Nothing serious about threats vs Aquino–Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday said that while there are indeed death threats against President Benigno Aquino III, the public should not be worried.
“Meron pong mga ulat na ganyan pero sa pagkaalam namin walang seryosong threat (There are reported death threats but as far as I know there are no serious threats),” Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. told Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
The Secretary, however, refused to discuss the nature of the said threats.
Concern over the President’s safety and health increased after he became emotional during his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.
This was further bolstered when Senator Antonio Trillanes told media that retired generals close to former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were plotting against Aquino.
But Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, said it wasn’t true that active members of the military were being recruited by retired generals.
Some pointed out that Aquino, during the Sona, seemed to be giving a farewell speech.
Coloma, however, dispelled such speculations, adding that Aquino was not ill or was facing coup d’etat threat.
“Wala po syang karamdam (He has no illness),” he said.
Coloma earlier said that the tone of the President changed when he started deviating from the prepared speech and recalled the legacy of his parents who were key people who contributed to the downfall of the Marcos regime.
“He feels that he was given a new lease on life,” Coloma explained, referring to the part of the speech when Aquino recalled his brush with death when he was ambushed in 1987.
“Siguro sense of fatalism na rin in reality isa lang naman ang buhay ko (Perhaps it was also a sense of fatalism, that in reality he only has one life,” Coloma said.
He said Aquino was just thinking aloud and had even added that he knew there were people who could continue the reforms he had started.
“Those are baseless speculation. Hindi lang nila naunwawaan ‘yung expression of sentiments n’ya (They just did not understand the expression of his sentiments),” he said of the rumors.
Coloma said the President was relieved after delivering his Sona.
“Unang-una he felt relieved na tapos na. Two weeks ago ‘yung talumpati nya sa DAP (First of all he felt relieved that it was over. It was just two weeks ago when he gave a speech on the Disbursement Acceleration Program). And he also spent weeks analyzing the situation,” he explained.
Among the issues hounding the Aquino administration was its implementation and defense of the DAP, which was declared partly unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
In an unexpected move, Aquino did not assail the SC ruling during his Sona but instead boasted of the projects funded by the now-defunct DAP.
The Secretary revealed that after the Sona, Aquino hosted dinner at Malacañang for his Cabinet members.
He said the President thanked all of those who helped him during days when he would stay up late to finish the speech.
Coloma said the whole Sona was authored by the President.
He said Aquino, when drafting his Sona, would “verbalize his thoughts” so it could be taken down by his speechwriters. They would then go over the written text and Aquino would direct which parts should be revised.
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