Aquino breaks New Year vow; hits critics anew

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BARELY a month after making public that “ignoring” critics would be one of his New Year resolutions, President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday took a swipe anew at his detractors, especially in media, whom he described as “irresponsible.”

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Aquino, who was guest speaker during the 114th anniversary of the Manila Bulletin, said many newspapers “elevate blood pressure,” “trump up the worst news possible” and “cause despair.”

“The naysayers, the irrational critics, the vested interests who measure their success through their ability to sacrifice the well-being of the nation to pursue their own, selfish agenda—all of them have been left in the dust by a nation that no typhoon, no faction, and no irresponsible columnist can break,” the president stressed.

“Our people have proven themselves more united, more discerning, more cooperative, and in particular, more committed to making change permanent than those who once tried to take advantage of them,” he added.

Aquino, however, acknowledged that the media must not “only be bearers of good news.”

“The progress of our country can only be accounted for when it is measured against, and in spite of, the challenges that we have endured,” he pointed out.

On January 7, Aquino revealed to a group of high school students from Miriam College that one of his New Year’s resolutions was not to pay anymore attention to his critics. The other was that he would go easy on members of his Cabinet.

These critics, he bewailed, “see nothing good in whatever I say” and they “detract from [efforts at]solving the problems of this country.”

“…Why would I give them my time of day when they are so unreasonable? If I attend to them, I won’t be able to attend to the problems of the country. So that has to be another resolution: ignore the people who are hopeless,” said Aquino.

Last December,the president said he wondered why the media was very critica of him. He further said that he would just “pray for enlightenment” for biased columnists.

As to his other New Year resolution, Aquino also admitted that he had “violated” his vow not to put too much pressure on any member of his Cabinet. He said in a separate talk in Carmona, Cavite that he felt “guilty” about it.

“I would admit that there are times that I feel guilty when even during Holidays or a special occasion I will have to summon our Secretaries or talk to them on the phone. That was one of my New year’s Resolutions: not to pressure our colleagues. It’s better to give them a breathing space or a respite from too much work,” the president said during the turnover ceremonies of newly-built classrooms in Carmona.

Aquino said he “violated” his vow when he called up Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman for updates on the recent typhoon not realizing that it was a Sunday.

“You know yesterday I violated that [vow]. I erred I sending a text message to Secretary Dinky Soliman. I took the opportunity also to check on the effects of [typhoon]basyang. She told me: ‘Sir, I’ll get back to you when I get the data.’ When she did, there were only a few evacuation centers that were open. After our talk, I realized that it was Sunday that’s why I told her: ‘I hope you get a good rest today, Dinky’,” the president narrated.

JOEL M. SY EGCO

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