MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III led the Liberal Party’s proclamation rally in Manila on Monday to kick off the candidacy of its local bets in the city.
Aquino, who arrived at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila a little before 5 p.m., personally endorsed incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim, and his running mate, incumbent sixth district congressman Lou Veloso, as well as the other local LP bets.
The President started his speech by citing the lyrics of popular song “Pusong Bato,” saying that many have been making promises that are only bound to be broken because they have “pusong bato”—without love for other people.
The President then cited previous allegedly anomalous projects which included that at the Pasig River and the P18.7 billion-worth Laguna Lake Dredging Project.
He said Lim led exposures of these kinds of wrongdoings in the government.
“Talaga naman kapag tuwid na daan ang pinag-uusapan, matagal na nating kasangga itong si Mayor Lim. Naka-ilang beses na napatunayan ni Mayor Lim na nasa panig s’ya ng taong bayan (If we are talking of the straight path, Mayor Lim has been a long-time ally. He has proven many times he is on the side of the people),” the President said, citing the mayor’s refusal to follow former President Ferdinand Marcos when he allegedly ordered Lim, who was then chief of the Northern Police District, to drive away people gathering at the historical EDSA.
“Ano ang pinakita ni Mayor Lim? Nanindigan sya . . . [inisip niya] sino ba ang pinagsisilbihan ko? Yung taong matagal nang nasa Malakanyang o yung taong bayan (What did Mayor Lim show? He stood pat…wondered who he was really serving. Was the man who has been in Malacañang for so long or the people)?” Aquino said.
He also cited Lim’s accomplishments in the city which includes the establishment of six city-run hospitals which provide free health services, two colleges offering free education, the city’s over 50 barangay (village) heath care centers, 12 lying-in clinics, and daycare centers, among others.
“May kasabihan po, ‘Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.’ Bakit mo aayusin kung ayos? Bakit mo papalitan kung magaling . . . dito sa Maynila, tingin ko wais ang ating mga kababayan. Kaya nating humusga kung sino ang totoo at sino hindi, sino ang nagpakita na ng pruweba at sino ang mangangako lang (Why do we have to fix something that ain’t broke? Why change someone who is good…here in Manila, I see wise residents. We are able to know who is true and who is not, who has done well and has delivered as opposed to one who will only make promises),” he said.
Among other LP senatorial bets endorsed by President Aquino were Cynthia Villar, former senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal, incumbent senator Koko Pimentel, and former Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros.
Superintendent Ferdinand Quirante estimated the crowd of LP supporters who attended the rally to be over 100,000.