Bam graces 119th Malo­los Congress an­niver­sary; Duterte sends mes­sage

Manila Bulletin - - Luzon News - By FRED­DIE C. VELEZ

MALO­LOS CITY, Bu­la­can — Peo­ple of Bu­la­can wel­comed last Fri­day Sen­a­tor Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV and Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment (DILG) As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Ri­co­judge Jan­vier Echiverri as their hon­ored guests at the cel­e­bra­tion of the 119th An­niver­sary of the Malo­los Congress at the his­toric Bara­soain Church, here.

“What we face to­day is lack in ed­u­ca­tion, poverty, vi­o­lence, and loss of op­por­tu­nity in our coun­try. And so, we need to be he­roes again. If there is an ex­am­ple we can draw from the Malo­los Congress, that would be unity de­spite di­ver­sity in or­der to fight for the coun­try,” Aquino said in Filipino.

Rep­re­sent­ing Pres­i­dent Duterte at the event, Echiverri con­veyed three things the Pres­i­dent wants to achieve – first, is for peo­ple to be open to talks on fed­er­al­ism; sec­ond, is clar­ity in his real pol­icy on ad­dress­ing the il­le­gal drugs prob­lem; and third, an­swer­ing ques­tions per­tain­ing the barangay elec­tions.

On the first point, the DILG As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Ex­ter­nal and Leg­isla­tive Af­fairs said fed­er­al­ism should be dis­cussed and stud­ied, cit­ing how one good thing about it is the much big­ger fund al­lo­ca­tion that will be given to lo­cal govern­ments.

On the war on drugs, he said death and killings are not the pol­icy of Pres­i­dent Duterte.

And on the is­sue of barangay elec­tions, Echiverri said that it is still on hold and pleaded, mean­while, to all the barangay of­fi­cials to step down if they are in­volved in drugs.

“May­roon tay­ong 160,000 na ka­pulisan, 420,000 po ang barangay of­fi­cials. Ako na po ang nakik­iusap sa inyo, kung kayo po ay sangkot sa droga, mag-re­sign na po kayo, wala kay­ong puwang dito, pag­bi­gyan n’yong maglingkod ang mga may puso ta­laga sa paglil­ingkod,” he said.

For his part, Gov. Wil­helmino M. Sy-Al­varado un­der­scored the im­por­tance of the Malo­los Congress that gave birth to an in­de­pen­dent and repub­li­can govern­ment and also em­pha­sized the rea­sons why one should want to keep com­ing back to Bu­la­can.

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