Why PNoy praised 13-year-old student in speech

By Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2014 01:52 PM | Updated as of Aug 25 2014 09:52 PM

TAGUIG CITY - President Benigno Aquino III appealed to the public to be vigilant and cautious of people masking themselves as purveyors of good governance while sowing the seeds of doubt against reform.

In his speech during the celebration of National Heroes Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, President Aquino lashed out against his critics which he said are trying to revive the old and corrupt system.

"Puspusan pa rin ang mangilan-ngilang gustong ibalik ang dating sistema ng pandurugas at panlalamang. Ito po ang laban natin ngayon: ang maging mapagmatyag sa mga naghahasik ng pagdududa at kasinungalingan; ang huwag maging kasangkapan ng mga nagpapanggap na tagapagsulong ng reporma; ang magwaksi ng baluktot at manindigan sa kung ano ang matuwid," he said.

The President also expressed admiration for a letter published in a newspaper recently, written by Ma. Francesca Santiago, a 13-year old eighth-grade student of the University of St. La Salle-Integrated School, Bacolod City.

Entitled "The Blame Game", the young girl's letter was published last August 21, 2014 on the opinion page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

She wrote: "What ails me here is how people have reacted to the problems that our country is facing. Are we doing anything about them? Yes. Are we doing the right thing? Absolutely not. We shouldn't be blaming our leaders for things we don't understand and cannot control. Yes, I am young. I am naive. I can't even begin to pretend to know everything. But I do know this: If this is the road our country is heading down, the end doesn't look pretty at all. Maybe it's time to turn back and look for that daang matuwid that P-Noy is talking about."

The President praised the young student for being more analytical than some people older than her.

"Malinaw sa kanya: may karapatan ang lahat na magpahayag ng kanilang saloobin, subalit may obligasyon din ang bawat isa na maging makatwiran. Nagulat nga po ako nang makita ko ang edad ni Ma. Francesca: eh 13 taong gulang pa lang siya. Kahanga-hanga na mas mapanuri pa siya kaysa sa ilang mas nakatatanda sa kanya. Kung ganito ang kalibre ng pag-iisip ng ating mga kabataan ngayon, tiyak na magiging mas maliwanag ang atin pong kinabukasan," Aquino said.