Juana Change: Aquino 2016 endorsement ‘kiss of death’
MANILA, Philippines—The endorsement of President Benigno Aquino III in the 2016 elections is “a kiss of death.”
That’s how Mae Paner, also known as Juana Change, described the fate of whoever Aquino would endorse in 2016.
Paner was among the hundreds of militant groups, students and urban poor who staged a protest on Mendiola on Friday to call for President Benigno Aquino III’s resignation.
Paner in 2010 supported the presidential bid of Aquino but was quick to say that the President had changed and lost his moral ascendency to lead the country.
She said the Mamasapano bloodbath in Maguindanao continued to take its toll on Aquino for his refusal to take responsibility and issue a public apology.
But a public apology was not enough for the loss of 67 lives, she said.
“Aquino should step down,” she said.
According to her, Aquino has to admit his mistake over the botched Mamasapano operation and face the consequences of his actions.
“The people now are more determined to seek for reforms,” she said.
“We will not stop until they step down,” she added.
Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bayan, echoed Paner’s statement and said that Aquino should be held liable over the Mamasapano bloodbath and resign.
“Siya ang may pangunahing pananagutan. Hindi pwedeng iniiwasan nalang niya yung responsibilidad niya at bola-bolahin lang tayo,” Reyes said.
“Aquino had clear violations. And that is a betrayal of public trust, which is a basis for his removal into office,” he added.
Reyes said the latest Pulse Asia survey saying that nearly 80 percent of the public was not satisfied with Aquino’s explanation on the Mamasapano was “no surprise.”
Life more difficult
Life has been more difficult. That was how Nanding Luperia described life under the Aquino administration.
The 49-year old porter in Manila said his P100 earnings a day was not enough for his family needs.
But Luperio chose to skip his job at the port of Manila to join other urban poor in Mendiola, Manila, to call for Aquino’s resignation.
“Maawa po kayo sa amin. Bumaba na po kayo sa amin,” he said.
He said he was then optimistic of Aquino’s campaign promise of “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” but he said the President failed to deliver on his promise.
He said he would continue to join protests calling for Aquino’s ouster.
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