After reading President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s words for Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino’s 34th death anniversary, the former President is thankful but made a plea for Duterte to reread his own words.
Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III thanked Duterte on Monday at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. “Siguro pakiusap ko lang, baka pwedeng paminsan-minsan babasahin po niya ulit ito, dahil galing naman po sa kanya ang salita (But I appeal to him that perhaps, at times he should read it again because these were his words),” Aquino said.
On Sunday, Duterte released a statement, joining the Filipino people in commemoration of Ninoy Aquino’s death anniversary, in which the President echoed a well-known quote: “Through his words of wisdom, let us reflect on his life and realize that, indeed the Filipino is worth dying for.”
In his statement, Duterte said that Ninoy inspired a peaceful revolution that has given the Philippines the freedom its citizens enjoy today.
“Even at a time when hope was lost, he remained steadfast in his struggle to restore democracy through non-violent means. 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,” the statement said.
The former president said that he believes that the message was ‘heartfelt’ and hoped that Duterte would read it from ‘time to time.’
Aquino mentioned that he used to do the same thing while in office. “Marami akong dating iniiwan na babasahin sa drawer sa mesa ko sa opisina dahil palagay ko magandang-maganda ‘yung sinabi. Dapat tandaan (In the office, I used to have a lot of readings in my table’s drawer for I think if it is really remarkable, I must remember),” he said in an interview.
Aquino told the crowd that the Philippines has problems and will face a lot more in the future. But he said that what makes the situation ‘painful’ is facing the same problem even after 34 years. According to him, if there are new problems, the country should still progress as a nation.
Aquino thanked more than hundreds of yellow-wearing supporters that joined him and his family in the cemetery in spite of the rainy weather.
Vice President Leni Robredo was present during the mass.
Liberal Party chairman Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan Senator Frank Drilon, Senator Bam Aquino, and Senator Antonio Trillanes, Former Cabinet secretaries Voltaire Gazmin, Ging Deles, Butch Abad, and Dinky Soliman were also at the mass.
Former Health Secretary Chit Reodica of the Ramos administration, former mayor of Manila City Fred Lim, and former senator Jun Magsaysay attended the mass as well.