The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) today said the reform agenda of President Benigno Aquino III will be better served by responsible vigilance and not by blind obedience, as it blasted “political hypocrites” who had backed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but are now presenting themselves as reformers.
UNA also said the real opponent in 2013 is not the coalition but “poverty and hunger.”
“UNA should be seen as a partner of the Aquino administration. We are not obstructionist critics. We will support and commend programs and policies that will benefit our people. But we will also point out shortcomings and misguided policies. This we owe to the people,” UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said in a statement.
“We believe that the reform agenda of our President is best served not by blind obedience but by responsible vigilance. We must make sure that the abuse of power for personal and political ends and the widespread corruption and misuse of public funds during the previous regime will not be repeated,” he added.
The real opponent in 2013, he said, is not UNA but hunger and poverty.
“Naninindigan ang UNA na ang halalan sa 2013 ay hindi dapat labanan ng “kami” at “sila.” Ang kalaban natin ay hindi ang isa’t-isa. Ang kalaban natin ay ang gutom at kahirapan,” he said.
Tiangco blasted personalities in the administration “who are attempting to recast themselves as true-blue believers in reform and good governance.”
“The truth is that these personalities were among the most rabid defenders of Mrs. Arroyo when she was in power, but have found it politically convenient to wear yellow and proclaim themselves as advocates of Tuwid na Daan. These political hypocrites know who they are,” he said.
Tiangco said these personalities were among those who ridiculed the candidacy of Fernando Poe Jr. and killed the impeachment complaint filed against Mrs. Arroyo.
“Halos lahat ng mga humamak kay FPJ, halos lahat ng mga humarang sa impeachment ni Mrs. Arroyo ang ngayo’y bahagi ng administrasyon,” he said.
“Nandiyan pa ang mga nagsabing handa silang kupkupin si Mrs. Arroyo sa kanilang probinsya kung ayaw na ng mga taga-Metro Manila sa kanya. Ganyan ang klase ng suporta na ibinigay kay Mrs. Arroyo ng mga ngayon ay nagmamalinis at pumuposturang maka-reporma,” he added.
In contrast, Tiangco said most of the leaders and members of UNA have proven their commitment to truth, freedom, and good governance.
“UNA is a coalition of two major political parties whose support for the reform agenda of President Aquino is beyond question,” he said.
In the Senate, Tiangco said senators allied with UNA have firmly stood behind the President’s legislative priorities. He also cited the performance of UNA senators during the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona.
“If there is one test of UNA’s support for the rule of the law, transparency and accountability in government, one need only to recall how our senators voted in the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice,” he said.
Tiangco said UNA is not begrudging the decision of almost all allies of Mrs. Arroyo to join the administration coalition.
“Hindi namin inaalis ang karapatan ng halos lahat ng mga dating kaalyado ni Mrs. Arroyo, sa pambansa at lokal na antas, na sumama sa koalisyon ng administrasyon. Malaya silang pumili ng kanilang sasamahan. May ilan sa kanila na kasama din namin. Para sa UNA, ang mahalaga ay nagkakaisa tayo para sa interes ng sambayanan,” he said.
He said criticisms should be taken as part of responsible vigilance.
“Kung may mga kasama kami na pumupuna, ito ay nagmumula sa hangarin na ituwid ang sa kanilang tingin ay mali at tiyakin na hindi nalilihis ang ating pagtahak sa tuwid na landas,” he said.
“Sana ay hindi ito masamain dahil ito po ay bahagi ng demokrasya. Magkaroon man ng hindi pagkakaunawaan o pagkakaiba ng opinyon, ang layunin naman natin ay iisa: maisulong ang mga reporma upang mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang lahat ng Pilipino,” he added.