Aquino hails girl from Bacolod

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III lauded a girl from Bacolod City for showing "more discernment than some who are much older than her” as she expressed in her essay that came out in a national daily last week.

Ma. Francesca Santiago, 13, an eighth grader at the University of St. La Salle-Integrated School, wrote an article titled “The blame game” published in the Young Blood section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The President, in his speech at the celebration of the National Heroes Day in Taguig City, said Santiago expressed alarm by what she had read and had seen these days.


Santiago wrote: “The tidal wave of hatred for President Aquino has been alarming me lately. I got home from school a few days ago to the news that several groups have moved for his impeachment. This piece of news surprised me, to say the least. What did he do wrong this time?”

Aquino said, "To her, it seems as if the latest trend is to hurl criticism, even at those who are doing everything in their power to uphold the interests of the people. She also said: in the face of the challenges our country has experienced, instead of remaining open-minded and searching for the truth, there are some who choose to spread baseless accusations; instead of helping to find a solution, there are some who want to worsen the fear and suffering of our countrymen."

The President said it was clear to Santiago that everyone has a right to free expression, but at the same time, each one has the obligation to remain just and reasonable.

He said he was surprised to know that Santiago was only 13 years old, who at a very young age, already exhibits "more discernment than some who are much older than her.

"If this is the caliber of thinking of the youth today, I am certain that we are indeed facing a brighter future," he said.

During his speech, Aquino also warned the public against those pretending of pushing for reforms but only seeking to sow doubt and lies.

"The days of colonizers, of wars, of Martial Law are long gone. Yet there are still a select and selfish few who remain determined to bring back the old and abusive political systems. This is the fight that confronts us today: to remain vigilant against those who seek to sow doubt and lies; to stand firm and refuse to allow ourselves to be manipulated by those who only pretend at reform; to reject the crooked, and resolve to stay on the straight path," he said in a speech.

The President said that his administration has been treading the straight path for more than four years now.

"The seeds of change we have sown are already bearing fruit—and, seeing this, those who want to take advantage of the people are becoming desperate," he said, as he urged the people not to waste this opportunity. (with reports from Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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