‘Where will straight and narrow road’ lead, supporters ask Aquino
MANILA, Philippines – “Mr. President, where will the straight and narrow road lead?” a group composed of his staunch supporters asked, ahead of President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address Monday afternoon.
This question was raised by the Black and White Movement (BnW), most of who are now serving the Aquino government like Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, Education Secretary Luistro Armin, presidential adviser on peace process Teresita Deles, presidential spokesmen Edwin Lacierda and Ricky Carandang; National Anti-Poverty Commission head Joel Rocamora, and Undersecretary Manuel “Manolo” Quezon III.
While it pledged to continue to support the Aquino administration in its fight against poverty and corruption, the group acknowledged that the government has a lot of promises to fulfil for the betterment of the country and the Filipino people.
For one, the BnW saw the need for the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health bill to help address the poverty problem in the country.
The group said the government should also accelerate the implementation of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program and start spending more on infrastructure projects “to spur economic activity, generate employment, and allow the benefits of what is turning out to be a robust economy reach all levels of society, even in the midst of a global recession.”
It also urged the President to rescind Executive Order 47, which placed the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) under the Department of Science and Technology, and restore it to the Office of the President.
The transfer of the CICT from the Office of the President to the DoST, the BnW said, would send strong signals that the information and communications technology was not a priority of this government.
And while they were encouraged by the government’s efforts to fight corruption in the country, the group noted its continued existence in some government agencies.
“We support the unraveling of corruption at the highest levels of the past administration…However, to Juan de la Cruz, corruption goes on unabated,” said the BnW, citing the existence of “kotong cops,” who continue to victimize motorists; “fixers” in major government agencies as well as “jueteng” lords.
“Sadly, it seems the President’s message of “matuwid na daan” (straight and narrow road) has not cascaded down to government’s subordinate offices. It’s still business as usual in so many of them,” it said.
The BnW then called on the President to constantly check on those within his closest ranks, saying that “Power corrupts, and it is all too easy for some to fall for the lure of instant wealth.”
“We trust that the year just past was enough for this administration to disentangle the crooked ways of the last administration in order to lay the foundation for the straight and narrow road,” the group said.
“And now, Mr. President, we’d like to know where that road will lead us. You told us last year that we can dream again. Share your vision with us so we can dream the same dreams,” it added.
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