‘Ninoy would have abolished pork barrel’

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IF the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. were alive today, he would have supported the clamor to abolish the pork barrel of legislators.

Rights lawyer Democrito Barcenas said this as the country celebrates the 30th death anniversary of Ninoy Aquino today.

“Ninoy was a pragmatic politician. He may have second thoughts with regard to the abolition of the pork barrel. But in the end, if people are united against the appropriation of pork barrel, then it would be possible that he will be supporting the abolition of these funds,” Barcenas said in an interview yesterday.

Barcenas, one of the convenors of the Justice for Aquino-Justice for All (JAJA) Movement, urged everyone especially the Cebuano young to perpetuate Aquino’s virtues.

“For people especially the youth, we should remember Ninoy. It is the duty of all sectors of society to continue teaching the youth the essence of his sacrifice. Ninoy’s life should even be part of our curriculum,” he said.

Barcenas, who now sits in the board of directors of the Philippine National Oil Corp., said Aquino’s love for freedom and democracy should be emulated by every Filipino.

“His death is an inspiration to the Filipino people. Everyone should have the courage to overcome oppression of any kind,” he said.

Aquino, the political rival of former president Ferdinand Marcos, was shot dead by soldiers on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport when he returned from a three-year exile in the United States on Aug. 21, 1983.

An investigation concluded that Ninoy was shot by Rolando Galman who also got killed by soldiers.

Sixteen soldiers were eventually convicted in the Aquino-Galman double murder case.

However, the mastermind was never identified. Barcenas said it would be difficult to find out who orchestrated Aquino’s assassination. He said the persons who may help shed light on the issue already died.

If the government has available resources, Barcenas said it should get to the bottom of the case. /Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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