Aquino critics threatened, says Pangilinan

October 19, 2009

By: Hannah L. Torregoza and Kris Bayos
Manila Bulletin
September 11, 2009

Critics are extremely threatened by Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Liberal Party’s standard bearer for the 2010 May elections, that is why they resort to all efforts to distract and criticize the senator, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said on Friday.          

Pangilinan said detractors of Aquino are obviously threatened, intimidated with their bet’s growing popularity among the masses.          

“Senator Aquino called for GMA (President Arroyo’s initials) to resign during the ‘Hello Garci’ scandal. He has never retracted from his statements and principles. The same cannot be said of most politicians,” said Pangilinan.          

Pangilinan also said he is confident Aquino is not merely riding on the legacy of his parents.         

“Senator Noynoy Aquino has nine years experience in the House of Representatives and three years in the Senate. He has accomplished a lot but was not given enough credit precisely because of his unassuming nature,” Pangilinan pointed out.          

“Now that he is in the limelight, his critics can only throw at him inconsequential things — his image, his mannerisms, his surname, etc.,” he noted.          

Despite his unassuming character, Aquino had done well on his job as a member of the Congress, Pangilinan observed.          

“He has authored and/or supported bills that safeguard our democracy. He has championed public servants’ accountability through the Budget Impoundment Control Act,” he said.          

“He is better prepared to assume the presidency than his mother 23 years ago when she led the struggle against the dictatorship. More than years of experience, it is strength of character and fortitude that our nation needs today and we believe that Noynoy has the integrity, the grit and the guts to lead the nation,” said Pangilinan.          

Last September 9, Aquino declared his presidential bid for the May 2010 elections.          

United Opposition (UNO) president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay said that Malacañang should not be “overly sensitive” whenever President Arroyo earns criticisms from the Opposition because she is not above public scrutiny like any other public official.          

Binay made the reaction after Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar asked opposition presidential candidates to spare Mrs. Arroyo who he referred to as the “Little Lady” from criticism, claiming the “negative” statements are only intended to boost their ratings.          

“There is nothing personal in the opposition’s statements against Mrs. Arroyo. Malacañang should not be overly sensitive about this because they should remember that public officials should always be accountable for their performance and conduct in office,” Binay said.          

“Mrs. Arroyo is no exception. Malacañang should not consider her as someone who is above public scrutiny,” he added.          

Binay also said criticisms being thrown to the President are indicative of her track record of poor approval ratings, poor social services, and numerous scandals.          

“The public would definitely view the candidates for the 2010 election with Mrs. Arroyo’s track record as their point of reference. They are surely looking for national leaders who are the direct opposite of Mrs. Arroyo,” he said.          

Binay added that Olivar’s statement reflects a partiality to the “controlled environment” of martial law.          

“Malacañang seems to yearn for those days when there was very little opposition and the media reported only the good and the beautiful. We’ve gone through that during the martial law period,” Binay said. 


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