CEBU CITY, Philippines – Reelectionist Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino celebrated his 42nd birthday with children in conflict with the law (CICL) at the Cebu City Operation Second Chance Center on Tuesday afternoon, May 7.
“We should be a country of second chances. At ang Diyos po natin, Diyos po ‘yan ng second, third, fourth at fifth chance… Mahalaga na makuha niyo ang second chance na hinahanap ninyo," Aquino told residents of the homecare.
(We should be a country of second chances. And our God, He is a God of second, third, fourth and fifth chances... It is important that you get the second chance that you are looking for.)
Aquino said that he hoped that they would one day be able to finish college.
There are 93 residents in the homecare, 81 of them are regular, which means that their cases have been filed at court. The remaining 12 are temporary residents with cases still pending at the city prosecutor’s office.
Most of the residents are interned for using illegal drugs.
In 2016, Aquino gave P5 million to the facility. He said that he would continue contributing to the homecare because he believed that the residents deserved the second chance. He also said that although these children have done bad things in the past, they could still be rehabilitated.
“Malinis at mapayapang election, I think yun yong isang nais po nating lahat noh, pangalawa na sana po yung iboto ng mga tao mga lingkod bayan na talagang nagmamahal at nagmamalasakit sa taong bayan, mga tao po na mag tratrabaho sa mga laylayan ng lipunan, gaya po ng mga kabataan po dito,” Aquino tells reporters.
(A clean and peaceful election, I think that is one of the things that we all hope for, second is that the people would vote for public officials who truly love and empathize for the public, people who work for the marginalized, just like these kids here.)
He also said that he hoped the public would vote for people who would find solutions to problems. Aquino also said he was hopeful that candidates of Otso Diretso would make it to the proverbial 'Magic 12.'
When asked about his reaction to the joint press conference of Cebu Governor Hilario “Junjun” Davide and fellow reelectionist SenatorJV Ejercito on Monday, May 6, Aquino said he did not mind. Aquino added he was with Davide and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale on the first day of the campaign period.
Though Otso Diretso has been to Cebu at least 3 times, local politicians have refrained from being seen with the opposition bets on the campaign stage.
However, after endorsing Ejercito, Davide declared his support for Otso Diretso during the press conference, the Cebu governor said he missed the opposition's sorties because of prior commitments.
“Siempre yung local leaders natin may kanya kanyang schedule sila. (Of course our local leaders have their own schedules) But I’m hoping na much like before, they can come out, and support also,” Aquino said. – Rappler.com