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AQUINO: IT'S A GREAT HONOR TO SERVE MY BOSSES


MAY 19 -President Aquino walks to the Rizal Ceremonial Hall for the signing of Republic Act 10821, the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, at Malacañang yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES It is a great honor to serve the Filipino people and leave behind a better Philippines, President Aquino said yesterday. Speaking in public for the first time since the May 9 elections, Aquino told the nation that he would be leaving behind a government in better shape than when he took office. “Until the end, it is a great honor for a Noynoy Aquino to serve a noble race, my bosses, you, the Filipino nation,” he said. Aquino stressed he would be stepping down without regrets, knowing he did and would do his best to be of service until his last day in the presidency. “What I can say is, this coming June 30, at exactly 12 noon, I will step down from office at peace. I can look back at the Filipino nation with head held up high and tell them eye-to-eye: I have been true to all of you. I fulfilled the mandate given to me by my bosses. We can truly bequeath to the next generation a Philippines that is undeniably better than what we found,” Aquino said in his speech after the signing of Republic Act 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act. “Moreover, we were able to do this because we helped one another, we uplifted each other and put the nation first before our own selves, before our own welfare,” the President said. Aquino said as of yesterday, he has 43 days left as the country’s chief executive, but would continue to work and take the opportunity to serve. Aquino refrained from mentioning anything about the elections but stayed to have a photo opportunity with the children and other guests during the ceremonial signing of the new law. READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte must be ‘fully grounded in reality’ – Aquino


MAY 20 -President Aquino and Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte (MB File)
All the strong and brutal campaign rhetoric of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte may have to take a backseat when he assumes power next month. With a few weeks before the transfer of power, President Aquino is counting on his successor, who won popular support with his kill-all criminals campaign, to soften his approach and adjust to “the realities of governance.” “We’re not in a dictatorship, we’re bound by laws,” the President said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last Thursday in Malacañang. “I’m sure my successor wants a good legacy,” said Aquino, who earlier warned of the return of dictatorship if Duterte is elected in office. When he takes over the reigns of Malacañang on June 30, Duterte must be “fully grounded in reality as to what can be done, when it can be done, how it has to be done,” Aquino said. Aquino recognized that Duterte’s killing spree pledge was made “in the heat of the campaign” and that his successor would temper his strategy. “Undoubtedly he has begun to recognize that certain rhetoric that was allowed in the campaign might not be allowed in governance. He will adjust to the realities of governance,” Aquino said in another interview with Time Magazine that day. Before the May 9 elections, the President campaigned strongly against Duterte, raising concerns about the Davao City mayor’s dictatorial tendency and unclear campaign platform. At one point, Aquino made a veiled comparison between Duterte and Adolf Hitler, reminding voters to remember how the Nazi leader came to power. READ MORE...

ALSO: Realities of governance to mellow Rody – Noy
[RELATED: Law improving children’s protection signed]


MAY 21 -Take it from someone who’s been there, done that: the realities of running the country would tone down tough-guy instincts, according to President Aquino. STAR/File photo
Dirty Rody? Toughie Rody? Take it from someone who’s been there, done that: the realities of running the country would tone down tough-guy instincts, according to President Aquino.
“We’re not a dictatorship; we’re bound by laws,” Aquino said in an interview Thursday with editors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Time magazine. When asked if Rodrigo Duterte’s victory was a repudiation of his governance, Aquino said, “I don’t think so. He might have been presented with facts that he was not aware of during the campaign. Undoubtedly, he has begun to recognize that a certain rhetoric that was allowed in the campaign might not be allowed in governance. He will have to adjust to the realities of governance.” Duterte has promised to kill thousands of criminals to guarantee law and order, even saying that the fish in Manila Bay would get fat from the sheer number of dead bodies dumped there. But Aquino expects such violent rhetoric to change as the days pass. He said he also expects the feisty mayor to tread the straight path he had started. READ MORE...RELATED, Law improving children’s protection signed...

ALSO: Lines drawn in battle for House speaker’s post
[RELATED: Belmonte - Alvarez is next Speaker]


MAY 19 -The election for speaker will be held in the morning of July 25, when the 17th Congress opens its first regular session. Philstar.com file
s – The battle lines for the speakership in the House of Representatives are now being drawn ahead of the opening of the 17th Congress on July 25 under the incoming Duterte administration.
On one side is incumbent Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who is counting on the support of some 120 lawmakers from the Liberal Party (LP) and other House allies. His challenger is Davao del Norte representative-elect Pantaleon Alvarez, secretary general of PDP-Laban and the preferred House chief of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte. Alvarez’s supporters in the House staged a show of force yesterday at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City, and invited other lawmakers in the incoming Congress to be for “change.” Fifty-nine reelected and returning House members from various political parties and party-list groups joined Alvarez for a luncheon meeting at the hotel to drum up support. “On behalf of the Duterte administration, we would like to sincerely thank you for your support and we have a lot of things to do to execute the changes that the Duterte administration has promised to the Filipino people,” Alvarez told his supporters. “We hope that in the days to come, we shall be united in pursuing the legislation needed to effect the necessary changes,” he said. The election for speaker will be held in the morning of July 25, when the 17th Congress opens its first regular session. In the afternoon, Duterte is expected to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. READ MORE...RELATED, Belmonte: Alvarez is next Speaker...

ALSO: ‘Impossible Dream’ makes President Aquino pensive at De Lima’s party


MAY 21 -PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO lll PRESSCON/ JANUARY 15, 2016 President Benigno Aquino llI during an interview held in Malolos City, Bulacan after the pesentation of the concession agreement for the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project. President Benigno Aquino III defended his decision to veto the bill raising the monthly pension of SSS retirees by P2,000. The president said that his decision was not made out of whim as the SSS would go bankrupt if the monthly pension was raised. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO For much of the nearly three hours he spent at the victory party of Liberal Party Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday night, President Benigno Aquino III was in high spirits, even gamely singing two songs on condition that no one would take a video and post it on social media. But when singing sensation Gerphil Flores took the stage and sang “The Impossible Dream,” President Aquino’s demeanor changed noticeably. In almost an instant, his smile faded and was replaced by a faraway look. “The Impossible Dream (The Quest),” which became the most popular song from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, was the favorite song of the President’s father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, who led the opposition in fighting the 14-year authoritarian rule of former President Ferdinand Marcos. READ: Aquino at Harvard: I am chasing my father’s ‘impossible’ dream Have faith: Aquino likens presidency to ‘Impossible Dream’ Along with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon,” “The Impossible Dream” became the opposition’s rallying song against the iron grip of martial law that Marcos declared in 1972. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Noy: It’s a great honor to serve my bosses


President Aquino walks to the Rizal Ceremonial Hall for the signing of Republic Act 10821, the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, at Malacañang yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, MAY 23, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica May 19, 2016– It is a great honor to serve the Filipino people and leave behind a better Philippines, President Aquino said yesterday.

Speaking in public for the first time since the May 9 elections, Aquino told the nation that he would be leaving behind a government in better shape than when he took office.

“Until the end, it is a great honor for a Noynoy Aquino to serve a noble race, my bosses, you, the Filipino nation,” he said.

Aquino stressed he would be stepping down without regrets, knowing he did and would do his best to be of service until his last day in the presidency.

“What I can say is, this coming June 30, at exactly 12 noon, I will step down from office at peace. I can look back at the Filipino nation with head held up high and tell them eye-to-eye: I have been true to all of you. I fulfilled the mandate given to me by my bosses. We can truly bequeath to the next generation a Philippines that is undeniably better than what we found,” Aquino said in his speech after the signing of Republic Act 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act.

“Moreover, we were able to do this because we helped one another, we uplifted each other and put the nation first before our own selves, before our own welfare,” the President said.

Aquino said as of yesterday, he has 43 days left as the country’s chief executive, but would continue to work and take the opportunity to serve.

Aquino refrained from mentioning anything about the elections but stayed to have a photo opportunity with the children and other guests during the ceremonial signing of the new law.

READ MORE...

Before he began his speech, Aquino also took notice of one of the children in the audience who looked very serious.

“The smallest but the most serious today. Take a look, even the way he claps is really for all intents and purposes,” Aquino remarked.

Aquino has been saying he was looking forward to having a vacation and leading a normal and quiet life after stepping down from office.

He said he would like to see the various tourism sites in the country.

Asked about the possible role Aquino would play after being president, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Tuesday the chief executive could continue to take part in democratic processes like his late mother Corazon, and push for advocacies of civil society and non-governmental organizations, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises.


MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte must be ‘fully grounded in reality’ – Aquino by Genalyn Kabiling May 20, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share1 Email0 Share34 image:


President Aquino and Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte (MB File)

All the strong and brutal campaign rhetoric of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte may have to take a backseat when he assumes power next month.

With a few weeks before the transfer of power, President Aquino is counting on his successor, who won popular support with his kill-all criminals campaign, to soften his approach and adjust to “the realities of governance.”

“We’re not in a dictatorship, we’re bound by laws,” the President said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last Thursday in Malacañang. “I’m sure my successor wants a good legacy,” said Aquino, who earlier warned of the return of dictatorship if Duterte is elected in office.

When he takes over the reigns of Malacañang on June 30, Duterte must be “fully grounded in reality as to what can be done, when it can be done, how it has to be done,” Aquino said.

Aquino recognized that Duterte’s killing spree pledge was made “in the heat of the campaign” and that his successor would temper his strategy.

“Undoubtedly he has begun to recognize that certain rhetoric that was allowed in the campaign might not be allowed in governance. He will adjust to the realities of governance,” Aquino said in another interview with Time Magazine that day.

Before the May 9 elections, the President campaigned strongly against Duterte, raising concerns about the Davao City mayor’s dictatorial tendency and unclear campaign platform. At one point, Aquino made a veiled comparison between Duterte and Adolf Hitler, reminding voters to remember how the Nazi leader came to power.

READ MORE...

Duterte however still managed to earn a landslide victory with more than 15 million votes in the last presidential elections. Voters rejected Aquino’s anointed one, Mar Roxas, and chose Duterte, who promised a bloody campaign against drug lords and other criminals.

In the WSJ article, the President also “applauded” Duterte’s campaign that “captured the imagination of the people” by focusing on popular issues such as crime.

Aquino admitted that the administration’s accomplishments were eclipsed by Duterte’s promise of change with a humorous tone. Pondering on his mistakes as leader, Aquino said he should have devoted more time communicating his achievements to the public.

Aquino however refused to acknowledge that Duterte’s victory was a repudiation of his six years in power.

“Well, we will study it but [his victory] was about a successful campaign. Even that 40% [of the electorate that voted for Duterte], without taking anything away from them, what portion is always interested in being on the winning side?” Aquino said.

“Is it a repudiation? I don’t think so. He might be presented with facts that he was not aware of in the campaign,” he added.


PHILSTAR

Realities of governance to mellow Rody – Noy By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 21, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Take it from someone who’s been there, done that: the realities of running the country would tone down tough-guy instincts, according to President Aquino. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Dirty Rody? Toughie Rody?

Take it from someone who’s been there, done that: the realities of running the country would tone down tough-guy instincts, according to President Aquino.

“We’re not a dictatorship; we’re bound by laws,” Aquino said in an interview Thursday with editors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Time magazine.

When asked if Rodrigo Duterte’s victory was a repudiation of his governance, Aquino said, “I don’t think so. He might have been presented with facts that he was not aware of during the campaign. Undoubtedly, he has begun to recognize that a certain rhetoric that was allowed in the campaign might not be allowed in governance. He will have to adjust to the realities of governance.”

Duterte has promised to kill thousands of criminals to guarantee law and order, even saying that the fish in Manila Bay would get fat from the sheer number of dead bodies dumped there.

But Aquino expects such violent rhetoric to change as the days pass. He said he also expects the feisty mayor to tread the straight path he had started.

READ MORE...

“We are all patriots. It is in our interest to help him. Hopefully, he will do all of the right things that will make it easy for people to support him,” Aquino said.

He added, “As long as we are marching in a direction that uplifts the lot of our people, why should there be any basis for conflict or disagreement?”

While Aquino refuses to be personally given credit for the robust economic growth that outpaced even China in the first quarter of the year, Aquino believes his six-year administration succeeded in paving the way for a burgeoning economy. He has said that he Philippines is no longer known as the “Sick Man of Asia.”

“I’d like to think that a lot of the problems we had to face have been eliminated. Hence, they’re not only starting off from a higher plane but with a lot of the hindrances (gone)… I will not pass on to the next administration problems that were passed on to me,” Aquino stressed.

During his term, he consistently blamed his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for the state of the nation she left behind. Aquino said he was kept busy untangling the web of corruption Arroyo had put in place in what he has repeatedly dubbed as the “lost decade.”

“We have tried to address everything we could with the time that we had,” Aquino related.

He also said he did not expect Duterte to change course on the conditional cash transfer or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), because millions of Filipinos have benefited from it. – With Delon Porcalla

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Law improving children’s protection signed By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 19, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


President Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman join children following the signing of Republic Act 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act at Malacañang yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino signed yesterday a law improving care and protection for children affected by disasters and increasing accountability among communities that will fail to ensure their welfare.

Republic Act 10821, or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, establishes a comprehensive emergency program to protect children and support their immediate recovery.

The law requires a heightened surveillance against child trafficking and other violence against children in the aftermath of disasters and calamities, a system of restoring civil documents for children and their families, and protection against exploitation.

It also paves the way for an increase in children’s participation in disaster-risk reduction planning and post-disaster needs assessments, less disruption of education activities with the reduced use of schools as evacuation centers and proper use of temporary learning spaces, improved care and steps for family tracing and reunification for unaccompanied and separated children.

Aquino said the law was needed, as children are the most vulnerable in times of disaster, accidents and other unexpected developments.

He said the provisions in the law were actually included in the existing strategy under the disaster risk reduction and management, but the steps and processes that must be taken for the children must be strengthened and made formal.

READ MORE...

Aquino said the accountability of all sectors of society must also be clear in ensuring the welfare of the children before, during and after disasters, in order to lay down the foundation for the proper care of children.

“The mandate of the local and national governments to build child-friendly spaces, evacuation centers, transitional shelters with facilities for the needs of children and pregnant mothers becomes stronger,” the President said.

He said the law also requires the immediate provision of children’s basic needs in times of disaster, including food, clothing, education and medical services.

The President said it would strengthen the security and safety of Filipino children through child-responsive training programs for all responders in calamity hit areas. – With Rainier Allan Ronda


PHILSTAR

Lines drawn in battle for House speaker’s post By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 19, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


The election for speaker will be held in the morning of July 25, when the 17th Congress opens its first regular session. Philstar.com file

MANILA, Philippines – The battle lines for the speakership in the House of Representatives are now being drawn ahead of the opening of the 17th Congress on July 25 under the incoming Duterte administration.

On one side is incumbent Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who is counting on the support of some 120 lawmakers from the Liberal Party (LP) and other House allies.

His challenger is Davao del Norte representative-elect Pantaleon Alvarez, secretary general of PDP-Laban and the preferred House chief of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte.

Alvarez’s supporters in the House staged a show of force yesterday at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City, and invited other lawmakers in the incoming Congress to be for “change.”

Fifty-nine reelected and returning House members from various political parties and party-list groups joined Alvarez for a luncheon meeting at the hotel to drum up support.

“On behalf of the Duterte administration, we would like to sincerely thank you for your support and we have a lot of things to do to execute the changes that the Duterte administration has promised to the Filipino people,” Alvarez told his supporters.

“We hope that in the days to come, we shall be united in pursuing the legislation needed to effect the necessary changes,” he said.

The election for speaker will be held in the morning of July 25, when the 17th Congress opens its first regular session. In the afternoon, Duterte is expected to deliver his first State of the Nation Address.

READ MORE...

He said members of the “coalition for change” number at least 80 congressmen coming from PDP-Laban, Nacionalista Party (NP), the National Unity Party (NUP), the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Lakas-CMD and even from the LP.

He said House members from other parties supporting his speakership bid need not renounce their political affiliation and join PDP-Laban.

However, if the LP ends up as the minority, its members who have voted for him will have to swear their loyalty to PDP-Laban, he said.

“Hopefully, somebody will mediate for possible coalition (between LP and PDP-Laban),” Alvarez told reporters.

Alvarez and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, chairman of the Lakas-CMD, signed yesterday a document formalizing their parties’ alliance.

Alvarez said he is confident he can obtain over 150 votes. The incoming House is expected to have nearly 300 members. “If all the big parties coalesce, I’ll get way more than minimum votes needed,” he said.

Alvarez vowed to reduce the LP or the incoming minority bloc to a “bite size” of 20 members.

He said among the priorities of the chamber, if he is elected, is the reimposition of the death penalty and amending the Constitution for a shift to a federal system of government.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said many party-list congressmen are expected to join Alvarez, who promised them “equitable distribution” of committee chairmanships.

Alvarez held the same congressional post from 1998 to 2001 and served as transportation and communications secretary under the Arroyo administration.

--------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Belmonte: Alvarez is next Speaker SHARES: 453 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 06:07 PM May 20th, 2016


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. INQUIRER PHOTO

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has said majority of Liberal Party members in the House of Representatives are shifting their support for the Congress leadership bid of incoming Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

In a text message on Friday, Belmonte, who is also Liberal Party vice chair, said that with majority of the numbers favoring Alvarez, even he was sure the Mindanao congressman would be the next Speaker.

Belmonte is seeking to reclaim the Speaker post counting on the numbers of around 100 Liberals, but it looks like he has conceded to the anointed Speaker of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Confirming that he met with the Speaker aspirant in his house on Thursday, Belmonte said many Liberals were planning to shift to the majority to vote for Alvarez, one of three members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in the next 17th Congress.

“We talked at my house yesterday. I told him most of the Liberal Party bloc would like to join the majority and support the Duterte administration and him for Speaker,” Belmonte said.

“I’m sure he will be the next Speaker,” Belmonte added.

Asked about Alvarez’s claim that no less than 50 or half of the Liberals in the incoming 17th Congress had shifted their support to PDP-Laban, Belmonte said, “maybe more.”

READ MORE...

If Belmonte loses to Alvarez as Speaker, he will be the minority leader in Congress, according to the House rules.

Alvarez has said that with half of the Liberals joining the PDP-Laban, the ruling party will be reduced to the minority in Congress.

As of his latest count, Alvarez said he had 180 lawmakers across party lines to his side, more than the majority of the 290-member House.

Duterte is consolidating his forces in the lower house to push for his legislative agenda, which includes the reinstatement of the death penalty and the amendment of the Constitution by Constitutional Convention to convert the country’s system of government to federal.

Seen as big boost to Alvarez’s Speaker bid are PDP-Laban’s coalition agreements with major political parties including the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the country’s second biggest political party next to the Liberal Party with 44 incoming representatives; the Nacionalista Party; the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats; and the party-list bloc. RC/rga

RELATED STORY

NPC allies with Duterte’s PDP-Laban, backs Alvarez for Speaker


INQUIRER

‘Impossible Dream’ makes President Aquino pensive at De Lima’s party
By: Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:26 AM May 21st, 2016


PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO lll PRESSCON/ JANUARY 15, 2016 President Benigno Aquino llI during an interview held in Malolos City, Bulacan after the pesentation of the concession agreement for the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project. President Benigno Aquino III defended his decision to veto the bill raising the monthly pension of SSS retirees by P2,000. The president said that his decision was not made out of whim as the SSS would go bankrupt if the monthly pension was raised. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

For much of the nearly three hours he spent at the victory party of Liberal Party Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday night, President Benigno Aquino III was in high spirits, even gamely singing two songs on condition that no one would take a video and post it on social media.

But when singing sensation Gerphil Flores took the stage and sang “The Impossible Dream,” President Aquino’s demeanor changed noticeably.

In almost an instant, his smile faded and was replaced by a faraway look.

“The Impossible Dream (The Quest),” which became the most popular song from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, was the favorite song of the President’s father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, who led the opposition in fighting the 14-year authoritarian rule of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

READ: Aquino at Harvard: I am chasing my father’s ‘impossible’ dream

Have faith: Aquino likens presidency to ‘Impossible Dream’

Along with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon,” “The Impossible Dream” became the opposition’s rallying song against the iron grip of martial law that Marcos declared in 1972.

READ MORE...

READ: I saw martial law up close and personal

I am what I am because of martial law’

Read all about it: Know the truth from the myths

Roxas defeat

But the song might as well describe the state of Mr. Aquino’s political vision gone awry with the recent defeat of the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer, Mar Roxas, in the May 9 elections.

The President had described the 2016 presidential election as a referendum on his six-year term that revolved around a “daang matuwid” anticorruption platform meant to end poverty.

Despite economic reforms that led to the Philippines’ 6.9-percent growth in gross domestic product during the first three months of this year and Mr. Aquino’s warning that a win by tough-talking Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte could mean a slide back to authoritarian rule, the mayor won by an overwhelming majority to become the country’s 16th President.

But though Roxas landed only second in the presidential count, the LP vice presidential contender, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, appeared headed for a win, with a margin of more than 200,000 votes over her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Seven LP senators

Seven administration candidates, including De Lima, also made it to the Top 12 senatorial slots. They are Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto and Panfilo Lacson, former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority head Joel Villanueva, and PhilHealth executive Risa Hontiveros.

READ: Comelec proclaims 12 winning senators

Robredo was among the handful of government officials who attended De Lima’s party at the Quezon Memorial Circle’s QCX Museum. Most of the guests were supporters, friends and family members of the former justice secretary.

At De Lima’s party, President Aquino snapped out of his pensive mood when Flores, one of his favorite singers, hit an octave to end the song. Mr. Aquino turned to De Lima with a smile that seemed to say, “Wow, how does she do that?”, as he applauded along with everyone else.

Called to give his message to his former justice secretary, the President assured her of his support and said: “We will survive many challenges with you providing the moral booster. A lot of the dreams of our people are with you, and our prayers are also with you as you embark on this new phase in your career.

“To all of us who believe in you, who (believe that) you have a calling, and that you can always be depended upon, we will make sure that we will always be behind you, if necessary, beside you, or again if we have to be, in front of you. We will always be there for you,” Mr. Aquino told De Lima.

Detractors

In an interview with Inquirer editors and reporters on May 6, President Aquino had sounded philosophical when it came to his detractors.

“One thing I learned transitioning from martial law to my mom becoming President (after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that ousted the Marcoses), was that the easiest thing to do is to criticize.

“But when you want to determine who is serious and who really wants to do something, that person (not only criticizes but) also tells you the alternative. The person who cannot give you the alternative is really just mouthing off and in effect, is the false prophet,” the President said.

“I really hope that God does not have in mind for us a new set of lessons since we have forgotten the lessons that led us to martial law… I hope we’re not going to have a Round 2,” he said. TVJ

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