Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 a chance for peaceful change

December 31, 2009, 5:04pm

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VIce President Manuel “Noli” De Castro expressed optimism Thursday that the coming year 2010 will bring the Filipino people to a critical crossroads in the nation's political life and an opportunity for peaceful and orderly change.

“Today marks another new beginning for our country. Today we greet the coming year with renewed hope despite the challenges and uncertainties around us. Once more, we will exercise our right to choose our leaders at the national and local levels,” De Castro said.

The Vice President called on Filipinos “to take part in this democratic process so that the results will truly reflect our people's sovereign will”, referring to the national and local elections in May.

“Let us make a strong stand against poverty, corruption, divisiveness, and oppression. Let our united action and prayerful discernment open the path towards the continued development of our nation and sustained dynamism of our economy.

“Let the hope that we feel today be transformed into concrete steps that we will commit to do in the interest of the common good,” he said.

De Castro will step down as Vice President on June 30. He reportedly plans to return to broadcast journalism.

“The past year was a difficult one. We reeled with the rest of the world as the effects of the global financial crisis reached our economy. We suffered from the onslaught of natural disasters that left many of our people homeless and destroyed their sources of livelihood.

“We expressed indignation and rage over the senseless killing of our countrymen. Through all these, we fought back, rebuild our homes, and restored our lives,” De Castro added.

The political opposition for its part said the New Year promises new hope for the leadership of the Filipino nation but it will depend on the choice every Filipino will make in May 2010.

In his New Year's message, United Opposition president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay said every vote can make or break the opportunity that 2010 will offer to effect a much needed change in the national government.

"There is much reason to hope in 2010. We will be offered the opportunity to effect a much-needed change in our national leadership. Hopefully, the change in leadership will bring with it a shift towards a more transparent, caring, and effective management of our national affairs," he said.

A candidate for a national post himself, Binay challenged the Filipinos to vote wisely in next year's election and exert the effort to guard their votes.

"The challenge for every Filipino is to make the right choice in May 2010. But there is also the need for vigilance. While we focus our energies on effecting change, let us remain on guard against any effort to nullify the people’s mandate, much less take away from us the right to chart our destiny as a nation," he added.

"We are offered the chance to help install a new leadership that will govern with the best interest of the people in mind, one that will ensure that every Filipino lives a life with dignity. I am confident that we will again rise to the call of the times," he said.

"The New Year provides us with the opportunity to commit ourselves not only to bettering our lives, but in helping build a nation for our children," he added.

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