MANILA (UPDATE) - President Aquino devoted a large part of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the achievements of his administration in its first two years.
But a discussion of the past could not be avoided, with the President justifying the reasons for running after those who, he believes, have done the country wrong.
The President spelled out the social services that his administration was able to deliver in its first two years.
More poor families have been enrolled to the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, and PhilHealth coverage has likewise increased.
In education, the President promised to close the gap in the shortage of textbooks and school furniture this year, and finally solve the shortage of classrooms by next year.
Responsible parenthood, education
It was here that the President managed to squeeze in an endorsement, and asked Congress to pass the responsible parenthood bill.
“Sana nga po, ngayong paubos na ang backlog sa edukasyon, sikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante. Sa tingin ko po, responsible parenthood ang sagot dito,” he said.
The President pointed out that the budget for state colleges and universities has likewise been increased, but not without taking a dig at protesters who claim the contrary.
“Kaya kung may magsasabi pa ring binawasan natin ang budget ng edukasyon, kukumbinsihin na lang namin ang inyong mga paaralan na maghandog ng remedial math class para sa inyo. At pakiusap po, pasukan naman ninyo.”
Rice, CARP, crime, peace
The President said the Department of Agriculture is on target in making the country self-sufficient and an exporter of rice.
By the end of his term, the President wants all land covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program distributed.
“Subalit mayroon pa rin pong ayaw paawat sa pagtatanim ng mga balakid. ang tugon ko sa kanila: susunod tayo sa batas. Ang atas ng batas, ang atas ng taumbayan, at ang atas ko: bago ako bumaba sa puwesto, naipamigay na dapat ang lahat ng lupaing sakop ng CARP.”
A bigger monthly pension awaits senior citizens and the disabled, and incentives for performing government employees.
The President took pride in the decline in crime incidents.
With the progress of the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the President is confident that peace is also imminent in Mindanao.
South China Sea dispute
The President stood his ground on the country’s territorial dispute with China and vowed to protect the country’s territory.
He asked the public to let the world know about the country’s position, and asked China to respect the country’s sovereign rights.
“Kung may pumasok sa inyong bakuran at sinabing sa kanya na ang kanyang kinatatayuan, papayag ba kayo? Hindi naman po yata tamang ipamigay na lang natin sa iba ang sadyang atin talaga.”
He said the government is working on finding a solution to the disputes.
To the illegal loggers and their cohorts, the president issued a stern warning following the relief of erring employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine National Police.
“Kaya kayong mga walang konsensya; kayong mga paulit-ulit isinusugal ang buhay ng kapwa pilipino: maghanda na kayo. Tapos na ang maliligayang araw ninyo.”
Campaign vs corruption
The President defended his campaign against corruption, saying he has to run after those who have done wrong to restore the confidence of the people.
“Forgive and forget ang lahat ng atraso ng mga naglubog sa atin sa bulok na estado? Forgive and forget para maibalik ang lumang status quo? Ang tugon ko: ang magpatawad, maaari; ang makalimot, hindi. Kung ang nagkasala ay hindi mananagot, gagarantiyahan mo ang pagpapahirap muli sa sambayanan.”
He said, this is what justifies the filing of charges against former President Arroyo and former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“Katarungan ang tawag sa plunder case na isinampa laban sa dating Pangulo. Katarungan na bigyan siya ng pagkakataong harapin ang mga akusasyon at ipagtanggol ang kanyang sarili. katarungan ang nasaksihan natin noong ika-dalawampu't siyam ng Mayo. Noong araw na iyon, pinatunayan natin: posibleng mangibabaw ang katarungan kahit na ang kabangga mo ay may mataas na katungkulan.”
Thanks for removing Corona
The President thanked Congress for removing Corona from his post.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales received special mention for testifying in the impeachment court and for the reforms she has initiated.
“Sa kabila nito, may nagregalo pa rin sa kanya ng granada sa bahay. Bilib po ako sa inyong pagpapakitang-gilas. maraming salamat sa pagiging instrumento ng katarungan, lalo na noong kasagsagan ng impeachment trial. salamat din po sa dalawang institusyong bumubuo ng kongreso: sa senado at kamara de representante, na tinimbang ng taumbayan at nakitang sapat na sapat.”
His challenge to the next Chief Justice: put the judicial house in order.
“Alam ko po kung gaano kabigat ang pasanin ng isang malinaw na mandato; ngunit ito ang atas sa atin ng taumbayan; ito ang tungkuling ating sinumpaan; ito ang kailangan nating gampanan. “
Aside from the responsible parenthood bill, the president also asked Congress to pass the sin tax law that would fund universal health care, the amendment to the anti-money laundering law, and a law that will give the government a bigger share in the revenues of mining companies.
The President is counting on the help of all concerned sectors to achieve all his targets.
He is hoping as well that the media would give the attention that, he said, they deserve. - with ANC
(Click here for full speech, English translation)