PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III criticized the Arroyo administration and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) during the proclamation rally of Team PNoy in Quiapo, Manila, Tuesday night.
Aquino said Filipinos should not forget the controversies that hounded the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which involved also her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo.
Among the controversies were the fertilizer fund scam, the NBN-ZTE deal, the Hello Garci scandal, purchase of second-hand choppers, and the over importation of rice.
The President also cited the midnight appointment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was later removed from his post following a lengthy impeachment trial in the Senate.
These controversies, he said, would not be allowed by the Team PNoy senatorial candidates if they win in the May midterm elections.
"Ayaw nilang manaig ang tuwid na daan. Ang balak nila: ang imaniobra mula ang pamahalaan pabalik sa lumang sistema. Ngayong gabi, malinaw kung nasaan ang panig ng labindalawang kasama natin sa entablado," Aquino said.
Aquino said he won't be able to pursue reforms alone and he needs the 12 candidates of Team PNoy to help him in his agenda.
“May ilang nagsasabi na nilalabanan ang katiwalian, kung ganon bakit niyo kakampi ngayon ang nakinabang sa nakaraang administrasyon?” Aquino said supposedly referring to the UNA of Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
UNA is carrying allies and former supporters of former President Arroyo.
The complete slate of Team PNoy, including the guest candidates of the administration slate and the UNA, were present Tuesday.
In his opening remarks, re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim asked the citizens of Manila City to vote 12-0 for Team PNoy.
“If we want a better, clean and honest governance and delivery of basic services of our people, let’s vote straight Team PNoy,” Lim said.
Grace Poe-Llamanzares, the daughter of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., introduced herself as the “pinakamagalang na kandidato” (respectful candidate) because of the name “Poe”.
Llamanzares said she needs the help of the electorate to continue what his father has started when he ran and lost for president in the 2004 elections.
Llamanzares is one of the guest candidates of Team PNoy and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
Aurora Representative Sonny Angara said he will push for a bigger budget on education, health, and other social services.
Former senator Jamby Madrigal and re-electionists Senator Legarda and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, meanwhile, opted to use up their allotted time to say why their fellow Team PNoy candidates deserve the vote of the nation.
Legarda, who had always belonged to the top two in poll surveys, said she needs the help of Team PNoy senatoriables to push for expanded scholarships in universities, health care reform, and policies for the environment.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said voters should scrutinize candidates who can be depended on and will fight for their rights.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano meanwhile took a swipe at the former First Couple and their alleged corrupt acts.
“Dati bawal magnakaw ng kaunti kasi nakakulong. Pag madami naman, deretso sa Malacanang,” he said as vowed to fight against corruption. Cayetano was wearing red boxing gloves during his speech.
Former Akbayan party-list Risa Hontiveros wants to represent women in the Senate. He thanked Aquino for making it possible to pass the reproductive health (RH) law. This is Hontiveros’ second try for senator. She ended up at the 13h spot in the 2010 elections.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who fought his way to the Senate through an electoral protest, wants to inspire Filipinos to “never give up” if they are fighting for the truth.
“Use your kokote, dito tayo sa Team PNoy kasi sila ang naniniwala na bawal ang dayaan sa tuwid na daan…It’s more fun pag walang dayaan,” Pimentel said. Pimentel’s father, former senator Aquilino Jr., also attended the rally.
Ramon Magsaysay Jr., the supposed “true” Magsaysay, called on Filipino to be a hero. The word hero he says stands for honesty, energy, results, and optimism.
Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, the cousin of President Aquino, said the sacrifices of his relatives served as an inspiration for him to serve the public. Aquino wants to represent the youth in the Senate.
Former Las Pinas City Representative Cynthia Villar, wife of Senator Manny Villlar, said she will push for livelihood projects in all cities and town across the country.
Also present in the kick-off rally are LP officials Jun Abaya, secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, Butch Abad, Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Quezon City Mayor Hebert Bautista, Albay Governor Joey Salcedo, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, and celebrity couples Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres, and Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales were also there to support the administration candidates. Aga and Lucy are both members of the ruling party. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)