PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday warned the public against people who “sow doubts and lies” and who “pretend” to institute reforms.
“We have been treading the straight path for more than four years now. The seeds of change we have sown are already bearing fruit, and, seeing this, those who want to take advantage of the people are becoming desperate,” the President said in his speech at the Libingan ng mga Bayani inTaguig City (Metro Manila) on National Heroes Day.
“The days of colonizers, of wars, of martial law are long gone. Yet there are still a select and selfish few who remain determined to bring back the old and abusive political systems,” he added.
“This is the fight that confronts us today, to remain vigilant against those who seek to sow doubt and lies, to stand firm and refuse to allow ourselves to be manipulated by those who only pretend at reform, to reject the crooked, and resolve to stay on the straight path,” the Presidetn said.
Aquino called on the people to “stay on the straight path.”
The President paid homage to ordinary Filipinos who serve as “proof that our nation is indeed a nation of heroes.” He expressed his gratitude to the country’s heroes who sacrificed for the betterment of the nation, and to ordinary Filipinos who have become heroes in their own ways.
In his speech, he cited heroic actions of various Filipinos, like Noli Dela Cruz who saved 36 of his neighbors at the height of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November last year.
These heroic deeds, Aquino said, perfectly illustrate “the extraordinary ability of Filipinos to serve as beacons of hope in the darkest moments.”
“Instead of hurling criticism or spreading negativism, which some of our countrymen have grown accustomed to doing, these remarkable Filipinos chose to empower their fellowmen,” the President added.
Aquino then encouraged Filipinos to be more constructive rather than negative, and reminded them that “even if our society had made progress, it is clear that our battles continue.”
The President’s statements came as the guessing game on whether he will indeed seek a term extension continues.
Aquino recently came under fire for declaring his “openness” to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow him to extend his term beyond 2016.
Also in his speech, the President cited an article written by a 13-year-old student from Bacolod City (Negros Occidental), Maria Francesca Santiago, who he said at her age “already exhibits more discernment than some who are much older than her.”
He said Santiago noticed that “the latest trend is to hurl criticism, even at those who are doing everything in their power to uphold the interests of the people” and “in the face of the challenges our country has experienced, instead of remaining open-minded and searching for the truth, there are some who choose to spread baseless accusations.”
“If this is the caliber of thinking of the youth today, I am certain that we are indeed facing a brighter future,” Aquino added.
He called for unity and encouraged Filipinos “not [to]waste the opportunity we have today,” and “to make certain that we will bequeath to coming generations a Philippines freer and more progressive [and that responsibility]still rests on our shoulders.”
“This is the only way that we can repay and honor the heroes who sacrificed much, so that our country could arrive at its present state.
This is the only way for us to ensure that, when the next generations commemorate National Heroes Day, they will remember, express their gratitude for, and reflect on this chapter of our history, and they will say: This was indeed the time when all Filipinos decided, as one people, to become heroes,” the President said.