Source: Sun Star
MANILA (Updated 3:40 p.m.) — President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday that the country’s democracy was further strengthened by the ouster Renato Corona, the former Chief Justice who was ousted by the Senate for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
“The whole country bore witness to the impeachment trial of Mr. Corona, the former Chief Justice. This was a process that took five months. And it was a process that strengthened our democracy,” Aquino said in his speech at the 114th Independence Day celebration.
Aquino led the freedom day rites at the historic Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, which he dubbed as the “cradle of our Constitution.”
He said Filipinos have the right to know the truth, and the right to know that the democratic system is alive and working in the Philippines.
“It was a process that once again underscored to all public servants that the power lent to them by Juan dela Cruz comes with responsibilities, and accountability,” he added.
MANILA. President Benigno Aquino III delivers his speech during the Flag Raising and Wreath Laying Ceremonies in commemoration of the 114th Philippine Independence Day at the Barasoain Church Historical Landmark in Malolos, Bulacan on Tuesday. (Robert Viñas/Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Aquino is the staunchest critic of the former chief magistrate describing him as the “stumbling block” to the reforms of the administration.
“True democracy for all Filipinos: this is the essence of our Constitution; this is the lifeblood of our free State. Cognizant of the mandate enshrined in our Constitution, we will not allow it to be infected, sullied or used by anyone who seeks only to best his fellow men, or wallow in power,” the President said.
Aquino believed that country is on its way to the “straight and righteous path.”
“Perhaps it may be that corruption became widespread not only because the numbers of the power-hungry grew, but also because the numbers of the apathetic and the silent grew. And so the beacon of democracy went dim, because no one took the initiative to nurture its flame,” he said.
He mentioned some officials who blatantly violated the law, and just as blatantly escaped accountability.
“The Constitution that was meant to be the refuge of the common citizen became a plaything in the hands of those who wielded power with impunity. They acted as if they held the blindfold of justice in their hands, as if they were licensed to amend, reduce, change, and distort our Constitution,” he further related.
He cited the reforms instituted by the government particularly in job generation, in the judicial system, social service, and responsible and transparent spending.
Aquino noted the importance of doing his speech in Barasoain Church.
It was the site where Congress established the First Republic of the Philippines, the Constitution of Malolos, and the ratification and promulgation of the first Constitution of a Republic in Asia.
Malacanang earlier said that it will be practice of Aquino to visit historical places all over the country during the celebration of Independence Day.
Aquino said next year, the commemoration of freedom day will be at Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan, where the opening salvo of the 1896 Philippine Revolution took place.
“And we have laid out plans to celebrate it in the Visayas, and after that, in Mindanao,” he said.
“Why do we hold our yearly celebrations in these historical places? We do this so we can emphasize that we did not just gain our freedom in Kawit, or in Malolos, or in Luzon alone,” he said.
Right after his event in Bulacan, the President went back to Malacanang for the annual Vin d’ Honneur with the members of the Diplomatic Corps.
In the traditional toast, the President said “Filipino holds his head high” as the country mark freedom day with renewed hope and optimism.
He said “promises of reform and hard work are becoming tangible realities for each and every Filipino.”
He vowed to renew commitment to work for the good of the country.
He stressed that prosperity cannot come in isolation and it requires cooperation.
He urged the nation to support the government in its endeavors “to achieve the fullest potential of all peoples.”
He also asked his fellow workers in government to continue to live by the ideals of accountability, transparency, and genuine compassion.
“In a world where the challenges of today may compel nations to look inwards: let us resolve to work together in amity and in peace,” he said.
For his part, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto offered a toast for a new and better future for the President and the Filipino people. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)
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Peregrino Natividad Yesterday 08:36 PM
P-noy made a good speech! The plan to celebrate the ocasion in other historical places outside Manila is an excellent idea. Would it be meaningful that only the Tagalogs celebrate the national day…. as it implies whole nation should celebrate this day.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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