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State of the Nation Address of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino Iii

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State of the Nation Address of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino Iii

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  • August 2010
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Benigno Aquino delivered his first State of the Nation Address on Monday as president of the Philippines, reciting a litany of wrongdoings allegedly committed by the previous administration. He promised that his government would follow a straighter path – but gave few specifics on how he plans to clean up government and balance the books. Mr. Aquino took office at the end of June, having campaigned on the legacy of his beloved politician-parents. He ran on the slogan: “If there’s no corruption, there’s no poverty.” He replaced Gloria Arroyo, who had reached her term limit and whose administration had been beset byallegations of corruption. Despite steady but slow economic growth under Ms. Arroyo, a third of the population lives on less than a dollar a day and the government suffers from chronic budget deficits. Aquino had warned that his speech today would shock Filipinos. Addressing the combined membership of the Senate and House of Representatives, he alleged various wrongdoings by the Arroyo administration, saying: “For a long time, our country lost its way on the crooked path.” He said he would give the order this week for the creation of a “truth commission” to look into irregularities in the Arroyo administration. Arroyo, who is now a member of the House of Representatives, was not in the audience. She was in Hong Kong with her husband, who was reportedly there for a medical examination. Fiscal problems Aquino’s address concentrated on the government’s financial plight, complaining that of the 2010 budget of 1.54 trillion pesos ($33.06 billion), only 100 billion pesos, or 6.5 percent, remains in the coffers for the last six months of the year. He listed examples of how the Arroyo administration had “squandered” money meant for disaster relief, electricity, water, new infrastructure, and ensuring the supply of rice, the country’s staple. “We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police, and more. Our funds will not be enough...