the blackout firsthand.
“The businessmen there, big or small, the employees, they all complain about the brownouts. They are losing their livelihood. It has a huge effect on the economy,” he said.
Casiño said the government should adopt 13 recommendations made by the Mindanao Power Summit in April last year, including accelerating the construction of renewable energy power plants instead of coal plants and the creation of the Mindanao Power Corporation to manage and upgrade the existing government power plants there.
He said that given Mindanao’s massive potential for renewable energy, it would be cheaper to develop this than rely on environmentally hazardous coal power plants.