ROME, Italy — President Aquino asked on Thursday the members of the Filipino community in Italy to choose the right successor for the presidency during next year’s election to sustain the gains of his administration in the past five years.In his meeting with the Filipino community here, the President said Filipinos must choose a new president who will selflessly serve the country and will protect the interest of Filipino citizens.
The President likened the bond between the country’s leader and the Filipino public to the husband and wife relationship of his parents, the late senator Beningno Aquino Jr and the former president Corazon Aquino.
“Hinahanap natin ang katugma: Katugma ng puso, katugma ng pangarap, tugmang pagkakataon na may pinunong uunahin kayo at handa naman ninyong ambagan para marating ang mga adhikain natin,” he told Filipinos in his speech at the Ergife Palace Hotel here.
“Kapag po nangyari ‘yon, at kung nasa tamang lugar ang puso ng pinuno, ipapaglaban niya kayo at kakabanggain niya ang kahit sinong aapi sa inyo, dahil nabibigyan niyo siya ng lakas, dahil alam niyang kahit ano ang mangyari, nasa likod niya kayo.”
“At gaya nga po ng aking ama at ina, talaga pong anuman ang narating o mararating ng isang bansa ay dahil sa pagtutulungan, tiwala, at pagkakaisa ng pinuno at ng publikong kanyang pinaglilingkuran.”
The present government achieved a lot economically with some experts projecting that the Philippines will become a first world nation in a generation if the pace of the current economic growth is sustained, he said.
The Filipino public must scrutinize the candidates vying for the presidency, he said advising them not to support candidates who are tainted with corruption and those who do not have competence to govern and have poor human rights record.
But the President expressed his confidence that his bosses, the Filipino people, will choose the next president wisely.
“Ako po, tiwalang-tiwala sa inyong lahat, alam ninyo na ang pagpapatakbo ng bansa ay hindi pagandahan lang ng patalastas sa kampanya,” he said.
“Ang sa akin po: Binigyan niyo kami ng pagkakataon, at dinala natin ang Pilipinas sa kinalalagyan nito ngayon. Lahat tayo, naghirap at nag-ambagan para dito. Makatuwiran naman po sigurong isipin na wala na sa ating pipiling isugal ang pinaghirapan natin.”
The Filipinos dreamed and had started to realize those dreams, he said. The goal now is to preserve what the country has achieved in the last five years, build on those successes and prevent itself from reverting back to uncertainty, he added.
“Totoong-totoo po: Tayo ang gumawa ng pagbabago. Tayo ang nangahas mangarap, tayo ang tumupad sa ating mga pangarap, at tayo ngayon ang aabot ng mas matatayog pang pangarap,” he said.
The President arrived here December 1 for a 4-day visit to Rome and Vatican. On Wednesday, he met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
He is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday morning before flying back to Manila in the afternoon. PNA