Noynoy Aquino’s Mandate for Change

noynoy aquino swears Revised English translation at 0510 hours 2 July
Inaugural Speech of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III delivered at Rizal Park 30 June 2010. Untitled original text from visitpinas.com, presented here with editing and after comparing with a recorded version of the actual speech. What follows the Noynoy text is an original English translation by Frank H.

Mga minamahal kong kababayan

Ang pagtayo ko dito ngayon ay patunay na kayo ang aking tunay na lakas. Hindi ko inakala na darating tayo sa puntong ito, na ako’y manunumpa sa harap ninyo bilang inyong Pangulo. Hindi ko pinangarap maging tagapagtaguyod ng pag-asa at tagapagmana ng mga suliranin ng ating bayan.

Ang layunin ko sa buhay ay simple lang: maging tapat sa aking mga magulang at sa bayan bilang isang marangal na anak, mabait na kuya, at mabuting mamamayan.

Nilabanan ng aking ama ang diktadurya at ibinuwis niya ang kanyang buhay para tubusin ang ating demokrasya. Inalay ng aking ina ang kanyang buhay upang pangalagaan ang demokrasyang ito. Ilalaan ko ang aking buhay para siguraduhin na ang ating demokrasya ay kapaki-pakinabang sa bawat isa. Namuhunan na po kami ng dugo at handang gawin ito muli kung kakailanganin.

Tanyag man ang aking mga magulang at ang kanilang mga nagawa, alam ko rin ang problema ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam nating lahat ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi. Alam natin ang pakiramdam na mapagkaitan ng hustisya, na mabalewala ng mga taong pinagkatiwalaan at inatasan nating maging ating tagapagtanggol.

Kayo ba ay minsan ring nalimutan ng pamahalaang inyong iniluklok sa puwesto? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay sawang-sawa na sa pamahalaang sa halip na magsilbi sa taumbayan ay kailangan pa nila itong pagpasensiyahan at tiisin? Ako rin.

Katulad ninyo ako. Marami na sa atin ang bumoto gamit ang kanilang paa – nilisan na nila ang ating bansa sa kanilang paghahanap ng pagbabago at katahimikan. Tiniis nila ang hirap, sinugod ang panganib sa ibang bansa dahil doon may pag-asa kahit kaunti na dito sa atin ay hindi nila nakikita. Sa iilang sandali na sarili ko lang ang aking inaalala, pati ako ay napag-isip din – talaga bang hindi na magbabago ang pamamahala natin dito? Hindi kaya nasa ibang bansa ang katahimikang hinahanap ko? Saan ba nakasulat na kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino?

Ngayon, sa araw na ito – dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan. Hindi si Noynoy ang gumawa ng paraan, kayo ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon, magtatapos na ang pagtitiis ng sambayanan. Ito naman po ang umpisa ng kalbaryo ko, ngunit kung marami tayong magpapasan ng krus ay kakayanin natin ito, gaano man kabigat.

Sa tulong ng wastong pamamahala sa mga darating na taon, maiibsan din ang marami nating problema. Ang tadhana ng Pilipino ay babalik sa tamang kalagyan, na sa bawat taon pabawas nang pabawas ang problema ng Pinoy na nagsusumikap at may kasiguruhan sila na magiging tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbuti ng kanilang sitwasyon.

Kami ay narito para magsilbi at hindi para maghari. Ang mandato ninyo sa amin ay pagbabago – isang malinaw na utos para ayusin ang gobyerno at lipunan mula sa pamahalaang iilan lamang ang nakikinabang tungo sa isang pamahalaang kabutihan ng mamamayan ang pinangangalagaan.

Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong Pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago – isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan.

Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang-slogan o pang-poster – ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.

Ang ating pangunahing tungkulin ay ang magsikap na maiangat ang bansa mula sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal ng katapatan at mabuting pamamalakad sa pamahalaan.

Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan.

Naniniwala akong hindi lahat ng nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay corrupt. Sa katunayan, mas marami sa kanila ay tapat. Pinili nilang maglingkod sa gobyerno upang gumawa ng kabutihan. Ngayon, magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataong magpakitang-gilas. Inaasahan natin sila sa pagsupil ng korapsyon sa loob mismo ng burukrata.

Sa mga itinalaga sa paraang labag sa batas, ito ang aking babala: sisimulan natin ang pagbabalik ng tiwala sa pamamagitan ng pag-usisa sa mga “midnight appointments.” Sana ay magsilbi itong babala sa mga nag-iisip na ipagpatuloy ang baluktot na kalakarang nakasanayan na ng marami.

Sa mga kapuspalad nating mga kababayan, ngayon, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon.

Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.

Unti-unti din nating babawasan ang mga kakulangan sa imprastraktura para sa transportasyon, turismo at pangangalakal. Mula ngayon, hindi na puwede ang “puwede na” pagdating sa mga kalye, tulay at gusali dahil magiging responsibilidad ng mga kontratista ang panatilihing nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga proyekto nila.

Bubuhayin natin ang programang “emergency employment” ng dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino sa pagtatayo ng mga bagong imprastraktura na ito. Ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa mga local na komunidad at makakatulong sa pagpapalago ng kanila at ng ating buong ekonomiya.

Hindi kami magiging sanhi ng inyong pasakit at perwisyo. Palalakasin natin ang koleksyon at pupuksain natin ang korapsyon sa Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas at Bureau of Customs para mapondohan natin ang ating mga hinahangad para sa lahat, tulad ng:

· dekalidad na edukasyon, kabilang ang edukasyong bokasyonal para makapaghanap ng marangal na trabaho ang hindi makapag-kolehiyo;
· serbisyong pangkalusugan, tulad ng Philhealth para sa lahat sa loob ng tatlong taon;
· tirahan sa loob ng mga ligtas na komunidad.

Palalakasin at palalaguin natin ang bilang ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan, hindi para tugunan ang interes ng mga naghahari-harian, ngunit para proteksyunan ang mamamayan. Itinataya nila ang kanilang buhay para mayroong pagkakataon sa katahimikan at kapayapaan ng sambayanan. Dumoble na ang populasyong kanilang binabantayan, nanatili naman sila sa bilang. Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Kung dati ay may fertilizer scam, ngayon ay may kalinga nang tunay na para sa mga magsasaka. Tutulungan natin sila sa irigasyon, extension services, at sa pagbenta ng kanilang produkto sa pinakamataas na presyong maaari.

Inaatasan natin na ang papasok na Secretary Alcala ay magtayo ng mga trading centers kung saan diretso na ang magsasaka sa mamimili – lalaktawan natin ang gitna, kasama na ang kotong cop. Sa ganitong paraan, ang dating napupunta sa gitna ay maari nang paghatian ng magsasaka at mamimili.

Gagawin nating kaaya-aya sa negosyante ang ating bansa. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. Sa ganitong paraan lamang natin mapupunuan ang kakulangan ng trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan.

Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailanganin ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap lamang ng trabaho. Ngunit habang ito ay hindi pa natin naaabot, inaatasan ko ang mga kawani ng DFA, POEA at ng OWWA at iba pang mga kinauukulang ahensiya na mas lalo pang paigtingin ang pagtugon sa mga hinaing at pangangailangan ng ating overseas Filipino workers.

Papaigtingin namin ang proceso ng konsultasyon at pag-uulat sa taumbayan. Sisikapin naming isakatuparan ang nakasaad sa ating Konstitusyon na kinikilala ang karapatan ng mamamayan na magkaroon ng kaalaman ukol sa mga pampublikong alintana.

Binuhay natin ang diwa ng people power noong kampanya. Ipagpatuloy natin ito tungo sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ang naniniwala sa people power ay nakatuon sa kapwa at hindi sa sarili.

Sa mga nang-api sa akin, kaya ko kayong patawarin at pinapatawad ko na kayo. Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. Sa paglimot ng pagkakasala, sinisigurado mong mauulit muli ang mga pagkakasalang ito. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

Ikinagagalak din naming ibahagi sa inyo ang pagtanggap ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr sa hamon ng pagtatatag at pamumuno sa isang Truth Commission na magbibigay linaw sa maraming kahinahinalang isyu na hanggang ngayon ay walang kasagutan at resolusyon.

Ang sinumang nagkasala ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shall defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. Sa tamang pamamahala, gaganda ang buhay ng lahat, at sa buhay na maganda, sino pa ang gugustuhing bumalik sa panahon ng pang-aapi?

Kung kasama ko kayo, maitataguyod natin ang isang bayan kung saan pantay-pantay ang pagkakataon, dahil pantay-pantay nating ginagampanan ang ating mga pananagutan.

Kamakailan lamang, ang bawat isa sa atin ay nanindigan sa presinto. Bumoto tayo ayon sa ating karapatan at konsensiya. Hindi tayo umatras sa tungkulin nating ipaglaban ang karapatan na ito.

Pagkatapos ng bilangan, pinatunayan ninyo na ang tao ang tunay na lakas ng bayan.

Ito ang kahalagahan ng ating demokrasya. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating pagkakaisa. Nangampanya tayo para sa pagbabago. Dahil dito taas-noo muli ang Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Inaanyayahan ko kayo ngayon na manumpa sa ating mga sarili, sa sambayanan: Walang maiiwan.

Walang pangingibang-bayan at gastusan na walang wastong dahilan. Walang pagtalikod sa mga salitang binitawan noong kampanya, ngayon at hanggang sa mga susunod pang pagsubok na pagdadaanan sa loob ng anim na taon.

Walang lamangan, walang padrino, at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa.

Nandito tayo ngayon dahil sama-sama tayong nanindigan at nagtiwala na may pag-asa.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. Sa inyong mga nag-iisip pa kung tutulong kayo sa pagpasan ng ating krus, isa lang ang aking tanong – kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba kayo susuko?

Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito – ang ating mga volunteers – matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabibilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa – nasa inyo ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat.

Hindi ko makakayang harapin ang aking mga magulang, at kayong mga nagdala sa akin sa yugto ng buhay kong ito, kung hindi ko maisasakatuparan ang aking mga binitawang salita sa araw na ito.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

Layunin ko na sa pagbaba ko sa katungkulan, masasabi ng lahat na malayo na ang narating natin sa pagtahak ng tuwid na landas at mas maganda na ang kinabukasang ipapamana natin sa susunod na henerasyon. Samahan ninyo ako sa pagtatapos ng labang ito. Tayo na sa tuwid na landas.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

My beloved countrymen,

That I stand here today is proof that you are my true strength. I did not think that we will reach this point, that I will swear before you as your President. I did not dream of becoming an advocate of hope and an inheritor of the problems of our country.

My goal in life is simple: to be true to my parents and country being an honorable son, a kind big brother, and a good citizen.

My father fought the dictatorship and offered his life as ransom for our democracy. My mother offered her life to nurture this democracy. I will offer my life to make sure this democracy will truly benefit everyone. We have already paid tribute to it in blood and we are ready to do it again if necessary.

While my parents and their works are famous (and I am not), I myself know the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know how it feels to have a government that is blind and deaf. We know the feeling of those who have been denied justice, thrust aside by those whom we trusted and tasked to become our defenders.

Have you once been forgotten by the government you put into power? Me too. Have you once endured foul traffic only to be shoved aside by the blaring escorts of those who love to display raw power? Me too. Are you exasperated by a government that instead of the people being served, the people have to tolerate and endure it? Me too.

We are alike. Many of us have already voted with their feet – leaving this country in search of change and quiet. They have endured the hardship, braved the dangers in other lands because there they see hope, no matter how little, that they do not see in this country.

In the few moments that I am alone, when I think only of myself, I too am thinking: Will government never change in this country? Can I perhaps find tranquility in another country? Where is it written that suffering is the destiny of the Filipino?

This time, today, marks the end of a leadership that is numb to the cries of the people. Noynoy did not work it out; it was because of you that now the suffering of the people is going to end. Now this is the beginning of my Calvary, but if many of us will bear the cross, we will be able to bear it, no matter how heavy.

With the help of right governance in the coming years, we will find release from our many problems. The destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, so that in each passing year the problems of the Filipinos who persevere will continue to decrease, and they will have the assurance that their situation will continue to improve.

We are here to be servant and not be king. The mandate you gave us is change – a clear command to restructure (the relationship between) government and society from a government benefitting only a few to a government taking care of the needs of (all) the citizens.

This mandate is one where you and your President agreed on change – a position that I promised during the campaign and which you accepted on Election Day.

Our cry during the campaign: “No corrupt, no poor.” This is not only for purposes of slogan or poster – this is a principle by which this administration is founded on and stands.

Our primary duty is to exert efforts to raise this country from poverty, by means of institutionalizing loyalty and good governance.

The first step is to have a whole range of upright and honest leaders. This begins with me. I will strive to become a good example. I will never break the trust you placed on me. I will make sure that this is the same advocacy of my Cabinet and other members of our government.

I believe that not all those who serve the government are corrupt. In truth, most of them are honest. They chose to serve the government in order to do good. Today, they have the chance to show their stuff. We are hoping that they will help restrain corruption within the bureaucracy.

To those who have been put into positions by appointments done against the law, this is my warning: We will begin earning back the trust of the people by investigating “midnight appointments.” Let this be a warning to those who think of continuing their crooked ways that have become the norm for many.

To our unfortunate countrymen, today, the government is your champion.

We will not postpone meeting the needs of students, so we will try to fill up the lack of classrooms.

Little by little also, we will lessen the lack of infrastructure for transportation, tourism and commerce. Beginning today, “good enough” is no longer good enough when it comes to roads, bridges and buildings. It will become the responsibility of contractors to maintain their projects in good condition.

We will revive the “Emergency Employment” program set up by former President Corazon Aquino in building such new infrastructure (called for). This will provide jobs in local communities and help develop their and our whole economy.

We will not be the cause of your suffering or grievance. We will reinforce the collection and stamp out corruption in the Bureau of Internal Review and Bureau of Customs so we will be able to fund our desired (projects) for all such as:

- Quality education, including vocational education so that those who cannot go to college can find decent jobs
- Health services, such as PhilHealth, for all, in 3 years
- Residence within safe communities.

We will reinforce and increase the strength of the armed forces and the police, not to serve the interests of the pretenders of power but to protect the citizens. They risk their lives so that the people can live in quiet and peace. The population of the people they are guarding has doubled and yet their number has remained the same. It is not right that those who make sacrifices are treated pathetically.

If before there was a fertilizer scam, today there is true concern for farmers. We will help them with irrigation, extension services, and in selling their produce at the highest possible prices.

We are directing incoming Secretary (Proceso) Alcala to set up trading centers where farmers can link directly with consumers. We are going to skip the (middleman), including the corrupt cop. In this way, that which usually went to the (middleman) is instead shared by farmer and consumer.

We will make this country attractive to commercial interests. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. This is the only way we can fill up the lack of jobs for our people.

Our goal is to multiply jobs here in our country so that there is no need to go abroad just to look for employment there. However, before we reach this goal, I am directing the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Agency) and the OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) and other relevant agencies to heighten their responsiveness to the complaints and needs of our overseas Filipino workers.

We will enhance the process of consultation with and feedback from the citizens. We will strive to implement what is written in the Constitution that recognizes the right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

We revived The Spirit of People Power during the campaign. Let us continue this and bring it toward upright and honest governance. Those who believe in People Power look upon others and not themselves.

To those who abused me, I can forgive you and I hereby forgive you. To those who abused the people, I have no right to forget your sins.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: There can be no reconciliation without justice. If you forget the sin, you are making sure that the sin will be committed again. (Justice) Secretary (Leila) de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

We are glad to inform you that former Chief Justice Hilario Davide has accepted the challenge of creating and heading a Truth Commission to shed light on many suspicious issues that up to now remain unanswered and unresolved.

Anyone who has committed a crime must face justice. It cannot be the continuing norm that abuse continues without retribution.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shall defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. With right governance, life will become beautiful for all; with a good life for all, who will wish the return of the times of oppression?

If you are with me, we can support a country where there are equal opportunities for all because we all are fulfilling our duties equally.

Just recently, everyone of us made our stand at the precincts. We voted according to our right and conscience. We did not draw back from fighting for this right.

After the counting, you proved that it is the people who are the true strength of the country.

This is the value of our democracy. This is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, Filipinos can again hold their head up high. We are all people of a country where now we can dream again.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “It all works.”

I now invite you to pledge to yourselves and to the people: No one shall be left behind.

There will be no visits to foreign countries and spending without the right reason. There will be no turning back on pledges made during the campaign, now and through other challenges that will confront us in the next 6 years.

No handicapping, no patronage, no stealing. No blaring sirens, no counter-flow, no tong. It is time that we be all charitable.

We all are gathered here because we stood together and believed that there was hope.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. To those who hesitate to help bear the cross, I have only one question: Just when we have won, now you’re going to quit?

You are my boss, so I cannot help but listen to your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

You were the ones who brought me here – old, young, celebrity, ordinary folks, who went around the Philippines to campaign for change; my housemates, who took care of my personal needs; my family, friends and workmates, who sympathized, cared and gave support to me; my lawyers, who gave up sleep to guard our votes and make sure each vote was counted; my partymates and allies who dared to dream with me; and the millions of Filipinos who united, trusted and did not lose hope – to all of you I offer my heartfelt thanks.

I shall not be able to face my parents - and you were the ones who brought me to this stage of my life - if I cannot fulfill the promises I made today.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

My aim is that when I step down from responsibility, everyone will be able to say we have traveled far on the straight path, and the future we are going to bequeath to the next generation is more beautiful. Join me in finishing this fight. Let us go on to the straight path.

Thank you and love live the Filipino people!

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