President Aquino’s speech on the first year of his administration, June 30, 2011

Talumpati
ng
Kagalang-galang Benigno S. Aquino III
Pangulo ng Pilipinas
Sa anibersayo ng kanyang panunumpa bilang pangulo
[Inihayag sa PhilSports Arena, Pasig City noong ika-30 ng Hunyo 2011

Mga minamahal ko pong kababayan,

Isang taon na rin nga po pala ang lumipas. Naaalala pa po kaya ng lahat ang pinagdaananan na po natin? Dati, kapag nakarinig ka ng wangwang sa kalsada, wala ka nang magawa, hindi ho ba, kundi tumabi. Ang pinakamatayog mong pangarap ay makakuha ng VISA para makapagtrabaho sa ibang bansa. Matutulog ka nang mahimbing sana, ngunit gigisingin ka ng bahang halos umabot na sa iyong higaan, dahil wala man lang babalang ipinaabot sa iyo ang PAGASA. Ilan po ba sa atin ang sumuko na at nagsabing wala na sigurong makakamit na hustisya ang limampu’t pitong Pilipinong minasaker sa Maguindanao?

Naalala po ba ninyo ang panahon kung kailan kapag may maririnig kang masamang balita, ‘di mo man lang makuhang umiling dahil alam mong may mas masahol pang parating? Noon, sabay-sabay ang mga Pilipinong nagbuntong-hininga: tiisin na lang natin, tutal patapos na rin naman ito. ‘Di po ba’t nabigla tayong lahat nang umangat ang ekonomiya bago mag-eleksyon noong isang taon—iyon po pala, kaya umangat, nakaantabay na, hindi lang tayo kundi ang buong mundo, sa pagbaba ng administrasyong Arroyo, at sa napipintong pagtatapos ng kalbaryo ng Pilipino. ‘Di po ba’t parang kahapon lang nang iabot ninyo sa akin ang naghihingalong liwanag ng pag-asa, at tinawag ninyo ako upang ipaglaban ang atin pong daang matuwid?

Sa panahon pong tinawag ako ng taumbayan, ni isang karatula o polyeto ay wala pa po akong naiimprenta, dahil alam naman po n’yo, wala po talaga akong kabalak-balak tumakbo. Hindi ko po inambisyon na sagupain ang dambuhalang problema na ipapamana ni Ginang Arroyo—mga problemang pilit kong hinadlangan noong nasa Kamara de Representantes tayo, at sa Senado pa lang ako. At nakita ko na rin naman, sa karanasan ng pumanaw kong ina, kung gaano kabigat ang tungkulin maging isang Pangulo, lalo pa kung mamanahin niya ay sistemang nilapastangan. Tinanong ko ang aking sarili: kakayanin ko kayang kumpunihin ang lahat ng ito?

Malalim ang pagmumuning dinaanan ko bago tumugon sa inyong panawagan. Ngunit nang abutan po ako ng garapong puno ng barya para lamang makatulong sa kampanya; nang salubungin ako ng madlang ‘di man lamang makabili ng payong na panangga sa init ng araw; nang sinabi ninyo sa aking hindi ako nag-iisa—hindi ko po itong masikmurang tanggihan. Hindi ko po kinayang sabihin na, “pasensya na kayo, naduduwag po ako, at gusto ko pa sanang humaba ang buhay ko.” Ang sinabi ko po noon: Pilipino, kasama mo ako. Itutuwid natin ang baluktot, tatanggalin natin ang tiwali, at itatama natin ang mali.

Narito po tayo ngayon, isang taon matapos markahan ang wakas ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi sa hinaing ng kanyang mamamayan. Ipinasa po sa atin ang isang tahanang lumulundo ang kisame at bitak-bitak ang mga pader. Kinahoy na nga po ang mga muwebles, ipinangutang pa ang pamalit. Ang masaklap niyan, alam kong mamanahin natin ang mga utang na iyon, sampu ng lahat ng dumi na ikinalat nila.

Ang pinangangambahan nating pangit na daratnan, mas sukdulan at kasuklam-suklam pa pala ang tunay na kalagayan. Halimbawa: mula taong 1972 hanggang taong 2000, umabot sa 12.9 billion pesos ang utang ng NFA. Nang dumating si Ginang Arroyo, sa loob lamang po ng isang taon, o 2001, naiangat niya ang utang na iyan sa 18 bilyong piso. Ulitin ko lang po: Mula 12, isang taon na lumipas, naging 18 bilyong piso ang pagkakautang ng NFA. Hindi pa po siya nakuntento; pagbaba niya sa puwesto, ‘yung dating 12 billion na minana niya, nasa 177 billion pesos na po ang utang na ipinamana sa ating lahat. Isanlibong porsyento at mahigit pa ang itinaas ng utang ng NFA: record-breaking po talaga ang ginawa nilang pagbabaon sa atin sa utang, hindi ho ba?

Ganitong uri ng administrasyon ang humihikayat sa ating kilalanin ang kanilang mga nagawa, at tumuntong sa kanilang mga balikat. Ganitong uri ng administrasyon ang nagsasabing wala daw pagbabago, at sa malalim na bangin lamang tayo dadalhin ng tuwid na daan. Magpapaloko po pa ba tayo sa pagpupumilit nilang padudahin tayo, para sa pagkalito natin, magkaroon ng puwang na bumalik ang lumang sistema?

Hindi na po ako magsasayang ng panahon para makipagbangayan sa kanila. Nagpapasalamat na lamang po ako sa pag-amin ni Ginang Arroyo na ‘di umano’y kabaliktaran raw niya ako. Sa wakas, magkasundo rin po kami. Talagang magkabaliktad po kami.

Dahil hindi na nga po ako sasagot, hahayaan ko na lamang tumugon ang 21,800 pamilya ng sundalo at kapulisan na maaari na ngayong magkaroon ng disenteng tahanan bago matapos ang taong ito.

Dalawang linggo po, o halos dalawang linggo, inaasahan ko na tutuparin ng NHA na 4,000 doon sa unang 21,000 iyan ang ipagkakaloob na natin sa mga nararapat na kawani po ng gobyerno na bibilang sa hanay ng kapulisan at kasundaluhan—at umpisa pa lang ho iyan.

Hahayaan ko na lang tumugon ang mga maralitang kababayan nating nakarehistro na sa Conditional Cash Transfer program. Apat na araw mula ngayon, sasaksihan ko po mismo ang paglagda ng ika-dalawang milyong benepisyaryo ng CCT. Uulitin ko lang po, two million na po ang na-i-enroll natin sa CCT pagdating ng July 4.

Hahayaan ko na lang din pong tumugon ang halos 240,000 magsasaka na nakikinabang na ngayon sa mahigit 2,000 kilometrong farm-to-market roads na nailatag natin sa loob lamang ng isang taon.

Sila nga po ang tanungin natin? ‘Di ba’t malinaw ang pagbabago? Noon pong isang taon, barko-barkong toneladang bigas ang inaangkat, at katakut-takot din ang gastusin sa mga bodegang pinagtatambakan nito. 1.3 million metric tons lang po ang kailangan natin pampuno sa kakulangan ng ating ani, pero umangkat sila ng dalawang milyong metriko tonelada. Ngayon po, halos kalahati na lang ang inaangkat nating 660,000 metriko tonelada.

Hindi po tayo nag-magic para dumami ang bigas na inaani natin dito: itinutok lang po natin ang pondo ng irigasyon sa kung saan ito pinakamura at mabisa; pinalawak ang paggamit ng maiging klase ng binhi; at pinalawig din ang upland rice farming. Lahat po ito, nagdulot ng dagdag na labinlimang porsyento sa ating inani noong huling taon, at ng pinakamataas na ani sa kasaysayan ng dry season cropping. Pasensya na po kayo, bihira lang ako magtayo ng sariling bangko: 1.3 million tons kulang natin taon-taon. Itong unang taon natin, ang aangkatin 800,000—para may konting reserve—pero 600,000 tons na lang ang kakailanganin natin. (Kailangan pong i-irrigate ang atin pong lalamunan.) Palagay ko po, sa 2013, talagang pupurihin ko kaliwa’t kanan si Secretary Alcala ‘pag totoo nga po na self-sufficient sa rice na tayo sa 2013.

Noon pong isang taon, ilan po ba sa atin ang nangahas mangarap na ang bigas na ating isasaing, dito rin sa Pilipinas itatanim, aanihin, at bibilhin. Mukha pong matutupad nga: nasabi ko nang ipinangako ni Secretary Proceso Alcala (dinidiin ko po para maalala natin lahat kung sino nangako) na bago matapos ang 2013, hindi na natin kailangan pang mag-angkat ng bigas mula sa ibang bansa.

Mantakin po ninyo: dahil sa tamang paggugol at pagtapal sa mga sugat sa sistema na tinatagasan ng pera ng bayan, nakalikom tayo ng dagdag na pondo upang magpatupad ng mga programang higit pa sa napaglaanang pondo sa ating General Approprations Act. Nagawa natin itong walang itinataas na buwis. Labindalawang bilyong piso na po ang tumutustos sa ating mga pangangailangan: mula sa Pantawid Pasada sa mga pampublikong sasakyan na tinamaan ng pagtaas ng presyo ng langis; hanggang sa pampasahod ng 10,000 nurse na nakadestino sa mga maralitang lalawigan; mula sa pambili ng mga modernong barko na magtatanod sa ating mga baybayin; hanggang sa marami pang ibang mga programa at proyektong totoong napapakinabangan ng kabuoan ng atin pong bansa.

Isipin na lang po ninyo kung hinayaan lang natin ang walang-saysay na paglustay sa kaban ng bayan. Baka po naglalakad na lang ang mga tsuper natin. Baka po ang mga nakaratay sa mga lalawigan ay nananatili pang ngumunguya ng dahon para lunasan ang kanilang mga karamdaman. At baka po patuloy na ngang miski mga isda ay hindi man lang masindak sa ating Hukbong Pandagat.

Pabahay, bigas, seguridad, pasahod, kalsada, pantawid pasada, at salbabida para sa mga kababayan nating nilulunod ng kahirapan: iyan po ang pagbabagong inaani natin ngayon. Alam naman po ninyo, hindi naman po natin nahukay ang kayamanan ni Yamashita para maipatupad ang mga ito. Hinabol lang po natin ang mga tiwali sa gobyerno, itinama natin ang pag-gugol ng pera, at itinuwid natin ang mga baluktot sa sistema.

Tingnan nga po lang natin ang ginawa nila sa Philippine National Construction Corporation: ni hindi nga po nila magawang mag-remit ng disenteng kita sa taumbayan, may kapal ng mukha pa silang umentuhan ang kanilang mga sarili. Limang pahina po ang memo na ipinasa sa akin ng bagong mga opisyal ng PNCC, na nagdedetalye ng mga katiwaliang kanilang naungkat at isinasaayos: mula sa mga walang-katuturang posisyon na pinasasahuran ng kalahating milyon kada buwan, hanggang sa mga cellphone plan na wala namang silbi sa kanilang katungkulan; mula sa mga kagamitang ibinebenta ng palugi para lamang di umanong kumapal ang kanilang bulsa, hanggang sa mga inimbento nilang fixed allowance na hindi bababa sa siyento mil kada buwan; lahat po iyan ay itinigil natin. Kaya naman ang dating monthly expense na 22 million pesos, naibaba na natin sa 11 million pesos.

Isa pa pong halimbawa itong kalokohang natuklasan natin sa PCSO. May pera sila para mag-over-budget sa patalastas na nagbabalandra ng mukha ng kung sino-sinong politiko sa telebisyon, pero wala silang pera para magbayad ng tatlong bilyong pisong utang sa mga ospital ng gobyerno. Dahil sa utang na di mabayaran—dahil sa katiwalian—ang mismong ospital na pinopondohan ng gobyerno, ayaw nang tanggapin ang garantiya ng kapwa nila sangay ng gobyerno. Isipin po n’yo iyon, itinayo, ‘di ba, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office—iba ho ang ginugulan ng charity.

‘Di po ba’t sasakit din ang batok ninyo sa kalakarang ito? Pagsisiwalat sa kalokohan, sa halip na pakikisawsaw sa katiwalian: ito po ang pagbabagong sinasabi natin.

Alam ko rin pong marami sa atin ang nag-aapurang anihin na ang mga bunga ng naipunla nating reporma. ‘Di ko naman po masisi ang taumbayang, dumaan sa isang dekada ng katiwalian, at ayaw nang maniwalang posibleng magkaroon ng gobyernong handang tumahak sa tuwid na daan. May ilan pong nahihirapang mapagtanto na kailangan nating magtulungan, magsaluhan, at mag-ambagan para maabot ang ating mga mithiin. Alam ko po ang pinanggagalingan ninyo: Ako man po ay nangangarap na bukas makalawa ay magising tayong may solusyon na sa bawat problemang minana natin. Ngunit alam ko pong mulat din kayo na wala ring maitutulong ang mabilisan, ngunit walang bisang solusyon. Kailangan ang maingat na paglalatag ng reporma, ang pagsigurong epektibo ang ating mga programa, at ang pangmatagalang mga tugon na hindi na magpapamana ng problema sa susunod na salinlahi.

Simple lang naman po, hindi ba? Nakita naman natin kung paano tayo nagdusa noong nakaraan, at nakita rin natin ang situwasyong gusto nating makamit sa kinabukasan. ‘Di po ba’t ngayon, buong-loob na nating pinupunan ang puwang sa pagitan ng mga tagang “sana” at ng “kaya,” at nakikilahok na rin ang bayan upang ang ating mga mithiin ay maabot na nating lahat sa wakas? ‘Di po ba’t ngayon, nasaang panig man tayo ng usapan, ang nagbubuklod pa rin sa atin ay malasakit para sa bayan? Ngayon po, bawat kibot natin, nasusundan na. Nagtataka ako: kung may isyu at magtikom ka ng labi, di maubos ang batikos sa akin. Kapag naman naghahayag ka ng kuro-kuro, pakialamero ang bansag sa akin. Kulang na lang po, kung minsan iniisip ko, hatiin ko ang aking katawan at maging manananggal na lang po ako para mapagbiyan ang lahat ng bumabatikos sa akin. Pero iyon po kasi, tanda lamang talaga na mayroong mga tao, ayaw nilang gumanda ang atin pong inang bansa.
Sinabi ko po sa inyo noong araw: kung walang corrupt walang mahirap. Katumbas ng tamang pamamahala ang direktang benepisyo sa taumbayan, lalo na sa mga kapos po sa buhay: bawat tableta ng gamot na pinopondohan ng gobyerno para sa ating maralitang kababayan, bawat pulgada ng kalsada, bawat pagkakataong makahanap ng disenteng pagkakakitaan—lahat po iyan ay bunga ng integridad at malasakit ng inyo pong pamahalaan na nakikipagtulungan sa sambayanan. Maliwanag po ang patutunguhan natin, at diretso tayong tutungo po doon. Ang serbisyong nakalaan para sa inyo ay dumarating sa inyo: hindi napupunta sa bulsa ng mga naghahari-hariang kung tinignan ampaw naman pala.

Malayo na po ang narating natin sa loob lamang ng isang taon. Isipin na lang po ninyo kung gaano pa katayog ang mga maaabot natin sa susunod na limang taon. Saksi ang Pilipino at ang buong mundo: Nagbubunga na ang pagbagtas natin sa tuwid na landas. Ngayon pa ba tayo aatras?

Sinisikap pa rin pong buwagin ng mga tiwali ang pananalig na nagtulak sa aking tumugon sa inyong panawagan, at nagbunsod sa ating tagumpay noong nakaraang halalan. Inaasahan po natin ito, at alam kong nasa likod ko po rin kayo sa pakikipagsagupa natin sa mga mapang-api. Sinabi ko po dati: kayo ang aking lakas, ang lakas na bukal ng mga tagumpay na inaani na natin ngayon, at ng tuluyan at napipinto nating pagpitas sa katuparan ng atin pong mga pinapangarap.

Hindi kailanman magbabago po ito. Kayo pa rin ang boss ko.

Iyong unang taon po ay puwede na rin ‘yung nagawa natin. Pero ‘yung susunod na taon, inaasahan kong lahat ng kawani ng gobyerno, sampu na ng sambayanan, ay lalong magtutulungan—dahil gusto ko pong tumulin nang tumulin, ang pagbabago nating ninanasa na marating ay lalong maging katuparan na.

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. Maraming salamat po.

English Translation

Speech
of
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
On his first year in office
[Translation of the speech delivered at the PhilSports Arena, Pasig City on June 30, 2011

Already, a year has passed. Do all of us still remember everything that we went through? Before, when sirens blared on our roads, we were forced to move aside. The average Filipino’s greatest dream was to get a VISA so that he could work in another country. People would sleep soundly, only to wake up to flood skimming their beds, because PAGASA failed to raise a storm warning. And how many had already given up hope that justice for the 57 victims of the Maguindanao Massacre will be served?

Do you still remember those times when, upon hearing bad news, you could not even shake your head in disgust because you were certain the worse was yet to come? Before, the Filipinos were one as they sighed frustratedly: Bear it, this will soon come to pass. Weren’t we all surprised when the economy surged before last year’s elections—only to realize that this was because the world shared our nation’s anticipation of the end of the Arroyo administration, and the impending Easter redemption to our people’s Calvary? Does it not feel as though it were just yesterday when you handed me the last embers of your hope, when you called on me to fight for the straight and righteous path?

I had not printed even a single poster or pamphlet when the people called on me, because as you know, I had absolutely no plans to run for the presidency. I never dreamt to engage the colossal problems Mrs. Arroyo would be leaving behind—problems that I, nonetheless fought against as a member of Congress and the Senate. I had already witnessed, through my late mother’s experiences, the grave responsibilities that come with being the President, most especially if you were to inherit a system much profaned. I asked myself: Will I be able to fix all of this.?

I contemplated very carefully before I responded to your call. But when a jar heavy with coins was handed to me so as to help in the campaign; when the masses, who could ill afford umbrellas that could shield them from the midday sun, crowded the streets to welcome me; when you told me that I was not alone—I could not stomach saying no. I could not say, “I am sorry, but I am a coward, and I’d rather live to a ripe old age.” I said: I am with you, Filipino. Together, we will straighten the crooked, we will weed out the corrupt, we will right what is wrong.

And we are here today, a year since we put an end to a government deaf and blind to the plight of its citizens. They gave us a house whose ceilings sagged, whose walls had chipped and cracked. The furniture had been dismantled for scrapwood, and replaced with fixings bought on credit. The worse part about it was that, I knew we would inherit even that debt, along with all the mess they left for us to clean up.

We soon discovered that the system was more extreme, more horrible than anything we could have expected. For example: from 1972 to 2000, the NFA amassed 12.9 billion pesos in debt. When Mrs. Arroyo came into power, she managed, in just a single year of her term, to raise this debt to 18 billion pesos. Let me repeat: from 12 billion, NFA debt went up to 18 billion in a year. Yet, she was far from content: when she stepped down, the NFA’s debt had risen to 177 billion pesos—a thousand percent increase, evidencing the previous administration’s record-breaking abilities to amass debt.

This same administration has been calling on us to recognize their so-called achievements, and has invited us to stand on their shoulders. This same administration claims that there has been no change; that the straight and righteous path will only plunge us headlong over a cliff. Will we allow ourselves to be deceived by these efforts to sow seeds of doubt so that, in our confusion, the old system will find an opportunity to wrest back its power?

I will no longer waste time bickering with them. I only wish to express my relief and overwhelming gratitude that Mrs. Arroyo herself has stated that I am her exact opposite. Finally, we have agreed on something.
If they want a response, it will come from the 21,800 families of our soldiers and police force—they who will have decent homes before the year ends.
It will come from our poor countrymen who have registered in our Conditional Cash Transfer program. Four days from now, I myself will witness the two millionth beneficiary of the CCT being signed on.
It will come from the nearly 240,000 farmers who now benefit from over 2,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads that we constructed in just one year.
Ask them. Is the change not clear enough? Just last year, we imported tons of rice that came in frightening shiploads, needing frightening amounts of money to pay for warehouses. We only needed to import 1.3 million metric tons a year to meet our needs, but they imported two million metric tons. Now, we import nearly half of what we needed to import last year: 660,000 metric tons.

No sleight of hand was needed to increase our rice yield: We just found the most affordable and effective measures where we could allocate our irrigation budget; we promoted the use of the best seedlings available; and we encouraged upland rice farming. These are some of the reasons for the 15 percent increase in our rice production—the highest yield in the history of dry season cropping.

I hope you will excuse me, because I do not usually boast: We used to have an annual rice deficit of 1.3 million tons. In this first year alone, we will be importing 800,000 tons—to leave room for a buffer—but all we need now is some 600,000 tons. I will be all praises for Secretary Alcala if he delivers on his promise of rice self-sufficiency by 2013.

Just last year, how many of us dared to dream that the rice we cook on our stoves would have been planted, sown, and sold on Philippine spoil. And we are optimistic that, as I mentioned, Secretary Proci Alcala’s promise will be fulfilled: before 2013 ends, we will no longer need to import rice from other countries.

Think about it: Because of the conscientious spending of the people’s coffers, and by mending the leakages in our system, we have saved up enough money this year to fund projects that go above and beyond those already programmed in our General Appropriations Act. Despite not raising taxes, an additional 12 billion pesos have been programmed to finance our various needs: from the Pantawid Pasada for drivers of public utility vehicles who are often the first to feel the rising fuel prices, to the salaries of 10,000 nurses sent to serve in our poor provinces; from modern ships that can patrol our shores, to other such programs and projects that will benefit the majority of our people.

Imagine what would have happened had we continued to allow the plunder of our country’s coffers. Perhaps, then, our drivers would have no choice but to walk. Perhaps the sick in far-flung areas would be left to chew leaves to ease their aches. And perhaps, then, our Navy might not even be capable of frightening the fish in the seas they patrol.

Housing, rice, security, wages, roads, gas subsidies, lifebuoys for our countrymen drowning in poverty: These are the reforms we now sow. We need not have unearthed Yamashita’s treasure to accomplish all of this; we merely pursued the corrupt in government, rectified government spending, and straightened the long-crooked system.

Just look at what they did to the Philippine National Construction Corporation: In spite of an inability to submit decent remittances, its officials still had the gall to give themselves bonuses. It took a five-page memo to detail the corruption that our new PNCC officials have uncovered and fixed: from creating unnecessary positions paid half a million in salary every month; to subscribing to cell phone plans unnecessary to their duties; from materials sold at a loss to fatten their own pockets, to fictitious fixed allowances amounting to at least a hundred thousand pesos every month—all of these we stopped. As a result, we have lowered their former monthly expense of P22 million to just P11 million.

Again, take for example the wickedness we have discovered in the PCSO. They found money to go over their budget for commercials airing the face of this or that politician on television, but can not find the money to pay for the three billion pesos they owe our government hospitals. Because these debts have not been paid—because of corruption—the very hospitals funded by the government refuse to accept guarantees from their fellow government agencies. Would this not make your blood rise to your nape? Uncovering deliberate mismanagement and corruption, instead of joining its fray: This is the change we have been proclaiming.

I know that many of us are in a hurry to sow the fruits of the reforms we have just planted. I cannot blame our countrymen who have gone through a decade of ceaseless corruption and unscrupulousness, that they no longer believe that it is possible to have a government that chooses to tread the straight and righteous path. There are those who are slow to realize that we need to work together and face challenges together to achieve everything that we aspire for.

I understand where they are coming from: I, too, dream that all of us will wake up one day and find that we have been granted the solutions to all our problems overnight. But I also know that you are aware that, in the long run, a hastened, mediocre solution will be useless and pointless. We need to carefully establish our reforms, we need the guarantee that our programs are effective and will continue to be so, and we need long-term solutions that will ensure that we will no longer pass on problems to the coming generations.

Is it not that simple? We know how much we suffered in the past, and we know what we want for our future. Don’t we now wholeheartedly strive to bridge the gap between what we hope for and what we can achieve, and has not the nation risen up in the struggle to realize our collective dreams? Is it not so that now, whichever side of an argument we may be, we are driven by compassion for our country? Now, our slightest actions are open to scrutiny.

Isn’t it that, these days, whichever side of an argument we may be, we are still bound by concern for our country? Sometimes, I wonder: If I am asked to comment on an issue but I think it prudent to keep my mouth shut, I am criticized. But then, when I express my opinions, I am labeled as a nosy busybody. What do they expect me to do? Cut my body in half and hover around like the manananggal?

I have told you before: If we end corruption, we end poverty. Good governance redounds to palpable benefits for the people, especially for the less fortunate: Every medicine tablet our government funds for the poor, every inch of road, every opportunity to acquire a decent job—all of these were borne from integrity and a government that responds to and cooperates with its people.

Our destination is clear and we will reach it: The services that are meant to benefit you, now benefit you, instead of some politician who fancies himself king, but in reality is nothing more that stale, sparse bread.
We have come so far in just one year. Just imagine the breadth of our success in the five years to come. The Filipino people and the entire world stand witness: We are reaping the rewards of our journey on the straight and righteous path.  Why turn back now?

The corrupt are still hard at work to break the faith of the very people who called on me and have brought about our triumph in the past election. We expected this, and I am confident the Filipino people are still behind me in our collective fight against those who have wronged us. I have said this before: You are my strength—strength that is the wellspring of the successes we reap today, and the imminent and continuous realization of our hopes.

This will never change. You are still my Boss.

We have done fairly well this first year, but in the coming years, I expect all members of government, with the help of the citizenry, to work together even more and hasten the realization of the change for which we aspire.
Good afternoon to you all. Thank you very much.

Statement of the Spokesperson on President Aquino’s first year in office, June 30, 2011


Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:
On the President’s first year in office
[Released on June 30, 2011

President Aquino today marks his first year in office. In the span of a year, we have seen several upgrades in our credit ratings, landmark policies and laws for economic and political reform, increased private domestic investments, hundreds of thousands of jobs generated leading to a decrease in unemployment, and other indicators of our country’s steady march toward progress. These are all proof that our people’s optimism is well founded.

These also come while the administration continues to lay firm enduring foundations for inclusive growth, even as the enemies of reform try to stoke the fires of negativism. Let us be firm in our resolve to keep the window of opportunity for those who selfishly want to reestablish the old system firmly shut. Let us never return to the era where the rich and powerful were allowed to run roughshod over the poor.

In one year, apathy has been replaced by a renewed sense of partnership between government and the people. With our mandate from the people, and our commitment to uphold our people’s expectation that they are our boss, the Aquino administration will not be cowed. We are living in a different neighborhood now, where our people are assured that justice is being served; and where those responsible for the suffering we have all endured for almost a decade will be held accountable. We have already begun to establish the necessary reforms and no amount of naysaying will derail us from the straight and righteous path. If anything, these orchestrated attacks against the accomplishments of this new system of good governance only strengthen our resolve to continue building on our successes of the past year.

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