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Aquino asks Filipinos to seek light
By Manolo B. Jara March 28, 2016
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MANILA: President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino on Sunday urged Filipinos to “seek the light amid uncertainty” particularly in choosing his successor in the May 9 election less than two months away.

“As our nation approaches another crossroads, let us seek the light amid the clouds of uncertainty,” Aquino said in his last Easter message before his fixed six-year term as president is to expire on June 30.

In particular, Aquino asked the Filipinos to select a leader who will carry out his “daang matuwid” (straight and righteous path) programme of government that has introduced major reforms that has transformed society for the good of all.

“We are weeding out the corrupt and strengthening our institutions and through reform, we are freeing ourselves from poverty towards a just, more inclusive society,” he emphasised.

He did not name who he wanted as his successor but he was obviously referring to former Interior secretary Mar Roxas, his handpicked standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party in the upcoming May 9 presidential election.

Roxas is one of four candidates vying for the presidency along with Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance; freshman Senator Grace Poe who is running as an independent; Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City in Mindanao of PDP-Laban; and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago of People’s Reform Party.

Recent pre-election surveys conducted by private pollsters like Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, have Poe and Duterte emerging as the favourites among Filipinos as the possible successor of Aquino.

Binay and Roxas, on the other hand, have been fighting it out for in the third and fourth places the same surveys but Aquino and his administration allies expressed confidence that Roxas would eventually win on May 9.

Binay was the leader in past surveys but his popularity plummeted as he was busy fending off accusations that he amassed unexplained wealth when he was the mayor of Makati City in Metro Manila, considered the country’s financial capital.

Binay and his family have been alleged to have become the recipients of huge “kickbacks” from favoured businessmen awarded contracts for major infrastructure projects like a hospital and schoolbuildings funded by Makati City Hall.

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