President Benigno Aquino III turned tough guy in his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, using strong words—at times even street language—to warn erring officials and civil servants that his patience had run out.
"Pero magtapatan po tayo: Hanggang ngayon, may ilan pa ring ahensya ng gobyerno na ayaw yata talagang tumino. Nakakadismaya po ang lalim at ang pagsanga-sanga ng kanilang mga galamay sa ating burukrasya; malingat lang tayo, pihadong may aabusuhin at bibiktimahin na naman sila," Aquino said.
He also addressed policemen involved in the alleged rubout of two members of the notorious Ozamiz robbery group, "Malapit ko na kayong makilala."
He also specifically cited the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for its alleged failure to prevent fugitives—including the alleged masterminds in the killing of Palawan-based broadcaster Gerry Ortega—from leaving the country.
"Paulit-ulit nating pinagsabihang ayusin ang pagbabantay sa ating mga daungan at paliparan. Pero paanong nakalabas ng bansa ang magkapatid na Joel at Mario Reyes, ang mga pangunahing suspek sa pagpaslang kay Gerry Ortega? Bakit nangyari pa rin na kitang-kita sa mismong CCTV ang pagtakas ng Koreano na si Park Sungjun?" Aquino said.
The President also called out on the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for its supposed mediocre solutions to the country's irrigation problems.
"Masabi lang na may nagawa, kahit puro patsi-patsing trabaho, masaya na sila," Aquino said.
Aside from the two, he also scolded the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for its alleged failure to stop smuggling activities in the country.
"Tinataya nga po ng Department of Finance na mahigit 200 billion pesos ang kita na dumudulas lang at hindi napupunta sa kaban ng bayan. Saan po kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha ang mga kawani sa ahensyang ito?" he said.
To help remedy these problems within the government service, Aquino asked Congress to reevaluate the Civil Service Code.
"Nananawagan po ako sa Kongreso: suriin natin ang ating Civil Service Code at PD 1 upang maisaayos ito sa lalong madaling panahon. Suportado ko ang pagbuo ng mekanismong magbabalik sa dangal ng serbisyo-publiko; na tanging mga tapat, mahuhusay at may prinsipyong mga lingkod-bayan lamang ang maaaring makapasok at manatili sa gobyerno," he said. — KBK, GMA News
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