Hontiveros notes no anti-corruption measures tackled in Sona
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros said on Monday she was hoping that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. would mention anti-corruption measures during his first State of the Nation Address (Sona).
The senator noted that Marcos mentioned big-ticket programs and projects of his administration.
“‘One concern, going forward, is that, because these are big-ticket programs, these have the potential to be subject to corruption that should be monitored. [I was hoping he would talk] about anti-corruption efforts given the history of plunder and graft and corruption in our country in the past decades,” she told reporters, speaking in a mix of Filipino and English, in an interview after the Sona.
She said she was wishing that the president would point out other issues concerning governance and democracy.
On the positive side, Hontiveros said she would support some of the measures mentioned by Marcos, such as exploring renewable energy sources and giving social protection to vulnerable sectors, like solo parents.
She pointed out, however, that many of the programs mentioned by Marcos were already being implemented.
“It would have been better in this first Sona if they [Marcos’ planners] had spelled out his mission for the country. But then, okay, maybe they’re still working it out,” the opposition senator said.
She said she would keep an eye on the implementation of programs, especially those that might need strengthening.
Hontiveros rejected, however Marcos’ call to revive the mandatory military training for students, saying this initiative has been proven to be “not optimal” for the youth.
The youth can manifest their love for the country and render service in other ways, not only through military service, she said.
But she added: “For those whose passion in life is military service, I give my full support to those young people. But for young Filipinos who want to serve the Motherland in other ways, let’s not force them into a single mold.”
“We should veer away from a military mindset towards a more democratic participation and citizenship expressed in various guises,” Hontiveros said.
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