Aquino: The Filipino is worth living for
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III held back tears as he assured the nation that he has remained true to the legacy of his parents – the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon Aquino.
During his fifth State of the Nation (Sona) address on Monday, Aquino quoted his father’s famous line: “The Filipino is worth dying for.”
He added, however, that he would go one step further to say that the Filipino was “worth living for” and “fighting for.”
Aquino’s sister and television host Kris Aquino was also seen wiping tears from her eyes.
“Kung tinalikuran ko ang pagkakataon, parang tinalikuran ko na rin ang aking ama’t ina, at ang lahat ng inialay nila para sa atin; hindi po mangyayari iyon. Sa paghakbang sa tuwid na daan, pinili ninyo ang mabuti at ang tama; tumotoo kayo sa akin—at ako naman po ay tumotoo sa inyo,” Aquino said.
“Hangga’t nagsisilbi tayong lakas ng isa’t isa, patuloy nating mapapatunayan na, ‘the Filipino is worth dying for,’ ‘the Filipino is worth living for,’ at idadagdag ko naman po: ‘The Filipino is definitely worth fighting for,'” Aquino said, his voice breaking.
The President had also recalled the time he was ambushed in a coup de etat during the administration of his late mother Corazon Aquino.
Aquino even set aside politics and called on Vice President Jejomar Binay as his companion in the 1987 ambush.
“Alam po ni Vice President na noong 1987, nagkasama kami, may kudeta, na-ambush po tayo doon, at tapos noon ay pangalawang buhay ko na po ito,” Aquino said.
He even expressed his fear that another threat to his life may happen again.
“Hindi natin maiiwasang mag-isip sa mga binubunggo natin, may araw kayang pagsampa ng entablado ay ito na ba huling araw, may magtatagumpay bang maglagay ng bomba; magtatagumpay ba iyong mga maiitim na balak ng atin pong mga katunggaling gusto tayong ibalik sa maling kalakalan,” Aquino said.
“At kung dumating nga ang panahon pong iyon at natapos na po iyong ating pangalawang buhay, masasabi ko ho bang sa lahat po nang inaabot natin, ako po masasabi ko kuntento na ako,” he added, his voice again cracking.
He said he is confident that should he be killed due to a threat to his life, he has done his part.
“Kuntento na po ako dahil panatag ang kalooban ko na kung ako po’y mawala na dito, marami po ang magpapatuloy ng ating tinahak na; baka iyon lang po talaga ang papel ko, na umpisahan ito,” Aquino said.
Aquino has come under fire these past weeks following his defense of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.
His administration has used DAP funds for programs other than what they have been intended for, drawing criticism from various sectors.
At least three impeachment complaints have been filed against Aquino at the House of Representatives as protests and calls for his resignation continued to mount on what is considered the toughest year of his six-year term.
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