ROCO: CAMPAIGN LIKE FIGHTING GOLIATH

CAGAYAN DE ORO, MISAMIS ORIENTAL, March 13, 2004
 
(STAR) Presidential candidate Raul Roco of the Alyansa ng Pag-Asa admitted Thursday that he is up against the massive political machinery of the administration coalition, but compared himself to David successfully battling Goliath.

"We all know of David," Roco told a group of leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church in the city led by Dr. Remelito Tabingo, the President of the South Philippine Union Conference. The Mindanao chapter of the Seventh-day Adventist church has around 500,000 members.

"That is why we’re happy to be given the opportunity to talk to all of you," Roco said. "The fight of David started the long tradition of excellence. And fight of Alyansa ng Pag-Asa, we hope, will start the long tradition of excellence in the political life of the Filipinos."

According to the Bible, the young David, armed with stones and a sling shot, killed the fearsome and oppressive Goliath by hitting the giant’s forehead with a stone.

Roco claimed that amidst the old-style politics of patronage and bribery being employed by President Arroyo, he believes the Filipino people will still carry the Alyansa ng Pag-Asa team to victory in the May polls.

In a meeting with barangay officials late Thursday, Roco said one barangay official told him that the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office is withholding the release of its scholarship fund until after the beneficiaries go to Malacañang Palace.

"This is like (in the time of) martial law. (Former president Ferdinand) Marcos before always made people feel that they owed him their rights...The rights of the people belong to the people," he said.

"It is very difficult for Mrs. Arroyo to establish moral ascendancy. That is why the question is whether we can last six more years where there is no moral ascendancy," Roco added.

The disclosure came after reports that the President is misusing various public funds for her own political gains, including those from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Study Now, Pay Later program.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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