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Aquino: Midterm elections litmus test of public support

/ 08:57 PM August 21, 2018

Former President Benigno Aquino III said that the upcoming midterm elections in May 2019 will reveal which political side has the public’s approval.

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“Sa midterm elections makikita kung suportado ba tayo ng taumbayan (In the midterm elections we will see if the public supports us),” Aquino said on Tuesday, after the Mass at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City held to commemorate the death anniversary of his father, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

He also called on supporters of the opposition to campaign for the senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party (LP) running in 2019 to “strengthen the checks and balances” in the government.

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“Sa susunod na taon, […] dapat klaro ang mensaheng ipaparating natin. Hindi lang sa halalan sa pagkasenador at iba pang posisyon, kung hindi para sa lahat ng mga pwesto (Next year, our message must be clear. This is not only for those running for Senator, but for all those running for other positions),” Aquino said.

“Kung sang-ayon po tayo sa takbo ng bansa ngayon, i-boto po ang kakampi ng administrasyon.  Pero kung hindi ka sang-ayon, ‘wag mo lang i-boto ang ating mga kandidato, i-kampanya mo pa sila (If we agree with how our country is run, let us vote for those who are on the side of the administration. But if you don’t agree, don’t just vote for our candidates, help them in the campaign, too),” he said.

The former chief executive said that if people would vote for LP’s senatorial line-up, which is yet to be announced, the public will get a chance to voice their concerns, as he believes that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte still listens to the people.

There are six incumbent senators now allied with LP — Senators Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, and Antonio Trillanes of Magdalo Party-list.

De Lima is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center for drug charges, while Recto, albeit a long-time LP member, is a part of the majority bloc.

“Palagay ko po nakinig, makikinig, at kasalukuyang nakikinig ang administrasyon sa gusto ng taumbayan (I think the administration listened and continues to listen to the people),” he said.

“Tignan na lang po ninyo sa kaso ni Kian, kung saan hindi po nadaan sa limot, may mga ilang pulis po na pinapasagot sa kasalukuyan (Let’s take the case of Kian, which was not forgotten. There were even policemen that may be held accountable for his death),” he added.

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The former head of state was referring to the recent pronouncements of Malacañang officials regarding Kian de los Santos, a college student who was killed in the administration’s war against illegal drugs.

He then reminded people of the significance of their votes.

“Kayo ang dapat masunod, klaro po nasa inyong mga kamay ang kapalaran, nasa inyo kung gagamitin ninyo ang kapangyarihan na ito (The will of the people should be followed. It is clear that you have the power. It’s up to you if you are going to use this power),” he said. /ee

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