21 January 2015

People will always support a government that cares, says Palace official
As politicians gear up for the 2016 presidential election, a Palace official said on Wednesday that Filipinos will support a government that champions reform and good governance.

The issue on continuing government reforms surfaced after the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the legitimacy of former president Joseph Estrada’s candidacy for mayor of the City of Manila in 2013.

Now that the issue surrounding Estrada’s candidacy has been resolved by the Supreme Court, many believe it would widen the possibilities in the 2016 presidential election should the former leader join the race.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was asked how confident President Benigno S. Aquino III’s administration is that it can hand over the government to a new leader in 2016, along with all its gains in the past several years.

“Our position has always remained the same, that the people will rally to the government, to the administration, when they see that this government continues to provide for its people,” Secretary Lacierda said in response.

The administration, he said, has carried out many reforms in the past four years, among them providing universal health care, initiating poverty alleviation programs, and supporting good governance. The Aquino government has more than 500 days in office.

“The best way for the people to rally behind good governance is that we continue to provide good governance,” he noted.

Although President Aquino has not named an ally to support in next year’s presidential election, Lacierda said the Chief Executive wants somebody who would continue the reforms and programs he has initiated.

The Palace will not comment on the Supreme Court’s decision, and will just leave the issue to political analysts, he said, emphasizing that this is a local government issue.

Estrada stays as mayor of Manila after the High Court upheld the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) saying he was qualified to run for mayor during the 2013 elections.

Petitioners insisted that Estrada’s conviction for plunder and his life imprisonment sentence in 2007 rendered him unqualified to run for public office. PND (as)