“If he will again sugarcoat and put rhetoric in his SONA, surely it will have no effect because the public is already enlightened how a ‘disaster president’ he was.”
By BRUCE KYLE MALLO
MANILA — A few days before his State of the Nation Address (SONA), progressive groups advised President Aquino “to quit lying to the Filipino people.”
“He has no right to lead anymore, as it is evident how he has been an inefficient and a destructive leader to the people,” Gabriela Women’s Partylist Rep. Emmi de Jesus said, in a protest on July 20 in Mendiola.
The protest highlighted the verdict by the International People’s Tribunal held in Washington DC, which found Aquino and US President Barack Obama “guilty” of violations of the rights of the Filipino people.
“If he will again sugarcoat and put rhetoric in his SONA, surely it will have no effect because the public is already enlightened how a ‘disaster president’ he was, especially after the Yolanda tragedy,” she said.
Even as ordinary people suffer from poverty, the Aquino administration has made the situation more miserable by using force and repression.
“This is his last SONA and the last year for his Oplan Bayanihan, so he will build up on this opportunity so as to destroy the ranks of those who protest and are critical of his policies and what the wrongs he has done in his five years in office,” Gabriela chair emerita Liza Maza said.
De Jesus said various groups had called on government to put a stop to policies that “open the gates” for foreign countries’ political agenda.
“Should he not listen to these cries, the people will fight even more. This also serves as a challenge to the next president,” De Jesus said.
Maza said Aquino’s programs have added burden to the people, such as the K-12 curriculum, privatization under the Public-Private Partnerships that are slowly denying ordinary citizens access to basic public utilities.
���These are the results how the Aquino government has been a puppet of the neoliberal agenda by the United States of America,” she added.
“There has never been a presidentiable today with a comprehensive and straight solution and program to the root causes of problems we are facing now,” Maza told Bulatlat. The country needs democratization of leadership, genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, and an independent foreign policy, she said.