President Aquino commemorates Apolinario Mabini’s 150th birth anniversary in Batangas

TANAUAN CITY, Batangas, July 23 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday led the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini, whose contributions strengthened the foundation of Philippine democracy.

“Si Mabini ang kumakatawan sa talino ng Pilipino—talinong ibinuhos niya sa pagpanday ng mga prinsipyo at sistemang nagbigay-hugis sa isang malayang lipunan,” the President said in his speech at the Apolinario Mabini Shrine in this city.

He cited three concepts by Mabini that the present administration tries to follow.

First, Mabini highlighted the importance of following a mandate as the foundation of governance, the President said, noting that the strength of the state emanates from the people.

Looking back, he said Mabini spearheaded the conduct of the first local election in the country in August 1898.

Mabini also led the formation of the country’s first legislature in Malolos, Bulacan in 1898, he said, noting that this body elected Emilio Aguinaldo as president in January 1899 to replace the revolutionary government that declared Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

Second, Mabini instilled the concept of public service in the Filipino people’s consciousness, President Aquino said.

“Ang paniniwala niya: Kung sa taumbayan nagbubukal ang kapangyarihan, dapat lang itong gamitin sa ikabubuti nila,” he said.

And third, according to Mabini, public institutions were formed to serve the interests of the people, and as such, the government must not hold back in providing services to the people, he said.

“Sa harap ng Malolos Congress, idiniin ni Mabini ang pangangailangan ng ehekutibong maging mabilis, maliksi, at buo ang loob, dahil trabaho nitong matugunan ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan sa lalong madaling panahon,” President Aquino said.

Pointing out that Mabini had once called on the legislators to work with the executive branch of the government in fulfilling its mandate to the people, the Chief Executive said that Mabini’s concept on governance is relevant to modern times, such as in the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

While parts of the DAP were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the President said the program has benefited the people in many ways.

As Mabini said, whatever power a leader possesses, he must always bear in mind that the people’s welfare is his paramount concern, President Aquino said.

With the President during Wednesday’s event were Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma, Jr., Congressman Sonny Collantes, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Catapang, and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Alan Purisima. (PNA)