MANILA, Philippines – Saying he was not perfect, President Benigno Aquino III said during his last State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 27, he nevertheless fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.
Quoting from 2 Timothy, Chapter 4, Verse 7, Aquino said in his more than two-hour speech that he tried to make the best decisions and look after what was best for his “bosses.”
“Hahayaan ko na pong kasaysayan ang humusga.” (Let history judge me.)
He enumerated accomplishments under his administration, covering wide-ranging areas such as the economy, the fight against corruption, infrastructure, Armed Forces modernization, health and education, and social services. (WATCH: Highlights of Aquino's 2015 SONA)
He enumerated statistics and data to illustrate his administration’s achievements, among them:
"Ginawa ko ang pinakamainam na desisyon batay sa kaalaman at kakayahang mayroon tayo sa panahong iyon. Kaisa-isang interes ko ang kapakanan ng aking Boss. Ginawa ko ang lahat upang iwanang mas makatarungan, mas maunlad, at tumatamasa ng makabuluhang pagbabago ang ating bansa." (READ: Moods, stories, video and pictures during SONA 2015)
(I made the best decision based on what I knew and the capability we had at the time. My sole interest was what was best for my Boss. I did everything to leave a country that is more just, progressive, and experiencing significant change.)
Need for continuity
If Filipinos choose to return to the crooked path, he said we will forever be waiting for nothing. "Muli tayong mapapag-iwanan, at mababali ang pagtaas na trajectory ng ating ekonomiya." (We will again be left behind and the upward trajectory of our economy will be broken.)
"May sentimyentong umiiral na sa tingin ko, mahuhuli ng isang tanong, ang tanong po: 'Lahat ba ng ating naipundar, lahat ba ng ating pinaghirapan, maglalaho dahil lang sa isang eleksiyon?'" he continued. (There's a prevailing sentiment that I think can be captured by one question: "Will everything that we have invested and worked hard for disappear just because of an election?")
Referendum on 'Daang Matuwid'
"Sa ganitong pananaw, ang susunod na halalan ay referendum po para sa Daang Matuwid. Kayo ang magdedesisyon kung ang pagbabago bang ating tinatamasa ay magiging permanente, o tatanawin lang bilang tsamba at panandaliang pagbangon sa isang mahabang kasaysayan ng pagkakadapa."
(In this view, the next election will be a referendum on the Straight Path. You will decide if the change we are enjoying will be permanent or will this be viewed as a mere stroke of luck and a temporary resurrection from a long history of stumbling.)
If Filipinos opt to return to the past which was laden with corruption and wrongdoing, Aquino said, "'Pag iyon po ang inyong itinugon, ako’y mananahimik na lang." (If that is your response, I will keep quiet.)
But if people opt to continue with what his administration has started, Aquino said that even after he steps down from office, until his last breath, Filipinos can expect he will be with them. (READ: Aquino on Mar: 'You can't put a good man down')
"Makakaasa kayo, gaya ng walang patid ninyong pananatili bilang aking lakas, hindi rin kayo mag-iisa; sasamahan ko kayo, tatabihan ko kayo, magkakapit-bisig nating isasabuhay ang Daang Matuwid."
(You can hope, just like your being my source of never-ending strength, you will also not be alone; I will go with you, I will be beside you, arm in arm we will live the Right Path.)
Just the beginning
"Simula pa lang ito, at hinahamon tayo ng kasaysayang diligan ang transpormasyon, upang magbunga ito ng mas marami pang pagkakataon para sa mga susunod na salinlahi," Aquino said.
(This is just the start and we are being challenged by history to nurture our transformation so that it could bear fruit to more opportunities for future generations.)
He ended with, "Simula pa lang ito. Nasa unang yugto pa lang tayo ng dakilang kuwento ng sambayanang Pilipino. Sa gabay ng Panginoong Maykapal, at sa patuloy nating pagtahak sa Daang Matuwid, lalo pang tatayog ang mga pangarap na maaabot natin. Lalo pang lalawak ang kaunlarang tinatamasa natin. Nasa inyong mga kamay ang direksyon natin."
(This is just the beginning. This is just the first chapter of the Filipino people's great story. With the help of the Lord God and our continuing on the Right Path, we will be able to realize our dreams. The progress we are experiencing will become more widespread. The direction we will take is in your hands.) – Rappler.com