MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III encouraged today the public to boycott public utility vehicles that can be considered “smoke belchers.”
In an extemporaneous speech during the 10th Student Catholic Action of the Philippines National Leadership Conference, Aquino said it is the least one can do for his or her country.
"Kunwari tayo ay sumasakay sa public transportation, pag nakita nating itong sasakyan na ito ay hindi nakikisama sa lipunan, walang pakundangan magdagdag ng polusyon, baka pwede tayo maabala huwag tayo sumakay dun, i-boycott natin siya hanggang umayos-ayos ang kundisyon niya. Hindi ho siguro mahirap yun hindi ba?" Aquino said.
He noted there are 12,000 buses plying Metro Manila roads everyday, but only 3,600 are needed. "Ang dulo po nun, Sila ang naghahanap ng pasahero versus tayo ang obligadong sumakay sa kanila."
He also lambasted “unethical” smoke emission testing centers that issue non-appearance certificates to drivers who refuse to have their vehicles tested.
He stressed pollution in Metro Manila is 80% due to vehicles.
Carjacking and the Garcia case
Aquino also talked about the deadly carjacking incidents that have grabbed headlines this year. He said these acts are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
"Darating ang panahon haharap tayo sa Diyos at tatanugin tayo, 'Ano ba ang ginawa mo sa kapwa mo?'"
"Pag meron hong nag-carnap, may isang tao may-ari ng sasakyan, pinaghirapan niya makamtan ang sasakyan, may darating, aagawin, walang pakialam sa interes o kapakanan ng kanyang kapwa," Aquino said.
He stressed, however, that the number of carjacking cases went down to 255 for the first quarter of 2011 from 489 cases in the same period last year. He lamented this has not been widely reported by media.
"Hindi ko naman sinasabing natanggal na natin ang carnapping pero malaki na ang drop… Pero pag binasa po natin sa mga dyaryo, sa TV, parang lumalala lalo ang carnapping. Sabi [ni DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo], ang hirap ho dito, marami tayong nagagawa pero isang insidente lang-yung pagkaka-kidnap po sa anak ni Atty. Lozano ay parang sira na ang buong programa," Aquino said.
He also cited the plea bargain agreement of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia as another downer to Philippine society.
"Pag ikaw ba ninakawan, ibabalik sa'yo di man kalahati, ang isasagot mo ba dun, 'Thank you?'" Aquino told the audience, composed mainly of students and teachers from more than 20 provinces and dioceses.
He said there are other good news that merit appreciation, including: the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, new jobs from call centers, and the AG&P steel fabrication and modular construction yard.
He also urged the students to help the Puerto Princesa Underground River win a spot in the new 7 wonders of nature.
"Yung isang text niyo, imbes na sabihin nyong 'Kumusta ka dyan?' Sasagot sa iyo ng 'Wala lang.' Baka pwedeng kayong dalawa magkasundo na kayo, text 'PPUR,' send to 2861," Aquino said. - report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News