MANILA - President Aquino would rather talk to students than answer his critics.
The Chief Executive said this in a forum hosted by Hope Christian High School.
In his closing remarks, the President said: "When I talk to people who are young, parang I can be sure that they don't have an agenda other than what they write."
"I asked for this dialogue, precisely and primarily, because I felt that you are - we owe you the truth. at the end of the day, the truth really does empower all of us and guides us later on," he said.
"We are in a democracy. We should have an exchange of ideas. We should be able to talk to our leaders. Hindi na pwede 'yung may leader na elevated on some high pedestal. We are a democratic country. Iyong you lead...And our philosophy is 'we lead by consensus.' Pinagkasunduan natin, hindi dinidiktahan tayo."
Aquino said he has used criticisms as a motivating tool for his work.
However, he also said that he would rather attend to his work than spend time answering all his critics. He said he would just pray for his critics.
The President also said he relies on his family to remain grounded after so many years of being the most powerful person in the Philippines.
Aquino said his and his siblings' formative years were during the martial law period, when their only coping mechanism was having a strong family.
He said that bond has remained even if they don’t spend that much time together.
What used to be weekly family gatherings has become fewer and far in between. For that, they rely on text messaging.
Aquino said his sisters tell him everything he needs to know, even bad news that non-family members may not be willing to share.