MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine President, Noynoy Aquino, (Benigno Aquino III) has his hands full with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) skirmishes in Zamboanga City, alleged Pork Barrel Scam mastermind, Janet Napoles’ case, and the reported visit of US President Barack Obama to the country.
PNoy had personally visited the troops in Zamboanga and had reportedly handed out supplies to the evacuees at the Zamboanga sports complex too. He assured them that the government ‘has their backs.’
As of September 14, 2013, VP Jejomar Binay disclosed that a ceasefire that would start on Saturday, September 15, has been agreed upon by Nur Misuari, MNLF’s chairman, and the government.
A bulletin was released from the Philippine Government’s Official Gazette featuring President Aquino’s answers about the MNLF Zamboanga crisis.
Meanwhile, supporters of “scrap pork” are steadfast in their clamor for its abolition. One of its supporters, Fr. Joe Dizon, said that President Noynoy Aquino should heed the call of eliminating the pork barrel (PDAF) – especially his own – because more and more people would take to the streets, which could spell disaster for his presidency.
Filipinos had – thrice – removed presidents from office even before their terms have ended, on the same premises. The government’s treatment of Janet Napoles has also been under fire, because people concluded that Napoles was being treated with a kid’s glove; the president himself escorted Napoles to Camp Crame on the day of her surrender.
Pnoy had earlier denied knowing Janet Napoles personally but his pictures with the Napoles family surfaced online disproving his claim. Many people accorded him the benefit of the doubt, because as the president, people he may not know on a personal level could pose with him for some photos. He has to deal with the Pork Barrel Scam appropriately though, because if he does not, concerned citizens claim it would be the end of his presidency. The first rally for the abolition of the Pork Barrel funds, called the Million People March has been a success, with a reported 30,000 people gathering at the Luneta Park.
From the White House’s website, the Office of the Press Secretary revealed this news:
“The President will then travel to the Philippines, the fifth Asian treaty ally he has visited during his presidency.”
US President Obama would visit Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines from October 6 – 12 to strengthen ties with the Asia-Pacific countries.
The US Press Secretary further disclosed President Obama’s plan:
“He will meet with President Aquino to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between our two countries.”