By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Bb. Tayuman Recto-Yap and Sarsi Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines- The announcement of Philippine president that he would no longer seek a second-chance at the presidency received both cheers and jeers from supporters and ardent critics respectively.
While Manila lawmakers welcomed the announcement and interpreted it as go signal for the long-delayed charter change, groups highly critical of the Aquino administration had their eyebrows raised to the 100th floor and dismissed the statement as extremely ridiculous.
The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said it is too early to tell on the part of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to announce to the public that he would not seek election for any political post in 2016 after his term ends in 2016.
In a press statement sent to media, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Aquino made that statement to stop those who have political ambitions in 2016 to stop pestering him with criticisms beginning this year up to the end of his six year term as president.
“2011 is still five years away from 2016, and so a lot of things can happen in the political life of any Washington installed puppet president in the country like Noynoy. So far Aquino’s political vow not to run in 2016 is the first ridiculous thing that the 95 million Filipinos heard in this Year of the Rabbit,” Hicap said.
The Pamalakaya leader added: “Mr. Aquino is addicted to political power having experienced the presidency beginning the second half of 2010. With the support of the United States government and profit starved big business groups and powerful land monopolists in the country including the landed Cojuangc-Aquino clan, Mr. Aquino might just go for another giant kill at the electoral box-office in 2016”.
Aquino made his declaration not to seek another elective post in 2016 during the 56th general assembly of the League of Cities in the Philippines (LCP). The 50-year old bachelor president also appealed to city mayors to pursue reforms that would result to more investments and more jobs for Filipinos and that local government units would be stronger if red and corruption are further reduced.
Pamalakaya’s Hicap said the fate of the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita will play a decisive role in the decision of Aquino on whether to seek or not to seek another elective post in 2016. The militant leader said Aquino ran in 2010 primarily to save the Cojuangco-Aquino’s immoral and illegal claim over the hotly contested sugar estate between his family and the 10,000 farm worker beneficiaries.
“The case of Hacienda Luisita will play a decisive role or it would be major clincher whether Aquino will pursue another elective post or not in 2016. If his family wants keep possession of the 6,453 hectare sugar estate, then Mr. Aquino will be pushed by his class interest and his family to run for another term either as president, senator, congressman or prime minister if the present congress succeeds in pushing Charter Change,” Hicap stressed.
Pamalakaya said the newly launched counter-insurgency plan Oplan Bayanihan, the P 21-B conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and the P 96-B Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programs in the rural sector beginning this year could be maximized by Aquino in preparation for his possible electoral stint in 2016.