AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—President Aquino likened efforts of past officials to steal from government with wanting to squeeze “bulalo” (bone marrow soup) out of cows.
Aquino also justified why he has to run after those who he said have wronged the Filipino people.
In a speech before the Filipino community here, Aquino cited what he said were instances of abuse by corrupt officials.
“Kailangan nating pagbayarin sila para manigurado na wala nang tutulad sa kanila,” Aquino said.
“‘Nung araw ho kasi ‘pag nagnakaw ka raw nang konti kulong ka. Kaya siguraduhin mong magnakaw ka nang marami para gawin kang partner.”
“‘Di ba marami hong tupa rito pero siguro ho baka (cow) mas madali. Dairy: ginagatasan mo na, gusto mo pang gawing bulalo. (laughter/cheers/applause) So kailangan nating ipakita naman, ano, tayo’y hindi mangmang; pasensyoso tayong tao pero merong obligasyon sa atin ang mga nangako sa atin,” he added.
Aquino then poked fun at “corrupt officials” who live in luxury, only to leave using a wheelchair as a means to escape accountability.
He quickly added that he was only quoting a text joke.
“Share ko lang ho sa inyo isang… Tawang-tawa ako [sa] narinig kong joke e. ‘Yung mga kababayan raw ho nating corrupt sa Pilipinas kagagara ng kotse, kamamahal, katutulin. Pero pagka ginustong tumakas ang ginagamit wheelchair. (laughter/cheers/applause) Baka naman sabihing namemersonal na naman ako. ‘Yun po pinadala lang sa akin, text. Hindi ko alam kung sino ang sumulat,” Aquino said.
AQUINO: “THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW”
He said a lot has changed since he assumed office.
Aquino cited the shortage of 66,800 classrooms that he inherited from the previous administration and how his administration has moved to fill this gap. He said the Department of Education (DepEd) would be able to end this shortage by next year, adding that the DepEd was already able to fill the textbook shortage and bring the ratio to 1 student is to 1 textbook.
He criticized the Arroyo administration for leaving the National Food Authority with a debt of P177-billion due to over-importation of rice with not enough storage, forcing government to pay for additional facility to store excess rice.
He also questioned the previous administration’s Tulay ng Pangulo program for constructing what he called as “pre-fabricated” bridges without first determining if the specifications would fit a particular location.
Things are different now, Aquino said, pointing out the P200-million pesos that government was able to save in the construction of the Quezon Avenue and G. Araneta underpass, with the contractors being able to complete the project months in advance.
Weather bulletins by PAGASA, he added, are more accurate now unlike what happened under previous management. He said this has allowed government to preposition relief goods and rescue units before a storm hits.
He also mentioned the country’s economic growth and the record performance of the stock market.
Finally, Aquino reminded the Filipino community to vote wisely in the next elections, telling them to look beyond cosmetics and look for substance.
He cited the need to put in place officials who will not look after their own interests.
“Sana piliin natin hindi magaling kumanta; hindi magaling sumayaw; hindi naging extra sa kung saang telenobela (laughter) pero may plataporma. At hindi lang may platapormang ipinapangako, pero may pinakita na rin sa kanyang pinagdaanan na talagang tutuparin niya ‘yung mga pinangako niya,” Aquino said.
“‘Yung napakagagaling mag-presenta ng sarili, magaling mambola e medyo makapal ang mukha rin ‘non. (laughter) E ‘yung mahiyain kung minsan pero marami naman ang laman ‘di ba e ‘yun ang baka dapat nating alalayan,” he added.