MANILA — President Benigno Aquino III assures Filipinos that his administration is doing its best to address corruption – a point raised by Pope Francis in some of his homilies during his five-day State and Pastoral visit to the country from January 15-19, 2015.
”That’s what we are doing since day one,” he told reporters during an ambush interview after the send-off ceremony for the Ponfiff at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City Monday.
The President cited that even the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has been directed to address corruption issues.
BuCor is currently in limelight after a visit by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed that some inmates are given special privileges as proven by their air-conditioned quarters that also has Jacuzzi and music room among others.
Aquino said the fight against corruption will not stop but also stressed that everything has to be done through right processes.
”As the saying goes: the measures of democracy is not how you defend your friend’s rights but the right of your enemy,” he said.
On the issue of poverty, which Pope Francis also included in his homilies, Aquino said the government continues to help the needy through its various intervention program like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
He said some 2.5 million poor Filipinos have been alleviated from poverty through these various pro-poor programs and about one to 1.6 million new jobs have been created as of 2013.
He said results of the poverty alleviation programs will not be felt overnight but stressed that the government is slowly achieving its targets.
Meanwhile, asked for his assessment on the security implemented during the Pope’s visit, the President said there is still some room for fine-tuning especially since the country is hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.
Also, Aquino said the Pope told him that he is very happy during his stay in the country.
”He was very happy with the love, hospitality and warmth shown by Filipinos,” he added.