Aquino speech: Democracy trumps 'Strong Republic'


Posted at Jun 30 2010 03:04 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2010 11:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s speech may have given some people goosebumps, but others felt there was something missing.

In an interview on ANC's special coverage of the Aquino Inaugural, Professor Edna Co of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance said, “I’m positive about it. I’m pleased about how he weaves in and weaves together the contents of his speech…which talks generously about a leadership that leads alongside the citizens."

She said the speech stressed on the symbolism behind “democratic principles” as opposed to the “strong republic” uttered by his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“It says 'I need you'. It was evident throughout the speech,” she added.

UP Center for Women’s Studies Director Sylvia Claudio said the speech was a “good” one in terms of rallying the people to act for change.

“The symbolism is ‘I am the son of my parents.’ But surely any parent would want his or her son to go beyond what he or she has accomplished,” she said.

In Aquino’s 22-minute inaugural speech, he promised to honor his parents’ legacy of democracy.

Claudio added the speech did not give a clearer view of his platforms presented during the election period.

“If you look at the speech, these formulations [in the platform] could have been sharper…you should recognize the need of the little people,” she said.

She failed to hear anything about health coverage for the people, something close to her heart.

In a statement, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) chairperson Elmer Labog also said, “He may have mentioned grand promises for change, but he left out workers’ simple and straightforward demand for a substantial wage increase. His speech fell short of the Filipino workers’ expectation.”

The leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) also praised Aquino for vowing that there would be "no reconciliation without justice” since it would serve as the principle for prosecuting former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and other officials accused of corruption.

"We expect nothing less than the filing of charges, the arrest and conviction of these officials for large-scale corruption, gross human rights abuses and election fraud. We expect nothing less than the removal of the corrupt and abusive remnants of the Arroyo regime, including the questionable midnight appointees," the group said.

Big words?

In his Facebook page, lawyer Theodore Te described as “big words” Aquino’s statement that Filipinos are his bosses.

Newspaper columnist Boo Chanco, also in his Facebook account, described it as “simple and from the heart, but raises expectations all the more.”

The list of expectations is getting longer by the minute, with people already expecting Aquino to immediately report to work.

In her Facebook account, journalist Irene Andrea Perez said: “Siguraduhin lang na walang wang-wang, aabangan ko yan kapag nagkatagpo ulit tayo, P-Noy. And if I see it, I am so going to video it and post it on Facebook. Pero in fairness, hindi binasa ang speech.”