Aquino on 'dishonest' allies: File charges vs them

MANILA, Philippines – After lauding the accomplishments of his administration brought about by good governance, President Benigno Aquino III encouraged the filing of charges against his allies if warranted. 

Aquino made the statement following a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston on Monday, September 22 (Tuesday, September 23 in Manila), where he was asked about allegedly “dishonest” Cabinet secretaries and public officials working for him.

“The courts are open. If they think I have dishonest people around me, then they can file the appropriate cases,” he said.

In various cases, the President has repeatedly vowed he will go where the evidence takes him, regardless of who gets implicated. In the past however, Aquino has consistently defended his Cabinet secretaries, despite links to corruption scams. Also on Monday, graft and plunder charges were filed against Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima with whom Aquino has close personal ties.

Aquino was in Boston as part of his 5-day United States trip. Before Boston, Aquino was in Europe for a 4-nation tour. He is now in New York where he is scheduled to speak at the United Nations Climate Change Summit.

He will then meet with top business executives during a roundtable with the US Chamber of Commerce, US-ASEAN Business Council and the US-Philippines Society, before paying a visit to Columbia University.

During his second day in Boston, Aquino also met with Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, and paid a visit to his family's former residence on Chestnut Hill, where they spent their years in exile during the Marcos dictatorship.

At Harvard, Aquino also vowed to support the passage of an Anti-Dynasty bill. He also denied to name who he will endorse in the 2016 presidential elections.

“We have a lot of material in the country but if I were to mention them now, I'm sure you can imagine the repercussions back home and the media frenzy," he said. -