AKBAYAN (Citizens Action Party) made its first presidential endorsement with full appreciation of the fact that the 2010 elections is a make or break election for the country, and that the above considerations should be our main national agenda. Gloria does not only represent a backslide in our democracy - she symbolizes national degeneration; the 2010 elections is therefore an opportunity for the rebirth of our nation.
It is in this regard that we welcome and endorse the presidential bid of Senator Noynoy Aquino. Our support is premised on the same factors that we considered in endorsing Sen. Mar Roxas. Sen. Noynoy Aquino was among the first to repudiate the abuses committed by the Arroyo administration, from the 'Hello Garci' controversy to the graft-ridden NBN-ZTE deal, and he has likewise committed to hold the Arroyos accountable once GMA steps out of Malacanang. Sen. Aquino likewise appreciates the task he needs to face to restore the dignity of Filipinos if and once elected into office.
But more importantly, AKBAYAN sees Sen. Aquino as a symbol to a nation yearning for unity and greatness. What makes him so is not his political ambition but his lack of it. Sen. Aquino has reluctantly accepted a monumental challenge that has been thrust upon him. That alone tells us that Noynoy is no Gloria: his reluctance symbolizes honor in his brand of leadership, as compared to the latter's orchestrated ascent to the presidency, and her subsequent manipulation of her authority to maintain her stay in power.
As with our previous endorsement of Sen. Mar Roxas, we are under no illusion that we will always have a common stand on all issues with Sen. Aquino. But we always go back to what Sen. Noynoy Aquino himself said when he spoke in our National Congress - that divergence of opinion should not be seen as a political burden. We shall forge ahead where unities exist; where differences are manifest, AKBAYAN shall continue to engage Sen. Aquino.
Our principles and our platform are our backbone as a political party, and AKBAYAN shall always be anchored in its commitment to pursue the interest of the majority of Filipinos who have been rendered voiceless by our political system. Our endorsement of Sen. Aquino is part of our quest to make our politics work for all of us, and not just to the entrenched few.
Mar Roxas' sacrifice a grand act of statesmanship
Calling Sen. Mar Roxas's withdrawal from the presidential race in favor of Sen. Noynoy Aquino 'a grand, honorable act', AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros said today that Sen. Aquino should accept the challenge and lead the slate in 2010.
"Sen. Mar Roxas's action was an act of statesmanship, and in one impressive gesture he displayed a characteristic that the likes of GMA would never understand - that there are things grander than power, and that love for country should be above everything else. Now that he has given way to Sen. Aquino, we hope that the latter would take up the challenge and be the standard bearer for the slate in 2010," Rep. Hontiveros said.
"Mar Roxas's statesmanship is laudable. His sense of 'sacrifice' is way different from the bastardized version of 'sacrifice' that GMA displayed when she declared that she would run for President in 2004 despite earlier announcing that she was stepping down," Rep. Hontiveros said. "In this age of Gloria, others would have stayed in the race and just opted to establish a cheating machinery to gain votes. But obviously, Mar is no Gloria."
She said that Sen. Aquino would be a compelling force to thwart any attempt of the GMA administration to stay in power beyond 2010.
"It is not simply a question of the administration-endorsed slate winning, since any slate running under the administration is bound to suffer from GMA's kiss of death," Rep. Hontiveros added. "What we should be concerned about is the victory of an administration that is open to reconciliation with the Arroyo family and their cronies."
"We cannot let that happen, and we are confident that under a Noynoy administration, no political compromises or settlement with the Arroyos would take place. We also need to ensure that the next administration would reverse the damage inflicted by the Arroyo government to our democracy," Rep. Hontiveros added.
The solon has already declared her senatorial bid, and AKBAYAN has already made its endorsement of Liberal Party's presidential candidate. Rep. Hontiveros is running as a guest candidate in the LP slate.