MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III reminded politicians to do their jobs first before launching into an early campaign.
At the inauguration of the newly constructed Ninoy Aquino Bridge at Barangay San Luis in Tuao, Cagayan, the president said: “It seems that when we read the newspapers every day, we get to see a lot of politicians already campaigning.”
He said they seem to have forgotten that there are problems that still need to be addressed at the present.
“Today, let’s respond first to the needs and problems affecting our people,” he said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay has been vocal of his plans for 2016. On the other hand, the Liberal Party is also posturing to push a successor for Aquino, with the name of Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas included in the list.
During the president's speech in Cagayan, he was silent about the issue of amending the Constitution to extend the term limits of the president, but said he will make sure that the reforms he introduced would be in place “whether I am on the scene or not.”
Along with several allies, a lot of whom were wearing yellow shirts, Aquino also praised the work of Liberal Party stalwart – the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died a year ago.
The inauguration of the bridge also comes ahead of the death anniversary of his father, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
He said the Filipino people should follow the lead of the two, specifically those who want to side on “the straight path.”
Aquino said the bridge was partly funded, at P145 million, by the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The Supreme Court earlier declared unconstitutional several acts under the DAP.
The 360-meter bridge across the Chico River cost a total of P599.4 million.
Presidential Legislative Liaison Officer Manuel Mamba, who hails from Cagayan, said the bridge will permanently connect his province to Kalinga and Apayao.
Aquino said the bridge will boost tourism and business in the province.