Wednesday, October 29, 2014
PNoy Endorses 2016 Bet
President Aquino yesterday called on the public to vote for a like-minded and competent candidate rather than someone who extols “populist sentiments with no substance” to replace him when his term ends in 2016.
Addressing a semiconductors and electronics industry forum in Makati City, the President conceded that his proposed term extension is “not the right solution” to sustain the country’s solid economic gains beyond 2016.
“There are some quarters that were saying I should try and go for a second term. I don’t think that’s a right solution,” said the President, who has taken a beating since he started entertaining calls to stay in power beyond 2016.
“We all have a time card in this world and we have to prepare for the eventuality of being called to meet our Maker so there has to be that continuation of people of like mind who will deliver on the promises that are real and not just self-serving or nice, pleasant to hear,” Aquino added.
The President affirmed that he would vote for the “right candidate” who can build on the country’s achievements after 2016. He then asked the audience to make the same wise decision come 2016 elections.
“And if I can ask you also to discern properly as to whom is extolling populist sentiments with no substance as opposed to that which you, not only says the right things but you whom you can trust to deliver the same. And at the end of the day, again, I have to reemphasize this is really a collective effort,” Aquino said.
The President was responding to a query made by Elmer Lapeña of Excelitas Technologies on how the country could boost its competitiveness and sustain its growth after 2016. Lapeña was among the handful of business executives who were allowed to ask questions to the President during the open forum.
Aquino’s latest categorical position against proposed term extension came after a recent survey found many Filipinos were opposed to Aquino running for reelection when his term ends in 2016.
Under the Constitution, the President is entitled to only one six-year term and cannot be re-elected.
Back in August, the President triggered a political firestorm when he declared he was open to the idea of a term extension but would still listen to the voice of the people on the matter.
In recent days however, there has been signs of the President’s change of heart on the issue.
When asked about his position on term extension during a media forum last week, the President said he prefers to focus on helping people find the right successor. He added that his priority was to amend the Constitution in order to limit the judicial overreach.
“All of us will be called by God at some point in time. It cannot rest on just one individual. The empowerment of the people and their ability to get a candidate that really responds to them is, I think, the legacy that one would have,” Aquino said during a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) last October 22.
“Even if I were to have a second term, that would still be a need, a personal need of mine that I would like to prove the maxim that ‘the measure of success is your ability to train your successor’ works in the country or is operative in the Philippines,” he added.
Earlier in Bali, Indonesia, President Aquino told Filipino journalist covering his presidential trip that the “lack of consensus and consent from the people” prompted him to abandon any thought of running for reelection.
Aquino issued that statement after a Pulse Asia survey that showed six out of 10 Filipinos are opposed to his term extension. “The people have already spoken and their will be done,” he said then.
Meantime, the President pledged to continue to implement reform programs to promote a business-friendly climate and promote the country’s inclusive growth during the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI) forum held in Makati City.
Aquino said his government would also try to attract more investors to the country in order to generate more jobs for Filipinos. He also made assurances the government is exerting efforts to augment the country’s power reserves and reduce power costs to ensure uninterrupted business activities.
“It’s been in the last few years that we’ve started to get back into the limelight and we do intend to maximize our exposure by really proving to all investors that it is really worth their while and a very sounded decision to invest not just in the country but more importantly in the people,” the President said.
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