Sen. Aquino called to substantiate his reform agenda
By ARTHUR L.ALLAD-IW
BAGUIO CITY — While welcoming the declaration by Sen. Noynoy Aquino’s willingness to run for president in the 2010 election, a militant lawmaker and head of a newly formed political coalition urged Aquino to come up with a clear position on various issues.
Filipinos want to know Sen. Aquino’s stand on people’s pressing issues, said Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, who is also the president of the newly founded political group Makabayan.
Ocampo enumerated issues where Aquino should have clear position which included: wage hikes and job security; genuine land reform; cancellation of odious foreign debts; assertion of national interests vis-à-vis demands of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and globalization.
Other political issues included by Ocampo are the termination of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the deepening US military involvement; dismantling of political dynasties; a stop to the counter-insurgency strategy that targets civilian activists; and the prosecution of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her ilk who committed grave crimes against the people.
“Even as we acknowledge the positive meaning of this call for change, it is still imperative that this ‘change’ they speak of be determined in more concrete terms lest the word ‘change’ be reduced to nothing more than an empty rallying call, a mere electioneering slogan,” added Ocampo, who is also a Minority Leader of the House.
Ocampo made the statement as a reaction of Aquino’s declaration that he will push for and carry a reform agenda as his platform of governance.
It is a positive development that he has come to terms with what is being viewed to be a clamor for his involvement in the presidential race, and his candidacy without doubt makes the fight for the presidency even more interesting, added Ocampo, who is being pushed by various groups to run as senator comes 2010.
It is necessary, however, that he clearly defines the parameters and the substance of his reform agenda. Other presidential contenders have delivered the same line and issued the same promise that they too, are agents of change and reform; but none of them have given any specifics, added Ocampo in his statement sent to media.
Ocampo said that Makabayan is one with the rest of the Filipino people in urging the political opposition to unite on the basis of a clear socio-economic and political reform agenda. “At this juncture, it is urgent that the opposition present a united political front, push for genuine social reforms and for a clean, patriotic and democratic government,” he ended. # nordis.net