Manila: Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he should not be criticised for "Noynoying," a term used to describe protesters at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City when they laid on the road last week, looking bored to portray an inactive leader, a local paper reported.
"I have all the statistics (to prove that I am not Noynoying)," Aquino, whose nickname is Noynoy, told the Inquirer in Baguio City.
"I've been in office for 21 months and the record (of the stock exchange index) was broken 21 times," Aquino said.
Mall goers are not just malling, they buy and carry packages, Aquino said to prove that the Philippine economy is improving. "The construction industry (fuelled by the private sector) is booming," said Aquino, following criticism that he has stalled government infrastructure projects.
He did not mention job creation for some four million new graduates.
"When we started out (in mid-2010), given the enormity of the problems [we found], we thought two years minimum before you start sensing things are changing. But I think it's already happening," Aquino said, adding, "I will just try to do what is right and what I think would give results."
Describing his critics, Aquino said, "How can one show something to a person who does not want to see, or make him listen when he does not want to listen?"
Noynoying "does not merit attention," he concluded.
In defense of Aquino, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad also told the Inquirer that Aquino's campaign against corruption will affect poverty reduction and job creation.
The term used to describe Aquino was a mere personal attack, Abad said.
However, Congressman Raymond Palatino of Kabataan, a sectoral party, said, "Noynoying will be ignored by the public if it doesn't have a basis."
"Noynoying is no longer an activist initiative (against Aquino), it has been readily embraced and popularized by the public, especially netizens," Palatino said, adding the "the public, not us activists" popularised the word.
The groups that coined the word Noynoying were "merely expressing the growing discontent of the public regarding the President's performance on economic issues," explained Congressman Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, a sectoral party at the House of Representatives.
"It has gained currency with the public because it perfectly captures their frustration with P-Noy' (Aquino's other name)," said Tinio.