BAGUIO CITY: President Benigno Aquino 3rd lashed out at his critics on Sunday, warning that they will be crushed if they continue to question his reform agenda and refuse to acknowledge the country’s economic gains.
“We will not hesitate to crush you,” Aquino said in his speech during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation rites.
The President vowed that he will not yield to his “enemies” who he said are blind to the reforms that he has introduced.
“Malinaw naman. Mga nagbubulag-bulagan at nagbibingi-bingihan lang ang hindi nakakaramdam sa malaking pagbabagong tinatamasa ng ating bayan [It is clear that only those who play blind and deaf are the only ones who do not feel the changes in our society],” Aquino said.
He reminded those “on the other side of the reform agenda” that the government is willing to dialogue with them.
But if they refuse and choose to endanger the country, the President said they will suffer the consequences.
“Kung patuloy ninyong ilalagay sa peligro ang sambayanan, hindi kami mag-aatubiling sagasaan kayo [If you continue to put the country in the line of danger, we will not hesitate to run you over],” Aquino warned.
He reiterated that he got his mandate from Filipinos to lead the country and it will be the people who will continue his reforms after he steps down in 2016.
Aquino acknowledged that he alone did not work for these reforms, but alon side “all decent Filipinos.”
“Ngayon ngang palapit nang palapit ang pagtatapos ng aking mandato, paulit-ulit ang mga nagtatanong: Sino ang magpapatuloy ng maganda nating nasimulan kapag bumaba na ako sa puwesto? Bakit di na lang ulitin ang termino raw at ituloy ang pagbabago sa ating pamumuno [Now that my mandate is soon to end, we continue to receive questions: Who will continue my legacy when I step down? Why don’t I just continue my term]?” he asked.
The President, however, pointed out that he would be setting a dangerous precedent if he stayed in power beyond his term.
“Baka dumating ang panahon na kapag bumaba na ako sa puwesto, isipin ng papalit sa akin na puwedeng panghabambuhay na siya sa katungkulan [Perhaps when the time will come that I finally step down, my successor would think that there is no problem with staying in power for life],” he said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has long expressed his intention to run for President next year, was also present at Sunday’s ceremony.
The two leaders belong to opposing political parties.
Before his speech, the President inaugurated the newly-completed Philippine Military Academy Sports Complex.
The President was received by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces chief Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. , PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Oscar Lopez and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr.
Aquino and Naguiat unveiled the marker of the sports complex, which has a 3,320-square meter floor area. The P89.9-million facility was built through the help of Pagcor.