President Aquino on Wednesday said none of his predecessors, and even all the presidential candidates – except for administration bets Manuel Roxas II and his runningmate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo – can beat his administration in terms of solid achievements.
Aquino touted the country’s 6.2 percent annual average economic growth under his watch.
He noted that the last time the country recorded this kind of economic growth was in the 1970s, and even then the figures were doubtful.
The chairman of the ruling Liberal Party told the crowd at the Cebu Provincial Capitol that the figures available during the martial law era under former president Ferdinand Marcos were questionable to begin with, since it was an authoritarian regime.
Aquino said he is looking forward to enjoying his retirement on June 30.
He said what keeps him confident is what he has achieved.
Even if his critics or those he ordered charged and jailed succeed in inflicting physical harm on him after he steps down, Aquino said he cannot and will never accept that he was not able to help the country.
Meanwhile, Aquino again slammed opposition head Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Aquino pointed out that it has been two years since the corruption allegations have been hurled against someone, and it is just days to go before the May 9 presidential elections, but this person – whom he did not name – still refuses to air his side of the story.
“Most probably, if that person wins, all the more that we will not be able to know the answers to our questions,” Aquino said, obviously referring to Binay.
The President also did not spare the son and namesake of the former dictator, whom he believes will be like his father who committed human rights abuses and large-scale corruption.
He scored Marcos Jr. for saying that he is ready to ask for forgiveness if he only knew what he should be saying sorry for.
“It means ‘We did not do anything wrong’ and in that case, if they did not do anything bad, what they did was right so he will do it again,” Aquino said.
With regard to the tough-talking Duterte, Aquino said he could not understand how the Davao mayor has changed, considering that he was among those who opposed the Marcos dictatorship in the 1970s until 1986.
Aquino said it was unfortunate that on the 30th anniversary of the EDSA revolution, those who are said to be topping the surveys are those who will most likely bring the country back to a dictatorship.
Yesterday, Aquino warned voters that supporting a dictatorial style of leadership would be a step backwards and that there were no shortcuts to achieving peace and progress.
“There are those saying: it will be better for the Philippines to have a dictator for a leader. Up to now, it can be seen in the surveys coming out that there are those who want and are getting fooled by this type of leadership,” the President said during the launching of the Freedom Memorial Museum at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
Modeled after Holocaust museums and the Human Rights Memorial Circle of Chile, the Freedom Memorial Museum is envisioned to honor the men and women who risked their lives in defense of human rights and freedom for all Filipinos.
It aims to engrave in the minds of all Filipinos, especially present and future generations, and the global community, the cause and effect of the Marcos regime and its brutality.
After regaining democracy through a bloodless revolution, the President asked the people if they could take violations of human rights, including that of their families, once again.
The President said the people must realize that the current gains of the country were achieved in a democratic setting and that this could be easily undone if the next leaders would revert back to a one-man rule or a regime where only few were benefiting from available resources and opportunities.
“The question is: are you going to give toughies the chance to lead or those who make enemies every time they open their mouths?” Aquino asked.