SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—President Aquino has a fearless forecast: former President Arroyo and former Chief Justice Renato Corona might see each other in jail one day if proven guilty of the charges that they are now facing.
Aquino gave his prediction as he spoke in front of the Filipino community before heading back to Manila on the last day of his state visit to Australia.
He cited the conviction of Corona in the impeachment court and the filing of a tax evasion case against him as an example of how justice has caught up with the powerful.
“Ngayon may nakasampa na sa kanyang kaso na tax evasion. Kung mapapatunayan na nagkasala, baka po mag-abot pa sila sa kulungan ng pinalitan nating Pangulo,” Aquino said.
“Nasampahan na rin po ang dating Pangulo ng mga kasong plunder at electoral sabotage at abangan ang susunod na kabanata,” he added.
Aquino updated the Filipino community as well of developments back home, mostly what his administration has accomplished and comparing this with the previous one.
He again blasted the Arroyo administration for, among others, leaving the National Food Administration saddled with debt and for its Tulay ng Pangulo project where “pre-fabricated” bridges were produced without first identifying the place for which these bridges were intended.
“Paggawa muna tayo ng tulay, hanapan natin kung saan isu-shoot. Kung si Dolphy ho ang gumawa nun baka matawa tayo. Pero si Dolphy ho matinong tao. Gobyerno po ang gumawa nito e.”
He questioned the Arroyo administration for approving a contract under the project two days before he was inaugurated as President in 2010.
“Ang masaklap pa po n’yan, pinirmahan nila ang isa sa mga kontratang ito June 28, 2010… Bakit ho importante ang petsang ‘to? Kasi tanghali po ng June 30, 2010, ako na ang Pangulo. Sila ho ang magbabaon, ako ho ang aahon. Wala po talagang patawad. Isa’t kalahating araw na lang sila sa pwesto, hindi pa rin sila makapagpigil sa paggawa ng anomalya… One and half days to go, humirit pa,” he said.
He said these cases of abuse robbed Filipinos of hope, forcing them to leave the country.
He added that things are different now under his administration, enumerating what he has done so far.
Among these: the expansion of health care coverage, government savings in road projects, and the government being on track to reach its targets to fill the classroom shortage and for the country to become self-sufficient in rice by next year.
He said these changes were made possible because of the Filipino people’s faith. He added that the task is not yet over, urging Filipinos to continue their commitment for change.
As a sign of appreciation, the Filipino community gave Aquino an akubra, an Australian hat, which he gamely wore to the cheers of the audience.