Aquino forsees assassination attempt

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III vowed not to betray the public's trust amid rising doubts about an anti-corruption campaign he said could not be stopped by a bomb.

In his state of the nation address Monday, Mr Aquino vowed to not turn his back on the Filipino people because it would like maligning the memory and sacrifices of his parents: former president Corazon and assassinated senator Benigno Jr, the Associated Press reported.

An emotional Mr Aquino, who has come under attack for a stimulus programme deemed unconstitutional by the country's high court, called his opponents desperate and said many people will carry on his reforms even if he was stopped by a bomb, the German Press Agency reported.

In the speech before Congress, the president said he could not avoid thinking somebody may make an attempt on his life because of the kind of people he has crossed in his anti-corruption crusade and other government reforms.

"Will there be a time when I climb a stage and it will be the last day? Will somebody succeed in planting a bomb?''

About three kilometres away, police used water cannons on thousands of protesters trying to break through a cordon of vans, barbed wire and concrete barriers to march to the House of Representatives.

Mr Aquino's father, an activist against the Marcos dictatorship then in power, was assassinated in 1983.

Mr Aquino called on the nation to support his reforms as he faced the biggest political crisis in his four years in power, a spending scandal that could damage his anti-graft image and undermine reforms, Reuters reported.

The Supreme Court this month declared partly illegal a 145 billion pesos ($3.34 billion) economic-stimulus fund that Mr Aquino created in 2011 from budget savings, sparking a storm of controversy that put into doubt his commitment to fighting corruption.

Two impeachment complaints related to the stimulus funds have been filed against Mr Aquino in recent weeks, accusing him of betraying public trust and violating the constitution following the court's ruling.

In his second-to-last State of the Nation Address, the president listed his administration's successes in areas such as infrastructure development, military modernization, and reforms to stamp out corruption in revenue agencies.

"This is the result of reforms, and this is what we fought for and continue to fight for, not the continuation of the status quo, but change in the system for everyone's benefit," he said in his televised address.

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