HE DELIVERS today his sixth and last State of the National Address.

But President Benigno S. Aquino III and the citizens he calls his “Boss” might do well to go back to script and check his “Social Contract with the Filipino People.”

This, he said in his own words, would be the terms of reference or platform on which he would build his presidency.

Sixty-months hence, what is the verdict from the bosses? Will Aquino fail or pass, by his own promises? Are we facing a case of tinimbang ka at sapat sa sukat or tinimbang ka ngunit kulang?

In what seems like a preamble to his “Social Contract,” Aquino described a portrait of government and politics that he says he wants to stamp out. Is the picture gone or does it linger still?

Let us review what Aquino had promised to do as president.



* Its legitimacy is under question;
* It persecutes those who expose the truth about its illegitimacy and corruption;
* It stays in power by corrupting individuals and institutions;
* It confuses the people with half-truths and outright lies;
* It rewards, rather than punishes, wrongdoing;
* It offers no lasting solutions for the many problems of the country;
* It weakens the democratic institutions that hold our leaders accountable.
* It hinders our local governments from delivering basic services;
* It has no vision of governance beyond political survival and self-enrichment.

* Corruption robs our children of their protection, nutrition and education.
* Corruption destroys our families and communities.
* Corruption steals from our farmers and workers.
* Corruption deters businessmen from investing in our economy.
* This has eroded our spirit as individuals, as communities, as a people.
* We have lost trust in the democratic institutions we so courageously re-established after the dictatorship.
* Our proven capacity for collective outrage and righteous resistance has been weakened.
* We have ceased to depend on the patriotism and civic engagement that used to animate many of our efforts.
* We have become divided and alienated, focusing only on ourselves and on our individual pursuits.
* Our moral faculties as a people have been paralyzed.
* We have retreated into a dark world of self-absorption and cynicism. Our collective despair has reached its lowest point.


Cory Aquino passed on to the next life. From our sadness, we awakened to a shaft of light cutting through the darkness. She left the Filipinos a legacy of selfless love for country and people.

Filipinos’ connection with each other was rekindled. In death, she enabled us to hope again for decent government. The millions who connected with Cory at her funeral represented something more than euphoria, sentiment or transient emotions. They represented the reverent memory of a good leader in the past and the firm hope of having a similarly good leader in the future.


* Anchored on Ninoy’s and Cory’s legacy of change through the ways of democracy
* Embraces the qualities of integrity, humility and trust-worthiness in public leadership
* Recognizes the absence of these qualities in government as a major cause of widespread poverty, misery and despair.



1. A re-awakened sense of right and wrong, through the living examples of our highest leaders;

2. An organized and widely-shared rapid expansion of our economy through a government dedicated to honing and mobilizing our people’s skills and energies as well as the responsible harnessing of our natural resources;

3. A collective belief that doing the right thing does not only make sense morally, but translates into economic value as well;

4. Public institutions rebuilt on the strong solidarity of our society and its communities.


We will start to make these changes first in ourselves—by doing the right things, by giving value to excellence and integrity and rejecting mediocrity and dishonesty, and by giving priority to others over ourselves.

We will make these changes across many aspects of our national life.


1. From a President who tolerates corruption to a President who is the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption.

2. From a government that merely conjures economic growth statistics that our people know to be unreal to a government that prioritizes jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty.

3. From relegating education to just one of many concerns to making education the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.

4. From treating health as just another area for political patronage to recognizing the advancement and protection of public health, which includes responsible parenthood, as key measures of good governance.

5. From justice that money and connections can buy to a truly impartial system of institutions that deliver equal justice to rich or poor.


6. From government policies influenced by well-connected private interests to a leadership that executes all the laws of the land with impartiality and decisiveness.

7. From treating the rural economy as just a source of problems to recognizing farms and rural enterprises as vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth, worthy of re-investment for sustained productivity.

8. From government anti-poverty programs that instill a dole-out mentality ® to well-considered programs that build capacity and create opportunity among the poor and the marginalized in the country.

9. From a government that dampens private initiative and enterprise to a government that creates conditions conducive to the growth and competitiveness of private businesses, big, medium and small.

10. From a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when its citizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority.


11. From Presidential appointees chosen mainly out of political accommodation to discerning selection based on integrity, competence and performance in serving the public good.

12. From demoralized but dedicated civil servants, military and police personnel destined for failure and frustration due to inadequate operational support to professional, motivated and energized bureaucracies with adequate means to perform their public service missions.


13. From a lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and programs.


14. From a disjointed, short-sighted Mindanao policy that merely reacts to events and incidents to one that seeks a broadlysupported just peace and will redress decades of neglect of the Moro and other peoples of Mindanao.


15. From allowing environmental blight to spoil our cities, where both the rich and the poor bear with congestion and urban decay to planning alternative, inclusive urban developments where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy and safe communities.

16. From a government obsessed with exploiting the country for immediate gains to the detriment of its environment to a government that will encourage sustainable use of resources to benefit the present and future generations.

This platform is a commitment to change that Filipinos can depend on.
With trust in their leaders, everyone can work and build a greater future together.

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