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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Philippines honors Ninoy Aquino Jr.

Country honors slain opposition icon Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.

MANILA – As the country commemorates the killing of opposition stalwart Benigno S. “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport on this day 37 years ago, President Rodrigo Duterte said the slain former lawmaker had an impact on governance that lifted the lives of the oppressed and the marginalized.

“As this important occasion is remember during this time that we are facing a global public health crisis, may we emulate Ninoy’s courage and patriotism so we may all be heroes through acts if discipline, goodwill and social responsibility,” he said in a statement released today.

He likewise called on the Filipino citizenry to cooperate and work with the government to keep everyone and the communities safe. He also appealed to everyone to share resources to those whose lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job losses, economic downturn, among others.

Meanwhile, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo said the country and people will always remember the Opposition leader’s death “How he was murdered nbefore he even set foot on the tarmac. Coming home from exile to continue the struggle for our freedoms and dignities.”

She added the former lawmaker was killed for speaking truth to power, for believing the Filipinos deserved better and “for hoping, and acting on that hope, and being brave enough to lay down his life for that hope.”

The country’s vice president said the people instead of being cowed, the citizens found courage, unite and stand up for what is right.

“In this realization, we found solidarity, we found the strength to take the first steps towards a freer, fairer, more humane society; we found hope, and the courage to stake our lives on that hope, just as he did,” Vice President Robredo added.

The former lawmaker turned Vice President further said as the country endures “yet another dark night,” everyone draws inspiration from Ninoy’s story.” She referred to the late lawmaker’s courage and steadfast faith in the Filipino and from his heroism.

Kaisa ako ng buong sambayanang Pilipino sa paggunita sa kabayanihan ni Ninoy Aquino,” (I join the entire nation in remembering the heroism of Ninoy Aquino.), she concluded.

It will be recalled Senator Aquino’s widow, Mrs. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was catapulted to power after the Snap Presidential Elections in 1986 when the EDSA People Power I was launched. Then strongman Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was forced into exile in Hawaii until his death.

The opposition stalwart’s only son, Benigno Simeon Aquino III was elected into office in 2010.

At 2:00 P.M. today, different groups aligned with the Movement Against the Anti-Terrorism Act (MATA) in coordination with Tindig Pilipinas and August Twenty-One Movement will be at the Manila Memorial Park to offer prayers and flowers. It will be recalled the two Opposition icons were laid to rest at the same memorial park.

Different groups will do a motorcade from ABS-CBN compound where the participants will denounce the House of Representative’s Legislative Franchise committee of its franchise renewal. The participants will then proceed to Ninoy Aquino monument at Makati Central Business district.

Atty. Sonny Matula, NAGKAISA Chair and MATA convener said the Filipino people have had enough of the repressive policies of the administration which he compared to the Marcos era during the early 70s.

“MATA will call for the scrapping of the anti-terrorism law, the release of Opposition Senator Leila De Lima and a stop to all other deadly measures including the death penalty and Charter Change,” Atty. Matula further said. (Melo M. Acuña)

Then Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. (Martial Law Museum photo), President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacanang Photo) and Vice President Leni Robredo (Melo Acuna photo)

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