President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Filipino people to aspire for the common good and reflect on the lessons from the life of slain former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. especially “on these troubling times.”
Duterte called Sen. Aquino, the father of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and husband of former President Corazon C. Aquino, as a patriot for fighting for what was “right and just in his lifetime.”
“His deeds have taught us that we should always aspire for the common good – even if one must go against the grain – and do what is necessary,” Duterte said.
Today marks the late lawmaker’s 34th death anniversary.
Duterte added that even at the time when hope was lost, Ninoy remained steadfast in his struggle to restore democracy through non-violent manner.
“History is witness to how Ninoy’s work as a journalist and politician drove him to effect positive and meaningful changes in our society… Up until the very end of his life, he inspired a peaceful revolution that resulted in the liberties we enjoy today,” Duterte said.
Duterte added he is hopeful that the commemoration of Aquino’s death would strengthen the late senator’s “legacy of promoting solidarity and patriotism” among Filipinos.
“Through his words of wisdom, let us reflect on his life and realize that, indeed, the Filipino is worthy dying for,” Duterte said, echoing Aquino’s famous line.
Aquino, a vocal critic of Marcos, was shot dead on Aug. 21, 1983 just after his plane landed at then Manila International Airport.
The assassination paved the way for a series of events ending in the 1986 People Power revolution in EDSA that knock down the Marcos regime and put Aquino’s wife Corazon as the president.
However, earlier this month, Duterte called his predecessor Noynoy Aquino “gago” for saying the administration’s war on drugs is ineffective.
Duterte is also known as an ally of the Marcos family. In 2017, he ordered the burial of the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Duterte also warned that the Martial law he declared in Mindanao would be similar to the martial law during the Marcos dictatorship.